IEEE Toronto Section


Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

Big Data Based Recommendation Approaches for Healthcare

Monday, October 30th, 2017

IMPORTANT: This event has been rescheduled – the new date and time is to be determined.

Samee U. Khan, Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University, will be presenting “Big Data Based Recommendation Approaches for Healthcare”.

Day & Time: TBD – Event has been rescheduled

Speaker: Samee U. Khan, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
North Dakota State University

Location: University of Toronto (Galbraith Building)
35 St. George St.
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4
Room TBD

Contact: Dennis Cecic

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Computer Society

Fees: IEEE Members: Free
Non-Member (Professional): $10 + 13% HST

Abstract: Recommender systems have attained widespread acceptance and have attracted the increased attention by the masses for over a decade. Recommender systems alleviate the complexities of products and services selection tasks and are meant to overcome the issues of information overload. Just like the recommender systems’ prospects in ecommerceand several other business domains, recommender systems have also been developed to offer recommendations about healthcare services and products. Considering the high volumes and dimensionality of healthcare data, utilization of efficient techniques to manage the big data is inevitable.

In this talk, we describe the need and rationale for using the big data enabled techniques for healthcare data. As case studies, we will detail our work on developing recommendation systems for: (a) health insurance products recommendation, (b) health expert recommendation from social media, (c) identification of influential doctors from Twitter, and (d) disease risk assessment services. During the discussion on the cases studies, we will discuss the following issues that are particular to the recommender systems: (a) cold start, (b) long-tail problem, and (c) scalability.

Biography: Samee U. Khan received a BS degree in 1999 from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan, and a PhD in 2007 from the University of Texas, Arlington, TX, USA. Currently, he is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA. Prof. Khan’s research interests include optimization, robustness, and security of systems. His work has appeared in over 300 publications. He is on the editorial boards of leading journals, such as IEEE Access, IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, and IEEE IT Pro. He is an ACM Distinguished Speaker, an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET, formerly IEE), and a Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS).

Cyber Security for Utilities Seminar

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Wednesday March 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. the IEEE Toronto Computer Society/Industrial Relations will be presenting “Cyber Security for Utilities Seminar”.

Day & Time: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Speakers: Steel McCreery
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL)

Doug Westlund, P. Eng.

Location: University of Toronto
35 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 1A4

Building: Galbraith Building
Room Number: 202

RSVP is required for this event. Please visit for more details and to register.

IEEE Members: Free
Non-IEEE Students: Free
Non-Member (Professional): $10 + HST

Abstract: Cyber Security is one of the hottest technology topics ensuring the safety and reliability of the Electrical Grid against cyber-attacks from hackers. This seminar will be a great opportunity for students, new grads, and engineers to have a general overview on cyber security issues and challenges for utilities in North America. Industry Standards such as NERC CIP will be discussed, as will career opportunities on this field.

Join us on our first seminar on Cyber Security with IEEE Toronto Section. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Steel McCreery is an Integration Application Specialist II Communications, providing communications and automation applications engineering support to sales, consultants, utility and industrial customers in addition to SEL’s internal Engineering Services team.

Doug Westlund, P. Eng., has 30 years’ experience in technology and cyber security in the utility and telecommunications markets. In his role at AESI he assists utility executive teams and their Boards with strategic planning and risk management. He has led more than 100 cyber security projects for generation, transmission and distribution utilities, developed risk management for the Ontario LDC insurer (MEARIE), and developed cyber security best practices and programs for the American Public Power Association and its 2,000 distribution utility members.

Top 10 Ways to Design Safer Embedded Software

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Thursday January 26th, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. the IEEE Computer Society Toronto Chapter will be holding a Training Course: Top 10 Ways to Design Safer Embedded Software.

We are sorry to inform you that this event has been cancelled. We will attempt to reschedule the event later this year.

Abstract: Embedded systems are everywhere these days: from implantable medical devices to self-driving cars. The risks of human injury are also multiplying as more embedded systems connect to the Internet and become open to hacking as well as malfunction.

There are design techniques that can be applied to develop safer and more reliable embedded systems. As we consult with companies in a range of industries, we are continually surprised that such techniques–including the 10 techniques you will be exposed to in this course–are not more widely known and practiced.

Register today to join us at this important 1-day course where the focus is on minimizing the risk of injury or loss by firmware malfunction though a combination of lightweight, demonstrably-valuable design techniques.

RSVP is required. Visit

Agenda: 9:00am Coffee*
9:30am Morning Session
12:30pm Lunch*
1:30pm Afternoon Session
3:30pm End (approx.)

* Morning coffee and lunch are included in the registration fee.

Prerequisites: Attendees should be generally familiar with the terminology of embedded software or have first-hand experience doing embedded systems design.

Fees: IEEE Members: CDN $135 + 13% HST
Non-Members: CDN $160 + 13% HST

Day & Time: Thursday, January 26th, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Room CB 114, Best Institute (University of Toronto)
112 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1L6 Canada

Campus Map:

Public Parking (Toronto General Hospital Parking Garage):,-79.3865625,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd777822577805e72!8m2!3d43.6589808!4d-79.3865625

Exosite Pivot IoT Seminar – Executive Forum on Business Transformation Through IoT

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Thursday October 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Steve Wright, Solutions Architect at Exosite Inc. and Alumni of IEEE Society, will be presenting “Exosite Pivot IoT Seminar – Executive Forum on Business Transformation Through IoT”.

Speaker: Steve Wright
Solutions Architect, Exosite Inc.

Day & Time: Thursday, October 20, 2016
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Room L1-02 (Library & Academic Building)
Centennial College, Progress Campus
941 Progress Ave
Toronto, ON M1K 5E9

Room Map:

Campus Map:,+Scarborough,+ON+M1G+3T8,+Canada/@43.7851523,-79.2292043,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89d4d0f2145b3791:0x3da1359f5640d4 7f!8m2!3d43.7851523!4d-79.2270156

RSVP Required:

Abstract: The internet of things (IoT) is giving rise to previously undiscovered revenue opportunities that can transform existing business models through connected devices and innovative insights. Because of this potential, many companies are racing to get involved. But what exactly is IoT and what does it mean to the future of your organization?

Join us for a forum that demystifies IoT by providing a realistic understanding of what it is, what it requires, and how organizations can use it to kick-start their business transformation.

Biography: Steve Wright is a Solutions Architect at Exosite, where he helps clients close the gap between a successful engineering project and a profitable connected products business. Steve excels at working with companies to define the right tool set of hardware, software, and business strategy to succeed in their IoT deployments. He started his career as a software engineer in data acquisition systems before moving into project management and sales. Steve’s experience includes turbine engine testing, semiconductor manufacture, and custom software development. He has an MS in Software Engineering from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and is an Alumni of the IEEE Society.

Connected Cars for Smart Cities

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Monday December 7, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. Shahrokh Valaee, Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies at the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, will be presenting “Connected Cars for Smart Cities”.

Speaker: Shahrokh Valaee
Professor, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies
Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Toronto

Day & Time: Monday, December 7, 2015
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Room ENG 288, Ryerson University
George Vari Center for Engineering & Computing
245 Church Street, Toronto, ON

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Computer, Magnetics and Instrument-Measurement Chapters

Contact: Dr. Maryam Davoudpour

Abstract: Recently we are witnessing the emergence of situation-aware vehicles, equipped with plurality of sensors that can help driver with vehicle control and maneuvering. Cars that can park themselves, provide lane-departure warning, and monitor the driver alertness are marketed with affordable prices. The sensing and processing power of cars are increasing, enabling various safety-enhancing features, such as blind-spot warning, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, and so on. In this talk, we will discuss the next steps for autonomous vehicles. In particular, we will project the path forward by transitioning from autonomous cars to cognitive and intelligent vehicles. Future cars will be enabled with car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication capabilities. We will review such enhancement and will focus on two recent research directives that will make future cars intelligent. The two enablers are compressive sensing and network coding. We will show that cooperative compressive sensing can reduce the wireless channel congestion, which is the main challenge in dense vehicular networks. To discuss the communications aspects of vehicular networks, we will introduce a repetition-based medium access control method using positive orthogonal codes, and then propose an opportunistic network-coding scheme to enhance the reliability of communication. We will finally discuss some open research issues.

Biography: Shahrokh Valaee is with the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, where he is a Professor and the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. He is the Founder and the Director of the Wireless and Internet Research Laboratory (WIRLab) at the University of Toronto. Professor Valaee recently served as the TPC Co-Chair of ICT 2015. He was the Track Chair of the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC) 2014, the TPC Co-Chair and the Local Organization Chair of IEEE Personal Mobile Indoor Radio Communication (PIMRC) Symposium 2011, and the Co-Chair for Wireless Communications Symposium of IEEE GLOBECOM 2006. From December 2010 to December 2012, he was the Associate Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters. Currently, he serves as an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. Since Feb 2015 he has been an Editor of the Elsevier Journal of Computer and System Science. Professor Valaee is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

IBM Internet of Things Point of View and Strategy

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Thursday January 28, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Jim Caldwell, Director of IBM Internet of Things, Continuous Engineering Solutions Development, will be presenting “IBM Internet of Things Point of View and Strategy”.

Speaker: Jim Caldwell
Director, IBM Internet of Things, Continuous Engineering Solutions Development

Day & Time: Thursday, January 28, 2016
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Room VIC608
Victoria Building, Ryerson University
285 Victoria Street, Toronto


Abstract: The Internet of Things is predicted to have an economic impact of more than $11 Trillion per year by 2025. It has become a focus of discussion by technologists, the business press and the general public. Clearly something is happening but what? And what should businesses and institutions do about it? This presentation will survey the topic from IBM’s perspective. We will discuss what the Internet of Things is. We will also discuss IBM’s point of view and strategy, some examples of offerings and client engagements. Finally, we will conclude with some key questions and research challenges.

Biography: As Director, IBM Internet of Things, Continuous Engineering Solutions Development, Mr. Caldwell is responsible for the development of a set of software tools and solutions used in the design and development of “things”. This includes motor vehicles, aircraft and electronic devices. He is also a member of the leadership team for IBM’s Collaborative Lifecycle Management toolset used in the design and development of large software systems industry wide.

Previously, as Director of Software Group (SWG) Technical Strategy, Mr. Caldwell was responsible for working across SWG to continually update and communicate the SWG technical strategy. This included working with SWG divisional leaders (technical and business) on key elements of strategy and cross IBM initiatives. It also included selection, development and delivery of incubator programs and joint programs with IBM research.

Prior to that, Mr. Caldwell served as Director of WebSphere Application Infrastructure Product Management where he was responsible for business management of the infrastructure portion of IBM’s WebSphere portfolio of e-business products. This included WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Commerce Server, WebSphere Voice Server and Embedded ViaVoice. He drove business decisions across all disciplines within these groups including development, services, business development, and marketing.

In his more than 25 years at IBM, Mr. Caldwell has held technical, managerial and executive roles in IBM’s software businesses including Director, WebSphere Commerce Development in which he helped grow IBM’s Commerce offering from an incubator activity to the market leader. Mr. Caldwell is a Mathematics graduate from the University of Waterloo and is currently based in IBM’s Toronto Software Laboratory.

Compact Discrete Representations for Scalable Similarity Search

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Thursday November 19, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Mohammad Norouzi, PhD candidate in computer science at the University of Toronto, will be presenting “Compact Discrete Representations for Scalable Similarity Search”.

Speaker: Mohammad Norouzi
PhD Candidate

Day & Time: Thursday, November 19, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Room ENG 106
George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre
Ryerson University
245 Church Street

Organizer: IEEE Toronto Computer, Magnetics and Instrument-Measurement Chapters

Contact: Maryam Davoudpour,

Abstract: Scalable similarity search on images, documents, and user activities benefits generic search, data visualization, and recommendation systems. This talk concerns the design of algorithms and machine learning tools for faster and more accurate similarity search. The proposed techniques advocate the use of discrete codes for representing the similarity structure of data in a compact way. In particular, I will discuss how one can learn to map high-dimensional data onto binary codes with a metric learning approach. Then, I will describe a simple algorithm for fast exact nearest neighbour search in Hamming distance, which exhibits sub-linear query time performance. Going beyond binary codes, I will highlight a compositional generalization of k-means clustering which maps data points onto integer codes with storage and search costs that grow sub-linearly in the number of cluster centers. This representation improves upon binary codes, and provides an even more precise approximation of Euclidean distance. Experimental results are reported on multiple datasets including a dataset of SIFT descriptors with 1B entries.

Biography: Mohammad Norouzi is a PhD candidate in computer science at the University of Toronto. His research lies at the intersection of machine learning and computer vision. He is a recipient of a Google US/Canada PhD fellowship in machine learning. He is going to join Google as a research scientist in January 2016.

Error Control Coding for Low-Latency Multicast Streaming

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

September 16, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. Dr. Ashish Khisti, Associate Professor & Canada Research Tier II, will be presenting “Error Control Coding for Low-Latency Multicast Streaming” at Ryerson University.

Speaker: Dr. Ashish Khisti
Associate Professor & Canada Research Tier II

Day & Time: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Room ENG288, Department of Computer Science, Ryerson University
245 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
Click here to see the Map – Look for ENG

Organizer: IEEE Toronto – Computer Chapter & DABNEL

Contact: Prof. Isaac Woungang
Director of DABNEL Lab
Department of Computer Science
Ryerson University
Chair, Computer Chapter, IEEE Toronto
E-mail: Isaac Woungang

Abstract: An increasing number of applications require simultaneous transmission of multimedia streams to diverse users with vastly different computing and communication capabilities. While a straightforward approach is to establish an independent unicast session with each user, it can be highly inefficient when (i) the number of users is large or (ii) the content size is large. In such applications broadcast/multicast techniques can lead to significant gains. This talk will focus on error correction coding techniques over packet erasure channels under low-latency constraints.

The talk will be aimed for a broad audience and will not assume prior knowledge on Error Control Coding.

Biography: Ashish Khisti is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and holds a Canada Research Chair in Wireless Networks. He obtained his BASc degree from the Engineering Sciences program at the same university, and his SM and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests include Network Information Theory, Physical Layer Security and Error Control Coding for Multimedia Applications. He is a recipient of the HP-IRP award, an Ontario Early Researcher Award and the Morris Joseph Levin Masterworks award from MIT. He presently serves as a Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.

All are welcome – No registration needed.