Friday, February 24, 2017 | 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Marconi Automotive Museum | Tustin, Calif.


Richard Burton
Ph.D. 1976

Richard received a BS in mathematics from Caltech in 1970. He went to graduate school at UC Irvine to explore how to use computers to improve education. In 1973, he moved to Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Boston, where over the next five years, together with his thesis adviser, John Seely Brown, he developed several notable “intelligent computer-assisted instruction” programs including SOPHIE, WEST and BUGGY. In 1976, he completed his dissertation on a natural language interface to SOPHIE and received his PhD from the Information and Computer Science Department at UC Irvine.

From 1978 to 1986, Richard worked as a researcher in the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at Xerox PARC continuing to work on artificial intelligence technologies for education and training. During this time he also worked on Xerox Lisp programming environment team and was a co-recipient of the ACM 1992 Software System Award for Interlisp. From 1987 to 1989, Richard managed the User System Research Group at PARC.

From 1990 to 1997, Richard worked as an independent consultant before “trading the illusion of freedom for the illusion of job security” and accepting a position managing the Distributed Computing Area in the Computer Science Laboratory at PARC.

In 2004, Richard was lured back into the problem of how to educate with computers after the birth of his son, taking a job at a start up company, Acuitus, Inc. Over the next decade, Richard worked on the core content team developing an 18-week computer-based immersion course in network administration for the US Navy that trains recruits with no computer experience to be as good as ITs with 10 years of experience. The course has been used to train Navy recruits since 2015. Richard continues to work at Acuitus, finding ways to improve the existing courses and explore other content domains.

Richard enjoys physical activities. After playing for the UCI Volleyball club team while in graduate school, he went on to play in three Volleyball National Championships. Since turning 55, he has won the Soccer National Championship five times.

Richard lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife Lauren and their son John.

Andreas Gal
Ph.D. 2006

Andreas Gal was former chief technology officer at Mozilla. He is most notable for his work on several open source projects and Mozilla technologies.

Gal was born in Szeged, Hungary and grew up in Lübeck, Germany. During high school he worked on various open source AX.25 network stacks and designed a routing protocol for ham radio network nodes (INP3[2]) that became widely supported by AX.25 network routers.

During his graduate studies at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg he was a codesigner of AspectC++, an aspect-oriented extension of C and C++ languages. He later went on to obtain his Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. His thesis introduced the concept of Tracing just-in-time compilation of high-level languages using trace trees.

Gal joined Mozilla in 2008 and built TraceMonkey, the first JavaScript just-in-time compiler in a web browser, only weeks before Google announced Chrome and the V8 JavaScript engine. After his work on TraceMonkey, Gal became the Director of Research at Mozilla. A notable research project he started was PDF.js, a PDF renderer in JavaScript and HTML5, which now replaces the Adobe PDF plug-in in Firefox. In 2011, Gal co-founded the Boot to Gecko project, which later became Firefox OS.

As of 2013, Gal was appointed the Vice President of Mobile Engineering of Mozilla. In April 2014, Gal became the CTO of Mozilla. In June 2015 he left Mozilla, co-founding the Internet of Things start-up Silk Labs with two other members of the Firefox OS team (however, Silk Labs does not use Mozilla technologies). Also in 2015, Gal became an adviser at Acadine Technologies; a startup newly founded by Li Gong (former president of Mozilla Corporation) which was to develop software based on Firefox OS.

Arthur S. Hitomi
Ph.D. 2010, M.S. 2004, B.S. 1996

Dr. Arthur Hitomi is President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Numecent. He is a recognized figure within the areas of application virtualization and streaming, has contributed to the development of Internet standards, and has authored 19 issued patents. He heads the company’s overall goals and the technology strategy, including its patent portfolio. He has led the acquisitions of other technologies and has invented and led the development of the company’s products including Cloudpaging. In the past he co-founded Endeavors Technologies and has held both industry and academic positions. Dr. Hitomi holds a BS with honors, MS, and PhD in Information & Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Frank Kavanaugh
B.S. 1984

Frank is the Managing Director of Fort Ashford, a family office located in Newport Beach focused on education, real estate, and industrial technology. At UCI in the early eighties, he enjoyed an array of classes, many of which he came close to failing, until finding a particular interest in Artificial Intelligence. Due to a lack of programming talent, he spent many nights eating out of the vending machines in the ICS building while working through various assignments into the wee hours on the vacant campus when computer time was available and cheap. During the day, he would sleep through select classes and work as a personal computer expert at a local insurance company, using languages and tools from the stone age of computing, while developing systems on the then new and exciting portable Compaq computer that made a large sewing machine seem petite.

Upon graduation from UCI, he joined Hewlett Packard, then Microsoft, and ultimately co-founded QuickStart Computer Training with a fellow alum. Later he founded or restructured several tech companies including Planning Systems (licensed to Microsoft), TAA, Greenland Technologies (licensed to Southland Corporation), NewGen Systems (sold to public company), and several technology related companies. He then branched out into industrial service and manufacturing where he applied Systems Thinking and his many bad theories on how to run a company. There was a brief stint in a technology company called (the name should have guided him) during the original internet bubble. After the dot-com bust and the complete failure of OhGolly, he attended Pepperdine University for an Executive MBA. During the program, Frank began a side project that became Force Protection International, developing the MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected) vehicles, which grew to over $1.3 billion in sales over 6 years, but more importantly saved thousands of soldiers lives during the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.

He retired from Force Protection and has made investments in several industrial service companies, while working on implementing Theory of Constraints and robotic automation in these entities. His current fascinations are Montessori Education, Augmented Reality, and learning more about entertainment from one of his fellow UCI honorees, Tim Kashani. Frank brags constantly about his Producer Credit for An American in Paris even though he just sat in meetings and made uninformed suggestions.

He adores his amazing wife Susan (a former IBM & Microsoft techie), and awaits each day hoping one of his grown children Ty, Erin, or Bridget will call or email him with small insights into their exciting lives. He lives in Dana Point, and loves to travel and read science fiction and business theory books. Frank earned a B.S. in Information & Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1984, and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 2003.

Jennifer Woo Pascua
B.S. 2003

Jennifer W. Pascua is an ambitious, inspiring leader and international businesswoman with an extensive career in developing, managing, and launching in-flight entertainment systems for the aerospace industry. She began her career in the aerospace industry as a software / system engineer troubleshooting issues on the aircraft. Within her first year, at age 24, Jennifer was promoted to Software Product Support Manager at Rockwell Collins, where she managed software releases for over 40 airlines. Shortly thereafter, she became a Program Manager, where she managed the entire aircraft delivery (both hardware and software) from beginning to the end of the aircraft lifecycle. As a Program Manager, she led cross-functional teams on large-scale programs to develop and delivery IFE systems to worldwide Tier 1 airline customers. She traveled to over 30 countries where she developed close relationships with airline OEMs, airlines customers, and manufacturers. In 2011, Jennifer led her team in the successful delivery of the company’s first B787 aircraft to Japan following the tsunami that occurred earlier that year. She received recognition from Boeing and airline customer for the smooth delivery that aided Japan in their post-tsunami recovery plan. Jennifer has continued to grow within her organization and is the current director of Program Management at Thales. Prior to working in the aerospace industry, she worked at Canon, UC Irvine, and Reynolds & Reynolds, as well as working on side projects for Merrill Lynch, Deloitte Consulting, and Syska Hennessy Group.

Jennifer received her B.S. in Information Computer Science with minor in Business Management from UC Irvine in 2003 and her Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2007. She is an advocate for young women pursuing careers in computer science and an active member of Women’s Unlimited LEAD program, a leadership program. In addition to her career, she co-founded Project Potluck, a group of volunteers helping at risk children and homeless through community projects. Jennifer and her husband Erwin enjoy spending quality time with their 2 children- Evan James and Adele Rose.

Jason Robbins
Ph.D. 1999, M.S. 1995

Jason Robbins has been a professional software developer since 1988, and founded the ArgoUML open source project in 1999. He played a central role in the early development of CollabNet's project hosting toolset, and was a founding member of the team behind Google Project Hosting on His current focus is on building collaboration tools for Google's Chrome development team.

Jason earned his Ph.D. 1999 & M.S. 1995 in ICS at UC Irvine.


Mark Christoffels
B.S. 1983 - Civil Engineering

Mark Christoffels is Chief Executive Officer/Chief Engineer of the Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) Construction Authority, where he is responsible for implementing the $1.7 billion ACE program of rail-roadway grade separations and at-grade crossing safety and mobility improvements in the San Gabriel Valley of eastern Los Angeles County. Due to its successful implementation, the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority program has been cited as a national model for addressing the impacts of nationally and regionally significant freight rail traffic on local communities.

Mr. Christoffels has been a practicing civil engineer in local government for more than 30 years and prior to his current position was the City Engineer and Public Works Director for several cities in both Los Angeles County and Orange County including a ten-year tenure with the City of Long Beach. Mr. Christoffels received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from UC Irvine in 1983, and a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1985. He is both a registered Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor in the State of California.

Cynthia Stoker Guidry
B.S. 1992 - Civil Engineering

Cynthia Guidry is the Deputy Executive Director over the Planning and Development Group for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). In this position, she manages a dynamic team of professionals and technical staff to plan, define, and deliver LAWA’s multi-billion dollar Capital Improvement Program (CIP), and manages improvement projects that support the operation of our airports. Her staff also oversees LAWA’s Signage, Wayfinding and Graphic Arts program, and LAWA’s innovative Public Art and Exhibition program.

Guidry joined LAWA in August 2001 and during her tenure has held a number of positions. She previously led the Capital Programming, Planning and Engineering Group, including Environmental and Land Use Planning, Central Utilities Plant, and Facilities and Technical Services Division, in several accomplishments that she credits to her outstanding staff and determination to improve all LAWA airports. Her team has been responsible for planning the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) for the Automated People Mover (APM), Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center (ConRAC) and Intermodal Transportation Facilities.

Guidry, who has a Professional Engineer license from the State of California, has over 25 years of planning, engineering, and professional experience working with the City of Los Angeles. She serves on the Board of Directors for both the Los Angeles Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) and the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce.

Guidry holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Irvine.

Hamid Moradkhani
Ph.D. 2005 - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Hamid Moradkhani, director of remote sensing and water resources lab is a professor of civil and environmental engineering, fellow of the institute for sustainable solutions and recipient of the faculty research excellence award at Portland State University. He is a world class expert with over 25 years of experience and significant contributions on tackling the grand challenges faced by water resources planners, stakeholders and emergency managers here and around the world: how to be sure there is enough water to meet demands and protect the livelihood and properties against extreme events as populations swell and weather patterns shift due to climate variability and change.

He is a highly cited author of over 130 papers and book chapters, and pioneer in particle filtering data assimilation, cyber innovation and uncertainty quantification methods currently used extensively in engineering, earth system science and many other disciplines internationally. He earned the distinction of Diplomat of Water Resources Engineering recognized and designated by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers for his extensive contribution to the design and operation of large scale water resources systems. He is also a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a fellow of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute. He has chaired several technical committees, panels and conferences and workshop, served on several advisory panels on drought, flood, climate change and water policy issues including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration drought task force and international advisory panel of FloodNet of Canada. Dr. Moradkhani has been on the editorial boards of several high stature journals including Water Resources Research of American Geophysical Union, Elsevier Journal of Hydrology and ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering among others.

Christopher Schott
B.S. 1973 - Electrical Engineering

Mr. Christopher Schott is retired after a 35-year career in the semiconductor business and has worked as an engineer doing failure analysis and yield improvement. He has held management positions for design and test engineering, and ultimately ran business units at IDT Inc. accounting for about $400M in sales, which was half the company's sales at the time.

Mr. Schott is married with two sons, ages 30 and 27, and has resided in Monterey County for the last 31 years. He is enjoying retirement and still using his engineering training for activities such as fly-fishing, as well as tutoring his youngest son and his girlfriend in Physics, which he has enjoyed tremendously.

Mr. Schott earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1973 at UC Irvine.

Joan Wada
B.S. 1985 - Electrical Engineering

Joan Wada is a Technical Fellow at the Boeing Company, where she has had an extensive engineering career in the defense industry, authoring 17 awarded patents of Next Generation Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) instruments. Her focus is on developing new innovative technologies, integrating and implementing strategies for new business growth, and enhancing customer relationships. She has made significant system architectural improvements to Submarine Acoustic Detection on the P-8A Anti-Submarine Warfare program, Guidance and Control on the Minuteman III Missile program, and a wide range of programs encompassing missiles, satellites and ground command and control stations.

Joan initially joined Rockwell International (now Boeing) to work on test equipment upgrades for the Peacekeeper Missile. She has since worked in various capacities ranging from hardware designer to software developer. During this time, she held positions with increasing levels of responsibility and won several awards for her technical achievements, including recognition as the Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2007 by the Chinese Institute of Engineering.

Joan earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Irvine and a MBA from California State University San Bernardino. She is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Joan enjoys mentoring others, and is involved with many mentoring activities at local Universities, high schools and at Boeing.