Matin Pirouz

Matin Pirouz is an instructor and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Her current research work is in big data analytics, deep learning, network analysis, and graph theory. She received a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.S. degree in Information Technologies from European Regional Educational Academy (EREA) in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Her M.S. research area was in network programming and security. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, she was an instructor at Cisco Networking Academy for about four years where she taught various entry, associate, and professional-level courses. In March 2013, Mrs. Pirouz Nia successfully passed the Instructor Trainer Qualification and has been holding instructor-level courses since then. During her time at Cisco Networking Academy, she was presented with several national and regional awards and she taught a few dozen instructors and over a hundred students. She is currently a researcher in Big Data Hub – ILAB at UNLV where she is conducting research on graph theory, particularly Personalized Page Ranks on weighted graphs and network analysis. Her current certifications include Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing &Switching, Cisco Certified Design Associate, and CompTIA Project+. As part of her Master’s dissertation, she developed a Linux-based program for UCom, one of the top ISPs of Armenia. The software was written on Tool Command Language (TCL) and AWK Languages and was a secure interface that monitored customers’ network quality on predefined intervals.

Shahab Tayeb

My research interests span communications, complex networks, and network security. I particularly plan to investigate network protocols (e.g. emerging wireless communications standards), big data analytics, the security and privacy of the Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems (e.g. Smart City).

Rochelle Hines

Rochelle Hines’ research is aimed at understanding neurodevelopmental processes under normal and pathological conditions, which include autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and developmental epilepsies. In particular, Rochelle’s studies focus on understanding the formation and stabilization of specific synapse types during development, with an emphasis on inhibitory synapses. Rochelle employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy, behavioral assessments and electroencephalography in mouse models to gain understanding of how inhibitory synapse function and dysfunction during development impacts brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. The ultimate goal of Rochelle’s research is to improve our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and to promote novel therapeutic strategies.

Rochelle earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (2009), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA (2015).

Dustin Hines

The brain operates as a complex orchestration that involves many different cellular players. Dr. Dustin Hines’ research is aimed at understanding the role that glial cells play under normal and pathological conditions, which include neuropsychiatric disorders (depression), traumatic brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer disease. In particular, Dr. Hines researches how astrocytes and microglia cells both talk and listen to neurons. Dr. Hines employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and two photon microscopy, electrophysiology and behavioral assessments in mouse models to gain understanding of how glia cells impact brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. Dr. Hines’ research ultimately is directed towards understanding how all of the cells of the brain are orchestrated into the precise symphony that we call behavior.

Paul Buck

Dr. Buck is an anthropologist and educator. He has been involved in archaeological and anthropological projects in a wide variety of contexts in western North America and Egypt for almost 30 years. His research interests include:

• Prehistoric human adaptation to arid environments of western North America,
• the transition from food collecting to food producing economies in the Southwestern U.S. and Egypt,
• the impact of technological change on prehistoric cultures, and
• applications of remote sensing and geoarchaeology to prehistory.

In addition to his research efforts, Dr. Buck has been involved in a number of science education projects and other efforts to promote science inquiry in a variety of scientific fields, including archaeology. He was the Principal Investigator of the Shadow Ridge High School/Tule Springs Earth Science Education Project, funded by NSF to develop a new earth science honors course based on authentic research for 9th grade students (NSF award #0331249). He was the lead education consultant for development of the environmental education curriculum for 5th grade students at the Red Rock Desert Learning Center residential outdoor science school planned to open in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas. He directed the Nevada Science Teacher Enhancement Project, a three year in-service teacher enhancement project program funded by the National Science Foundation’s Teacher Enhancement Program (grant number ESI-9731285). Buck was Project Director for the NSHE’s K-12 education/outreach program as part of an NSHE $15 million 5 year EPScoR RTIII award.

Dr. Buck is also committed to involving a greater diversity of students in math and science. As Director of the Increasing Diversity in Science in Nevada program (a part of the NSHE’s previous NSF EPSCoR grant), he led after school science enrichment programs for middle school and high school students, prepared freshman minority students for college in the NSHE, and provided support for freshman students at UNR and UNLV.

Hai Pham

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working in the Division of Hydrologic Sciences (DHS), at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). I obtained my Ph.D. in Hydrology from LSU. Before I joined DRI in 2016, I worked as a postdoc fellow at LSU.

My research aims to reduce uncertainty in groundwater modeling with focus on developing computer programs for prediction of flow and contaminant movement in porous and fractured media, uncertainty assessment of hydrologic parameters, conceptual models, and scenarios, optimization, and experimental designs using high-performance computing systems. At DRI, I am developing computer models to predict flow and radionuclide transport through fractured rock aquifers at the Pahute Mesa of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

I enjoy conducting research and publishing, developing grant proposals as well as teaching university courses and mentoring students.

Dale Karas

Dale E. Karas is a UNLV Mechanical Engineering PhD student, specializing in energy-efficient materials science fabrication and testing. His research efforts include optical analyses methods for energy-efficient nanomaterials characterization, computer-aided engineering, and advanced materials manufacturing. Prior to joining the Energy & Environmental Materials Laboratory (EEML) in Fall 2015, he obtained his B.S. in Optical Sciences & Engineering and a B.M. in Music Composition from The University of Arizona, where his work experiences involved remote sensing, machine vision, nanophotonic materials fabrication, and illumination engineering/design. He is president of Étendue: The UNLV Student Optics Chapter, representing student members of SPIE and OSA.

Markus Berli

Dr. Markus Berli’s research interests focus on modeling and measurement of soil structural dynamics affecting fluid flow and solute transport. Key issues are the connection of hydraulics and mechanics of soils at the micro-scale and upscaling physical soil behavior from pore to sample- and eventually field-scale.

Further areas of interest are: New methods for in-situ characterization of soil hydraulic and mechanical properties; improved characterization of soil pore geometry using X-ray-Micro-Tomography and pore water flow employing Neutron-Tomography; improved methods to assess and predict soil deterioration due to mechanical impacts.

His vision is that micro-scale coupling of soil hydraulics and mechanics with chemical and microbial processes will provide a conceptual framework for an improved understanding of fluid flow, contaminant fate and transport in the vadose zone, to sustain soil productivity and to secure water resources of sufficient quality and quantity world-wide.

James Navalta

Dr. Navalta’s research focuses on the immune response to exercise (lymphocyte apoptotic and migratory responses), physiological responses to outdoor exercise (hiking and trail running), and the validity of wearable technology.

Daniel Gerrity

Water and wastewater treatment: biological, physical, and chemical treatment processes

Indirect potable reuse (IPR) and direct potable reuse (DPR): Water quality, public health, and public perception

Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs): Ozone, ozone/H2O2, UV/H2O2, TiO2 photocatalysis

Trace organic contaminants (TOrCs), including pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds

Environmental microbiology (disinfection and methods): Bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites