COFES Institute Announces Dr. Keith Schubert as a Keynote at COFES 2018

The COFES Institute is delighted to announce the third keynote speaker, Dr. Keith Schubert, for COFES 2018, to be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 12-15, 2018 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. Attendees will benefit from the talent and wisdom of a trailblazer who is a longtime collaborator with the director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute and works with researchers at numerous other leading-edge organizations.

“The work that Dr. Schubert is doing, to my awareness, has never been done before. Not only do I believe it is unique in our search for life in the universe, but this genre of work is groundbreaking because it lets us see something new about our own context through the eyes of a machine,” said Nathanael Miller, COFES Institute Board Director. “This topic fits perfectly into the COFES 2018 theme designed to stretch the thinking of our attendees.”

The three COFES keynote speakers will challenge attendees to imagine and explore new futures and possibilities for themselves, their businesses, and their communities through this year’s theme, Human-Aided Design: Changing the Relationship between Our Tools and Us. The annual four-day event for the design and engineering software industry brings together a diverse group of thought leaders in technology and science to engage in wide-ranging and meaningful discussions. To request an invitation, visit

Dr. Schubert’s current challenge is working with NASA researchers to develop a system to detect life forms in outer space that could be significantly different than life on Earth without consuming limited resources like chemical tests. How do you invent machines and processes that can detect life when that lifeform is likely to be very different from what we know? Moreover, the added difficulty in space is that this process has to be carried out without adding weight or impacting primary objectives, so relying on digital photography, sensors, and artificial intelligence are crucial.

Dr. Schubert’s expansive knowledge in software, engineering, and medical imaging provides the foundation for his keynote address, Unlocking the Patterns of Life: What Limited Resources and Computers Can Teach Us About Life and Everything.

“It is about unsearched systems and how do you search for what you do not know,” said Dr. Schubert about his topic. “With the use of artificial intelligence and software tools, we can discover the quintessential aspects of a problem you do not know the answer to and that is what I want to discuss.” His incredible journey doing field research on several NASA Spaceward Bound expeditions, and as one of the team leads on a National Geographic expedition has allowed him to discover universal indicators to the unknown problems often based on pattern recognition and then developing software tools to detect. “We leverage insights in order for tools and human beings to come together.”

“Dr. Schubert’s keynote will be thought provoking to say the least,” said Vincent Caprio, COFES Institute President. “Other keynotes for COFES this year will be entrepreneur Ping Fu speaking about resilient design and machine learning. Lastly, venture capitalist George Gilder discussing his latest book Life After Google. These three people will bring ideas that will stretch the thinking of our attendees.”

About Dr. Keith Schubert
Dr. Schubert is a full professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Baylor University. His interest areas are the fast, numerically stable solution of large, sparse problems, particularly for medical imaging and treatment; the design of electrical and embedded systems for medical and biological applications; the patterned growth of extremophiles and the search for life in space; and the mathematical modeling of synchronization. Dr. Schubert has been a team leader on the December 2012 National Geographic expedition to Cueva de Villa Luz in Mexico, and his work made the cover article of National Geographic July 2013.  Dr. Schubert has worked on medical projects with Loma Linda University (LLU), LLU Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, Baylor Scott and White Medical centers in Dallas and Temple, and holds an adjunct full professor position at LLU.  Dr. Schubert’s medical projects range from developing proton computed tomography to functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) brain monitoring to artificial intelligence for colonoscopy.

About COFES and the COFES Institute
Now in its 19th year, COFES is the annual, invitation-only event for the design and engineering software industry. Widely recognized as a think-tank event, COFES ( gathers design and engineering software leaders (vendors, users, press, and analysts) together to discuss the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of business. COFES is renowned for hosting leading keynote visionaries that provide a new perspective to the future of the industry. Apply for an invitation at

The COFES Institute was created in 2017 to provide sustainable leadership to COFES. The COFES Institute is a non-profit 501c3 governed by a Board of Directors led by Vincent Caprio. Other members of the board are (in order of last name): Jim Brown: President – TechClarity, Jim Doxey: Product Configuration Manager – Oculus, Nathanael Miller: Aerospace Engineer – NASA Langley Research Center, Jason Preston: Co-Founder – Parnassus Group (DENT), and Rebecca Yeh: Event Director & Secretary – COFES. In addition, the COFES Advisory Board was established to provide industry input to the COFES Board, see the COFES website for a listing of the Advisory Board participants.