Keynote Speakers

There will be 3 main key note speeches during the conference first and second days.

1. "ICT Perspectives in the South Mediterranean Region"

Abstract: This keynote will present the results from a recent survey on future ICT priorities in the South Mediterranean Region, priorities that could help strengthening the socio-economic situation in the region through new ICT- enabled products and services. It will highlight some of the core reasons why despite a good academic education base in all countries the region is still not really known for producing ICT or other high-tech products for the international market: for example the lack of an innovation culture and the absence of targeted research strategies that integrate the private sector.  In the second part the new focus of the new European H2020 Programme will be presented: the shift from “research and development” to “research and innovation” and in some cases even addressing market aspects. Participating in this programme can help to create the missing innovation culture in the region by bringing together the academic and private sector, an absolute prerequisite to make innovation happen.

Dr. Thies Wittig, IT Consultant, Germany

Dr. Thies Wittig: He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He has been working for more than 12 years in industrial research (signal processing, artificial  intelligence) before he created his own company IT Consult GmbH in 1995. Since 1986 he has been involved in international collaborative research projects, as researcher, manager, and coordinator. Until today he was involved in around 25 projects in Europe, Middle East, Far East and Balkan countries, and his first project with partners from Palestine was back in 1998. He has a Long experience as EC proposal evaluator and project reviewer. Currently visiting lecturer at Univ. for Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany.

2.  "Gaming Concepts for Tackling Societal Challenges"

Abstract: Governments, and to a certain extent non-governmental organizations, around the world have to continuously deal with complex and dynamic societal challenges. One approach that has gained increasing popularity over the last two decades is the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a tool to enhance impact and deliver efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, we have been witnessing wide spectrum of ICT interventions to address and inhibit challenging and complex societal problems. One area of ICT that has been attracting more attention recently is the use of games and gaming concepts for this purpose. In this presentation, we provide analysis about major societal challenges that are shared internationally and analyse video games that are designed to address these challenges.

Dr. Edward Jaser, Chairman, Computer Graphics, King Hussein Sch. for Computing Sciences

Dr. Edward Jaser obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Surrey (United Kingdom) in 2005. He received his Masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Heriot-Watt University (United Kingdom) in 1999. He has 16 years of experience working as a Researcher and IT Expert at the Information Technology Centre of the Royal Scientific Society (Jordan). He also gained considerable experience conducting and managing research activities and projects from being the project manager of a number of research projects and from taking part of a number of EU funded projects. As of October 2010, he is working at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Jordan and since September 2014 he is the Chairman of the Computer Graphics and Animation Department at King Hussein School for Computing Sciences.

3. "Content Authoring for Augmented Reality Systems" 

Abstract: Augmented Reality (AR) opens new avenues for developing novel immersive digital experiences that are visually tied to the world surrounding the user. Over the last decade, various user interface paradigms have been researched to explore the possibilities offered by AR, such as using haptic devices, Tangible User Interfaces (TUI), gesture-based interfaces, and multimodal interfaces. TUI are intuitive to humans because they draw from our everyday skills, such as grasping and manipulating objects with spatial properties.

In this talk, I will present intuitive approaches to create digital contents for Augmented Reality systems. I will describe general tracking approach, and then I will show how to utilize this algorithm to build an easy-to-use sketching system that utilizes a symbol language and interaction to generate 3D content on a white board.  I will also introduce a smart fiducials to simplify the tracking of real object that are augmented in real-time.

Prof. Dr. Jihad EL-Sana, Department of Computer Science, Triangle Research & Development Center(TRDC)

Prof. Jihad El-Sana is affiliated with the Department of Computer Science, TRDC. His research interests include, image processing, computer graphics, augmented reality, and pattern recognition. He has published around 100 papers in refereed journal and conference proceedings.  El-Sana received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science. In 1995 he won a Fulbright Scholarship for doctoral studies in the US. In 1999 he earned a PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.  El-Sana heads a department's Visual Media Lab, which hosts various research projects in Computer Graphics, Image Processing, Augmented Reality, Computational Geometry, and Document Image Analysis. El-Sana awarded the Catacosinos Fellowship for Excellence in Computer Science and the Ersken Fellowship in 2013.

El-Sana is socially active and was among the founders of the Academic Association for the Development of the Arab Society in the Negev, and  established Ahed High School for Science, which recruits excellent students from all over the Negev and prepares them for academic life in science and engineering departments.