Meet the Faculty
Visiting Professor, Director of Khoury Programs, San Francisco Bay Area
Alvaro Monge is a visiting professor and the Director of Khoury Programs in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. He joins Khoury College while on leave from California State University, Long Beach, where he is a professor.
Before joining Northeastern in 2021, and before his 22-year stint in Long Beach, Monge taught at the University of Dayton. He has worked on applied research projects to improve web content for people with low vision and has assisted marine biologists in studying juvenile white sharks. For three years, he helped create the EngageCSEdu living collection of instructional materials (now a part of the ACM Education Board) that applies research-based engagement practices.
Monge teaches introductory programming, data structures, discrete structures, database systems, and web development. He is passionate about supporting students and has worked on projects supported by Google, the US Department of Education, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology to increase the retention and graduation rates of female and Latinx computing students. To the same end, Monge participated in a 2018 Google program aimed at preparing underrepresented students for tech internships and jobs.
Monge is a member of the ACM Education Advisory Committee and has co-chaired ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Technical Symposium.
John Alexis Guerra Gómez
Assistant Teaching Professor
John Alexis Guerra Gómez is an assistant teaching professor at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University’s Silicon Valley campus.
During his undergraduate years studying computer science at the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Guerra Gómez developed his love for computers and passion for solving problems through research. In 2003, Guerra Gómez worked with a group of classmates to co-found DUTO, a startup that helps blind students “see” shapes with their hands. After ten years, the system was implemented in three schools in Colombia. While he was serving as chief development officer at DUTO and completing his graduate degree, Guerra Gómez lectured at the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira until 2007.
Guerra Gómez was a 2008 recipient of the Fulbright Science and Technology Scholarship, which allowed him to achieve his dream of becoming a scientist by completing his doctorate at the University of Maryland. He joined UMD’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab, working under Catherine Plaisant and Ben Shneiderman – both pioneers of the information visualization and user interface design fields.
After receiving his doctorate in 2013, Guerra Gómez moved to Silicon Valley to work for PARC, a Xerox company, where he helped catch fraud and abuse in the medical system through network visualization. He then moved on to Yahoo Labs as an information visualization research scientist where he worked closely with Flickr to provide better interfaces for navigating photo repositories and presenting photo statistics. Guerra Gómez then moved back to Colombia where he was an assistant professor at Los Andes University, and was part of the visual computing research group, IMAGINE. During that time, Guerra Gómez was hired as a remote lecturer at UC Berkeley, where he taught the data visualization course in the Master’s in Data Science program. While at UC Berkeley, he worked to redesign the master’s curriculum.
Associate Teaching Professor
Lama Hamandi is an associate teaching professor at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. Her research interests include systems and networking.
Before joining Northeastern in 2021, Hamandi amassed almost 30 years of teaching experience, first at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, then at Beirut Arab University, Business and Computer University College, and the American University of Beirut, all in Lebanon. During that time, she taught and developed curricula in a number of computer science subjects — including C++, data structures, discrete math, and operating systems — as well as a smattering of electrical engineering topics.
At Khoury College, Hamandi is associated with the Associate Teaching Professor Promotion Committee.
Mark L. Miller, Ph.D.
Professor, Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Mark L. Miller, PhD completed his doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, in 1979, specializing in applications of artificial intelligence to education.
In 2000, Miller founded Learningtech.org®, incorporating it as The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit. He serves as both its lead technical contributor and its President and Executive Director. The mission of the organization is to help “children of all ages” use technology more effectively for learning. The firm has helped schools throughout California and in several other states. Services include: E Rate applications; technology plan preparation; professional development relating to Computer Science, Robotics and Making; IT consultation (network design; server router configuration/administration; technology impact assessment); and sponsored research in the areas of Educational Technology and Computer Science Education.
Before founding Learningtech.org, Dr. Miller served as Lab Director for Learning and Tools at Apple, reporting to the Vice President, Advanced Technology Group [ATG], where he spent almost a decade heading up educational technology investigations. Apple programs under his direction at various times included: Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow [ACOT]; Apple Global Education [AGE]; Visualization and Simulation; Business Learning and Performance Support; and Multimedia Authoring Tools. Responsibilities included oversight of over three-dozen employees, including Apple Distinguished Scientists and numerous engineers with advanced degrees, with annual budget responsibility in excess of $6M.
Dr. Miller’s industry experience includes Texas Instruments’ Central Research Labs [TI], where Miller established its widely recognized Machine Intelligence research program, emphasizing educational applications, expert systems, natural language processing. Miller later co-founded Computer*Thought Corporation (Dallas, TX), a high-tech TI spinoff backed by venture capital, where he led the design of an advanced instructional system to retrain software engineers for the Ada programming language, then being implemented for the International Space Station.
Dr. Miller’s teaching experience includes the University of Texas (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; Survey of Knowledge Engineering; Design and Implementation of Programming Languages; Compilers, Assemblers, and Operating Systems; Software Engineering Using Ada; Discrete Structures). He also supervised successful M.S. and Ph.D. candidates at UT and Southern Methodist University. While a graduate student at MIT he served as both Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Artificial Intelligence and LOGO Laboratories, and as a Research Assistant at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman. Miller has also taught high school mathematics, computer science, making, and other topics at K12 schools, Community Colleges, and County Offices of Education. He developed and co-delivered a high school CS elective that received University of California “G requirement” approval, for use at multiple schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. In June 2020, Miller, along with Cynthia Solomon and a half-dozen Logo pioneers, published an article, History of Logo, in ACM SIGPLAN’s History of Programming Languages journal, describing the early development of this highly influential programming language for children. Logo was made famous by Seymour Papert (1980), in Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas). Miller worked with Papert at MIT and TI; some of Miller’s contributions are mentioned in the End Notes of Papert’s seminal publication. Mark is President Emeritus of the Computer Science Teachers Association [CSTA] Silicon Valley. He also teaches Python and Java in the ALIGN graduate program at Northeastern University’s San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses. He is an active participant in California’s growing efforts to bring CS to K-12 education — with attention to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Alina Adams is a serial entrepreneur founded high tech companies across multiple industries. With advanced degrees in both engineering and business, she has an emphasis on new technologies in the Biotech, Hardware/IoT space. She works with companies, investor groups, accelerators and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond to build a supportive ecosystem for innovation and value creation. Alina is a member of several global organizations that help entrepreneurs, assisting startups with business development strategy, fundraising, and growth strategy.
A seasoned entrepreneur, Cynthia Dai advises her international clientele on growth strategy and serves as an interim executive. She mentors global social enterprises at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and has taught (social) entrepreneurship, leadership, and teamwork at UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and Tsinghua University (China). Ms. Dai has an MBA from Stanford and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with honors from UC Berkeley. She is a former state commissioner and current San Francisco Elections Commissioner.
Aleks Gollu is a veteran of the Bay Area venture start-up eco-system, with expertise in supply chain, transportation, and telecommunication. Dr. Gollu holds a BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and MS and Ph.D. degrees from University of California, Berkeley, all in EECS with a focus on system management. He was Co-Founder of OTelNet, a pioneer of SMS-based cell phone applications, which was acquired by Telecommunication Systems (TSYS) in 2002. He founded PINC Solutions in 2004. PINC has since become the premier provider of yard management and transportation visibility solutions. His most recent start-up 11Sight provides a video interaction platform for businesses to establish the first contact and to accelerate lead conversion. Gollu is a member of Keiretsu Forum. He holds 4 patents with 2 pending.
Katherine Hamilton is a consultant specializing in environmental policy, education, and communications. She’s worked on climate policy and finance with organizations including The Nature Conservancy, the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force, and the philanthropy initiative Joyride Collective. Her consulting work has also included designing and implementing the City’s Boulder’s strategy for community engagement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She has taught at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business and served as a Board Member for the Colorado Carbon Fund and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers.
Katherine previously served as Director of Forest Trend’s Ecosystem Marketplace, non-profit news, data, and analytics service focused on incentives for conservation. There she co-authored The book Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They are and How They Work. She has also held positions with Yale Environmental Law and Policy Center, Natural Capitalism Inc., and The International Council for Science. Katerine holds of a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University and Bachelors from University of Michigan. She is currently accepted to the Fulbright Specialist Roster.
John Kohler has been Director of Impact Capital at Santa Clara’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and has also been a mentor to social entrepreneurs at the Global Social Benefit Accelerator. In 2011 he authored a report on impact investing entitled Coordinating Impact Capital: a New Approach to Investing in Small and Growing Businesses, co-authored a chapter on equity investing in New Frontiers of Philanthropy (Oxford Press-2014), and recently published a study on Total Portfolio Activation for Impact (Miller Center-2016). He is now pioneering a new investment vehicle – the Variable Payment Obligation – that presents investors with a ‘structured exit’ alternative to equity. In addition, he is co-founder of Toniic, a syndication network of impact investors. John manages investments through Redleaf Venture Management, a venture capital operating company founded in 1993. John’s earlier background includes twenty years of executive level positions at Hewlett Packard, Silicon Graphics, Convergent Technologies and Unisys. He was one of the founding executives at Netscape Communications. He led investments at AdRelevance (JMXI), Mosaic Communications (TWX), NetGravity (DCLK), RedCreek Communications (SNWL), and Wireless Online. John serves as a board member at PACT, an NGO based in Washington D.C., and on Pact’s microfinance company in Myanmar. He received his bachelor’s degree concentrating in international economics from UCLA and completed executive programs at Wharton and Stanford business schools. Over the last 15 years, he was a managing member of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund and currently advises ACDI/VOCA’s impact fund and USAID. Other recent advisory roles include the Vatican Impact Investing Conference and Catholic Relief Services. He is a nationally accredited soccer coach, an avid skier and sailor.
PK Kopardekar serves as the Director of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Institute where he creates and explores revolutionary concepts and technologies for aviation. In addition, he acts as the Principal Investigator for UAS Traffic Management. He has previously served as the Senior Technologist for Air Transportation System at NASA. In 2017, he was identified as one of the 25 most influential persons in the unmanned aircraft system industry. He holds a patent for Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) and is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Rick Rasmussen is a Silicon Valley native with entrepreneurial, executive, government and academic experience focusing on startups and growth stage companies. He works extensively with governments and economic development agencies looking to connect with Silicon Valley. He is an active member of the Sand Hill Angels investment group. Rick earned an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a dual MBA degree from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Columbia’s Graduate School of Business in New York City with honors. He currently lectures on Entrepreneurship at both UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
Jay Ruparel has 24 years of experience in building and leading tech startups and enterprises. He is the co-founder and CEO of VoicePlug, and previously co-founded and served as CEO of Azure Knowledge Corporation and as COO of Styx Infosoft. In 2018, he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and listed with Silicon India’s Top 50 CEOs. His companies were listed amongst the fastest growing in the country in 2018 and 2019 by both Inc. Magazine and Deloitte. He teaches and advises with California Science and Technical University, Entrepreneurship Development Institute, the Young Presidents Organization Entrepreneurship Council, and Entrepreneurship Development Center, MICA.
R. Paul Singh
R. Paul Singh has been a founder and CEO of five startups with Veraz going public and Espresso Logic, CyLAN and Internetware being acquired. He is now the CEO of Startup Strategies where he works as a mentor to startup CEOs regarding various business and go-to-market issues. Paul has co-authored three books on internet related topics. He has taught various classes at TiE Silicon Valley and IEEE besides being a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, CMU, UCSF and Univ. of Rochester. Mr. Singh holds a BSEE from Delhi University, India and an MBA from St. John’s University, NY.
Naeem Zafar is a faculty member at the University of California Berkeley, Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology and the professor of the Practice at Brown University. He has taught entrepreneurship and New Venture Finance since 2005. As a serial entrepreneur he co-founded and served as the CEO of several companies including Bitzer Mobile, that was acquired by Oracle in November 2013. He is currently the CEO of TeleSense, an Industrial IoT company. Naeem has published several cases in Harvard Business School publishing and has authored five books. He has an Sc.B. degree from Brown University.