Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California, United States
9 - 13 April 2017
Plenary Events
Symposium-Wide Plenary Session
Date: Monday 10 April 2017
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:45 PM
Location: Conv. Ctr. Ballroom C/D (Level 3)
Welcome and Rising Researcher Awards Acknowledged

4:15 to 5:00 PM


Thomas J. Burns, PhD
Director, Strategic Technology Office
Defense Advanced Research Agency (United States)


Dr. Burns is the Director of the Strategic Technology Office (STO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As STO Director, he is responsible for a diverse portfolio of programs in battle management, command and control; communications and networking; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic warfare; and positioning, navigation and timing.

Prior to DARPA, Dr. Burns was Founder and Managing Partner of CXO Capital, where he managed the investment and mentoring of high-tech start-up businesses focused on the development of smart sensing technology for commercial applications. Prior to founding CXO Investments, Dr. Burns served as President, SET Subsidiary, and Senior Vice President and Manager of Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC) Sensors and Phenomenology Operation.

Dr. Burns co-founded and served as CEO and Chairman of SET Corporation, a small high-tech business specializing in the creation and commercialization of smart sensing technologies. SET made significant advances in RF, Full-Motion Video, and Wide Area Motion Imagery sensing, patenting a number of advanced sensing and data exploitation innovations, and launching a highly successful product deployed throughout the world that detects suicide bombers at stand-off ranges.

Prior to founding SET, Dr. Burns co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of Object Video, Inc., a venture capital-backed start-up company focused on video analytics for commercial product applications. Object Video became the industry leader in video analytics for physical security applications, teaming with Texas Instruments, Mitsubishi, and Sumitomo to create the first mass-marketed video analytics chip.

From 1995-1999, Dr. Burns served as a DARPA Program Manager, pioneering the development of big data analytics to extract information from massive quantities of multi-sensor data. His work at DARPA built on his experiences directing Computer Vision research as a United States Air Force Officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), where he received the Alfred R. Murray Program Manager of the Year award.

Dr. Burns received a B.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from The Ohio State University, and an M.S. Degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.


5:00 to 5:45 PM


Augmenting Exploration

Parker Abercrombie
Immersive Visualization Project Lead
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (United States)


NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is using virtual and augmented reality to explore space, and our own planet, in ways that were never before possible. Scientists are planning activities for the Curiosity Mars rover while walking on a 3D reconstruction of the Martian surface. Mechanical engineers can preview full-scale holographic models of spacecraft before any parts are built. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station receive virtual assistance from experts on the ground. This presentation will discuss how JPL is using immersive technology to change how we conduct space exploration today, and look ahead to what’s coming next.

Parker Abercrombie is a senior software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and is the project lead for OnSight, a mixed reality tool that allows scientists and engineers to work virtually on Mars. Parker is also the lead developer of the science targeting software for the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission. Prior to joining JPL, Parker worked on geovisualization software for NASA's Ames Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy, including World Wind, winner of the NASA Software of the Year Award in 2009. Parker holds an M.A. in Geography from Boston University, and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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