Tutorials and Workshops

Technical workshop and tutorials at SoutheastCon 2021 will be hosted on Wednesday, March 10 2021 and will be fully virtual. A WebEx link for participants will be provided privately to all registered attendees before the conference.

Integration of Interactive Simulations and Remote-Lab Exercises within Online Instructional Modules, with Wireless Communications Engineering Example

Presenters: Dr. Carl Dietrich, Virginia Tech

Duration: 2 Hours

Date and Time: Wednesday 3/10/2021, 13:00 – 15:00 EST

Abstract: While the current pandemic has highlighted the value of online educational resources, they have been in use for many years, and learning management systems (LMS) include features to support hybrid or fully online education. However, engineering education presents a challenge for this model because engineering concepts are typically learned through experimentation as well as through lectures, reading, and analytical problem solving. Based on over five years of experience developing interactive exercises and online learning modules for wireless communications engineering topics, we will: (1) Address several practical issues related to design, implementation, and use of such learning modules; (2) Consider a case study in which multiple resources were used to create multiple LMS-based interactive asynchronous learning modules; (3) Provide a demonstration and opportunity to test-drive interactive exercises used in the modules; (4) Demonstrate the process we are using to integrate interactive exercises into LMS-based learning modules, with the option for participants who have access to Canvas or another LMS to use and / or investigate feasibility of this approach by developing a simple practice module and integrating one of the exercises into the module; (5) Facilitate a discussion among participants as well as answer any questions that arise during the other parts of the workshop.


  • Introduction and brief review of motivation and background of online education
  • Engineering / STEM-specific challenges
  • Resources for interactive online instruction
  • Implementation and deployment issues
  • Case study: Hands-on Learning for Radio Frequency Spectrum Innovation (HLSI)
  • HLSI demonstration and interactive exercise test-drive
  • Demonstration and optional practice: integrating interactive exercises into LMS
  • Q&A / Discussion

Biography. Carl B. Dietrich is an Associate Research Professor in the Wireless @ Virginia Tech center within the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is also affiliated faculty with the Hume Center for National Security and Technology.  Dietrich earned a B.S.E.E. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, and Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Dietrich has authored or co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers on wireless communications related topics, and leads research, infrastructure, and educational projects.  Dietrich chaired the Educational Special Interest Group of the Wireless Innovation Forum, and is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of ACM, ASEE, and IEEE Eta Kappa Nu, and a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia.

Step-by-Step Python Recipes for Image Processing Tasks by practicing Machine Learning and Deep Learning Models

Presenter: Prof. Balakrishna Gokaraju, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC.

Duration: 4 Hours

Date and Time: Wednesday 3/10/2021, 08:00 – 12:00 EST

Abstract. In this hands-on programming workshop you will learn and implement, step-by-step, the complete machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) projects especially on images. You will be introduced to the concepts and will be ramped-up to install the required Python Programming editors. Various ML and DL libraries including SciKit Learn, Keras, TensorFlow, Pillow, OpenCV etc will be linked seamlessly. The Image Processing tasks using ML and DL Model development will be developed in the following four application areas: 1) Fever Detection from Thermal Images using DL; 2) UAV Drone based Precision Agriculture using ML; 3) Autonomous Car Traffic Sign Classification using DL; 4) IOT sensor Network Cyber Security using ML.

Biography. Dr. Balakrishna (Balu) Gokaraju is an associate professor in the Dept. of Computational Science and Engineering at NC A & T State University. He recently worked for a year as the Visiting Research Faculty at NASA Goddard Space and Flight Center, MD. He is contributing by integration of ML and DL techniques for Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality simulations of extreme terrains and astronaut training. His research background is extensive in satellite remote sensing applications and HPC, with eight years of service in various National Labs including, High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPCC), Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), Geosystems Research Institute (GRI) in MS, and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). His current research interests are in Spatio-Temporal Scientific Visualizations, HPC, Fully Autonomous Ground Rover Maneuvering, and Cyber Security. He is an effectual team player with proven record of delivering results on time for fourteen sponsored projects in the equivalent of $ 4.601 Million as PI and Co-PI.

Ethical Development of Autonomous/Intelligent Systems: Can A/IS Methodology be both Ethical and Light-weight?

Presenter: Dr. Robert Hobbs, Jacksonville, FL.

Duration: 3.5 Hours

Date and Time: Wednesday 3/10/2021, 08:30 – 12:00 EST

Abstract. The increase in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities has brought tremendous growth in Autonomous/Intelligent Systems (A/IS) and machine learning.  Companies have sought to leverage machine learning across a broad range of uses for its potential to provide accurate, consistent, low-cost answers.  The explosive growth has brought with it highly visible and expensive failures from ethical miss-steps. The IEEE Ethically Aligned Design and EU Framework on Ethical Aspects provide high-level guidelines on the processes to manage development and maintenance. This walkthrough will show an approach to add minimal additional steps in the Agile Scrum framework to mitigate ethical risks. An overview of current notable failures will set the need for the adding ethical analysis and mitigations to A/IS during the walkthrough. We will review the recent ethical guides to determine common themes and audit points development teams need to address.  Based on the ethical and Agile guides, we will step through the Scrum process for a conceptual facial recognition project and review the questions teams should ask.  Participants should gain an appreciation of how they can make minimal changes to their current processes and dramatically reduce the ethical risk of the A/IS and machine learning implementations.

Biography. Robert Hobbs (M’03) Mobile, AL, USA received a B.S. in Physics/E.E. United States Military Academy, an M.S. in Business Process Management from Colorado Technical University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration, Information Systems and Enterprise Resource Management from California Intercontinental University, CA.  He is the Chair of Jacksonville FL Computer Chapter and a member of IEEE Standards A.I. Artificial Intelligence Standards Committee. He hosts a recurring series of webinars on Machine Learning for the Jacksonville section. He has an extensive history in developing enterprise applications to include Machine Learning solutions to identify maintenance issues from high-definition images and the development of autonomous control for robotic systems. He managed the development of multiple classes of applications for numerous regulated industries, including Transportation, Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, and DOD.  He has led and participated in hundreds of projects as a manager, project manager, Scrum Master, and Scrum Master for Scrum-of-Scrums.

Logical Modeling and Solving Using Z3

Presenter: Dr. Arup Kumar Ghosh, Jacksonville State University

Duration: 1.5 Hours

Date and Time: Wednesday 3/10/2021, 3:30 – 5:00 EST

Abstract: In this hands-on tutorial, you will be introduced to logical modeling and solving. You will learn how to use Z3 theorem prover to check the satisfiability of logical formulas with respect to combinations of one or more theories. Basic Z3 commands will be taught and you will be given an opportunity to try them. We will also discuss how to leverage Z3 to reason about the correctness of software. By the end of the session, you should have a basic understanding of logical modeling and solving, and how to apply this knowledge to software verification and analysis.

Biography: Dr. Arup Kumar Ghosh is a Computer Science Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical, Computing, and Information Sciences (MCIS) at Jacksonville State University. He is presently serving as the Secretary for the IEEE Alabama Section. His research and teaching expertise lie at the intersection of Computer Science, Formal Methods, Cybersecurity, Data Science, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He has published several peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, including multiple first-author papers at ACM’s premier conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). His research work placed in UCF’s top 10 research findings of 2018 and has been featured by popular news media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Business Standard, Science Daily, and IEEE Security & Privacy. He has ample teaching experience and taught both introductory and advanced level Computer Science, Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and HCI courses.