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Past Speakers

Speaker lineup from our past conferences

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AUTONOMY ENGINEERING MANAGER at Uber Advanced Technology Group

Inmar Givoni is an Autonomy Engineering Manager at Uber Advanced Technology Group, Toronto, where her team’s mission is to bring from research and into production cutting-edge deep-learning models for self-driving vehicles. Prior to that she was the Director of Machine Learning at Kindred, where her team developed algorithms for machine intelligence, at the intersection of robotics and AI. She was the VP of Big Data at Kobo, where she led her team in applying machine learning and big data techniques to drive e-commerce, customer satisfaction, CRM, and personalization in the e-pubs and e-readers business. 

Inmar received her PhD (Computer Science) in 2011 from the University of Toronto, specializing in machine learning, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. During her graduate studies, she worked at Microsoft Research, applying machine learning approaches for e-commerce optimization for Bing, and for pose-estimation in the Kinect gaming system. She holds a BSc in computer science and computational biology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is an inventor of several patents and has authored numerous top-tier academic publications in the areas of machine learning, computer vision, and computational biology. She is a regular speaker at big data, analytics, and machine learning events, and is particularly interested in outreach activities for young women, encouraging them to choose technical career paths. For her volunteering efforts she has received the Arbor Award from UofT.



Tim Ludikar is a Director of Software Engineering for BlueCat based in Toronto, Canada. Over 5 years of experience in building large-scale eCommerce platforms with a keen eye on front-end performance and architecture. Over 10 years of experience creating scalable software development teams.


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COGNITIVE SCIENCE PROFESSOR at The University of Toronto

Dr. Vervaeke has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 1994. He currently teaches in the Cognitive Science program, the Psychology department, and the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program. He has won and been nominated for several teaching awards including the 2001 Students’ Administrative Council and Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students Teaching Award for the Humanities, and the 2012 Ranjini Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award. His most recent publications include Relevance Realization the Emerging Framework in Cognitive Science (2012) with Tim Lillicrap and Blake Richards, and a forthcoming chapter entitled Relevance, Meaning, and the Cognitive Science of Wisdom with Leo Ferraro. His research interests are relevance realization, insight problem solving, general intelligence, consciousness, mindfulness, rationality, and wisdom. 



Vice President and General Manager, Canada and Asia Pacific, at Cogeco Peer 1

Jaime is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of transforming organizations with creative thinking and strategic execution. Her wealth of business experience has re-energized Cogeco Peer 1's growth objective to substantially expand their existing business and develop new indirect sales strategies through a network of partners.

Over the past 15+ years, Jaime has worked in various executive roles with National Bank, 


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BlackBerry, Bell Canada, and IBM Canada, which has contributed to her extensive knowledge in technology solutions. In her role with Cogeco Peer 1, Jaime oversees sales, customer management, and the delivery of the full suite of ICT solutions to medium and enterprise customers across Canada and APAC.

Jaime provides direct leadership to the Canadian sales organization, while coordinating closely with functional teams across regions to expand the company's Canadian business. Jaime has a Master's of Business Administration, Marketing Informatics from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Political Science from the University of Ottawa.

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Research Professor and 

Director of Women in Computer Science at The University of Waterloo

Maura R. Grossman, J.D., Ph.D., is a Research Professor and Director of Women in Computer Science in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and an affiliate faculty member of the Vector Institute.  She also is Principal at Maura Grossman Law, an eDiscovery law and consulting firm in Buffalo, New York.  Previously, Maura was Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where, for 17 years, she advised the firm’s lawyers and clients on matters related to eDiscovery and information governance, both domestically and abroad.  Maura’s


scholarly work, most notably, Technology-Assisted Review in E-Discovery Can Be More Effective and More Efficient Than Exhaustive Manual Review, published in 2011, has been widely cited in case law, both in the U.S. and elsewhere.  In addition to her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, Maura also holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from the Derner Institute of Adelphi University.



Canada Learning Code is a federally registered charitable organization in Canada aimed at promoting collaborative, technological learning among women and youth. This program seeks to close the gender gap among those adept at technology by offering courses and workshops to empower and educate females in particular.

They will be running an intensive introductory coding workshop for beginners at the conference.


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Professor David Cory David G. Cory is the Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Quantum Information Processing at the University of Waterloo.  There he is a Professor of Chemistry, a member of the Institute of Quantum Computing and of the Waterloo Institute of NanoTechnology.  He is an associate of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of


Canada and the American Physical Society.  He chairs the advisory committee for the Canada Institute For Advanced Research’s Quantum Information Processing program and chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of the Quantum Valley Investment Fund (QVI).  He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Shanghai Center for Complex Physics.  He is an experimentalist working to develop examples of quantum processors.


SENIOR SCIENTIST in the Research Imaging Centre at the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH

Dr. Antonio P. Strafella is a Senior Scientist in the Research Imaging Centre at the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH, a Professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Neurology at the University Health Network, a Senior Scientist in the Division of Brain Imaging & Behaviour Systems -Neuroscience at the Toronto Western Research Institute, an Adjunct Professor at McGill University and a Faculty Member of the Institute of Medical Sciences. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Movement Disorders and


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Neuroimaging. Areas of Research Dr. Strafella investigates movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) using PET imaging and functional MRI. His research aims to study the brain changes occurring in PD in order to understand the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of this disease and its symptoms. Dr. Strafella's research studies have been funded by several agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Parkinson's Society, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson Disease Foundation, Tourette Syndrome Association, Canada Foundation for Innovation, E.J. Safra Foundation, Gambling Research Centre Ontario and the Canada Research Chair Program.



DIRECTOR of MACHINE LEARNING on the Georgian Partners Impact Team

Parinaz Sobhani is the Director of Machine Learning on the Georgian Impact team and is responsible for leading the development of cutting-edge machine learning solutions. Parinaz has more than 10 years of experience developing and designing new models and algorithms for various artificial intelligence tasks. Prior to joining Georgian Partners, she worked at Microsoft Research where she developed end-to-end neural machine translation models. Previous to this she worked for the National Research Council of Canada, where she designed and developed deep neural network models for natural language understanding and sentiment analysis. Parinaz holds a Ph.D. in machine learning and natural language processing from the University of Ottawa with a research focus on opinion mining in social media.


FOUNDING DIRECTOR of the Continuum Robotics Lab at University of Toronto, Associate Professor 

Dr. Burgner-Kahrs is the Associate Professor of Mathematical & Computational Sciences, Computer Science as well as Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and the founding Director of the Continuum Robotics Laboratory at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She holds a Diplom and doctoral degree in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Before moving to Toronto, Dr. Burgner-Kahrs held appointments at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA and Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. Her research focus lies on continuum robotics and is driven by applications in minimally-invasive surgery and non-destructive inspection. Dr. Burgner-Kahrs research was recognized by the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2015 and the Engineering Science Prize in 2016 among others. She was entitled Germany’s Young Researcher of the Year 2015 and nominated as a Young Global Leader from the World Economic Forum in 2019.

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FOUNDER of PulseBlueprint

Stefan is an entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. He writes for technology companies, investors, and has been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, The New Yorker, Fast Company, American Express Magazine, and more. 

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