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Faculty Profiles

Rick Hutley Rick Hutley  |  Program Director and Professor of Practice |  rhutley@pacific.edu

Program Director, Rick Hutley, is a highly seasoned Information and Communications Technologist (ICT) with a visionary outlook balanced with a practical sense of execution. With 28 years in the telecommunications / IT industry, a former CIO of a global Service Provider, and 14 years of executive consulting experience to the C-suites of the largest corporations in the world as the Vice President of Innovation at Cisco Systems, he is highly experienced in driving business outcomes through the effective use of technology and data. For the last five years he has been assisting major global corporations with their adoption of the Internet of Everything, including Big Data and Analytics. 


Jim Hetrick James Hetrick  |  Assistant Director and Professor  |  jhetrick@pacific.edu

Dr. James Hetrick is a professor and former chair of the Physics Department at the University of the Pacific. After finishing his Bachelor's degree in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, he spent 13 months at the South Pole Station in Antarctica studying cosmic rays, the solar wind, the auroras, and the earth's magnetosphere. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in theoretical particle physics and went on to hold postdoctoral research positions at ETH in Zürich, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Arizona, and Washington University in St. Louis, before coming to the University of the Pacific. At Pacific, Dr. Hetrick teaches a wide variety of classes, including Cosmology and The Physics of Music.


Mike Williamson Mike Williamson  |  Professor of Practice  |  mwilliamson@pacific.edu

Dr. Williamson earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and spent much of his early career in the advanced electronics industry where he worked in the fields of lithography, plasma etching, semiconductor process integration, and semiconductor engineering. He infused experimental design and advanced statistical modeling and machine learning techniques into all of his work, including his time at Texas Instruments, Intel, and a number of Silicon Valley start-ups.   Since 2010 he has been wholly focused on applying data science techniques to areas such as biotechnology and web services, where he developed solutions such as self-sustaining quality metric predictions, continuing to work in the fields of statistics, and machine learning. His data science focus at Google and Imperium (a Google acquisition) focused on spam and abuse prevention as well as secret question and answer account recovery methods, data mining algorithms to identify malevolent IP addresses, and data visualization techniques.


Anahita Zarei

Anahita Zarei  |  Associate Professor  |  azarei@pacific.edu 

Dr. Zarei earned her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2007, and has written extensively on topics related to computational intelligence and machine learning.  In addition to teaching and research, she has also participated in on-campus events as a panelist and presenter in "Improving Classroom and Campus Climate for Women at Pacific (particularly in the STEM area)" and "Women of the World: International Perspectives on Gender."  She is also the faculty advisor for the Pacific chapter of the Institute of the Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


Hatinder Chawla Hatinder Chawla | Professor of Practice | hchawla@pacific.edu

Hatinder Chawla brings extensive experience in software development in freight logistics, airline reservation and ticketing systems, product quality analytics, customer relationship management, business forecasting and commerce systems while working at American Airlines, Sabre, and Cisco Systems. His areas of interest are in agile software development teams, building highly scalable cloud native systems, and data streaming analytics. He holds a MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, an MS in Computer Science from Texas Tech Lubbock, a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Technische Universitaet Berlin, Germany, and a B.E. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India.


Dana Nehoran

Dana Nehoran | Lecturer | dnehoran@pacific.edu

Dana Nehoran is an industry authority in the management of data-driven engineering programs and a leader in the field of higher education analytics. She came to University of the Pacific after teaching for a number of other universities, most recently at San Jose State University, where she also held the position of Director of Student Success Decision Sciences in the Academic Affairs Division, leading a team that used predictive analytics to enable data-assisted decision making in several student success initiatives around campus. She continues in this role here at Pacific in addition to teaching for the MS in Data Science program and the department of Computer Science.  Earlier on, for over two decades, Nehoran held senior management and consulting positions with Fortune 500 companies such as Intel, Cisco, Qualcomm, Philips and Yahoo!, and has taught classes in data science and program management for Silicon Valley companies.  Nehoran earned her master's degree in analytics from University of San Francisco. She is also a PMP by the Project Management Institute, SAS certified, and holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. 


Prasad Saripalli Prasad Saripalli | Professor of Practice | psaripalli@pacific.edu

Dr. Prasad Saripalli serves as VP Data Science at Edifecs, an industry premier health care data interchange and analytics software vendor, leading a team of data scientists and software engineers building cutting-edge Machine Learning and AI products for Healthcare applications (Payer and Provider Analytics). Earlier, he served as CTO and VP of Engineering at Secrata.com - military-grade cloud security and file sharing platform, as CTO and EVP at ClipCard, as the Chief Architect for IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise and as the GPM on Microsoft's Virtualization team responsible for shipping Windows 7 VM componentry, and as a Dev Manager on the Citrix team that built Citrix XenApp. He is a Professor of Practice teaching Machine Learning and Computer Science curricula at various universities over the years, including Reykjavik University, University of Washington, IIT, IIIT and University of the Pacific, and advising researchers to invent, patent and publish work in ML and SaaS applications. Prasad has an MS in Computer Science from Washington State, PhD training separately in Engineering and Computer Science from University of Florida, and post-doctoral training from University of Texas Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.