Math to Power Career & Innovation

The first event of the 2021/2022 BIRS Career & Innovation Hub (CIH) is a 3-day data science focused event that will take place online from November 12 – 14, 2021. The event is presented in partnership with the PIMS Math to Power Industry (M2PI) program and Hackhub.

The event will provide students an opportunity to interact with employers and industry leaders through virtual programs, prove their skill in a data science focused hackathon, and attend workshops with a practical focus on today’s data science job market . This event is free to attend but registration is required.


(all times Mountain time – Calgary)

Friday, November 12

10AM – 1PM Data Science in Action

1:30PM – 3:00PM Writing Resumes that Get Read

Saturday, November 13

10AM – 10:10AM Hackathon Introduction
10:10AM – 10:30AM Keynote Address from Dr. Raymond Ng
10:30AM Hackathon begins
1:00PM – 1:45PM Guest Speaker Megan Dewar
2:00PM – 2:45PM Guest Speaker Frank Mauer

Sunday, November 14

10AM Hackathon winners announced


Data Science in Action

Data is everywhere. It is being collected when we browse the web, it is an important and expanding part of modern journalism, and companies want to mine their databases hoping to find a competitive advantage.

In this workshop, we welcome leaders from academia and industry to discuss the impact of the data science revolution on their field. We will discuss how diverse domains, such as cryptography and political analysis, have used this abundance of data to create new insights. By seeing data science in action, students, researchers, and industry people alike will learn about exciting new initiatives in their field and potential for new collaborations across fields.


Jennifer Bodnarchuk

Senior Data Scientist, City of Winnipeg

Jen is the Senior Data Scientist for the City of Winnipeg and was the second data scientist hired at the City, in 2019. Prior to working at the City, she spent 12 years working as a statistical analyst and senior planning analyst at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. She earned a PhD from the Department of Psychology at the U of M in 2005 and a Master of Data Science from Northwestern University in Chicago in 2016.

The City of Winnipeg’s Data Innovation: A Diversity Dashboard

Jennifer and colleagues from the City of Winnipeg were recently selected as the Canadian participants in a City Incubator program designed to support data innovations in cities around the world. The City of Winnipeg is using their data to develop a Diversity Dashboard. Jennifer will share the latest progress, lessons learned so far, and information about how data science works in city governments.

Nur Zincir-Heywood

Professor, Dalhousie University

Dr. Nur Zincir-Heywood is a University Research Professor and a Professor of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include machine learning for cyber security, network and service analysis. She has published over 200 fully reviewed papers and has been a recipient of multiple best paper awards. She serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management and Wiley International Journal of Network Management. She also promotes information communication technologies to wider audiences as a tech columnist for CBC Information Morning and a board member on CS-Can/INFO-Can.


Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data science technologies are not only the fastest growing areas but also provide endless possibilities in many different disciplines including networks, services and cyber security. Any user who has a tablet or smartphone can tangibly experience advances in AI via their social media apps, cameras and digital assistants. The goal of this talk is to share some practical insights while exploring the opportunities and challenges at the intersection of AI and cyber security from management to monitoring to analysis of data in the era of highly connected devices.

Robyn Ritchie

PhD student, Simon Fraser University

William Spat

CEO, IOTO International 

Resume Writing Workshop

Employers receive hundreds of applications for a job posting in today’s market. Knowing how to create a professional resume that catches the reader’s attention while highlighting relevant skills is more important than ever. This webinar will discuss how to increase your chances of securing an interview by creating a targeted resume and properly responding to the job posting.

Matthew Geddes

 Career Specialist, University of Calgary

Matthew is a Career Specialist at the University of Calgary. He supports graduate students with achieving their career aspirations through collaborative individual consultations and interactive workshops. As a lifelong learner, he is passionate about bringing new resources and research-based practices to support students, whether it is writing a resume that gets read, standing out in the interview or clarifying ones career goals.


The best way to learn is by doing. Join us for this data science hackathon. Participants will be asked to develop a visualization dashboard using IOTO’s Goverlytics API. The Goverlytics API collects data on the legislative process in Canada and the US: who are the legislators, which bills are being discussed, what is going on in committees. By summarizing and visualizing this data, we hope to better measure legislative performance.

Teams will be judged on the visual quality of their dashboard, on the metrics being displayed, and on the insights generated by the dashboard.

Keynote address from Dr. Raymond Ng

Dr. Ng will is the Director of the Data Science Institute. Dr. Ng will speak about the institute’s Data Science for Social Good program at to kick off the Hackathon.

Hackathon Guest Speakers
Megan Dewar

Megan Dewar is the Head of the Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC), a Canadian Government research institute whose mission is to deliver fundamental research results in mathematics and computer science that address the most important scientific challenges facing the security and intelligence community. The majority of TIMC’s research is focussed in the fields of cryptography and data science. Megan joined TIMC as a researcher a decade ago, and has taken on several leadership roles before becoming Head in 2018. Megan completed her PhD in Discrete Mathematics at Carleton University in 2010. She is a co-author of Ordering Block Designs: Gray codes, universal cycles and configuration orderings, a book based on her thesis work. Her previous masters and undergraduate studies — completed at Dalhousie University — focused on graph theory and game theory. 

Frank Mauer

Frank Maurer is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on engineering immersive analytics applications, combining machine learning, extended reality, and agile software development. He currently serves as the Associate Dean, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at the Faculty of Science. Dr. Maurer is a co-founder and CTO of VizworX, a Calgary-based custom solutions company focusing on AR/VR, machine learning and mobile/web technologies

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