Lecture 96: The Evolving TV and Media Landscape

When: Thursday September 15, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Where: Montgomery Community College (Rockville Campus) – Humanity Building (HU), Conference Room 009 (Get Directions, Campus Map )

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Speaker: Bob Tahmassebi, M.Sc.
Language: English


Synopsis:

The invention of the TV dates back to 1927.  For many decades the TV industry was highly lucrative and immune to change and disruption.  However, several recent trends have dramatically shifted the Media and TV landscape.  This lecture will focus on three major disruptions that continue to reshape the Media and TV distribution business:

  1. Changes in consumer viewership and behavior – Content on-demand to any device / anywhere, desire for skinny TV bundles
  2. Increased levels of competition – User-generated content, media company initiatives in direct-to-consumer distribution, over-the-top video
  3. Technological innovation / disruption – Cloud technologies, residential broadband, mobile video, big data / analytics, advanced advertising

The lecture will touch on the financial drivers and implications of these disruptions and how Media and TV distribution companies are responding to these changes.

About the Speaker:

Mr. Tahmassebi is a Senior Manager for Business Development and Strategy in Cisco’s Cable, Media, and Worldwide Video sales organization. He leads sales business development and planning initiatives across next generation data center and cloud technologies, cloud-enabled video, big data / analytics, automation/orchestration, and business services across the largest cable Service Providers in the US and Mexico. In this capacity, he has responsibility for analyzing market trends to make actionable recommendations across Cisco’s technology portfolio, to work with Cisco’s lead Service Provider customers to transform their business with Cisco solutions, and to lead all aspects of sales organizational planning and development. He engages in complex deal structure development, business modeling, and new business identification with a focus on: cloud transformation, cloud video and virtualization technologies, and B2B and B2C monetization.
Mr. Tahmassebi holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. He completed an extensive executive development program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and is pursuing the coveted Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

For this lecture: light refreshment will be provided

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Lecture 95: Virtual University – the Experiences in Iran

When: Thursday July 14, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Where: Montgomery Community College (Rockville Campus) – Humanity Building (HU), Conference Room 009 (Get Directions, Campus Map )

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Speaker: Alireza Rabi, Ph.D.
Language: Farsi


Synopsis:

Information revolution has changed the nature of learning, specially, the higher education. Rapid advances in online learning in the world has sharply increased the global and regional divide.
Virtual education, combined with the Open Learning Resources, have made knowledge available to anyone, anytime and anywhere. Yet, inadequate infrastructures in many parts of the world has caused a great digital gap, hence, higher socio-economic disparities. The new paradigm, at the same time, provides new opportunities for many nations and social groups. An evaluation of virtual learning experiences in Iran during the last decade is an essential step in envisioning a process of taking advantage of this new opportunity.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Alirez Rabi is currently the President of Farabi Institute of Higher Education founded in 2005. He received his PhD in 1977 in City and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia. He also received a graduate degree in Architecture, Urban Studies from Kent State University, 1972. His previous academic positions include:

Faculty, Graduate School of City Planning, Midwest College of Engineering, 1973-74
Faculty, Architecture Department, Tehran University, 1975-79
Assistant Professor, Dean, Vice President, Farabi University, 1977-1980

Associate Professor, Sharif University of Technology, Center for Advanced Information Technology, 2001-2004.
Farabi Institute of Higher Education was founded in 2005 as the first non-profit, non-governmental Virtual University in Iran under the auspices of the Ministry of Science. The Graduate School of Management began its work by offering online degree programs in MBA and IT Management. Later, Industrial Management, International Commerce and Technology Managements were added. Admission to the Graduate School is via National Entrance Exam administered by the Ministry of Science. The Graduate School has gained the reputation of “Center of Excellence” with many of its graduated entering PhD. programs.
Dr. Rabi is also the founder of Surreal Poetry Workshop. Surreal Poetry Workshop was initiated in 2011 on Facebook. It attracted many young, as well as seasoned poets from around the globe. Its membership surpassed 10,000 people. The Workshop is managed by an elected 15 members Board of Directors.

For this lecture: light refreshment will be provided

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Lecture 94: Application of nature-inspired optimization algorithms in civil engineering

When: Thursday May 12, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Where: Montgomery Community College (Rockville Campus) – Humanity Building (HU), Conference Room 009 (Get Directions, Campus Map )

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Speaker: Hessam Yazdani, Ph.D.
Language: English


Synopsis:

Diminishing bonanzas of conventional energy and the need for sustainable and resilient development worldwide have created a significant demand for the optimization of structures and buildings without eliminating their important redundancies and making them vulnerable to what would otherwise be normal shocks and disturbances. This is particularly the case for the structures made of concrete, the world’s most widely used construction material. Its per capita annual consumption is approximately one metric ton, making it the second most consumed material after water. In addition, its production not only depletes raw material resources, but also contributes significantly (i.e. more than 5%) to the emission of anthropogenic, heat-trapping gases.
While the words optimization, sustainability, resilience and redundancy seem asynchronous to us, in the course of billions of years of evolutionary history, nature has heuristically developed a diverse, remarkably ingenious set of dynamic and robust strategies that have endowed creatures and organisms with optimum yet sustainably-resilient adaptability to their in-flux environments. During the recent decades, significant research efforts have been devoted to understanding these strategies and exploring their applicability to solve a variety of complex engineering problems. This talk describes the successful application of a few of these nature-inspired metaheuristics in the optimization of structural systems.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Yazdani is an assistant professor of civil engineering and the director of the Sustainable Infrastructure, Geotechnics and Materials (SIGMa) Lab at Howard University, Washington, DC. He received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in December 2015.
Dr. Yazdani specializes in geotechnical engineering, multiscale design, characterization and simulation of materials, and probabilistic optimization using metaheuristic algorithms and data mining methods. He has published over 30 book chapters and journal and conference papers, and has received several competitive national awards including the best paper at the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Student Paper Competition in Phoenix, AZ and an ASTM International Project Grant in 2013 and the Best Paper Award at the 10th Annual Conference in Computer Science at OU in 2014.
Dr. Yazdani’s current interdisciplinary research is focused on fostering sustainability and resilience in civil infrastructure by developing high-performance and multifunctional construction materials, performance monitoring of structures using remote sensing and smart materials, addressing the geotechnical aspects of infrastructure (e.g. renewable energy systems) and incorporating uncertainty analysis and optimization into the analysis and design of geotechnical and structural systems.

For this lecture: light refreshment will be provided

Please click here to RSVP.