The Fall Preview Fair was held in the first weekend of November in Grant Hall. This annual open house is an outreach event where all the departments from Queen’s Arts and Science put on a display of what research their department has to offer for visiting prospective students. The School of Computing put together quite a show, with five tables taking up the entire stage of Grant Hall covered with 3-d demos and virtual presentations of the work of our research labs. We’d like to extend out warmest gratitude to the crew of volunteers from COMPSA, GCS, Perk Lab, Equis Lab, iStudio Lab, and Autonomous Robotics Research Group, who dedicated their time to representing our School at the event!
Natalie Richard from the Vector Institute prepared an extensive article highlighting Dr. Mousavi’s dedication to harnessing AI for improved cancer care. In this article, Dr. Mousavi explains how her team’s new research could lead to more accurate breast cancer surgeries and quicker detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer. The post is now live on Vector’s website.
The article was later highlighted as part of Dr. Mousavi’s spotlight profile by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).
Dr. Mousavi is a Professor at the School of Computing and a Canada CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute, her research team’s work in the Medical Informatics (Med-i) Laboratory conducts leading work in areas of computer-aided diagnosis and interventions.
On Oct 16, the Mustafa Prize organizers released a documentary about Dr. Ahmed E. Hassan to mark his winning the 2023 prize in the Information and Communication Science and Technology field.
In this beautifully crafted film, Dr. Hassan talks about his work in Mining Software Repositories (MSR), his personal and professional journey, his family, and his connection to Egypt where he grew up.
As the camera follows Dr. Hassan’s research group in their day-to-day work on campus, Dr. Hassan narration is interlaced with interviews with his graduate students and colleagues. To read more about the award, click here.
The School of Computing would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Anshul Pattoo for earning Highly Commended honours at Global Undergraduate Awards, a prestigious international competition colloquially known as the “Junior Nobel Prize”!
The Global Undergraduate Awards are a highly respectable honour for undergraduate students in academia. In 2023 more than 2,272 undergraduate students submitted their applications from 352 institutions across 111 countries.
Entrants whose paper or project ranked in the top 10 percent of submissions in their category are shortlisted as Highly Commended entrants. Anshul’s paper titled Optimizing Faster R-CNN for Breast Cancer Detection on Mammography: Depth Reduction, Focal Loss, and Non-Local Operations was recognized in the top 10% in the Computer Science category. In dedication of his late aunt’s struggles with breast cancer, Anshul developed original algorithmic mechanisms to both improve the correctness and minimize the computational expense of AI-based detection of early breast cancer developments from mammographic imaging.
As a category winner, Anshul has received a certificate of recognition for his achievement along with the opportunity to publish and present his work at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit in Dublin.
The annual UA Global Summit took place in Dublin over four days from 5-8th November 2023.
During this unique event, top performing students and recent graduates from across the world were brought together for multiple days of networking, discussion and celebration.
Anshul commented on the announcement:
I am deeply honored to have received such a prestigious recognition. While this research was performed independently, I would like to convey my fantastic gratitude to the primary supervisor of this endeavor, Dr. Farhana Zulkernine, as well as her PhD student, Mr. Mojtaba Moattari, for their invaluable guidance and support. This award is a reflection of how remarkable the School of Computing and Queen’s is as a supportive, stirring environment for its students and faculty. Such research would also not be possible without the unfailing support of beloved family and friends, for whom no words suffice in an expression of gratitude. This success stimulates further determined efforts toward accomplishing goals of importance to me, rooted in an instinct to urgently put forth substantial contributions that can directly improve people’s lives.
Anshul was honoured along with his peers across a number of disciplines in Queen’s. You can read more about the other winners in the FAS announcement.
The thirteenth annual Canadian Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (CAN-CWiC) took place on October 20 – 21 in Toronto. Founded in 2010 as a collaboration between Queen’s Women in Computing and QSC instructor Wendy Powley, CAN-CWiC remains the premiere Canadian computing conference for young women and non-binary people in technology. With the support of our alumni, Queen’s School of Computing was able to sponsor a group of students to attend the conference for free.
The conference weekend consisted of a banquet, the traditional NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Award ceremony, parallel speaker sessions, a Career Fair, panel sessions with leaders in industry and academia, and, of course, the key note addresses by this year’s special invited speakers.
One of the keynote speakers this year were Tanjulia Akter, Software Engineer & Engineering Manager at Electronic Arts (EA) and founder of Womxn In Engineering, a platform where students in the Tech industry can directly network with fellow students or industry leaders.
Tanjulia says in her keynote We did not come this far to only come this far, “Let’s dive deep into our perseverance, our collective efforts, and the vast tech landscape. We’ll celebrate our journey, acknowledging both where we’ve been and where we’re headed.”
Another keynote speaker was Christina Fung, Senior Vice President of Consulting Services in the CGI Toronto Banking group and Global Head of AI Enablement. Christina is a Queen’s Engineering alumna and throughout her career held various leadership positions in Canadian banks, global financial institutions and global software companies. Her keynote speech was focused on sharing the outlook of Generative AI.
The third keynote, titled A Woman in STEM: from Trials to Triumph was given by Keeton-Curtis Pauline, Managing Director of Portfolio Technical Support at Bank of Montreal. Pauline later commented that CAN-CWiC is “a great opportunity for our young Women to hear from those already in Computing roles, network and make connections.”
The event continues to grow each year, with over 650 attendees and over 30 organizations participating from all over Canada.
In what has now become a yearly tradition, upper-year high school students from Leahurst College came to Goodwin Hall in the end of October to visit and tour the Perk and Med-i labs. Colton Barr, Laura Connolly and Dumitru Cernelev from the graduate research team put together a variety of demos of their work, followed by a Q&A session with the students in the main conference room of Goodwin Hall.
Emese Elkind from Perk lab, who coordinated the visit, says the day spent with Leahurst students was a success, and that the students seemed very enthusiastic about learning more about our biomedical research!
We can’t wait to welcome the Leahurst crew again next year!
The School of Computing is excited to announce that Mahzabeen Emu is one of the five Queen’s students recognized with the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for their exceptional research achievements and leadership skills!
Mahzabeen is a PhD Candidate at QSC and a Governor General Gold Medal Recipient. Mahzabeen was awarded for her project titled Optimizing Beyond 5G Communication with Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence.
The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) is one of the most prestigious national awards for doctoral students. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.
After finding out about her Vanier Scholarship, Mahzabeen wrote, “I’m deeply appreciative of the unwavering support and dedication from my supervisors, Dr. Salimur Choudhury and Dr. Kai Salomaa. They invested countless days and weekends in training and preparing me for this prestigious award. I’m grateful that they saw potential in me that I may not have recognized in myself.”
“I am also grateful to Queen’s School of Computing and School of Graduate Studies for nominating me and guiding me for this prestigious award.”
In his statement to the Queen’s Gazzette, Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs said about the 2023 Vanier Scholars, “These remarkable students have earned national acclaim as beacons of excellence, charting a path to a brighter future. These scholars represent the tangible results of cutting-edge research, the impactful expansion of knowledge, and visionary leadership. We are profoundly honoured to be part of their academic journey.”
Robert Leaker is the Chief Compliance Officer of Apaylo Finance Technology Inc, a Canadian electronic payment service provider. Earlier this summer Robert reached out to Queen’s School of Computing to share what he referred to as an “amazing experience” working with a QSC student.
Adam Clarke was in his second year studying computer science when he got hired by Apaylo Finance Technology Inc for a short contract. At the time Adam was hired, Apaylo was using the Zoho mailing platform to send out ledgers of accounts to over 100 merchants daily. Due to the volume of merchants, the task of sending a separate ledger to each individual recipient was taking the team about two, two-and-a-half hours of extra work. Robert Leaker was looking to automate this task and asked Adam if he could help.
Adam took on that task and was able to come up with the required script. In order to do that he had to learn the Zoho programming language called Deluge. Robert Leaker said, “I was pretty impressed when Adam, who had never been exposed to this programming language, figured it out and came up with a script, and then did a YouTube video to show me and my team how to use it. We were able to operationalize Adam’s script and it now saves one person’s entire afternoon of work. Our company does 4 billion a year in transactions, but we only have about 12 staff. So the fact that we can free up somebody’s afternoon goes a long way in helping us focus on value added work and on business development.”
This is not Adam’s first experience with billing systems. Over the summer of 2022, Adam participated in the Build2Scale program ran by the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. Build2Scale is a part-time accelerator program for entrepreneurs looking to innovate in the health sector. As part of the program, Adam co-founded and developed Verus Billing, an automated medical billing system that takes physician input and instantly generates billing codes. The company’s aim is to help physicians spend less time on billing, see more patients and earn more money.
Robert concluded our call by saying he would be happy to recommend Adam to any future employer.
“Adam is a very genuine human being,” he said. “I hope that that is representative of the kind of students that you’re turning out. He understood the problem and took it upon himself to find the solution for it. And that’s exactly what we needed.”
At the end of August, we got together with the 2023 Biomedical Informatics graduate cohort to celebrate their progress! Some students have completed their Graduate Diploma in Biomedical Informatics and are ready to venture out, while others will continue their studies at QSC for another eight months and graduate with a Professional Master’s degree.
BMIF is a unique interdisciplinary graduate program offered by the School of Computing and Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, which provides the foundation to careers in health care and biomedical research. The program welcomes students from backgrounds in biology, life sciences, biochemistry, medical sciences and related disciplines.
The Graduate Diploma In Biomedical Informatics (GDBI) consists of four courses and runs May-August. The Master’s In Biomedical Informatics (MBI) consists of six courses and a research project and runs from May-April. While on campus, our students receive hands-on training in database design and management, artificial intelligence, statistical analysis, data mining, and image analysis.
The demand for biomedical informatics specialists far exceeds supply. We are witnessing the largest transformation of healthcare ever – bioinformatics specialists will be the rock stars of tomorrow.Don Aldrige, Ex Executive Director of the CAC
The School will be hosting 3 BMIF webinars in the upcoming months:
Webinar 1: Tuesday, October 24 from 12-1 pm
Webinar 2: Wednesday, November 29, 5.30-6.30 pm
Webinar 3: Thursday, January 11, 12-1 pm
Everyone interested in meeting our team and learning more about the program is welcome to register here: https://www.cs.queensu.ca/graduate/bmif/
RaceTrap was originally developed by a group of four QSC students as their CISC 496 capstone project. Ensor Moriarty, Jack Taylor, Nathan Perriman, and Josh Rutledge presented the videogame at the 2023 Creative Computing Showcase, where their booth was a big hit. RaceTrap is an asymmetric multiplayer game, where one player races around a track that the other player is designing and triggering in real-time. The team went home that night with the Best Videogame Award, a big win amidst dozens of other exceptional capstone projects at the showcase.
After graduating, the team wanted to take their project a little further and founded a company called GnomeFire Labs. The company just released early builds for public playtesting, so anyone interested in trying out RaceTrap can do so by signing up on the game website, or discord.
“It’s really rewarding having the freedom to make the game that we all want to play”, the team said. “It’s a project we’re all really passionate and excited about, and we can’t wait to bring it out to the world. We’d like to thank professors Nicholas Graham and Gabriele Cimolino for their support and tutelage, both through our time at Queen’s as well as on this new journey.”
This September Ensor, Jack, Nathan, and Josh presented RaceTrap in the Gaming Garage at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto.
The team will soon be presenting at the 2023 The Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY) as a study in player interaction/coupling within an asymmetric competitive setting.
Dr. Nicholas Graham, who supervised the team’s original capstone project, commented,”RaceTrap was created as part of our fourth year Game Development Project course. This is a capstone project for students in the game development stream of our computing major, and allows them to invent new game design ideas and bring them to fruition. Every year, we have numerous projects that show off truly novel ideas and outstanding execution. I’m really excited for the GnomeFire guys that they were able to create something so special and that they have had so much interest as they take it forward.”