The Third Annual Future Tech Conference Begins!

The 3rd annual Future Tech Conference will be held April 8th & 9th at Sam Houston State University. The event will be held in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom on the ground floor.

This Year's Keynotes

Jessica Marquez

Jessica Marquez, orignally from Lima, Peru, is a graduate of Princeton University, where she recieved a bachelor of science in engineering from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Highly motivated from an early age, she attended NASA Academy, a rigorous project designed for precocious and motivated minds. After concudting early research in atmospheric science, she went to MIT in Cambridge, where she would earn a Master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and later a Ph.D. in human systems engineering. She currently develops tools for the Human System Integration Division at Ames. She enjoys travelling, hiking, and exploring the culinary wonders of the world in her free time.

Mark Danger Chen

Mark Chen is Director of Pepperdine University’s Gameful Design Lab where he is promoting social agency through the development of expertise in gaming practice and game design. He is also the author of Leet Noobs: The Life and Death of an Expert Player Group in World of Warcraft, which details how a new team learned to excel in WoW and how the team died in a fiery meltdown as expert practice moved towards tech-supported efficiency and away from other forms of play. He has a PhD in Learning Sciences/Educational Technology from the University of Washington and a BA in Studio Art from Reed College.

Scott Lanham

Scott Lanham is a highly trained professional who investigates crimes including but not limited to embezzlement, fraud, and identity theft. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner, is a veteran of the U.S. Army, working as a Psychological Operations NCO, and has won three international medals in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. He is experienced in criminal investigation and prosecution. Lanham holds an MBA from Liberty University and currently makes use of technology to uphold justice as a Detective in the Financial Crimes Unit in the city of Houston, Texas.

Information Security Panel

Jake Simpson, Project Engineering Coordinator Sierra Nevada Corporation

Jake Simpson originally started out in the racing industry, where he accumulated several years of experience in engineering and data aquisition. Since then, his interests have become more specialized, with his work in security becoming on of his main focuses. Simpson specializes in both offensive and defensive capabilities for SCADA and ICS for SNC's Binary Armor® SCADA Network Guard.

Mark N. Webster, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Houston Division

Mr. Webster earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management degree from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. Mark Webster's legacy of prestige and list of accoutrements is no small trophy of his time working with law enforcement. Webster has experience on the National Guard and has worked tirelessly to preserve the peace. Having been vital in many drug busts since joining the force, his work has become more specialized in the Cyber realm of late. He effectively stopped infamous botnets while working for the FBI. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Sam Houston State University.

Tim McGuffin

Tim is the former Information Security Officer for SHSU. He has presented at DEF CON, Security B-Sides, HouSecCon, and Infragard's Annual Conference. He is also a member of the Cisco Security Advisory Board and the GIAC Advisory Board, and several Information Security communities.

Conference Schedule




10:00 hrs


11:00 hrs

Opening Ceremony

Andy Bennett

Topic: How bad could it be... really?

Drew B. Carson
Topic: Making Democracy Great Again

12:00 hrs



13:00 hrs


Information Security Panel

Presented by HASH


Scott Lanham

Presented by ACFE

Crypto Currency: Challenges Presented vis-a-vis Transitional Organized Crime and Crime Terrorist Finances

14:00 hrs

Eduardo de Luna

Topic: Developing Platform Agnostic Games
Dustin Sachs

Topic: Mobile Device Forensics in an Apple World

15:00 hrs

Trey Cawley

Topic: "Your Life is Not Your Own"
Dathan Bennett

Topic: Collaboration in distributed teams.
Kirk Burns
Topic: Sky Badger

16:00 hrs

Hannah Gerber & Jordan Clark

Topic: On the Stem Fringe: Video Games and Learning
Just In Application Team

Topic: A New Social Tool Mobile App for Campus Engagement

17:00 hrs


Mark Danger Chen

Topic: Transportion Game


Jessica Marquez

Topic: Moving NASA Beyond Low Earth Orbit: Future Human-Automation-Robotic Integration Challenges

18:45 hrs



Closing Ceremony

About the Conference

The SHACS Future Tech Conference is Sam Houston State University’s only conference created, organized, and solely ran by the collaborated efforts of the students. The conference is energized by the students’ desire to broaden the scholastic frontier of science, social, and technological innovation. New ideas and a fresh perspective are the elements that make the SHACS Future Tech Conference great, strong and like no other. The conference will be held April 8th and 9th, 2016 on the beautiful historic campus of Sam Houston State University.


About Us

Alex Vickers
Conference Chairman

Brandon Zamora
Executive Director

Adam Figueroa
Operations Director

Megan Bennett
Advertising Coordinator

Dakota Stewart
Web Team Leader

Ruben Garcia
Vendor Coordinator

Yesenia Valles
Sponsor Coordinator

Alex Vickers

Conference Chairman

Alex Vickers is a Senior Computer Science Major at Sam Houston State University, and is currently the Vice-President of SHACS. He is an aspiring entreprenuer in the gaming industry, and is currently working on his first major project along with his freinds and fellow students. Alex considers himself to be a cynical optimist and thinks that if we want a better world, we need to be better people.


The Sam Houston Association of Computer Scientists, or SHACS, is the official ACM Chapter of SHSU. Interested in all aspects of technology, SHACS members are enthusiastic, energetic individuals who are motivated through self-improvement nd equipping ourselves with the relevant skills of the modern age. SHACS is a completely student-led organization that unites students, professors, and industry professionals to promote the sharing of knowledge, skills, and networks related to Computing Sciences field.

About Sam Houston State University

For more than 130 years, Sam Houston State University has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Its motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” echoes across SHSU’s seven colleges and beyond its Texas campus through student research, creative endeavors, service learning, volunteering and more. Named for Sam Houston, Texas’ greatest hero, SHSU continually strives to honor its historical roots through academic excellence that includes exceptional teaching from faculty members who care as much about their students’success as they do about furthering the knowledge of their fields.


Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

148 Interstate 45 S, Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 241-3172

Super 8 Huntsville

3121 Montgomery Rd, Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 730-8888

La Quinta Inn Huntsville

124 I45, Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 295-6454

Gateway Inn & Suites

606 W I45 Service Rd Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 295-7595


Reliable Cab Co.

909 Birmingham St, Huntsville, TX 77320

(936) 295-3606

Fiesta Taxi & Limo

60 Roark Rd, Huntsville, TX 77320

(936) 294-0337

Huntsville Municipal Airport

1000 Airport Dr Huntsville, TX

(936) 295-8136

Places of Interest

Texas Prison Museum

491 State Highway 75, Huntsville, TX 77320

Sam Houston Statue (big sam)

1327 11th Street, Huntsville, TX

Sam Houston Memorial Museum

1836 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville, TX 77340

Bars and Entertainment

Stardust Lounge

1115 University Ave. Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 293-1295

Zach's Bar and Grill

2707 Sam Houston Ave. Huntsville, TX 77340

(936) 294-0337

The Draft Bar

2002 Sam Houston Ave Huntsville, TX 77340

Humphrey’s Bar and Grill

1930 Sam Houston Ave Huntsville, TX 77340