External Advisory Council

The Computer Science External Advisory Council was formed in 2010 to assist the department in the following ways:

  • Gain insight and offer input into the mission, programs, and activities of the department;
  • Facilitate the department in establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals and corporations;
  • Actively participate in department fund raising efforts;
  • Assist in identifying and prioritizing resource needs of the department;
  • Participate in EAC online discussions and attend the annual on-campus caucus to be held each Spring;
  • Represent the department to the ISU community at large as well as to external organizations
photo of John Paule John Paule (EAC Chair 2023-24) is an accomplished and successful corporate and community leader. He has built strong general management skills with specific expertise in information technology, sales, marketing, and financial management. John retired as Executive Vice President with FBL. An active community leader in West Des Moines, John works with such organizations as the Rotary Club and Hospice of Central Iowa. John is past president of West Des Moines Board of Education, West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and West Des Moines Rotary.
photo of Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor (EAC Chair-designee) has invented and patented mobile device technologies, and started and advised several startup companies. The Iowa State University computer science graduate now serves the U.S. Department of State as a senior adviser, innovation and entrepreneurship, in the Office of Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. Taylor is president of Taylor-Deininger Partners Inc., a consultancy focused on advising senior executives and board members on strategic issues relating to technology manufacturing and design operations, new market opportunities, and intellectual property portfolio development. Taylor earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State in 1984. She also holds a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Texas' LBJ School. - See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2011/mar/Taylor
Karthik Balakrishnan

Karthik Balakrishnan is the global Chief Data & Analytics Officer (CDAO) at Principal Financial Group. In this role, he is responsible for modernizing Principal's data/analytics strategy, culture, execution, and establishing best practices for AI, analytics, data management, and data governance. Prior to joining Principal in 2021, Karthik was senior vice president at Verisk, one of the largest analytics pure-play companies in the world. In that role, he had full P&L responsibility for their loT/Telematics business including sales, product development, technology, data science, and data management functions.

Karthik has 25 years of experience developing and leading data/analytics and product functions at Verisk, Allstate Insurance, and Fireman's Fund/Allianz Insurance Company. He has also worked at two start-up companies, including one as President and CEO.

Karthik earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Iowa State University, specializing in AI. He has over 40 trade and research publications and a book on Intelligent Agents from MIT Press. He is an active speaker and contributor to conferences and industry events.

Gagan Chopra

Gagan Chopra was born and raised in Panjab, India. Post schooling, he followed in his father’s footsteps (Anand Chopra, MS '48 Electrical Engineering), and came to Iowa State to study Computer Science. Following his graduation from Iowa State, he joined Microsoft in Redmond, WA, in 1993; where he is currently a Group Program Manager.

The first half of his career was spent in software design engineering, and architect roles focused on enterprise computing software (high performance transaction processing systems, business solutions, mobile productivity solutions). Gagan has spent the second half of his career in a product design role, focused on AI and big data driven consumer and marketing solutions, primarily the Bing search engine, and Microsoft Advertising R&D.

Gagan’s current areas of interest are AI and big data driven auction marketplaces, multi-discipline high performance team cultures, collaboration enablement, personal and professional productivity, rhythms, history, cultures, wildlife photography, and travel.

He and his wife Rashmi, and their son Rohan, a middle schooler and an avid birder, live in Redmond, Washington.

Matt Good Matt Good currently serves as the Chief Technology Evangelist for Kingland and is responsible for leading technology enablement and delivering confidence for Kingland’s integral enterprise software clients.  An Iowa State University graduate in both Computer Science and Music, Matt has gained a variety of enterprise software experiences at Kingland, IBM and SPSS.  Throughout the first half of his software career, he was focused on architecting and engineering software solutions and leading teams focused on compliance, risk management, predictive analytics, AI-based enterprise data management automation, workflow and rules data management governance, and brokerage web and reporting applications.  More recently, Matt’s career has been directly focused on Kingland’s clients, enabling them for enterprise software business value and successful outcomes throughout their partnership with Kingland – all accomplished through his involvement in product management, sales engineering, and client solution architecture.  Personally, Matt has continued to enhance the music passion he gained through his degree in Music from Iowa State through continued practice, teaching, and volunteer opportunities.
photo of John Gustafson John Gustafson is currently the CTO at Ceranovo, Inc. Previously he served as the Senior Fellow and Chief Product Architect for AMD, and as research director for Intel Research. John is well known in High Performance Computing (HPC), having introduced the first commercial cluster system in 1985 and having first demonstrated 1000x, scalable parallel performance on real applications in 1988, for which he won the inaugural Gordon Bell Award. He received the IEEE Computer Society's Golden Core Award in 2007. John is the inventor of Gustafson's Law, which proved that parallelism among processors can solve larger problems. He also played a critical role in the ABC reconstruction project at ISU.
Kathy Hahn-Davidson Kathy Hahn-Davidson graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science from Iowa State in 1973. Kathy began her career at Hewlett Packard (HP) as an R&D software engineer. Simultaneously pursuing a Computer Engineering graduate degree from Stanford, she spent nearly 30 years at HP, holding various R&D and management roles. Notably, she directed HP/Agilent Technology's Year 2000 Product Program, overseeing Y2K product efforts across 187 lines. Her contributions extended to innovative product development, including operating systems and networking for HP 1000, 3000, and 9000 systems. Post-HP, she served as senior director of operating systems engineering at Network Appliance, later consulting for startups. She retired in 2003. Davidson previously served on the External Advisory Council for the Department of Computer Science in the 1980s. She has recruited many Iowa State graduates for HP and helped drive HP computing equipment donations to the university. She is a lifetime member of the ISU Alumni Association and is funding an Iowa State University Foundation scholarship for female computer science majors. She received the Department's Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2021. 
photo of Tom Miller Tom Miller has a long career in computing, including designing Microsoft's NTFS file system and implementing it in a small team for the first version of Windows NT (now Windows 7). He also designed and implemented the Windows Cache Manager. He is currently working on an advanced file system incubation project. He has been an avid supporter of Save the Children for over 20 years, and has visited programs in Azerbaijan and Georgia, Myanmar (Burma), and Malawi. He recently participated in a Jimmy Carter Habitat for the Humanities build in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Michelle Miller

Michelle M. Miller is a passionate healthcare IT executive with over 25 years of experience innovating, leading, developing, designing, and executing on a vision to transform healthcare and enable interoperability via HL7 FHIR standards. Currently, Michelle is the Senior Director of Clinical Data Enablement at Optum, which is part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses.  She leads an elite team focused on clinical data interoperability necessary to get the right data to the right place at the right time with minimized costs in order to achieve better health outcomes.

Prior to joining Optum, Michelle lead Cerner’s data strategy on its cloud-based big data platform, which aggregates data from disparate source systems across the continuum of care in order to create a longitudinal person record, enabling decision support, quality measurement and analytics for population management. Michelle holds multiple critical care patents.

She makes an impact on interoperability serving as HL7 International Patient Care Co-Chair for the past 7 years.  Michelle is also a certified Crucial Conversations facilitator. Michelle is a graduate of Iowa State University and has a Bachelor of Science in computer science. She has served a 5-year term on the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors and was a member of the ISU Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) external advisory board. She was awarded the ISU 2006 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Rajesh Parekh

Rajesh Parekh is Engineering Director at Google where he leads a talented team focusing on algorithmic data curation for Google's Geo products. His team applies various Machine Learning and Computer Vision techniques to build trustworthy and useful understanding of the real world. He is passionate about solving challenging problems that deliver tremendous user impact.

Prior to Google, Dr. Parekh led analytics for Facebook’s Video and Applied Machine Learning initiatives. Before Facebook, Dr. Parekh was the Vice President of Data Science at Groupon where he built products for personalization, sales automation, and marketing optimization. He also worked at Yahoo Labs building display advertising targeting products, at Blue Martini Software developing data mining products for e-commerce, and at Allstate solving insurance problems like cross-sell, retention, and fraud.

Dr. Parekh earned his B.E. in Computer Engineering from VJTI, Mumbai and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science focusing on Artificial Intelligence from Iowa State University. He has published over 30 research papers and multiple international patents. He actively participates in the machine learning and data science community.

Greg Shannon

Greg Shannon is the Chief Scientist for the CERT® Division at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, expanding cyber security research, advancing national and international research agendas, and promoting efficient cyber security.

Shannon serves on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He recently served in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Cyber security Strategy and led the development of the 2016 Federal Cyber security Research and Development Strategic Plan. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on cyber security, science for security, critical infrastructure, resilience, and cyber threats.

Shannon received a BS in Computer Science from Iowa State University with minors in mathematics, economics, and statistics. He earned his MS and PhD in Computer Sciences at Purdue University, with a Packard Foundation fellowship. He is a member of the ACM and a Senior Member of IEEE

Kevin Shekleton Kevin Shekleton is a polyglot technologist, having worked in a wide variety of systems throughout his career. He is currently the Chief Architect and Distinguished Engineer at Cerner, a healthcare software IT company now part of Oracle. At Cerner, is responsible for Cerner's architecture and platforms. Kevin earned his BS in Computer Science from Iowa State University. He currently serves as a board member of Northland CAPS, a non-profit that helps connect high school students to industry professionals in order to provide a real-world learning experience. He is passionate about technology, security, and open source.
George Strawn

George Strawn (past EAC Chair 2010-22) is a former Department Chair of Computer Science, Director of the Computation Center at ISU, Professor. He then spent a number of years in various positions at NSF, that last of which was on detail to OSTP as co-chair of the Networking and IT Research and Development (NITRD) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council and also as director of the National Coordination Office, which staffs the NITRD subcommittee. After retiring from NSF, he recently became board director for the National Academies' Board on Research Data and Information.

Jeremy Thompson Jeremy Thompson has had a long career in technology doing consulting, design, and development of solutions for companies that range from startups to Fortune 500 companies around the world. He currently serves as the Chief Architect for the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group focused on the development and integration of cutting edge technologies like edge computing, computer vision, connectivity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensors, and robotics that help farmers address the demand to sustainably feed a growing world.
Ron Wolf

Ron Wolf has been a Technology Executive for the past 20 years, and hands on practitioner in 8 San Francisco Bay Area startups as well as for dozens of consulting clients ranging from the Fortune 100 to raw startups with big ideas. Specializing in team building and in creating database, Middleware, Web (SOA & SAAS), and IT Management products, Ron turns new architectural possibilities into products with real value.