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  • PTC

Your Data, Big Data

On February 8th, 2020, PTC Ottawa hosted just over 60 youth at "Your Data, Big Data," a one-day conference for students on #BigData.

This conference had our most exciting lineup to date, featuring four speakers and a panel in the morning, followed by three workshops to choose from and an insightful career development session in the afternoon!


KEYNOTE I • Jim Provost

Jim Provost, a lead data scientist at Lixar IT, gave an insightful presentation delineating the many patterns that AI is able to detect out of sets of data and its limitations, as well as the many types of projects data scientists in general embark throughout their job. Jim also participated as a panelist and effectively answered many of the student questions pertaining to his type of work, experience and advice for anyone interested in pursuing data science as a career.


Keynote II • Jesse Lung

Jesse Lung is a Data Science Manager at one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies, Shopify. Mr. Lung gave an encaptivating presentation on his experiences at Shopify along with the key aspects of Data Science needed for any student.


Keynote III • Prof. Majumdar

Dr. Majumdar gave a fantastic presentation entitled “A Lot of Data - Too Little Time,” in which he explained how we can analyze large amounts of data with current technology.


Keynote IV • Alexa Liaskovski

Alexa Liakovski is a 3rd year student at Carleton University; she has done internships across North America with companies like Blackberry, Shopify, and Square. Alexa’s presentation focused on the ins and outs of co-ops and internships from how to get them to how to succeed during your time working.



To finish off our morning session, we were joined by three wonderful panelists, Jim Provost from Lixar IT, and Ranya Mohamed and Hatem Abou-zeid from Ericsson Ottawa. Read more about them:

Jim Provost

Jim Provost is the lead data scientist at Lixar IT. He has over 20 years of experience contributing to software and business development, especially within the scope of AI and Big Data! Jim works and analyzes lots of data, and helps provide insights into what that data shows like determining how well a person can drive just by monitoring their acceleration and braking.

Ranya Mohamed

Ranya Mohamed graduated from Communications Engineering at Carleton U and is a team lead for a development team within Ericsson, one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers. Technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, automation, VR/AR, and edge computing are opening up new, vast opportunities for our customers, partners and our company. Our current businesses are targeting high growth markets where our technology is relevant, e.g. Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, IoT connectivity, connected vehicles, security and edge computing. Innovation is at our core, and Ericsson ONE is where new, game-changing ideas are brought to life.

Hatem Abou-zeid

Hatem Abou-zeid is a 5G designer at Ericsson where he drives research and system development for future networks. Before that, he worked at CISCO Systems, Bell Labs, and Queen’s University where he obtained his doctoral degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2014. Hatem analyzes the vast amounts of data that networks generate in his work, and designs algorithms to efficiently connect 5G devices at scale and enable a fully connected world.



After wrapping up our panel, we split off for lunch and had a networking session featuring Ericsson Ottawa and Youth Action Now.



Your Data, Big Data, offered three workshops:


The beginner workshop covered the basics of python along with various techniques that are essential when learning to code. He provided insightful lessons on the importance of each section of code to help novice programmers make a program their own. This workshop was led by Justin Vuong, an undergraduate student.


For the intermediate workshop, we were joined by Ujan and a few others from the Carleton University AI Society as students had a hands-on experience with machine learning using Python and TensorFlow.


The advanced workshop featured a medical mystery. Led by William Wang, a Shopify Dev Intern, attendees were given an opportunity to take their data analysis skills to the next level while exploring SQL and Big Query, the world's most popular database management system.


Career Development

We wrapped up the day with a presentation by Jennifer Francis, who gave an insightful presentation about her successful career as an angel investor in the technological field and gave some tips to our next generation on how to achieve their goals. The career development session was a 40-minute presentation that covered the essential skill of composing a CV and resume.


With that, Your Data, Big Data came to an end.

Thank you to everyone who came out!


This conference would not have been possible without the support of Youth Action Now and Ericsson Ottawa; thank you for the support!

Also, a thank you to Cineplex Odeon Barrhaven Cinemas, OROLCC, Loblaws Marketplace, and Staples Marketplace for their generous support!

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