Designing the next genius

On June 26th, 2021 PTC Ottawa hosted its virtual conference on Artificial Intelligence, “Designing the Next Genius”, providing an interactive and accessible learning opportunity for 45 students. This conference featured 3 keynote speakers, various Q&A sessions, and a workshop run by our very own PTC Ottawa team. Throughout the day, attendees were given the opportunity to interact closely with the speakers allowing them to better understand the different applications of AI being shown.

K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R 1

The conference opened up with a presentation from Mr. Nitendra Rajput. Nitendra works as the Vice President and Head of AI Garage in Mastercard. He has over 20 years of experience in the area of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Mobile Interactions. He has authored over 100 publications at top international ACM and IEEE venues, owing to which he has been recognized as an ACM Distinguished Scientist, ACM Distinguished Speaker (2014) and a senior IEEE Member.

His presentation focused on the formation of AI and how it replicates certain parts of the brain. To demonstrate the difficulties of AI production, Mr. Rajput also looked at different ethical issues, especially regarding his line of work at Mastercard. Following his presentation there was a Q&A period, which allowed attendees to ask for advice regarding his field and how to find success in it.

K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R 2

After a short break, the conference returned with its second keynote presentation from Professor Babak Esfandiari. Dr. Esfandiari is a Professor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1997, then worked for two years at Mitel Corporation as a software engineer before joining Carleton in 1999. His research interests include agent technology, network computing and object-oriented design.

Dr Esfandiari’s presentation focused on the mathematics behind AI and how theories such as the set theory are crucial to developing effective technology. His teaching made sure the attendees had a good opportunity to think critically while learning new concepts. Similar to the first Keynote speech, this presentation was followed by a Q&A period, where attendees were able to ask about his research.

K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R 3

The afternoon session started off with our final keynote speech from Professor James Green. Dr. Green is a Full Professor and a Senior Member of the IEEE at Carleton University. His research focuses on machine learning challenges in biomedical informatics, particularly in the presence of class imbalance and the prediction of rare events. Dr. Green has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts in journals and conference proceedings. His current research projects include the prediction of protein structure, function, and interaction; the use of semi-supervised machine learning for the identification of microRNA, and much more. In addition to research, Dr. Green puts considerable emphasis on teaching. He currently enjoys teaching in the areas of Pattern Classification and Experiment Design, Biomedical Engineering, and Machine Learning.

Dr Green’s presentation demonstrated the applications of AI in fields such as bioinformatics. He presented many examples of how AI can be used and developed to better store and redirect information. From the presentation and the Q&A that followed, Attendees gained a better understanding of the different applications of AI in various fields.