Posted August 29th, 2018 by Liz Do

U of T Engineering to host inaugural alumni bootcamp on machine intelligence

Pepper the robot is the newest addition to U of T Engineering’s Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Lab led by Professor Goldie Nejat (MIE). Pepper, the first humanoid robot capable of recognizing and adapting to human emotions, is just one of the many new applications for machine intelligence. (Credit: Liz Do)

Machine intelligence is quickly changing how engineers approach large-scale challenges — algorithms that help networks learn from data are powerful tools with applications that extend beyond speech, pattern and image recognition.

That’s why U of T Engineering is launching a one-day intensive training course designed to equip today’s engineers, as well as engineers of tomorrow, with the competencies to understand and apply this burgeoning technique.

With the recent launch of a new undergraduate Engineering Science major in Machine Intelligence — the first of its kind in Canada — the division is hosting Return & Learn: Alumni Machine Intelligence Bootcamp on Sept. 22, 2018. The event is open to all engineering alumni.

The bootcamp provides a unique opportunity for engineering graduates to immerse themselves in the topic from multiple angles — from gaining new technical skills, to its latest applications.

“Machine intelligence has the potential to revolutionize many engineering disciplines and industries, with applications in transportation, health care and manufacturing, just to name a few,” said Professor Deepa Kundur, chair of the Engineering Science program and one of the event’s committee members.

“U of T Engineering has a rich history of not only preparing engineering students to solve the world’s most pressing problems, but engaging our alumni to ensure they can continue to make important contributions to our society. This event is a testament to that commitment.”

Attendees will hear keynotes from international experts in the field, a panel discussion on aspects of machine intelligence, learn about the latest research from faculty and graduate students, and see the work of students in a real-time AI hackathon. Event speakers include industry leaders such as:

  • Isi Caulder(EngSci 8T9, ElecE MASc 9T1), partner at Bereskin & Parr LLP;
  • Matt Zeiler (EngSci 0T9), Founder & CEO, Clarifai;
  • Gary Saarenvirta(EngSci 8T8, UTIAS MASc 0T2), Founder & CEO of Daisy Intelligence;
  • Richard Romano(EngSci 8T8, UTIAS MASc 9T0), Chair in Driving Simulation at the University of Leeds; and
  • Lorne Rothman, PhD, PStat, Principal, Data Sciences, SAS Canada

“It’s very important for all engineers to learn about this technology so they can work in interdisciplinary teams and capitalize on opportunities to improve their company’s products and services,” said Romano, who will be sharing his pioneering research on automated vehicles.

For Romano, presenting at the bootcamp is also an exciting homecoming. “Most years, I participate in U of T’s Alumni Reunion but this is my first time presenting at my alma mater and I can’t describe how exciting it is,” he said. “I look forward to meeting other alumni and excited to present on our research, as well as watching and learning from the other presenters.”

Register for the Return & Learn: Alumni Machine Learning Bootcamp

This event is supported by industry-leading companies in machine intelligence, including Daisy Intelligence, Dessa, Mobile Innovations and Insurance Portfolio Financial Services.