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Immersive Learning Technologies in Workforce Training and Education Conference

Van Metre Hall, Mason Square

Thursday, September 7, 2023Friday, September 8, 2023

*Register Before [DATE]

The Learning Multiverse: Immersive Technologies (IM-TECH) in Training and Education

Van Metre Hall, Mason Square

Thursday, September 7, 2023

*Register Before August 31, 2023

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About The Learning Multiverse: Immersive Technologies (IM-TECH) in Training and Education

Immersive Technologies (IM-TECH) are changing how we think about workforce education and have become a popular tool for corporate training in recent years. IM-TECH, also known as Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Extended Reality (XR), allow educators, trainers, and instructional designers to create immersive learning experiences that go beyond traditional teaching and learning methods. For example, VR simulations can provide a realistic and engaging way to train employees for a variety of tasks, from customer service to safety procedures. With VR, employees can make mistakes and learn from their mistakes in a safe environment. They can also get a better understanding of how to handle different situations that they may encounter on the job. IM-TECH can help us to better understand the world around us and connect with others who share our interests.  

So how can Immersive Technologies be used in workforce education contexts? What are the most recent and impactful learning theories, methods, technologies, and research-based practices that support IM-TECH? This conference addresses the applicability of IM-TECH to workforce education in industry and higher education and provides examples of the most transformative learning experiences that use IM-TECH for training and development. 

Agenda

Day 1

Breakfast

Welcome Remarks by GMU Leadership

Keynote

Panel: Training and Education Needs for Govt Priorities

Networking Lunch

Panel: Infrastructure Needs for ILT Adoption for Workforce Training and Education

Panel: ILT Best Practices of AR, MR, VR, ER, Wearable Technologies, IoT Industry

Posters, Vendor Demos

 

Happy Hour

Day 2

Breakfast

Opening Remarks by GMU Leadership

Keynote

Panel: Affordance, standardization, and accessible learning experiences and safe environments

Networking Lunch

Panel: Game Design Learning Leverage

Panel: Digital Badging and credentialing more innovatively

Career Fair and Reception

Conference Themes​

What are the theoretical underpinnings of IM-TECH adoption in workforce training and education?

What is the infrastructure needed for IM-TECH adoption in workforce training and education?   

What is the practical impact of IM-TECH on workforce training and education? How are the learning gains measured? What is the economic measurement of impact?

What are IM-TECH best practices of Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR), Extended Reality (ER), wearable technologies, and IoT in industry?

What are the affordances of IM-TECH in supporting accessible learning experiences, hands-on learning experiences, social learning, and safe environments for learning?

How can AI impact the design and implementation of IM-TECH?

How does Game-Based Learning leverage IM-TECH?

Can IM-TECH support Digital Badging and Credentialing more innovatively? 

Agenda

7:45 AM - 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 am - 9:15 amWelcome Remarks by GMU Leadership
9:15 am - 10:00 amKeynote: Next-Generation Immersive Learning: Reskilling & Upskilling, Transfer, and Unlearning - Chris Dede, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University
10:00 am - 10:15 amCoffee Break
10:15 am - 11:15 amPanel: Understanding the Practical Applications of IM-TECH: A Consumer’s Perspective
11:15 am - 12:30 pmIM-TECH: Innovation Slam/Demo
12:30 pm - 1:15 pmNetworking Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

In-Depth Personalized IM-TECH Demos

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Panel: Future XR Technologies, Wearable Devices, and Content Authoring Tools for Immersive Collaborative Learning

3:30 pm - 4:15 pmKeynote: The Potential of AI and Immersive Learning - Tyler Gates, General Manager, Brightline Interactive; Chief Futurist, The Glimpse Group
4:15 pm - 4:30 pmClosing Remarks by GMU Leadership – Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, Dean, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmNetworking and Reception  

Agenda

7:45 AM - 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 am - 9:15 amWelcome Remarks by GMU Leadership - Mark R. Ginsberg, Provost, George Mason University
9:15 am - 10:15 amNext-Generation Immersive Learning: Reskilling & Upskilling, Transfer, and Unlearning - Chris Dede, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University
10:15 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:45 amPanel: Training and Education Needs for Govt Priorities
11:45 am - 12:15 pmInnovation Slam/Demo
12:15 pm - 1:15 pmNetworking Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:30 pmPanel: Infrastructure Needs for IM-TECH Adoption for Workforce Training and Education
2:30 pm - 3:30 pmPanel: Future Collaborative States of AR, MR, VR, XR, Wearable Technologies, IoT Industry for Immersive Learning
3:30 pm - 5:00 pmPosters, Vendor Demos
5:00 pm - 7:00 pmHappy Hour
7:45 AM - 9:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 am - 9:15 amWelcome Remarks by GMU Leadership
9:15 am - 10:15 amKeynote
10:15 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:45 amPanel: Affordance, Standardization, and Accessible Learning Experiences and Safe Environments
11:45 am - 12:15 pmInnovation Slam/Demo
12:15 pm - 1:15 pmNetworking Lunch
1:15 pm - 2:30 pmPanel: Game Design Learning Leverage
2:30 pm - 3:30 pmClosing Keynote
3:30 pm - 5:00pmCareer Fair and Reception

Agenda

Day 1

7:45 am – 9:00 am

9:00 am – 9:15 am

9:15 am – 10:15 am

10:15 am – 10:30 am

10:30 am – 11:45 am

11:45 am – 12:15 pm

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Breakfast

Welcome Remarks by GMU Leadership

Keynote

Coffee Break

Panel: Training and Education Needs for Govt Priorities

Innovation Slam/Demo

Networking Lunch

Panel: Infrastructure Needs for IM-TECH Adoption for Workforce Training and Education

Panel: Future Collaborative States of AR, MR, VR, XR, Wearable Technologies, IoT Industry for Immersive Learning

Posters, Vendor Demos

Happy Hour

Day 2

7:45 am – 9:00 am

9:00 am – 9:30 am

9:30 am – 10:45 am

11:00 am  – 12:15 pm

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Breakfast

Opening Remarks by GMU Leadership

Keynote

Panel: Affordance, standardization, and accessible learning experiences and safe environments

Networking Lunch 

Panel: Game Design Learning Leverage

Panel: Digital Badging and credentialing more innovatively

Career Fair and Reception

Our Speakers

Chris Dede, EdD

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Chris Dede is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was for 22 years its Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. From 2001-2004, he was Chair of the HGSE department of Teaching and Learning. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

In 2020 Chris co-founded the Silver Lining for Learning initiative. He is currently a Member of the OECD 2030 Scientific Committee and an Advisor to the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, sponsored by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiative (MBRGI). Also, Chris is a Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Director for Research of the NSF-funded National Artificial Intelligence Institute in Adult Learning and Online Education.

His most recent co-edited books include: Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education; Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education; Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples; and The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy.

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Chris Dede, EdD

Chris Dede, EdD

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, PhD

Dean, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), George Mason University

Dr. Guerra-López is Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, home to the largest and most comprehensive school of education, and the alma mater for more than a third of the teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia.  She has also served as Interim Dean of the College of Education, as well as Interim Dean of the Graduate school at Wayne State University.  She is also a Professor of Learning Systems Design and has served as Special Advisor for Digital Learning Strategy and Innovation.  Her work is characterized by a systems approach, multistakeholder engagement, and cross-collaboration with a focus on sustainable impact.

She has published 8 books, including the award winning Partner for Performance: Strategically Aligning Learning & Development (2017), as well as Association for Talent Development (ATD) bestseller Needs Assessment for Organization Success and the popular Performance Evaluation: Proven Approaches for Improving Programs and Organizational Performance. She has over 100 publications related to needs assessment, strategic alignment, performance measurement and evaluation, workforce development, human resource management, and evidenced-based decision-making. She has worked with students, leadership, and organizations in over 40 countries disseminating systems oriented and evidenced-based performance improvement practices.

She has held key leadership positions in prominent professional organizations, including the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) Board of Directors, Editor-In-Chief of its research journal, Performance Improvement Quarterly, Chair of the ISPI Research Committee, and various other key committees and task forces charged with charting future directions for the human performance improvement field. In 2017, Dr. Guerra-López was awarded the ISPI Distinguished Service Award, one of ISPI’s most significant honors in recognition for her many contributions to ISPI and the field.  In 2014, she was recognized by the Florida State University’s Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program, the top-ranked program in the field, for her scholarly contributions and received the distinguished Gagne/Briggs Outstanding Alumnus award in 2014.

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Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, PhD

Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, PhD

Dean, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), George Mason University

Simon Su, PhD

Computer Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Simon Su (Ph.D., Houston, 2001) is Computer Scientist in the High-Performance Computing Visualization Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His research efforts have focused on Immersive Visualization. He is responsible for research and development of data visualization and 3D interaction using advanced immersive and interactive technologies. Before joining NIST, he was a Computer Scientist at the CCDC Army Research Laboratory working on immersive visualization and analysis of data generated by users of Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center. He has been working in the VR field for 22 years now.

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Simon Su, PhD

Simon Su, PhD

Computer Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Nada Dabbagh, PhD

Professor and Director of the Division of Learning Technologies, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Nada Dabbagh is Professor and Director of the Division of Learning Technologies in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Dr. Dabbagh teaches graduate courses in instructional design, e-Learning, digital pedagogy, and design research in the Learning Design and Technology (LDT) master’s program and the Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR) doctoral specialization. Dr. Dabbagh’s research focuses on the pedagogical ecology of technology-mediated learning environments with the goal of understanding the social and cognitive consequences of learning systems design. Specific research interests include online learning, interaction design, and Personal Learning Environments or PLEs. For more information about Dr. Dabbagh’s academic profile visit http://cehd.gmu.edu/people/faculty/ndabbagh/.

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Nada Dabbagh, PhD

Nada Dabbagh, PhD

Professor and Director of the Division of Learning Technologies, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Brenda Bannan, PhD

Professor, Division of Learning Technologies and the Learning Technology Design Research Doctoral Program, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Dr. Brenda Bannan is a Professor in the Division of Learning Technologies and the Learning Technology Design Research Doctoral Program in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Dr. Bannan’s current work centers on leveraging emerging technologies, learning science, user experience design, design research and human-machine partnerships to inform both the human system and the smart technology system.  Her current research interests encompass instrumenting live simulation training and other instructional, virtual and physical contexts with intelligent, unobtrusive devices leveraging AI, IoT systems and multimodal learning analytics.  For more information about Dr. Bannan’s academic profile, please see https://cehd.gmu.edu/people/faculty/bbannan/.

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Brenda Bannan, PhD

Brenda Bannan, PhD

Professor, Division of Learning Technologies and the Learning Technology Design Research Doctoral Program, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Craig Yu, PhD

Associate Professor of Computer Science, George Mason University

Lap-Fai (Craig) Yu is an Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department at George Mason University, where he leads the Design Computing and Extended Reality (DCXR) group. He works on computer graphics, vision, human-computer interaction, and virtual reality, particularly in AI and data-driven techniques for computational design. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles with an Outstanding Recognition in Research Award. His research has been featured by New Scientist, the UCLA Headlines, and the IEEE Xplore Innovation Spotlight; and has won Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards at 3DV and CHI conferences. He received an NSF CRII award and an NSF CAREER award for his research on computational design and virtual reality. He served as a member of the Panel on Assessment of Humans in Complex Systems of the National Academies. He regularly serves on the technical program committees of ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM CHI, and IEEE Virtual Reality.

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Craig Yu, PhD

Craig Yu, PhD

Associate Professor of Computer Science, George Mason University

Dolly Oberoi

Founder, C² Technologies

Dolly Oberoi, founder of C² Technologies, has greatly contributed to the aerospace and defense industry through her work in immersive technologies, AI, analytics, and IT. A pioneer and thought-leader, she transformed traditional learning environments with immersive technologies and devised transformative enterprise-wide solutions to enhance organizational and individual performance. As an entrepreneur, she’s completed over 18,000 projects for 130+ clients, employing 500+ staff in 22 global locations and has been recognized with over 200 industry awards.

Apart from her business accomplishments, Oberoi is an active mentor for budding entrepreneurs, running an incubator and accelerator, and hosting entrepreneurship boot camps for women and students. She serves on numerous academic and corporate boards including George Mason University, Barnard College of Columbia University, and TiE Global Board. An internationally recognized figure, she represented the U.S. on trade delegations and served under President Obama’s administration. Oberoi’s numerous accolades include the National Defense Industry Association’s Business Leader of the Year and the Gov Con Entrepreneur of the Year. She holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University.

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Dolly Oberoi

Dolly Oberoi

Founder, C² Technologies

Marryam Chaudhry

CEO & Founder, XR 2 LEAD

A technology visionary and people-oriented leader with 20+ years of international experience. She is the CEO & Founder of “XR 2 LEAD”, a global defense aerospace company that provides cutting edge training & mission critical technology solutions. XR 2 LEAD’s expertise is designing AI based (Intelligent) Simulated Solutions for adaptive training, digital twins, and rapid decision-making tools. Its mission is to provide cutting edge immersive solutions to the military, to maximize the readiness of “The Warfighter of the Future”. Under her leadership, within 2 years of inception, XR 2 LEAD began to rapidly gain traction with successful contracts like winning a challenge for an AI adaptive training solution in VR and change management solutions for logistics command.

Marryam is very active in the defense and tech sector communities and is often asked to speak and deliver sessions and webinars on various AR VR AI related topics. She was nominated and served as a Judge for the 4th, 5th & 6th International VR Awards and holds the esteemed position as Deputy Chair on the “XR for Enterprise” committee at the Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR). She is one of the founding members of DIN-The Defense Innovation Network, a member of defense committee at VRARA and an active member of DEF-Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. She also serves as a Subcommittee Member for the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event.

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Marryam Chaudhry

Marryam Chaudhry

CEO & Founder, XR 2 LEAD

Nathan Carr

Adobe Fellow/VP

Dr. Nathan Carr is an Adobe Fellow/VP helping lead the Adobe Research organization in the area of 3D computer graphics. His research organization focuses on imagining and inventing the next generation experiences for creative designers. These deep innovations have transformed Adobe’s leading creative suite of products which include Photoshop, Illustrator, Stager, AfterEffects, Fresco, Aero, among others.

Recently his team has focused on breakthrough science in generative imaging technology, forward and inverse 2D and 3D rendering, which includes the capture and understanding of shape, material, lighting, and animation. These technologies are unlocking the next generation of photographic editing workflows and expanding the palette of tools for creative designers. By combining forward and inverse techniques, new intelligent assistive systems can increase the velocity of the design process when working vectors, images, 3D, and video. These technologies are also paving the way for entirely new mediums of expression that include augmented and virtual reality.

Nathan’s personal research interests include forward and inverse geometric modeling and rendering. A driving goal behind this work is to uncover simpler representations that can accelerate and democratize working and designing in 3D. His work in 3D shape reconstruction has not only considered geometric form, but also the topology of spaces. He co-invented kCurves, the basis for a new Curvature Tool shipping in Illustrator and Photoshop (presented at SIGGRAPH 2017). Nathan also is enthusiastic about photorealistic 3D rendering and helped deliver and developing the global illumination renderer inside of Adobe Stager and Illustrator. He joined Adobe after completing his PhD. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the guidance of John C. Hart.

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Nathan Carr

Nathan Carr

Adobe Fellow/VP

Stephanie F. Dailey, EdD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Dr. Dailey is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. A licensed professional counselor in Virginia, Dr. Dailey specializes in disaster behavioral health, critical incident response and decision-making, and immersive simulation research methodologies. Her research is directed at better understanding community-based disasters of mass violence and appropriate mitigation, response, and recovery strategies for survivors, response personnel, and impacted communities. Her work at the federal level has included investigations of security procedures and protocols for active shooter events in K-12 schools, vulnerability mitigation for acts of mass violence, and strategies to support performance and decision-making during critical incident response. Focusing on trauma-prevention and resilience building, Dr. Dailey has developed evidence-based guidance for individuals, families, and communities following mass casualty events and co-led a federal program on disaster preparedness and response for lockdown. She is currently co-leading a national program to enable individual schools throughout the United States better address their continuing vulnerabilities to school shootings and developing a Full Dive Virtual Reality (FDVR) Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) program for military medical providers.

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Stephanie F. Dailey, EdD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Stephanie F. Dailey, EdD, LPC, NCC, ACS

Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Kafi Hassan, PhD

Technology Development Strategist, Advanced and Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile US

Dr. Kafi Hassan is a Technology Development Strategist in the advanced and emerging technologies at T-Mobile US where he has been working in research and development of new wireless network technologies since 2006. From 1995 to 2006, he worked as a Member of Technical Staff (MTS) at Bell Laboratories in Whippany, New Jersey, performing research and development in network wireless communication systems.

Dr. Hassan’s work contributed to the design, development, and deployment of 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G wireless network systems. His distinguished engineering achievements were recognized with many professional engineering awards including 2023 Engineer of the Year award by District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies (DCCEAS), Bell Labs Presidents Gold Award, Bell Labs Presidents Silver Award, Bell Labs Mobility Solutions President Recognition Award, and Sprint (now T-Mobile) Network Development and Engineering Leadership Award. He has authored/co-authored 18 USPTO issued patents in communications systems. Dr. Hassan has been an adjunct professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at George Mason University since 2007 teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.

Dr. Hassan is an IEEE communication society (COMSOC) Distinguished Lecturer (DL) and the chair of the IEEE communication society (COMSOC) Northern Virginia chapter. He serves in organizing committees of local and international COMSOC conferences.

Dr. Hassan’s education background includes a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York City, and BS and MS degrees majoring in electrical engineering from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Kafi Hassan, PhD

Kafi Hassan, PhD

Technology Development Strategist, Advanced and Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile US

James Casey

Director, Virginia Serious Games Institution, George Mason University

James Casey is the director of the Virginia Serious Games Institution which is the applied research, business incubation, and outreach arm of the Computer Game Design program at George Mason University. As associate director, James participates, engages, and mentors with all of the incubated companies at the VSGI and serves as principal investigator on applied research projects initiated at the VSGI. As an associate professor in the Computer Game Design program, James teaches and oversees the Senior Capstone Synthesis classes. Prior to joining George Mason University, James has over 12 years of experience developing video games. He has extensive knowledge in the production and live management of games working on titles from Mythic Entertainment, Bioware, EA, and EA Mobile. James worked in a number of roles including customer service, design, content lead, and producer. The majority of his tenure in the industry was in the producer role with production experience on Live and in-development titles. His portfolio of work includes such PC titles as Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, Imperator Online, Warhammer Online: Age of Chaos, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes as well as the mobile titles Ultima Forever and Dungeon Keeper. As well, James worked on a number of prototype projects and co-development titles for the studio and helped to lead the transition to mobile for the studio. He’s earned his Master and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration as well as a creative writing minor.

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James Casey

James Casey

Director, Virginia Serious Games Institution, George Mason University

Tyler Gates

General Manager, Brightline Interactive; Chief Futurist, The Glimpse Group

Tyler is the General Manager of Brightline Interactive and the Chief Futurist of The Glimpse Group. He is a visionary for the applications of VR/AR technology for training, enterprise and branding solutions. His technological prowess in conjunction with his aptitude for behavioral psychology enables him to transform client needs into tangible concepts through the use of immersive technology. He has adapted Brightline’s award-winning, highly immersive and interactive technology to create unique solutions for customers ranging from government agencies to commercial brands. Tyler represents the voice of immersive technology by speaking globally on behalf of the VR/AR Association and hosting the Association’s “Everything VR & AR” podcast. Additionally, Tyler is an active member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and the Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR).

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Tyler Gates

Tyler Gates

General Manager, Brightline Interactive; Chief Futurist, The Glimpse Group

Mark Lambert

Founder, VArtisans; Co-founder and COO, Lighthouse XR

Mark Lambert is the founder of VArtisans, a Virginia based VR and 360 video production company and co-founder and COO of sister company Lighthouse XR which is applying eXtended Reality techniques in the field of healthcare.

After years in the feature film industry, Mark started VArtisans in 2015 to pursue the new world of 360 filmmaking and 6DOF open world VR.  The company has worked on projects from PBS documentaries to wildlife conservation series to large Location Based attractions in Dubai.  VArtisans’ teams have traveled to 26 countries worldwide filming both monoscopic and stereo 360 video. Destinations included the mountains of Uganda to the streets of Paris, Rome and Tokyo … from the oceans of Australia, to the very top of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Clients have included PBS, PWC, Toyota and AARP.

In 2019, Mark started a sister company, Lighthouse XR. This company is working to bring XR to healthcare with new approaches for patient education and therapy. Lighthouse provides production as well as consulting services for clients. The company is developing their own IP/content as well based around its “Retreat VR Platform”. The first project on this platform is a large Substance Use Disorder treatment project developed in collaboration with the Veterans Administration. The 10 session program, called TST-VR at The Retreat, is currently in its 18th month of clinical trials and has expanded to 4 VHA Medical Centers.

Before working in VR, Mark spent 15 years working on feature films as a CG/VFX Supervisor. At Sony Pictures, he was a CG/DFX Supervisor and the head of visual development for teams that created Harry Potter‘s first Quidditch field, the visual development of Polar Express and creatures and locations for the Narnia: the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Additionally, he oversaw the title design for Men In Black 2, the lunar landscapes for HBO’s Earth to the Moon, the transformation of Kevin Bacon in Hollowman, and even Stuart Little’s clothes. In the game world, he created whole FMV sequences for Square USA’s Parasite Eve. From feature films to early work in the 90’s on digital humans, Mark has always been at the leading edge of visual based digital technology.

Early in his career, Mark was a senior online editor on thousands of commercials and several documentaries. His clients included National Geographic and Mercedes Benz. During this time, he wrote the graphics engine for a National Guard M1A1 tank simulator. Notably, he developed the first commercial software interface to Pixar’s RenderMan. He licensed this interface to Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, and other studios.

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Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert

Founder, VArtisans; Co-founder and COO, Lighthouse XR

Doug Wilson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies, George Mason University

Dr. Wilson serves as Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies at George Mason University where he provides instruction to graduate students in the Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) Program. In 2023, Dr. Wilson assumed duties as Academic Program Coordinator for the Learning, Design, and Technology Program offering both the M.S. degree and eLearning Certificate. Before joining George Mason, Dr. Wilson taught graduate-level instructional design and educational technology courses online in the Higher Education and Learning Technologies program at Texas A&M University, Commerce. At Southern Methodist University, Dr. Wilson designed and built academic and training courses for SMU’s Center for Teaching and Learning. His teaching experience includes more than 10-years as a professor of journalism and writing at Richland College. Dr. Wilson’s credentials include a Ph.D. in Learning, Design, & Technology from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Dr. Wilson’s current research interests include augmented and virtual reality, learning experience design, instructional design, and online teaching and learning. Prior to becoming an academic, Dr. Wilson was a major market television news reporter.

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Doug Wilson, PhD

Doug Wilson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies, George Mason University

Kammy Sanghera, PhD

Executive Director, Institute for Digital InnovAtion

As Executive Director of the Institute for Digital InnovAtion, Dr. Sanghera and her team support the research community in the pursuit of cutting-edge work to shape the future of our digital society, promoting equality, wellbeing, security, and prosperity.

Before assuming the IDIA role, Dr. Sanghera served as the Executive Director of STEM Outreach for the Volgenau School of Engineering. She was also the Associate Chair of the Information Sciences and Technology department. Dr. Sanghera was a founding member of Virginia’s Governor Northam’s STEM commission. She serves on the executive board of the Northern Virginia Computer Science Teachers’ Association. Dr. Sanghera received the NCWIT Extension Services award to implement systemic change to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of women in technology and engineering undergraduate programs. Her efforts have positively contributed to the Go Virginia Tech Talent Pipeline initiative, where she worked closely with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Fairfax County Government Office, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Dr. Sanghera is also an active member of the Students and Technology in Academia, Research, and Service (STARS) program and the National Center of Women in Technology (NCWIT). She has worked on the Sisters Rise Up grant by Reboot Representation.

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Kammy Sanghera, PhD

Kammy Sanghera, PhD

Executive Director, Institute for Digital InnovAtion

Carley Fisher-Maltese, PhD

Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Dr. Carley Fisher-Maltese is an associate professor at George Mason University. She teaches the early childhood education math and science methods courses in the College of Education and Human Development. She completed her PhD at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research focuses on science learning and the link between learning in informal and formal settings. Prior to teaching in higher education, she taught elementary school in both private and public schools. She is a strong advocate of fostering environmentally literate citizens, experiential learning opportunities, and promoting the use of innovative technologies to make learning more meaningful and engaging.

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Carley Fisher-Maltese, PhD

Carley Fisher-Maltese, PhD

Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Bethany Cieslowski, DNP, RN, CHSE

Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies, College of Public Health; BSN Division Director, School of Nursing, George Mason University

Bethany Cieslowski is the Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies at the College of Public Health. She came to Mason with several years of experience and training in simulation and debrief. She has collaborated on several innovative teaching and research projects. Currently, working with faculty to understand the impact of virtual reality in education. In addition, she completed an integrative review to explore the state of the science on the prebrief required for high-quality VR/AR simulation. And finally, she and colleagues developed the “reverse approach” to use VR in the classroom to engage and accelerate student learning. Cieslowski considers herself an innovator and a disruptor – slowly pushing the walls of nursing to build a better future.

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Bethany Cieslowski, DNP, RN, CHSE

Bethany Cieslowski, DNP, RN, CHSE

Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies, College of Public Health; BSN Division Director, School of Nursing, George Mason University

Sophia Moshasha

Vice President, VR/AR Association DC Chapter; Co-Founder, XR Women

Sophia Moshasha is determined to fast-track the integration of immersive and emerging technologies. Behind the scenes, on camera, and center stage, she propels multiple initiatives dedicated to elevating education and engagement with XR across diverse industry domains.

With roles spanning as a producer and Virtual Red Carpet host for The Polys – WebXR Awards, a Special Correspondent for the WebXR Summit Series, and a co-host of the VR/AR Association podcast, Sophia has conducted extensive interviews with innumerable XR pioneers and innovators.

Her journey encompasses pivotal contributions that have steered the application of these technologies and propelled the entire industry forward. Notably, her path has led her through stints with Meta’s Public Policy team, the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Program, and representation of a diverse spectrum of immersive technology enterprises offering solutions tailored to diverse industries.

Since 2017, her active engagement in the immersive technology community includes serving as Vice President of the DC Chapter of the VR/AR Association, co-founding XR women—an international collective driving female representation in technology—and co-founding Ready Player Golf, the pioneering Virtual Reality Charity Golf Outing. This initiative has successfully raised funds for MSF (Doctors Without Borders), XRSI (the XR Safety Initiative), and Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF).

Sophia’s dynamic presence has resonated across global networks through years of dedicated involvement in the XR community. She plays a vital role in guiding policy and standards setting organizations like the VR/AR Association, Congressional Reality Caucus, Metaverse Standards Forum, and the National Training and Simulation Association. Her efforts equip these entities to comprehend the immersive technology landscape, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet the burgeoning interest in adopting these technologies.

Her influence extends to prominent media platforms including Forbes, ABC, CGTN, and the American Dream TV series, where she has shared her insights. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Taking the next step in her tech advocacy, Sophia is now running for the State Senate in District 39. Her goal is to better equip legislative officials with a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities emerging technologies provide.

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Sophia Moshasha

Sophia Moshasha

Vice President, VR/AR Association DC Chapter; Co-Founder, XR Women

Debra Sprague, PhD

Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Dr. Sprague is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She is assigned to the Elementary Education Program and teaches courses that focus on technology integration. She also teaches courses in the Teaching and Teacher Education (TATE) PhD Program. Dr. Sprague’s research interests focus on technology infusion in preservice teacher education.  She also conducts research on emerging technologies. Dr. Sprague completed her PhD. in the Summer of 1995 from the University of New Mexico. Her area of study was technology integration in teacher education.

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Debra Sprague, PhD

Debra Sprague, PhD

Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University

Liz Hyman

CEO, XR Association

Elizabeth Hyman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the XR Association (XRA), the trade association promoting the dynamic growth of the XR industry which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed-reality, and immersive technologies yet to be invented. XRA is dedicated to the responsible development and thoughtful advancement of XR technologies across the globe.

Prior to joining XRA, Hyman served as Executive Vice President of Public Advocacy at the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), where she led the association’s outreach to members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and other international, federal, state, and local government institutions that shape public policies affecting the IT industry.

Hyman brings more than two decades of experience in the worlds of government, policy, and technology. She began her career in government, including positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of the President, and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and has experience in the private sector both in the practice of law and in business.

Hyman is a graduate of Tufts University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics, and holds a law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.

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Liz Hyman

Liz Hyman

CEO, XR Association

David B. Pearlstone, MD MBA

CEO, DicomDirector

Dr. Pearlstone is the CEO of DicomDirector, a start-up in digital medical imaging that creates three-dimensional holograms, viewable on any AR/VR device, from CT or MRI scans for doctors to use in diagnosis, treatment planning and intra-operative guidance. Most recently, he was Executive Director of HealthHavenHub, a not-for-profit digital healthcare incubator in New Haven, CT, and a partner at HealthVenture, LLC. Prior to joining HealthVenture, Dr. Pearlstone served as Medical Director for Vitas Healthcare of Connecticut. Previously he has served as Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery and Director of Breast Services at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, in Hackensack, New Jersey, and Associate Chairman of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology, and Director of Surgical Research at Lincoln Hospital in New York City.

He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and received his B.Sc. from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Following a research fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Vanderbilt, he received his MD from New York University School of Medicine in 1989. He completed his residency in general surgery at NYU; during his residency he spent two years as a Clinical Research Fellow in the Surgical Metabolism Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center under Dr. Murray Brennan, where he published extensively in the field of cancer cachexia. He then went on to complete a clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Pearlstone practiced clinical and academic surgical oncology for many years, serving on the faculty of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, as well as Yale University School of Medicine. He has worked in biomedical technology transfer since 2002, serving on the faculty of Clemson University College of Engineering in Clemson, SC, and the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. In 2010, Dr. Pearlstone received his MBA from the Leadership in Healthcare program at the Yale University School of Management.

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David B. Pearlstone, MD MBA

David B. Pearlstone, MD MBA

CEO, DicomDirector

John P. Grant

Technology Innovation Program Manager, Operations Training Department, Academy for Defense Intelligence

A native of California, Mr. Grant earned an Associate’s degree in Intelligence Operations from Cochise College and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College.

He joined the Army’s delayed entry program as a senior in high school and a year later in July 1986 began his active-duty status with the U.S. Army. He was assigned as a Field Artillery Cannon crewman to positions at Ft. Hood, TX and at Ray Barracks, Germany. In June 1990, he left active duty and spent eight months in the Oregon Army National Guard as an Infantry Tow Missile System Operator. In March 1991, he re-entered active duty to begin his career as an intelligence professional. He spent one year learning Persian-Farsi at the Defense Language Institute and then was trained as an Interrogator at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Mr. Grant’s first assignment as an Interrogator was at Fort Bragg, NC with the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade.

In December 1995, he was assigned to DIA’s newly established Defense HUMINT Service and attended the Defense Strategic Debriefing Course (DSDC) at Fort Huachuca. He was subsequently assigned to positions with DIA for more than nine years and participated in operations that included deployments to the Balkans, Jordan, and Iraq. In 2004, he was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Benning, GA to prepare a newly established Military Intelligence Company for deployment to Iraq. In 2005, he was assigned as an instructor with the DSDC at Ft. Huachuca. In March 2007, he retired with 20 years military service. His military awards include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

In April 2007, he joined DIA as a contractor supporting DIA’s newly established Technology Division. A year later, he was hired as a DIA civilian employee working as the Technology Integration Liaison for DIA’s Joint Coordination Element. In March 2011, he was assigned to DIA’s training directorate with mission at the HUMINT Training – Joint Center of Excellence (HT-JCOE) as the Technology Innovation Program Manager. In 2014, he was additionally assigned to standup the J7-Advanced Concepts staff to establish a variety of training curriculum design and implementation standards at HT-JCOE. In 2015, Mr. Grant established, and has since coordinated, the quarterly Virtual Worlds Forum (VWF), a community of interest focused on extended reality (XR) capabilities within the U.S. Government which includes Academic and Industry partners. The VWF participants collaborate to explore, develop, test, assess, and integrate XR capabilities such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to enhance various mission areas. In 2016, he was tasked to focus on the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) efforts and has since positioned the TIP as the focal point for Intelligence Community exploration of XR capabilities. He was awarded the 2018 Intelligence Community Learning Innovator of the Year by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Through his management of the TIP and the VWF collaboration and activities, Mr. Grant has positioned himself as the defacto focal point in the U.S. Government for XR knowledge of common concern.

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John P. Grant

John P. Grant

Technology Innovation Program Manager, Operations Training Department, Academy for Defense Intelligence

Zoe Ryan

Solutions Architect, NVIDIA

Zoe Ryan is a solutions architect at NVIDIA. She’s worked in embedded systems/simulations and GPU-accelerated high performance computing, specifically targeting higher education institutions and researchers to adopt and fully utilize GPU technology.

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Zoe Ryan

Zoe Ryan

Solutions Architect, NVIDIA

Kristyn Slater

Account Executive, NVIDIA

Kristyn Slater is an account executive at NVIDIA dedicated to expanding the use of NVIDIA’s AR/VR platform and leveraging GPUs to accelerate research initiatives within the Higher Education community.

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Kristyn Slater

Kristyn Slater

Account Executive, NVIDIA

Devin Pace

Simulation Operations Specialist, George Mason University School of Nursing

Devin is the Simulation Operations Specialist for George Mason University’s School of Nursing in the College of Public Health. He spent nine years as a paramedic, including time on a critical care unit, in the emergency room, and ski patrol in the mountains of Colorado. He has a passion for supporting educational labs and helping others reach that “ah hah!” moment when everything finally clicks.

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Devin Pace

Devin Pace

Simulation Operations Specialist, George Mason University School of Nursing

Neil Waters

Senior Digital Artist, SimInsights Inc.

Neil Waters is the Senior Digital Artist at SimInsights Inc. where he leads content production, working closely with industry experts and learning engineers to design and develop VR/AR training modules for deployment across a variety of hardware platforms and learning objectives. Neil holds a BFA in Visual Effects and Technical Direction from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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Neil Waters

Neil Waters

Senior Digital Artist, SimInsights Inc.

Robert Enos

Power Systems Team Manager, Power Services Group, Federal Aviation Administration

As the current manager for the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, Power Systems Team, Robert Enos is responsible for the coordination and funding of training, for new power systems equipment and procedures.  Through years of experience following classic training development, Robert developed a keen understanding of the opportunities VR/XR could offer in enhancements of proficiency, efficiency, cost and overall throughput for future training efforts.  He is also a key partner in the FAA’s program to bring virtual tower design and sighting efforts to fruition along with an effort to develop a network architecture for an Enterprise-Based Virtual Training Model designed to support all lines of business within the FAA.

Robert earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. He started his career at Raytheon as a field and design engineer working on construction of Air Traffic Control Towers, Radar Systems and Navigational Aids.  In 2000, he began his career within the FAA as a design engineer for the Navigational Aids group in the New England office, where he later held multiple positions within the region, including managing the Eastern Service Area Infrastructure Construction group.  In 2014 he began working in FAA Headquarters within the Power Services Group as part of Technical Operations within the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization where he has continued to develop a diverse understanding of the FAA through assignments to the field, other facilities groups within his parent organization, led contract development on multiple billion-dollar services contracts and special assignments for development of cost accounting software for the Tech Ops Organization.

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Robert Enos

Robert Enos

Power Systems Team Manager, Power Services Group, Federal Aviation Administration

Rich Casey

Power Training Program Manager, Federal Aviation Administrations, Technical Operations Workforce

Rich is Power Training Program manager, who is focused on leveraging multi-modal training delivery for the Federal Aviation Administrations, Technical Operations workforce.  Over the course of his 23 year career in the FAA, he has maintained an certified Communication, Navigation and Power systems critical to air traffic control services. He and his peers are actively working to make XR based training a regularly utilized training tool for the FAA workforce.

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Rich Casey

Rich Casey

Power Training Program Manager, Federal Aviation Administrations, Technical Operations Workforce

Megan Healy, PhD

Special Advisor to the President, Office of the President, George Mason University

Dr. Megan Healy joined George Mason University in 2022 as Special Advisor to the President. Dr. Healy builds strategic partnerships between Mason and businesses to develop strong collaborations that support business growth, economic development, talent development and innovation. She strives to make sure all Virginians have access to Mason through small business development, transfer from community colleges, upskilling or reskilling through industry credentials and completion of one of Mason’s degree programs. As a liaison to many state and community leaders around the Commonwealth, Dr. Healy truly believes higher education is the strongest foundation to individual prosperity and community vitality.

Dr. Healy served on Governor Northam’s Cabinet as Virginia’s first Secretary of Labor which oversaw all issues affecting workers in the Commonwealth, including workplace safety, worker discrimination and rights, employment benefits, and licensing and occupational regulations. As the Commonwealth’s highest ranking workforce officer, she led a range of regional, state, and federal programs that connected Virginians to the skills, training, and opportunities they needed to thrive in the 21<sup>st</sup> century economy as well as made education more affordable from early childhood to higher education.

Having started her career as a science professor at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Dr. Healy keenly appreciates how education can change lives and communities. Prior to joining the Northam administration, she served as Virginia’s first Director of STEM-H under Governor McDonnell and Governor McAuliffe before returning to the Virginia Community College System as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academics and Employer Partnerships. Dr. Healy is a proud product of Virginia’s public schools, holding a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, a master’s from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate from Old Dominion University.

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Megan Healy, PhD

Megan Healy, PhD

Special Advisor to the President, Office of the President, George Mason University

Cynthia Strand

Vice President, Leidos

Ms. Strand joined Leidos in February 2023 following a 35 year career at the intersection of technology and mission execution. She joined CIA as an imagery analyst in 1985 and worked across every mission area in the Directorate of Science and Technology (DST) as an analyst and manager of technical collection operations, capability development, and targeting. One of her proudest accomplishments was creation of the George Methlie School for Technical Intelligence Officers. This was the first DST enterprise dedicated to the recruitment, development, and retention of Technical Intelligence Officers.

Ms. Strand remains engaged with the National Security Community as an Advisory Board Member of the Cyber Security Forum Initiative, a Director on the Central Intelligence Retiree Association Board, and an Advisory Board Member for the George Washington University Cyber Security Strategy and Information Management Program. She holds a BS in Political Science from James Madison University and an MBA from The George Washington University. She is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award – Meritorious, the CIA Director’s Award, and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. She has three grown daughters and three ridiculously perfect grandchildren.

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Cynthia Strand

Cynthia Strand

Vice President, Leidos

Ravi Garimella, PMP

Technical Director, C² Technologies

Ravi Garimella, PMP, has over 20 years of experience in programming, eLearning, and virtual reality. Mr. Garimella is well-versed in the latest technologies, including digital twins, the Metaverse, and AI. He has an M.A. in Educational Technology from Bloomsburg University and has completed certificate courses on RPA and Bots. In his current role, Mr. Garimella is involved in all aspects of program design, development, and production for digital twins, the Metaverse, VR, AR, and AI.

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Ravi Garimella, PMP

Ravi Garimella, PMP

Technical Director, C² Technologies

Paul Cummings, PhD

Chief Architect, Unity Government and Aerospace

Dr. Paul Cummings, Chief Architect for Unity Government and Aerospace, has spent his 25-year career developing transformational technology solutions with an emphasis on simulation and training, metaverse, digital twins, Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) simulators, and distributed simulations. Dr. Cummings is a seasoned technical leader helping to support digital transformation internal to the organization as well as across multiple teams. Dr. Cummings has built and led teams of program managers, designers, engineers, subject matter experts, and educational content professionals toward the success of large and small businesses. He is a member of the Interservice/ Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (IITSEC) emerging concepts committee and is a published author on topics including LVC, explainable AI, intelligent tutoring, computational data science, and training transformation. Dr. Cummings is also on the Presidential Advisory Board for the George Mason University Fuse Center, supporting high technology innovation through federal, commercial, and university collaboration.

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Paul Cummings, PhD

Paul Cummings, PhD

Chief Architect, Unity Government and Aerospace

Co-Hosts

News & Media

Take a look at the clip below to hear from Dolly Oberoi, founder of C² Technologies, on the implementation of immersive technologies. The clip is from Ms. Oberoi’s talk in GMU’s EDIT 772 course with Dr. Doug Wilson.

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