Waterloo.AI’s “Let’s Talk AI” podcast series, enables connectivity to learn about our AI researchers behind the projects and breakthroughs. Through an informal discussion, we shed light on the researcher’s area of focus, what started them in AI, and what insights and vision they have for the path ahead.
Bio: Scott Hopkins carries out research in the area of physical chemistry. The Hopkins Laboratory for Spectroscopy and Dynamics Research employs experimental spectroscopy and chemical dynamics techniques in conjunction with high-level quantum chemical calculations to decipher the nature of nanocluster systems. His research focuses on three key areas: velocity map imaging, structure and reactivities of nanoclusters, and high-resolution spectroscopy.
Bio: Chris Eliasmith, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and head of the Computational Neuroscience Research Group (CNRG). He primarily focuses on integrating neural and psychological explanations of behaviour and constructing large-scale brain models. He has contributed to neuromorphic engineering, scientific models and theories, computation theories, dynamical systems, and statistical modelling. His extensive academic biography explores various aspects of the mind, from philosophical critiques of cognitive science to the development of novel theories rooted in neural considerations. Alongside Charles Anderson, he devised a groundbreaking technique for constructing biologically detailed models of neural systems on a large scale. These models have been successfully applied to domains such as rat navigation, working memory, lamprey swimming, hemineglect, and language-based reasoning. His most recent publication, "How to Build a Brain: A neural architecture for biological cognition," published by Oxford University Press, synthesizes his prior research and showcases his expertise in the field.
Bio: Dr. Victor Cui is Conrad Research Excellence Chair and a tenured professor in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Global Strategy at the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, University of Waterloo. He is an internationally recognized thought leader, award-winning researcher and teacher in innovation strategy, cooperation and competition, intellectual property rights protection, and U.S-China decoupling. His recent research focuses on firms’ Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies and best practices to optimize business performance. His research has reached a wide audience via media outlets such as Fortune, Canada Broadcast Company (CBC), and Global News. He has consulted extensively in the financial services, health care, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, airline, and brewery industries. He has co-founded technology startups and joint ventures in personalized medicine and chronic disease management.
Bio: Will Zhao is an Assistant Professor at the Stratford School, University of Waterloo, specializing in Organization and Human Behaviour. He earned his PhD from Emlyon Business School in France and completed his postdoctoral research at Stanford University as a SCANCOR scholar. Prior to joining Waterloo, he was a faculty member at a Canadian business school and achieved a promotion to tenured associate professor. Will's research is interdisciplinary and focuses on innovation from various perspectives, including organizational, educational, and engineering. He uses a combination of multimodal methods such as semiotics, rhetoric, and artificial intelligence perspectives. His publications are found in various academic journals ranging from business, education, engineering, and interdisciplinary studies.
Bio: Edith Law is an Associate Professor at David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. She also co-directs the Human Computer Interaction Lab. Her education consists of being a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied sciences. She holds a Ph.D. in Machine Learning from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters in Computer Science from McGill University and a B.Sc in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. She is interested in social computing technology that coordinates small groups to large crowds, new models of interactions with machine intelligence, and how technology can be designed to foster and celebrate certain human values.
Bio: Joel Blit is an associate professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo. He completed his bachelor's in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto. He received his MASc in Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo; his MBA at INSEAD; his MA in Economics at Western University and his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining Waterloo, Joel was an assistant professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. He has also been a business consultant to financial services firms in Asia, Australia, and North America. The main research interests of his work are the economics of innovation and innovation policy. He studies the role that multi-location firms play in promoting the flow of knowledge across geographical space and the effect that intellectual property rights have on innovation. His most recent research focuses on AI and economics.
Bio: Mark Crowley is an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo's Electrical and Computer Engineering department and the ECE Machine Learning Lab director. Mark received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia working in the Laboratory for Computational Intelligence with David Poole. He completed a postdoc at Oregon State University working with Tom Dietterich's machine learning group on robust decision-making under uncertainty in simulated Forest Fire domains. His areas of research are reinforcement learning, deep learning and ensemble learning. He has worked on various projects focusing on ecology, sustainable forest management, autonomous driving, medical imaging and physical chemistry.
Bio: Sirisha Rambhatla, Assistant Professor, University of WaterlooBio: Dr. Rambhatla is an Assistant Professor in the Management Sciences Department, Faculty of Engineering with cross appointments with David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science and Systems Design Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo.
Bio: William Melek is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He also serves as the Director of the Laboratory of Computational Intelligence and Automation and the Director of RoboHub.
Bio: Zhao Pan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo and the Principal Investigator of the Interdisciplinary Fluid Physics Lab - Pan Lab. Prior to joining Waterloo, he worked at Utah State University and Florida Center for Advanced Aero-propulsion (FCAAP, FSU) as a postdoctoral fellow.
Bio: Rodney Smith’s research involves the study of electrocatalysts for use in sustainable energy storage systems. His research examines the chemistry of electrode surfaces, measures electron transfer kinetics and probes electrochemical reaction dynamics in an effort to guide the design and fabrication of solid-state electrocatalysts.
Bio: I was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Calgary and Montreal. However, I spent my teens and young adult life in Nigeria and India. As a result, I was exposed to rather extreme differences in economic conditions and material comforts. I became interested in why people in prosperous countries like Canada could obtain their groceries and household needs from large and clean stores while individuals in less developed countries, had to access tumultuous (and vibrant) bazaars. The acute and chronic poverty I also encountered impacted me, and I began to wonder on what a government could and should do in terms of policy intervention. I saw economics as a natural outlet to answer these questions.
Bio: I am a Post-Doctoral fellow at SIRRL at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn. I graduated with a Ph.D. degree from REAL at The Pennsylvania State University, under the supervision of Professor Alan R. Wagner. Before joining Penn State, I completed my undergraduate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. I was also a part of the Global UGRAD program funded by USEFP and spent a semester at the University of Central Missouri during my undergraduate studies.
Bio: Dr. Helen Chen is the Associate Director of Professional Practice Centre in Health Systems, she is also the faculty lead of the WHISTL research group. Additionally, she is an assistant research professor, jointly appointed to both the School of Public Health and Health Systems and to the Cheriton School of Computer Science.
Bio: Dr. Laschowski received his PhD from the Department of Systems Design Engineering, with a specialization in biomedical engineering, at the University of Waterloo. He is also a member of Waterloo.AI.
Bio: Vijay Ganesh is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo's Electrical and Computer Engineering department, with a cross-appointment at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. He is also the Co-Director of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute (Waterloo.AI).