Orange County ACM

Welcome to the Orange County Chapter of the
Association for Computing Machinery

We welcome all interested members, ideas and contributions. We are a non-profit organization whose members include professionals involved in software research and development, from algorithms and computing theory to big data applications, from medical devices and communications to national defense, from computer graphics and scientific visualization to computer games and entertainment. Literally any and all applications to which computer technology has been applied or is yet to be invented are encompassed by your fellow professionals in the ACM.
Natural Language Analysis - How to understand tons of text in minutes
September 20, 2023
6:30 PM Pacific Time
The emergence of Large Language Models has led to many breakthroughs in processing text and producing new and innovative products. Generative text is one of many applications in the Natural Language Understanding space. Text analysis, vectorization, and word-embeddings provide another way to analyze text to help drive business decisions in scientifically repeatable ways. The vectorization approach can be used to explore datasets like product reviews, open ended survey questions and trouble tickets to understand the context of a large set of text data in seconds. A language model is created for each dataset (a targeted language model) which can then be used to explore a specific set of text data. Datasets might include a hundred thousand or million product reviews or an open-ended survey question answered by fifty thousand employees to understand what is going on with customers or employees at a very deep level. Large language models and vectorization use different approaches to understand and interpret text. While large language models like GPT-3 transform massive amounts of text into a single neural network for generating text, the vectorization or word embeddings approach can be used on small or large datasets in a repeatable and consistent manner, allowing for more reliable data analysis of a specific set of data. Come and learn about natural language analysis and ways to process text in new and innovative ways.

This meeting will be held in person at the Knobbe Martens' Irvine offices (2040 Main St # 14 Irvine, CA). The doors will open at 6:30 PM for networking. Announcements and the presentation will begin at 7:00 PM. Parking validation will be provided to attendees.

Wood Harter

Wood Harter

William Wood Harter is a Chapman University Alumnus and Adjunct professor who has worked in Aerospace, Security, Gaming, and now Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Analysis. He currently works as a Solutions Architect for Luminoso, an award-winning leader in tools for understanding language around product reviews, open-ended survey questions, trouble tickets, and help desk transcriptions.

Program Events

We hold program meetings on the third Wednesday of odd-numbered months with speakers drawn from both industry and academia. We welcome program speakers from a broad range of topics, but are especially interested in the topics of data science, AI and machine learning, blockchain, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cybersecurity. Interested speakers may reach out to our Program Coordinator at

Our in-person meetings are held at the offices of Knobbe Martens (2040 Main St # 14 Irvine, CA). Parking for in-person meetings can be found here.

Upcoming Programs

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
6:30 PM Pacific Time

Natural Language Analysis - How to understand tons of text in minutes
Wood Harter
Wood Harter
In Person Registration: here

Past Programs

At meetup
Date Event Presenter Meetup Slides YouTube
19-July-2023 Programming with AI Dr. Vivek Haldar Meetup Video
17-May-2023 How Large Language Models Work (and why that’s why they don’t) Dr. Sameer Singh Meetup Video
18-Jan-2023 The Next Transformation in Computing: From the Cloud to the Global-Scale Edge Prof. Faisal Nawab Meetup Video
18-Jan-2023 Socially Assistive Robotics Right Now Prof. Maja Mataric´ Meetup Video
16-Nov-2022 Regulating AI Systems Kuansan Wang, PhD Meetup Slides Video
21-Sept-2022 Smart Contracts Alexander Kurz, PhD Meetup Video
20-Jul-2022 Embattling for a Deep Fake Dystopia Ilke Demir, PhD Meetup Video
18-May-2022 NFTs - Fad or Leading Trend? Cynthia Kirkeby Meetup Video
16-Mar-2022 Deep Learning Hardware: Past, Present and Future Bill Dally, PhD Meetup Slides Video
19-Jan-2022 Dimensions of Change: Measurements for a Metaverse Peter Coffee Meetup Slides Video
17-Nov-2021 Machine Learning Computer Architecture Enhancements Nader Bagherzadeh, PhD Meetup Video
15-Sept-2021 Automated Influence (AI?) - What Could Go Wrong? Rand Waltzman, PhD Meetup Video
21-Jul-2021 GIS, Location Data, Imagery and Machine Learning Dr Steven Steinberg Meetup Slides Video
19-May-2021 Causal Analysis and Software and Systems Engineering Dr Jim Alstad and
Dr Anandi Hira
Meetup Slides Video
17-Apr-2021 Data Science in Action Dr. Arvind Sathi and Neena Sathi Meetup
17-Mar-2021 Why Your Privacy Matters Brad Kelso and Steve Kepler Meetup Slides Video
20-Jan-2021 The 5G Revolution Lola Awoniyi-Oteri, PhD Meetup Slides Video
18-Nov-2020 Big Data Analytics with Apache AsterixDB Michael Carey, PhD Meetup Slides Video
16-Sep-2020 Integrating Named Data Networking in Connected Communities Syed Hassan Ahmed, PhD Meetup Slides Video
15-Jul-2020 Personal Privacy Frank Ury Meetup Slides Video
20-May-2020 The Threat in your Pocket:
Trends, Challenges, and Solutions in
Mobile Application Security
Dr. Sam Malek Meetup Slides Video
26-Feb-2020 Workshop: Pop-Up Data Mart for Sales & Marketing Analysis with Machine Learning Oracle - Hands-On Workshop Meetup Info
15-Jan-2020 Parallel Agile and ICSM Dr. Barry Boehm and Doug Rosenberg Meetup Slides
20-Nov-2019 AI for Good Neil Sahota Meetup Slides Video
23-Oct-2019 Workshop: Building Python Apps with Autonomous Transaction Processing in No Time Oracle Meetup Info
18-Sep-2019 Lessons Learned Building and Selling a Mobile App Business Ralf Brockhaus, MS Meetup Slides
17-Jul-2019 Cybersecurity: Tales From The Trenches Dave Collins Meetup Slides
15-May-2019 Cybersecurity: How Worried Should We Be? Bryan Cunningham Meetup Slides
20-Mar-2019 Memories of Tomorrow Tom Coughlin, PhD Meetup Slides
16-Jan-2019 Planning for Large-Scale Multi-Robot Systems Sven Koenig, PhD Meetup
07-Nov-2018 Computational Challenges in High-throughput DNA Sequencing Michael Weinstein, PhD Meetup Slides Video
19-Sep-2018 Docker - Approaching the Holy Grail for Software Distribution Ryan Smith Meetup Slides Video
18-Jul-2018 Bringing Blockchain to Global Enterprise Ben Taylor Meetup Slides Video
16-May-2018 Quantum Computing : State of Play Justin Dressel, PhD Meetup Sildes Video
21-Mar-2018 The Use of AI Diagnostics in Healthcare Sharief Taraman, MD Meetup Video
10-Jan-2018 One World, One Internet, Many Futures Sigmund Fidyke Meetup Slides Video
09-Nov-2017 Experiences Implementing DevOps Sanja Maru
Steve Mason
Marc Tamsky
Meetup Slides Video
13-Sep-2017 Proof or Consequences Gerard Holzmann, PhD Meetup Video
12-Jul-2017 Explaining Black-Box Machine Learning Predictions Sameer Singh, PhD Meetup Slides Video
10-May-2017 Saving Power in the Data Center Marios Papaefthymiou Meetup Saving
08-Mar-2017 Cyber Attacks and Defenses: Trends, Challenges, and Outlook Michael Franz Meetup
11-Jan-2017 Connection, Collection, Concentration - Evolving to the Intelligent Experience Peter Coffee Meetup Slides
09-Nov-2016 The Diversity of the Cyber Threat Landscape Brian Wallace Meetup Slides
14-Sep-2016 An Intellectual Property Primer For Software Developers John King, JD Meetup Slides
13-Jul-2016 The Past, Present and Future of Virtual and Augmented Reality Jacquelyn Morie Meetup Slides
11-May-2016 The Desktop 3D Printing Revolution and The Software Behind It Erick Wolf Meetup Slides
09-Mar-2016 Distributed Applications at Scale with the Elastic Container Service (ECS) Curd Zechmeister Meetup
13-Jan-2016 Computing at the Edge of the Internet of Things Mark Bachman Meetup
11-Nov-2015 Big Data: Hope or Hype? Padhraic Smyth Meetup Slides
09-Sep-2015 Breaking the Data Science Bottleneck Oren Goldschmidt Meetup
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Upcoming Meetings of the ACM OC Chapter Executive Committee

July 26, 2023
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM Pacific
Zoom Web conference

Past Meetings

Date Meeting Meetup Documents
28-June-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-May-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
26-Apr-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-Mar-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-Feb-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-Jan-2023 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
28-Dec-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
23-Nov-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
26-Oct-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Sept-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Aug-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Jul-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-June-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-May-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Apr-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
16-Mar-2022 Annual Business Meeting Agenda & Minutes
16-Mar-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
23-Feb-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
26-Jan-2022 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Nov-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Oct-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-Sept-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-Aug-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
28-July-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
23-June-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
26-May-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
28-Apr-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Mar-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Feb-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Jan-2021 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-Nov-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-Oct-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
23-Sep-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-Aug-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
23-Jul-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Jun-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
27-May-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
22-Apr-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-Mar-2020 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
26-Feb-2020 Executive Committee
22-Jan-2020 Executive Committee
27-Nov-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
23-Oct-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
25-Sep-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
28-Aug-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
24-Jul-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
26-Jun-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
22-May-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Apr-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
20-Mar-2019 Annual Business Meeting Agenda & Notes
27-Feb-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
23-Jan-2019 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
28-Nov-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
24-Oct-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
26-Sep-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
22-Aug-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
25-Jul-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
27-Jun-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
23-May-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Notes
25-Apr-2018 Executive Committee
Agenda & Notes . pptx
28-Mar-2018 Executive Committee Agenda - Minutes
21-Mar-2018 Annual Business Meeting Minutes
28-Feb-2018 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-Jan-2018 Executive Committee
Agenda & Minutes
29-Nov-2017 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
25-Oct-2017 Executive Committee
Agenda & Minutes
27-Sep-2017 Executive Committee
Agenda & Minutes
23-Aug-2017 Executive Committee
09-Aug-2017 New Volunteers
26-Jul-2017 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
28-Jun-2017 Executive Committee Agenda & Minutes
24-May-2017 Executive Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
26-Apr-2017 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
22-Mar-2017 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
22-Mar-2017 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
22-Feb-2017 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
25-Jan-2017 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
14-Dec-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
26-Oct-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
28-Sep-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
24-Aug-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
27-Jul-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
22-Jun-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
25-May-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
27-Apr-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
23-Mar-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
09-Mar-2016 Annual Business Agenda & Notes
24-Feb-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
27-Jan-2016 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
25-Nov-2015 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
28-Oct-2015 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
23-Sep-2015 Organizing Committee Meetup Agenda & Notes
26-Aug-2015 Organizing Committee Meetup
22-Jul-2015 Organizing Committee Meetup
17-Jul-2015 Programs Committee Meetup Bylaws


Chapter membership is free and is open to everyone; there is no requirement to be a National ACM member. The ACM provides chapter members with certain benefits including:
  • Complimentary three-month subscription to the Communications of the ACM
  • An domain email forwarding address
  • E-Newsletter including TechNews, CareerNews, and MemberNet

If you are interesting in joining the Orange County Chapter of the ACM fill out a request on the Contact tab, or better yet, register for our next meeting and introduce yourself.


The Orange County ACM Chapter would like to recognize the following organizations who have provided the chapter with financial and in-kind support:

Knobbe Martens Knobbe Martens
IEEE Orange County Computer Society IEEE OC
IBM Corporation IBM

We need additional sponsors to be able to continue to offer compelling program meetings, student computer science awards, and special events, and will appropriately recognize, your participation and support. Monetary contributions may be tax deductible.

If you wish to donate, contact our Treasurer at


Office Officer Contact
Chair Allen Takatsuka
Vice Chair Daniel Whelan Ph.D.
Treasurer Michael Fahy, PhD
Secretary Marc Velasco
Membership Chair Farhad Mafie
Communications Chair Dawn Childs
Webmaster Marc Velasco
Fundraising Coordinator Jared Miller
University Liaison Michael Fahy, PhD
SIGAI Liaison Ansel Teng, PhD
Program Speaker Coordinators Raman Rajan
Farhad Mafie
Program Video Coordinator Trae Palmer
Social Media Committee Don Choi
Cynthia Kirkeby
Trae Palmer
Membership Committee Open
Members at Large A. Winsor Brown
Shirley Tseng
Nilo Niccolai Ph.D.


Don V Black, PhD, realized in late 2013 that Orange County (OC) was ready for an ACM Chapter, and he decided to found such a Chapter.

Since five current ACM members in good standing were needed to sign a petition to start a Chapter, in September of 2014, he sent an email to his associates to sign the petition. Jeremy Harrington, Jenny Wang, Nilo Niccolai, Lynn Langit, Rebecca Perry, Daniel Whelan, Ken Bell, Keviin Fowler, Brian McCaleb, Dave Close, Lance Elliot, and Roger Whitney responded.

The following members attended the first lunch meetings held at the old University Club at UCI, and volunteered to serve as the first ACM officers in 2014.

  • Founding Chair: Don V Black, PhD
  • Vice Chair: Lance Elliot. PhD
  • Treasurer: Kevin Fowler
  • Secretary: Rebecca Perry, PhD
  • Communications: Jake Liang, PhD
  • Member-At-Large: Arthur Schwarz
  • University Liaison: Nilo Niccolai, PhD
  • Membership: Daniel Whelan, PhD
  • Programs: Dan Davis
  • Webmaster: Ken Bell
  • Mission Statement: Nilo Niccolai, PhD

A business manager at The UCI Institute for Innovation offered Don Black the use of the facility, which was yet to be built. Don took up the offer, and negotiated a free use of the facility for the GameSIG Showcase and ACM of OC. Don Black and others thought that since the demographics of both organizations included UCI students, they met the I4I criteria for free community support, and would increase visibility for the new UCI Institute for Innovation (I4I). They held on awesome GameSIG Showcase, and proceeded to promote ACM-OC bi-monthly presentations at the UCI I4I.

ACM-OC bi-monthly talks were extremely well received by the membership. At the suggestion of the Membership Chair, Daniel Whelan, Don Black followed the example of the San Francisco ACM Chapter, and added ACM-OC as one of his MeetUp groups.

Further details of this can be found at the ACM-OC archived website.

Past Chairs
Don V. Black, PhD
Daniel Whelan, PhD
Michael Fahy, PhD
Allen Takatsuka
Marc Velasco
Allen Takatsuka


OC-ACM Awards for Excellence in Computer Science
Recipient Degree Institute Year
Joseph Wong B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2023
Arthur LaFrance B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2023
Jeevika Yarlagadda M.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2023
Eric Malvar M.S. Software Engineering Cal State Fullerton 2023
Stephen Landass B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2023
Richard Gresham B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2023
Katherine Rodeghiero B.S. Data Science Chapman University 2023
Wesley Ho B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2023
Yaosheng Xu B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2022
Yoshimichi Nakatsuka M.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2022
Vibha Rajagopalan B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2022
Brock Gieszl B.S. Computer Science (Cybersecurity) Cal State Fullerton 2022
Fulya Kocaman M.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2022
Anna Greene B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2022
Trevor Kling B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2021
Graciela Orozco B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2021
Janeen Yamak B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2021
Oscar Olazabal B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2020
Lauren Sukumar B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2020
Samuel Kagan B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2020
Yuxin (Myles) Liu B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2020
Nicole Fergie B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2019
Michael Seaman B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2018
Christopher Villanueva B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2018
Sharon Babu B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2018
Joshua Graves B.S. Computer Science Chapman University 2017
John Thorpe B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2017
OC-ACM Awards for Excellence in Computer Game Science
Recipient Degree Institute Year
Valeria Vikhliantseva B.S. Computer Science Cal State Fullerton 2018
Natalie Nygaard B.S. Computer Science UC Irvine 2017

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Association for Computing Machinery, Orange County Chapter, California, USA
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