Breadcrumb

People

The UBC Master of Data Science programs partner computer science and statistics experts, providing the foundation for a comprehensive approach, as these two disciplines are at the very core of the emerging field of Data Science. Through active and flexible learning techniques, students will be given the opportunity to put theory into practice and to work with real-world data.

Students learn from faculty working at the forefront of their fields. Internationally respected, these leading researchers collaborate with industries, governments and organizations to develop innovative solutions and make a tangible difference to our world. These thought leaders are passionate about their work, committed to student education and eager to share their knowledge.

Meet Some of Our Faculty and Staff

    All
    Giuseppe Carenini

    Giuseppe Carenini, Director, MDS Programs

    "One of the most unique aspects of this program is that it is designed for students whose main expertise is not in CS and Stats, but rather in other fields like life sciences, healthcare, business, and journalism; after graduation our students will be ready to effectively work as data scientist in those domains."

    Joining the University of British Columbia’s Computer Science Faculty in 2004, Giuseppe Carenini has been teaching artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing, for over 15 years.   In his research, Giuseppe has focused on text summarization, information visualization, and decision support, publishing over 120 peer-reviewed publications and receiving two best-paper awards – one from the UMAP 2014 conference (premier user modeling conference ) and the other from the ACM-TiiS-14 journal (top journal on Intelligent Interfaces). Giuseppe's research has been applied by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Huawei and Yahoo to develop summarization techniques for product reviews and for conversational data (e.g., emails and blog), as well as basic techniques for discourse parsing and topic modelling.  Giuseppe has also collaborated with local companies that aim to make data more useful in supporting complex decisions (Compass) and for public engagement (Metroquest). Currently, he is serving as the ConVISation Labs Chief Scientific Officer, with the goal of  transferring his research on text analytics to the healthcare domain, in collaboration with the WelTel company

    Jeff Andrews

    Jeff Andrews, Principal Co-Director and Associate Professor, MDS Okanagan

    “The MDS program has been a shining example of inter-disciplinary and inter-campus collaboration, culminating in a professional degree that employers, alumni, instructors, and current students all value. I am proud to be a part of it."

    Jeff Andrews is an assistant professor of statistics and leads the Statistical Machine Learning Laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan Campus. His research primarily focuses on unsupervised machine learning with mixture models, including model development, implementation, and optimization. He has been a recipient of two international awards for his research in this field: the 2017 Chikio Hayashi Award for Young Researchers from the International Federation of Classification Societies, and the 2013 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Classification Society. He has attracted more than $200k in research funding as a primary investigator since joining UBC in 2015, and more than triple that as co-investigator on several collaborative and interdisciplinary projects—such as the Medical Physics and Data Analytics Cluster. Beyond his academic research, he has consulting experience from a diverse range of industries --- including sport management, food product evaluation, workplace safety, biomedical instruments, heavy machinery, and the financial sector.

    Mike Gelbart

    Mike Gelbart, Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Vancouver

    "There’s something great about teaching students who understand the opportunity cost of their education. Many of them left good jobs or other opportunities to do this program — so they are here to work hard and make the most of the 10 months."

    Mike Gelbart joined UBC in 2015 and was part of the team that designed the MDS curriculum. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University and a PhD from the machine learning group at Harvard University. Outside of UBC, Mike is also an advisor at Vanedge Capital, a local venture capital fund in the technology space.

    Learn more about Mike.

    Bryan Gick

    Bryan Gick, Director, MDS Computational Linguistics

    “Language is no longer just our main tool for interfacing with other people, but has become our main tool for interfacing with new technology. Every company will need to be able to navigate this space at the intersection of language and technology – this is the space the Master of Data Science in Computational Linguistic program occupies.”

    Bryan Gick is the Head of the Linguistics department, Director of the Master of Data Science in Computational Linguistics program and Director of UBC’s Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL). As well, at UBC, Bryan is Co-chair of the Language Sciences Initiative, and holds associate appointments in the Department of Psychology, the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems. Bryan’s overarching research focus is on how people interact with each other and their environment, and how this interaction can inform models of linguistic communication.

    Khalad Hasan

    Khalad Hasan, Co-Director and Assistant Professor, MDS Okanagan

    "The MDS program is an exciting journey for the students as it provides them the opportunity to build a strong understanding of data science subject matters and use this knowledge out in the wild."

    Khalad Hasan is an assistant professor of computer science at UBC’s Okanagan campus. His research interest is in human-computer interaction, with a focus on developing and studying novel interactions with mobile and wearable devices. More specifically, he is interested in exploring users’ needs and making an impact in their lives, specifically when it concerns interacting with large data on small devices. Before joining UBC Okanagan, Khalad worked as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo.

    Tiffany Timbers

    Tiffany Timbers, Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Vancouver

    "We teach cutting-edge tools and techniques that are used by data scientists out in the wild."

    Tiffany Timbers received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Carleton University in 2001, following which she completed a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in 2012, which focused on the genetic basis of learning and memory. After obtaining her doctorate, Tiffany carried out data-intensive postdoctoral research in behavioural and neural genomics at Simon Fraser University (published in PLoS Genetics). During this time, she also gained valuable experience teaching computational skills to students and scientists through her work with Data and Software Carpentry, the SFU scientific programming study group, and teaching a course in computation in Physical Sciences at Quest University. Tiffany began her teaching role in the MDS program at UBC in the summer of 2016.

    Learn more about Tiffany.

    Muhammad

    Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, Assistant Professor, MDS Computational Linguistics

    "Deep learning is revolutionary. Some of the most exciting progress in deep learning is happening with language. It is in your car, your browser, and your pocket. Deep learning of language is in its infancy, with fascinating progress ahead.”

    Muhammad Abdul-Mageed is an Assistant Professor of Computational Linguistics, Information Science, and Computer Science and Director of the Natural Language Processing Lab at the UBC. He is a core member of UBC Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems and Centre for Artificial Intelligence Decision-making and Action. His research focuses on developing novel deep learning methods for natural language socio-pragmatics, with a goal to build `social’ machines to enhance human health and well-being.

    Heinz Bauschke

    Heinz Bauschke, Professor, MDS Okanagan

    "I am proud and excited to be part of the MDS program, and I much enjoy teaching about the mathematics of optimization."

    Dr. Heinz Bauschke is a Full Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna campus. 

    His research interests lie in optimization and nonlinear analysis. Dr. Bauschke has authored more than 150 refereed publications. According to Mathematical Reviews, his book "Convex Analysis and Monotone Operator Theory in Hilbert Spaces", co-authored with Dr. Patrick Combettes, is - in terms of citations - in the top 10 out of more than 18,000 books published since 2010. Dr. Bauschke has also collaborated with engineers from industry, published in IEEE journals, and received two patents. 

    John Braun

    W. John Braun, Professor, MDS Okanagan (On Leave)

    "Over the years, I have found no truer statement than that of John Tukey which I paraphrase here: 'The best thing about being a data scientist is that you get to play in everyone's backyard.'"

    W. John Braun got his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Western  Ontario in 1992. Since then, he has held positions at a number of  universities, including Western for 14 years where he attained the rank  of Full Professor and was Chair of the Statistics Graduate Program for 5  years.  In 2014, he took the opportunity to become Head of Computer  Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics at UBC's Okanagan campus.  

    He was Deputy Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute and is now Director of the UBCO site for the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery. Braun's research in statistics is motivated by scientific  problems, coming from psychology, biology, medicine, engineering and  physics. His methodological contributions are concerned with  computational issues around uncertainty quantification and smoothing  techniques. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books in the area of computational statistics.

    Florencia D'Andrea

    Florencia D'Andrea, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    "The MDS program offers a wide array of training in tools for data science. Students will gain the opportunity to consolidate technical knowledge through hands-on experience. In so doing, they are positioned to exercise responsible judgment in the use of data science. The focus on promoting a welcoming and inclusive work environment ensures a generative learning experience." 

    Florencia's field of work is ecotoxicology, specializing in Pesticide Risk Assessment. She studied at the University of Buenos Aires where she obtained her Bachelor's, and Doctorate in Biology. During her PhD, she worked with multiple databases and used a model to simulate the environmental fate of pesticides. Florencia has a teaching degree from the University the Buenos Aires. She was trained as instructor with The Carpentries and is an RStudio Certified Trainer for Tidyverse and Shiny.

    Learn more about Florencia

    Giuseppe Carenini

    Giuseppe Carenini, Director, MDS Programs

    "One of the most unique aspects of this program is that it is designed for students whose main expertise is not in CS and Stats, but rather in other fields like life sciences, healthcare, business, and journalism; after graduation our students will be ready to effectively work as data scientist in those domains."

    Joining the University of British Columbia’s Computer Science Faculty in 2004, Giuseppe Carenini has been teaching artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing, for over 15 years.   In his research, Giuseppe has focused on text summarization, information visualization, and decision support, publishing over 120 peer-reviewed publications and receiving two best-paper awards – one from the UMAP 2014 conference (premier user modeling conference ) and the other from the ACM-TiiS-14 journal (top journal on Intelligent Interfaces). Giuseppe's research has been applied by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Huawei and Yahoo to develop summarization techniques for product reviews and for conversational data (e.g., emails and blog), as well as basic techniques for discourse parsing and topic modelling.  Giuseppe has also collaborated with local companies that aim to make data more useful in supporting complex decisions (Compass) and for public engagement (Metroquest). Currently, he is serving as the ConVISation Labs Chief Scientific Officer, with the goal of  transferring his research on text analytics to the healthcare domain, in collaboration with the WelTel company

    Mike Gelbart

    Mike Gelbart, Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Vancouver

    "There’s something great about teaching students who understand the opportunity cost of their education. Many of them left good jobs or other opportunities to do this program — so they are here to work hard and make the most of the 10 months."

    Mike Gelbart joined UBC in 2015 and was part of the team that designed the MDS curriculum. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University and a PhD from the machine learning group at Harvard University. Outside of UBC, Mike is also an advisor at Vanedge Capital, a local venture capital fund in the technology space.

    Learn more about Mike.

    Tiffany Timbers

    Tiffany Timbers, Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Vancouver

    "We teach cutting-edge tools and techniques that are used by data scientists out in the wild."

    Tiffany Timbers received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Carleton University in 2001, following which she completed a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in 2012, which focused on the genetic basis of learning and memory. After obtaining her doctorate, Tiffany carried out data-intensive postdoctoral research in behavioural and neural genomics at Simon Fraser University (published in PLoS Genetics). During this time, she also gained valuable experience teaching computational skills to students and scientists through her work with Data and Software Carpentry, the SFU scientific programming study group, and teaching a course in computation in Physical Sciences at Quest University. Tiffany began her teaching role in the MDS program at UBC in the summer of 2016.

    Learn more about Tiffany.

    Florencia D'Andrea

    Florencia D'Andrea, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    "The MDS program offers a wide array of training in tools for data science. Students will gain the opportunity to consolidate technical knowledge through hands-on experience. In so doing, they are positioned to exercise responsible judgment in the use of data science. The focus on promoting a welcoming and inclusive work environment ensures a generative learning experience." 

    Florencia's field of work is ecotoxicology, specializing in Pesticide Risk Assessment. She studied at the University of Buenos Aires where she obtained her Bachelor's, and Doctorate in Biology. During her PhD, she worked with multiple databases and used a model to simulate the environmental fate of pesticides. Florencia has a teaching degree from the University the Buenos Aires. She was trained as instructor with The Carpentries and is an RStudio Certified Trainer for Tidyverse and Shiny.

    Learn more about Florencia

    Varada Kolhatkar

    Varada Kolhatkar, Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Vancouver

    "With a large amount of data available in different disciplines and powerful technology at our fingertips, it is tempting to throw data and technology at problems without deeper understanding of them. This way we easily end up with misleading interpretations of the data. This program teaches you how to interpret your data responsibly and answer data-related questions in a principled way, without ignoring the limitations of the technology or the data."

    Varada Kolhatkar was born and raised in Pune, India, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science. After working in industry for two years in India, she pursued her Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto, both in Computer Science, specializing in Computational Linguistics. Before moving to UBC, Varada spent two years at Simon Fraser University as a post-doctoral fellow, where she developed datasets and computational tools that will help keep online communities engaged in constructive discussions. Varada has diverse experience of working in industry as well as in academia with different universities, countries, and cultures. She joined MDS in October 2018 as a teaching and research postdoctoral fellow. For Varada, learning and sharing knowledge are deeply satisfying practices, expressions of who we are and what we can achieve as human beings and her goal as a teacher is to instill this satisfaction in learning and sharing knowledge by encouraging learners to challenge, to discover, to try out new things, and to think about something in a way they had never thought before.

    Quan Nguyen

    Quan Nguyen, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    "After completing 10 months of this intensive data science master program, you will be prepared with industry desirable skills and knowledge to tackle real-world challenges using data."

    Quan Nguyen, Ph.D. began his teaching role in the MDS program at UBC in the summer of 2021. Prior to joining UBC, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Learning Analytics and taught in the Master of Applied Data Science at the University of Michigan. His research applies statistical and machine learning techniques on large-scale clickstream data from learning management systems to predict student performance and interactions. Quan completed his Ph.D. in Learning Analytics from The Open University and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics from Maastricht University.

    Learn more about Quan.

    Joel Ostblom

    Joel Ostblom, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    "In addition to the core statistics and machine learning courses, MDS emphasizes the importance of data ethics, reproducibility, and open collaboration, which are crucial skills for a successful, sustainable data science career. Together with the diversity of educational backgrounds among students and instructors, this makes MDS an exciting place to both learn and teach!"

    During his PhD, Joel developed a passion for data science and reproducibility through the development of quantitative image analysis pipelines for studying stem cell and developmental biology. He has since co-created or lead the development of several courses and workshops at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Joel cares deeply about spreading data literacy and excitement over programmatic data analysis, which is reflected in his contributions to open source projects and data science learning resources.
    Learn more about Joel.

    Alexi Rodriguez-Arelis

    Alexi Rodriguez-Arelis, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    "One of the MDS program's most outstanding strengths is its background diversity within the teaching team and student cohorts. Furthermore, the program has the perfect balance of Machine Learning and Statistics courses which are complimentary. We strive to provide students with the right theoretical and practical foundations to approach real-life and crucial data-related inquiries." 

    Alexi Rodríguez-Arelis completed his PhD in Statistics at the University of British Columbia in 2020. Born and raised in Mexico, he pursued an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a master's degree in Applied Statistics at Tecnológico de Monterrey. His machine learning research focuses on computer experiments that emulate scientific and engineering systems via Gaussian stochastic processes. Moreover, he has professional experience in the financial sector along with statistical consulting. Throughout his PhD program, Alexi developed an enthusiasm for teaching Statistics in a Data Science context. He is particularly passionate about projects involving the use of Data Science for social good. Alexi commenced his current role at MDS in January 2021.
    Learn more about Alexi.

    Arman Seyed Ahmadi

    Arman Seyed-Ahmadi, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, MDS Vancouver

    “The MDS program is distinctively committed to excellence through diversity and top-notch educational standards. We embrace, respect, and celebrate differences among the faculty, staff, and our students of all backgrounds. Together with its rigorous, industry-aligned curriculum, our MDS program provides a solid foundation for our students to establish successful careers in data science.”

    Arman Seyed-Ahmadi started his academic journey back in 2009. Following his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering, he pursued his interest in computational physics during his Master’s and PhD. Arman’s primary research interest lies in developing physics-informed data-driven models for particle-laden flows. Having a great passion for teaching, he undertook various instructional roles during his PhD, which further honed his pedagogical skills. He joined the MDS program as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in July 2021.

    Milad Maymay

    Milad Maymay, Director, Program Operations and Student Management, MDS Vancouver

    "Nearly all the employers I talk to are starting to recognize [or appreciate] the real need for trained and knowledgeable staff who can help them not only make sense of, but also develop the thread of a story, from the vast amount of data that is out there."

    Milad Maymay received his Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia. He has over 17 years of experience managing projects and programs in both the non-profit and public sectors. At UBC he has managed the Work Study/Work Learn program, the NSERC Undergraduate Research Awards, and the launch of the CareersOnline management system. A trained career educator, he has experience in helping students explore career options, write resumes and cover letters, practise interview skills, and negotiate salaries. Over the years he has built excellent relationships with the local employer community, which helps MDS students achieve their ultimate goal of a fulfilling career as a data scientist.

    Giuseppe Carenini

    Giuseppe Carenini, Director, MDS Programs

    "One of the most unique aspects of this program is that it is designed for students whose main expertise is not in CS and Stats, but rather in other fields like life sciences, healthcare, business, and journalism; after graduation our students will be ready to effectively work as data scientist in those domains."

    Joining the University of British Columbia’s Computer Science Faculty in 2004, Giuseppe Carenini has been teaching artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing, for over 15 years.   In his research, Giuseppe has focused on text summarization, information visualization, and decision support, publishing over 120 peer-reviewed publications and receiving two best-paper awards – one from the UMAP 2014 conference (premier user modeling conference ) and the other from the ACM-TiiS-14 journal (top journal on Intelligent Interfaces). Giuseppe's research has been applied by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Huawei and Yahoo to develop summarization techniques for product reviews and for conversational data (e.g., emails and blog), as well as basic techniques for discourse parsing and topic modelling.  Giuseppe has also collaborated with local companies that aim to make data more useful in supporting complex decisions (Compass) and for public engagement (Metroquest). Currently, he is serving as the ConVISation Labs Chief Scientific Officer, with the goal of  transferring his research on text analytics to the healthcare domain, in collaboration with the WelTel company

    Jeff Andrews

    Jeff Andrews, Principal Co-Director and Associate Professor, MDS Okanagan

    “The MDS program has been a shining example of inter-disciplinary and inter-campus collaboration, culminating in a professional degree that employers, alumni, instructors, and current students all value. I am proud to be a part of it."

    Jeff Andrews is an assistant professor of statistics and leads the Statistical Machine Learning Laboratory at UBC’s Okanagan Campus. His research primarily focuses on unsupervised machine learning with mixture models, including model development, implementation, and optimization. He has been a recipient of two international awards for his research in this field: the 2017 Chikio Hayashi Award for Young Researchers from the International Federation of Classification Societies, and the 2013 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Classification Society. He has attracted more than $200k in research funding as a primary investigator since joining UBC in 2015, and more than triple that as co-investigator on several collaborative and interdisciplinary projects—such as the Medical Physics and Data Analytics Cluster. Beyond his academic research, he has consulting experience from a diverse range of industries --- including sport management, food product evaluation, workplace safety, biomedical instruments, heavy machinery, and the financial sector.

    Khalad Hasan

    Khalad Hasan, Co-Director and Assistant Professor, MDS Okanagan

    "The MDS program is an exciting journey for the students as it provides them the opportunity to build a strong understanding of data science subject matters and use this knowledge out in the wild."

    Khalad Hasan is an assistant professor of computer science at UBC’s Okanagan campus. His research interest is in human-computer interaction, with a focus on developing and studying novel interactions with mobile and wearable devices. More specifically, he is interested in exploring users’ needs and making an impact in their lives, specifically when it concerns interacting with large data on small devices. Before joining UBC Okanagan, Khalad worked as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo.

    Heinz Bauschke

    Heinz Bauschke, Professor, MDS Okanagan

    "I am proud and excited to be part of the MDS program, and I much enjoy teaching about the mathematics of optimization."

    Dr. Heinz Bauschke is a Full Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna campus. 

    His research interests lie in optimization and nonlinear analysis. Dr. Bauschke has authored more than 150 refereed publications. According to Mathematical Reviews, his book "Convex Analysis and Monotone Operator Theory in Hilbert Spaces", co-authored with Dr. Patrick Combettes, is - in terms of citations - in the top 10 out of more than 18,000 books published since 2010. Dr. Bauschke has also collaborated with engineers from industry, published in IEEE journals, and received two patents. 

    John Braun

    W. John Braun, Professor, MDS Okanagan (On Leave)

    "Over the years, I have found no truer statement than that of John Tukey which I paraphrase here: 'The best thing about being a data scientist is that you get to play in everyone's backyard.'"

    W. John Braun got his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Western  Ontario in 1992. Since then, he has held positions at a number of  universities, including Western for 14 years where he attained the rank  of Full Professor and was Chair of the Statistics Graduate Program for 5  years.  In 2014, he took the opportunity to become Head of Computer  Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics at UBC's Okanagan campus.  

    He was Deputy Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute and is now Director of the UBCO site for the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery. Braun's research in statistics is motivated by scientific  problems, coming from psychology, biology, medicine, engineering and  physics. His methodological contributions are concerned with  computational issues around uncertainty quantification and smoothing  techniques. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books in the area of computational statistics.

    Fatemeh Fard

    Fatemeh Hendijani Fard, Assistant Professor, MDS Okanagan (On Leave)

    "I am interested in the applications of data science and machine learning for software engineering. Specifically I am working on the detection and prediction of defect/anomalous behaviour in software. This also requires using big data analysis in practice."

    Hendijani Fard obtained her PhD from the University of Calgary and her Master of Science from Amirkabir University. Fard's research interest includes mining Github repositories, natural language processing for software analytics, analyzing software defect databases, social media analysis in software analytics and analytics mobile applications. Currently, Hendijani Fard and her team are analyzing software energy bugs in mobile applications from two perspectives: Software and Users. They analyze massive sets of data from GitHub for a personalized recommender system for GitHub users.

    Patricia Lasserre

    Patricia Lasserre, Associate Professor, MDS Okanagan

    "I love that the MDS program makes the students reflect on ethical issues associated with collecting and analyzing data. It is critical as data scientist that we recognize that we all have a role to play in protecting the ethics, privacy and security of the data we work with." 

    Dr. P. Lasserre has completed her PhD on Vision for Autonomous Robots in Toulouse (France) in 1996. Since her appointment as Associate Professor at UBC Okanagan in July 2005, she has received the Teaching Excellence and Innovation award (2010), served on several administrative positions as associate dean, associate provost, and provost pro-term (2011-2019) where she participated in UBC wide Data Governance discussions. Her research interests include machine learning techniques in various applications, particularly deep learning in computer vision and OCR.

    Ramon Lawrence

    Ramon Lawrence, Professor, MDS Okanagan (On Leave)

    "The goal of the program is to train you in data science skills for employment in data analyst jobs. Our personalized instruction will help you realize your dreams."

    Dr. Ramon Lawrence is a professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  His research interests are database systems, embedded devices, and wireless sensor networks, and have resulted in over 70 publications.  He is an award-winning professor including winning the UBC award for teaching excellence and innovation in 2017, Killam teaching prize in 2020, and a 9-time member of the teaching honor role recognizing the top 10% of instructors at UBCO.  He is the founder of Unity Data Inc. (www.unityjdbc.com) that provides software for data integration from multiple sources and is a database consultant for enterprises requiring Big Data (and small data) solutions.  Current work on MongoDB produced software for SQL querying and integrating MongoDB with enterprise relational systems that is used by numerous companies world-wide. Dr. Lawrence is a senior member of the ACM and senior member of IEEE.

    Yves Lucet

    Yves Lucet, Professor, MDS Okanagan

    “Students in the MDS program learn not only the power but most importantly the common missteps one can make in data science. It is about critical thinking in a very complex environment that leverages powerful technologies: modeling, optimization, and data-based algorithms.”

    Dr. Yves Lucet is a professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia. His research interests lie in optimization, computer-aided convex analysis, and efficient modeling that take advantage of problem structures. He is a co-recipient of the 2019 EURO Excellence in Practice Award for his work on using optimization to design safe roads at minimal cost. His latest interests are in the interactions between optimization and machine learning.

    Firas Moosvi

    Firas Moosvi, Lecturer, MDS Okanagan

    "In this program, we think a lot about data, its potential, and its perils. We do our best to teach students the responsible use of data science while also underscoring the importance of reproducible analysis methods."

    Firas Moosvi has a BSc from UBC in Honours Biophysics, an MSc in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Physics from UBC. His research interests are varied but the two main umbrellas are medical imaging for applications in cancer, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Most recently, he is looking at how the field of learning analytics can provide insight to surface and reduce inequities in STEM programs. Firas has a deep appreciation for data visualizations and is excited to bring his experience to the MDS program!

    Giuseppe Carenini

    Giuseppe Carenini, Director, MDS Programs

    "One of the most unique aspects of this program is that it is designed for students whose main expertise is not in CS and Stats, but rather in other fields like life sciences, healthcare, business, and journalism; after graduation our students will be ready to effectively work as data scientist in those domains."

    Joining the University of British Columbia’s Computer Science Faculty in 2004, Giuseppe Carenini has been teaching artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing, for over 15 years.   In his research, Giuseppe has focused on text summarization, information visualization, and decision support, publishing over 120 peer-reviewed publications and receiving two best-paper awards – one from the UMAP 2014 conference (premier user modeling conference ) and the other from the ACM-TiiS-14 journal (top journal on Intelligent Interfaces). Giuseppe's research has been applied by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Huawei and Yahoo to develop summarization techniques for product reviews and for conversational data (e.g., emails and blog), as well as basic techniques for discourse parsing and topic modelling.  Giuseppe has also collaborated with local companies that aim to make data more useful in supporting complex decisions (Compass) and for public engagement (Metroquest). Currently, he is serving as the ConVISation Labs Chief Scientific Officer, with the goal of  transferring his research on text analytics to the healthcare domain, in collaboration with the WelTel company

    Bryan Gick

    Bryan Gick, Director, MDS Computational Linguistics

    “Language is no longer just our main tool for interfacing with other people, but has become our main tool for interfacing with new technology. Every company will need to be able to navigate this space at the intersection of language and technology – this is the space the Master of Data Science in Computational Linguistic program occupies.”

    Bryan Gick is the Head of the Linguistics department, Director of the Master of Data Science in Computational Linguistics program and Director of UBC’s Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL). As well, at UBC, Bryan is Co-chair of the Language Sciences Initiative, and holds associate appointments in the Department of Psychology, the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems. Bryan’s overarching research focus is on how people interact with each other and their environment, and how this interaction can inform models of linguistic communication.

    Muhammad

    Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, Assistant Professor, MDS Computational Linguistics

    "Deep learning is revolutionary. Some of the most exciting progress in deep learning is happening with language. It is in your car, your browser, and your pocket. Deep learning of language is in its infancy, with fascinating progress ahead.”

    Muhammad Abdul-Mageed is an Assistant Professor of Computational Linguistics, Information Science, and Computer Science and Director of the Natural Language Processing Lab at the UBC. He is a core member of UBC Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems and Centre for Artificial Intelligence Decision-making and Action. His research focuses on developing novel deep learning methods for natural language socio-pragmatics, with a goal to build `social’ machines to enhance human health and well-being.

    Garrett Nicolai

    Garrett Nicolai, Assistant Professor of Teaching, MDS Computational Linguistics

    "It's a really exciting time to be working in NLP.  The field has been revolutionized multiple times in the past decade, and we are seeing great progress solving problems that were unfathomable in the past.  I'm thrilled to be working with the MDS-CL as we prepare students to process, analyse, and model data that is increasing at an unprecedented rate."

    Garrett Nicolai joined the MDS-CL program in 2020 as a post-doctoral researcher and Capstone mentor, before becoming an Assistant Professor of Teaching. Garrett completed his MSc. in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Regina before obtaining a PhD in NLP at the University of Alberta, completing a BA in Linguistics along the way. Before coming to Vancouver, Garrett was a post-doctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Language and Speech Processing, working on low-resource computational morphology. His research interests lie in improving the quality of computational tools for under-resourced languages, including the construction of computational corpora for such purposes.

    Mikka

    Miikka Silfverberg, Assistant Professor, MDS Computational Linguistics

    “The amount of useful language data on the internet is vast and continuously growing. The MDS Computational Linguistics program makes you an expert at processing and understanding language data using cutting-edge technologies such as deep neural networks.”

    Miikka Silfverberg joined MDS-CL program as an Assistant Professor in 2020. Miikka has a PhD in Language Technology and an M.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Helsinki. After completing his PhD, Miikka spent one and a half years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he worked on topics related to computational modeling of word structure using deep neural networks. Miikka’s research focuses on broadening the understanding of how deep neural networks learn to represent information about language.

    Ryan Taylor

    Ryan Taylor, Career Planning and Placement Coordinator, MDS Computational Linguistics

    "As a professional program, our goal is to give students the training that they need to get the jobs they want. In putting together the program, this meant researching industry trends, labour market statistics and student interests. In practice, this means collaborating with industry, students and faculty every day to make the MDS Computational Linguistics program the best it can be.”

    Ryan has a passion for helping students to thrive in their post-graduation career. He began working at UBC in 2016, and over the next two years helped to create what would become the MDS Computational Linguistics program. Prior to starting at UBC, Ryan had worked at a computational linguistics firm in Quebec and completed a PhD in Psycholinguistics with a certificate in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He’s keen to put knowledge of industry and data science to the service of students in building the careers they desire.

    Kate Lewis

    Kate Lewis, Program Administrator, MDS Computational Linguistics

    "The enthusiasm and drive of UBC students has inspired me over the past eight years, and I’m excited to be a part of the new CL option available for them."

    Kate Lewis joined the University of British Columbia in 2010 and during this time has worked with students, faculty and the greater community across campus, from Enrolment Services to graduate student support. Most recently she oversaw the practical implementation of a new Graduate certificate program at UBC. Prior to this, Kate worked at the University of Alberta where she gained expertise in navigating post-secondary administration. She is committed to ensuring students have a positive experience throughout their program, from application to graduation.