Announcing Candidates for 2014

Greetings DC ACM followers! Please read below for our list of 2014 election cycle candidates.  We’ll be voting in the new board at the next meetup on June 30th at WeWork.  We also have 1 vacant spot, and several uncontested spots.

Do you have an interest in creating some local Comp Sci community activity by joining our board or our organizer team? Contact me for details, Andrew Conklin,

Amar Zumkhawala – Candidate for Chair



  • M.B.A., The Ohio State University
  • B.S., Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University

Professional Experience

  • SpicyKey, Founder, 2012-present
  • Cardinal Solutions, Java Developer, 2007-2008
  •, Senior Software Engineer, 2001-2006

Position Statement

I am very passionate about furthering the field of computer science in a grass-roots manner. I believe in the ACM’s mission of creating professional development opportunities for computer scientists and desire to volunteer a second year as Chair of the DC chapter.

As the current chair, I am delighted at what we accomplished in 2013-2014. We had a successful year as a local chapter, creating a series of well attended events. From our ACM Fellow Dr. Larry Davis talk, to our movie night at GWU on the Travelling Salesman problem, from our visit to a Makerspace, to our roundtable discussions on Intellectual Property concepts, we covered a wide variety of computer science related topics in a fun, focused manner.

My goals for the next year are to expand and improve board members participation, create fund raising opportunities for our chapter, and create six meaningful professional development events over the course of a year. Under my leadership, the DC ACM would extend speaker invitations to notable computer scientists and maintain the level of collaboration with other organizations in the area, including meetup groups, private companies, and universities.

Shahnaz Kamberi – Candidate for Vice-Chair



  • Doctor of Computer Science, Colorado Technical University, Dec 2010 – Sept. 2015 (Expected)
  • MSc Computer Animation, Bournemouth University, Sept. 2005 – Sept. 2006
  • BS Applied Mathematics, George Mason University, August 2001 – June 2005

Professional Experience

Shahnaz Kamberi has eight years of experience in teaching computer information sciences, game design, animation and game and simulation programming. She has expertise in both the art and programming components of game design. She is the first and only full-time female computer information sciences professor at her current job position. Shahnaz Kamberi has taught and developed over ten different game design and programming courses and course materials. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in computer science with her dissertation research focusing on the use of educational computer games to increase girls’ interest in computer science.

Position Statement

My passion is in spreading the knowledge of coding and computer science (CS) to everyone, especially women and minorities. As vice chair, I will work with the board members and volunteers to honor DC ACM’s mission as well as help promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). I will serve to continue to assist as well as develop DC ACM events that will benefit our members as well as the CS community. My mission is to diversify the Computer Science industry by opening the doors to its benefits to all professionals interested in learning about computer science, computing machinery, and programming.

As event organizer for the DC ACM, I have been working with the other great volunteers in the DC ACM Chapter. One of my main accomplishments was writing a blog on behalf of DC ACM which was published on Survey Monkey’s site. I was also responsible for finding volunteer events as well as coming up with ideas to promote STEM to the community, such as a computer science fair. I am also responsible for DC ACM’s twitter account and have tweeted almost every day since my taking over. There has been a significant increase in DC ACM twitter followers as a result. I am confident that as vice chair I can help further promote DC ACM, come up with innovative new ideas and bring in a new perspective to the association.

Bob Downs – Candidate for Treasurer



  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • MS, Computer Science, Virginia Tech
  • MS, Information Systems, George Mason University
  • MS, Bioinformatics, George Mason University

Professional Experience

Mr. Downs is a Patent Agent, registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and employed with a nationally ranked Patent Law Firm since 2001. There he performs patent preparation and prosecution services in the area of computer technologies, particularly in the areas of software and bioinformatics, semiconductor, display devices, and communications. Prior to employment with the law firm, was employed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There he served in various positions including: patent quality review and trainer in the area of electronic commerce. During the 1980’s, he worked for the Dept. of the Navy in reliability engineering for early stage ship design. While at the Dept. of the Navy, he managed SBIR projects in artificial intelligence, and was involved in projects including development of expert systems.

Position Statement

My relationship with ACM in the past has been by way of professional development and networking. I look forward to engaging members in activities that help them to grow, as I have, through programs that foster professional development. As current practices in computing promote openness and sharing, certainly networking facilitates sharing of problems and solutions to those problems. I will utilize my own professional experiences in serving in the role of treasurer so that others may benefit through networking with others in the organization.

Vacant – Candidate for Secretary


Raymond Van Dyke – Candidate for Member-At-Large


Professional Experience

Mr. Van Dyke has practiced for over twenty five years in the Technology Law and Intellectual Property areas, specializing in various technologies, in litigation and procurement.  Five years ago he started his own Intellectual Property consulting practice after many experiences in firms and in-house, and specializes in technology, patent, trademark, copyright, Internet law and related IP areas.

For over fourteen years, he has taught a comprehensive and practical IP course for engineers, business people and other professionals, currently at SMU and TTU. He has also taught a course in Strasbourg, France on licensing.  He is the Chair of the Greater Washington, DC and Northern Virginia Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society, former Chair of the Professionalism & Ethics Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (and former Chair of Emerging Technologies and Latin America Practice), Member, US Bar/JPO Liaison Council, Co-Chair of the Bar Association of Montgomery County’s Intellectual Property Committee, and continues his involvement in IPO, AIPPI, ABA, BIO, IEEE, ACM and other legal and technical organizations. The State Department and other groups have regularly asked him to meet with foreign dignitaries and ambassadors regarding the principles of U.S. IP law.  He has also lectured across the world on technology, litigation and IP issues, e.g., throughout Europe, Asia and South America.


He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics/Computer Science from the University of North Carolina, and got his Masters in Computer Science and law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A long-time member of ACM, he looks forward to working with the DC ACM Chapter.