Computer Science: The Versatile Degree

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ARCS Members and Friends Are Cordially Invited to a seminar
"Computer Science: The Versatile Degree"

September 9, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.
Warnock Engineering Building RM L103
72 Central Campus Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Keynote Speaker: Kiri Wagstaff


Dr. Kiri L. Wagstaff is a Principal Researcher in machine learning at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an associate research professor at Oregon State University.  Her research focuses on developing new machine learning methods for use onboard spacecraft and in data archives for planetary science, astronomy, cosmology, and more.  She received her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 1997 followed by a M.S. in Computer Science (2000) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2002.  She also completed an M.S. in Geological Sciences and a Master's degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS).  She received the Lew Allen Award for Excellence in Research and two NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medals, and she is a Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.  She is passionate about keeping machine learning relevant to real-world problems.

The Panel

Panelists are University School of Computing graduates working in a variety of careers (security, defense, finance, healthcare, education).  Computer Scientists are involved in virtually every aspect of modern life.  Come find out how a computer science degree is your ticket to a rewarding career in any field.


Alice Griffin, Engineering Associate, Goldman Sachs 
Born and raised in Utah. Alice has degrees in International Studies (BA) and Computer Science (BS)  from the University of Utah.  At the U she was the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Treasurer and CS Department Rep. After an internship over the summer of 2016 with Goldman Sachs she accepted a return offer and has been working on the Client Data Engineering Team ever since. The full stack team manages the firm wide datasets for client reference data and helps to automate the onboarding of accounts.



Seth DeCato, Cybersecurty Lead and Information System Security Manager, Federal Civil Service
Seth received a B.E. degree in computer engineering from Brigham Young University – Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho, in 2010.  After graduating he applied for the Palace Acquire (PAQ) program in the USAF which allowed him to earn the MSCS degree from the University of Utah in 2013 while still working for the USAF.  He is CISSP and Security+ certified and previously was a member of IEEE and officer of a student branch.  During his career he has developed software, firmware, and hardware and has worked as software assurance lead and a cybersecurity Subject Matter Expert (SME) for many projects



Jessica Lemon, Senior Mobile Applications Developer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jessica specializes in iOS development and is currently leading a team of talented developers and enjoys mentoring new developers and members of her team.  She finds great satisfaction in seeing each of them flourish in their work.  She is passionate about creating beautiful products that improve the lives of people everywhere. She has worked with companies & organizations in a variety of industries, including healthcare, religion, direct sales, and education. She received her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 2012, and her M.B.A. with an emphasis in I.T. Management from Webster University in 2017. She has a deep desire to continually learn, grow, & build upon her education. As a result, she has received several certifications in addition to her undergraduate & graduate degrees.



Dave Venable, Sr. Software Developer, 309th SWEG(Software Engineering Group), USAF
Dave graduated in 2014 with a BSCS from the EAE program at the University of Utah.  He started working in the defense industry as an intern at General Atomics working on the predator system.  He has also worked in the flight simulator department at HAFB and worked with Boeing on GUI aspects of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent system.  He completed his MBA at Weber State University in 2018 while working with Boeing.  He is currently working on making “video games for pilots” (a full fidelity flight training simulator with a full F16 cockpit in a 40 foot dome with 28 projectors providing full 360 degree images.)



Ryan Hawkins, Software Engineering Intern, Instructure
Ryan is a current Computer Science student at the University of Utah with a graduation date of Fall 2023.  He has been with Instructure of over a year, starting there as a Software Engineer in Test intern, and spent his first summer at Instructure focused on load testing a traffic-heavy component referred to as Live Events.  Since then he has pivoted to a more traditional software engineering role working on the Interoperability team.  We help make Canvas a great platform to integrate with and help third party tools work within Canvas, providing a great experience for users and developers.


Light refreshments will be served

Please RSVP by September 8, 2021  either on-line, by email, or by calling 801-560-3587

Questions?  Please contact



September 9th, 2021 3:30 PM   through   5:30 PM
University of Utah College of Engineering
Warnock Engineering Building
72 S Central Campus Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
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