In support of BYU's mission to enlarge intellectual learning, the OCIO Guest Speaker Series has been established to invite interesting people, who are working on interesting things in the field of technology, to visit our campus and share their work and ideas.

Marketing Incentives and Mechanism Design in Decentralized Distributed Ledger Systems

Tuesday • March 5, 2019 • 3:00PM • 3380 WSC

Sam Smith

Sam Smith - CTO, ProSapien LLC

Reception with refreshments following the lecture.

Building the Decentralized Web

Tuesday • January 22, 2019 • 3:00PM • 3380 WSC

Carl Youngblood

Carl Youngblood - CTO, Mainframe

Reception with refreshments following the lecture.

Talking DevOps with Jody Bailey

Thursday • February 1, 2018 • 3:30PM • 2254 CONF

Jody Bailey

Jody Bailey – Pluralsight

Reception with refreshments following the lecture.

Learning Technology to Enhance Learning

Thursday • May 11, 2017 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

Devlin Daley

Devlin Daley — Instructure Co-Founder

About Devlin

Devlin Daley is an expert in the EdTech field, and his perspective on educational technology will be invaluable to members of our development community. Devlin co-founded Instructure in 2008 with Brian Whitmer. The duo knew they wanted to build a better learning management system, but before writing any code, they embarked on a “product validation tour” of 17 colleges and universities to find out what faculty and students really wanted in an LMS. Devlin focuses on maintaining the delicate balance between connecting technology and connecting people. Devlin earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Brigham Young University. During the final months of his master’s program, Devlin had the inspiration for Canvas. It grew from his own experience studying and using educational technology and his desire to make it better.

Update From AWS re:Invent The Newest Services, Hardware, Software, & Infrastructure

Wednesday • February 1, 2017 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr — Web Services Evangelist, Blogger, Author

About Jeff

Jeff Barr is Chief Web Services Evangelist at Amazon Web Services, where he is focused on furthering awareness among software developers of the opportunity to innovate and build businesses using Amazon Web Services. In this role, Jeff travels, speaks, blogs, and maintains an active social media presence. Jeff has a longstanding interest in Web services and programmatic information interchange. He has held development and management positions at Microsoft, KnowNow, eByz, and Akopia and was co-founder of Visix Software.

He earned his Bachelor's degree in computer science from American University and his Master's degree in Communication and Digital Media from the University of Washington. He has written over 2700 posts for the AWS blog and another 1100 for his personal blog. He's been a technical reviewer for 4 books on web services, wrote a chapter on advanced scripting for a book on Second Life, and is the author of Host Your Website in the Cloud, published by SitePoint in 2010.

Scalable Event-Processing Architectures for IoT

Tuesday • June 21, 2016 • 3-4PM • 2260 CONF

Jeremy Warren

Jeremy Warren — Chief Technology Officer, Vivint Inc.

About Jeremy

Jeremy Warren is the Chief Technology Officer at Vivint Inc., the largest home automation company in North America. In this position, Jeremy is responsible for all of the company's product-related software development – embedded, cloud, and apps – as well as its "big data" analytics and machine learning capabilities. In addition, Jeremy drives Vivint's technology roadmap, partnerships, and strategy. He previously was the Vice President for Innovation, where he led the development of new business opportunities and oversaw the creation of new product and services ideas for Vivint.

Before joining Vivint, Jeremy was the Chief Technology Officer at 2GIG Technologies, a leading provider of innovative solutions for home security and home automation. There he was responsible for the engineering and mass production of 2GIG's product line, with a particular focus on forward evolution in this now rapidly-changing industry.

Prior to 2GIG, Jeremy was the Chief Technology Officer of the U. S. Department of Justice, where his responsibilities included formulating the Department's technology strategy, providing technology expertise in program oversight, performing research, and coordinating all aspects of the Department's technical architecture. Jeremy was also the Chief Architect of Lavastorm Technologies, where he focused on rules-based processing systems, data mining, and statistical analysis.

Jeremy studied computer science engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also loves to travel to see, do, and eat interesting things. An avid outdoorsman, Jeremy enjoys skiing and hiking in the Utah mountains, plus scuba diving (elsewhere).

Now You See Me, Now You Don't: The Changing World of Adversarial Threats

Tuesday • May 17, 2016 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

Aamir Lakhani

Aamir Lakhani — Cyber Security Researcher and Practitioner

About Aamir

Aamir Lakhani is a cyber security researcher and practitioner with Fortinet and FortiGuard Labs, with over 10 years of experience in the security industry. He is responsible for providing IT security solutions to major commercial and federal enterprise organizations. Lakhani has designed cyber solutions for defense and intelligence agencies, and has assisted organizations in defending themselves from active strike-back attacks perpetrated by underground cyber groups.

Aamir is actively involved in a number of charities. He has spent a considerable amount of time in Afghanistan and parts of East Africa helping install cyber defense infrastructure for organizations such as Aga Khan Hospitals and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Aamir is the author of several books, and all proceeds he earns from the books are donated to Hacker for Charities, an organization dedicated to helping enrich the lives of the people of Uganda by using technology.

Aamir Lakhani is also an aspiring video/movie professional. Over the last 6 years he has been involved in different capacities as technical advisor, associate director, and scriptwriter on major Hollywood projects from Warner Brothers and Disney Studios.

In his spare time, Aamir leads his local elementary school's science and technology club and annual city science fair. He has a large extended family and loves to have fun with this many nieces and nephews.

LINE UPON LINE: A View into FamilySearch Compute Architecture and How We Got There

Tuesday • February 23, 2016 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

We will broadcast this lecture on BYU campus television, channel 628.

TOM CREIGHTON — CTO & Lead Architect at FamilySearch


FamilySearch has been in business for over a hundred years, starting out as the Utah Genealogical Society. In that time there have been a number of innovations that have facilitated better quality research, broader availability of information, and far greater capacity for information storage, retrieval, and processing.

In this presentation, Tom will describe today's data processing architecture and some of how FamilySearch came to be where they are. FamilySearch provides access to petabytes of digital images and transcribed source records. Also, they provide a mechanism for describing and managing genealogical conclusions that currently hold records of more than 1 billion ancestors. Their web site currently sustains about 300 million unique visits per day, with over 400 million total visits per day. Occasionally they see spikes of over 550 M and 630 M, respectively. This, coupled with increasing traffic coming from partner web sites, has pushed FamilySearch to address scalability and high availability in all services.

Continuous delivery and deploying services in the AWS cloud have been core facilitators in FamilySearch addressing increasing scale, high availability, and rapid deployment of new features. Tom will describe some of the challenges they have faced, and still face, as they make use of cloud computing.

About Tom

Tom Creighton is a seasoned technical leader with experience crossing many different IT specialties. As CTO and Lead Architect for Family Search he sets strategic direction for all technology projects. He was directly involved in the creation of the Family Tree product, a system that enables users to record their family tree information along with those of other users. Mr. Creighton earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University, as well as the M.S. in Computer Science from University of Southern California.


Thursday • January 28, 2016 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

JON UDELL — Product Manager, Blogger, Author

JON UDELL — Product Manager, Blogger, Author


The idea of web annotation is as old as the Web. It was (briefly) implemented in Mosaic back in 1993. Now, finally, there's a gathering consensus that annotation is ready for prime time. The current crop of annotation systems, including Diigo, Genius, and Hypothesis, enable users to highlight and discuss regions of web pages by creating annotations that overlay those web pages.

The opportunities for web annotation, and the challenges to implementors, raise both technical and social issues. In this talk Jon Udell, product manager for Hypothesis, reviews those challenges and opportunities with a view toward seizing the opportunities, and addressing the challenges, in ways that enable an open and interoperable annotation ecosystem.

About Jon

Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and new media innovator. His 1999 book. Practical Internet Groupware, helped lay the foundation for what we now call social software. Udell was formerly a software developer at Lotus, executive editor and Web maven at BYTE Magazine, and an independent consultant. A hands-on thinker, Udell's analysis of industry trends has always been informed by his own ongoing experiments with software, information architecture, and new media.

From 2002 to 2006 he was lnfoWorld's lead analyst, author of the Weekly Strategic Developer column, and blogger-in-chief. During his lnfoWorld tenure he also pioneered the medium now known as screencasting and produced an audio show, Interviews with Innovators.

From 2007 to 2014 Udell worked for Microsoft as a writer, interviewer, speaker, and experimental software developer. He created the Elm City calendar network and worked on Thali, a P2P technology that enables people to control their online identities and share their data securely. In 2015 he joined Hypothesis to help build an open annotation layer for the web.

DIGITAL GENEALOGIES: A Vision of Sovereign Source Identity for Higher Ed

Tuesday • September 29, 2015 • 3-4PM • 2254 CONF

JIM GROOM — Instructional Technologist

JIM GROOM — Instructional Technologist


This presentation will explore the ways in which ubiquitous networked, digital ecosystems raise fundamental questions around the nature of identity in the 21st century. Moreover, that issue will be framed within the specific context of higher education, exploring how we enable faculty, students, and staff to manage and control their online identity. To what degree does technical infrastructure, digital fluency-based curriculum, and community support help higher-ed embrace the broader shift that has been happening over the last 25 years with the advent of the web? To that end, this presentation will focus on what a number of universities have been doing to promote a sovereign source identity as a means of empowering their community in the longer shift towards natively digital genealogies.

About Jim

Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Jim has been working for over fifteen years in education with a consistent focus on the development of teaching and learning in higher education. His focus in instructional technology has brought about many innovative accomplishments, including an enterprise-level academic publishing platform and an initiative at the University of Mary Washington called "A Domain of One's Own", started in Fall 2013, which provides students their own domain and web hosting account. Jim is also happily married with three children.