Bishop’s Univer­sity Re­searcher Funded By Mi­tacs To Col­lab­o­rate With In­dus­try Part­ner

Stanstead Journal - - LEN NOXVILLE NEWS - Chan­tal Sneath, Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Len­noxville, Sher­brooke

Dr.Lay­achi Bentabet, pro­fes­sor in Bishop’s Univer­sity’s Com­puter Sci­ence Depart­ment, has been awarded a Mi­tacs re­search grant in the amount of $30,000. This grant will be used to of­fer a schol­ar­ship to Ms. Te­gan Ma­haraj, a Com­puter Sci­ence Masters stu­dent at Bishop’s Univer­sity, who is cur­rently car­ry­ing out a re­search project at iPer­cep­tions, an in­dus­trial part­ner lo­cated in Mon­treal. iPer­cep­tions is an en­ter­prise­level company that uses a survey plat­form to col­lect in­for­ma­tion con­sumers’ use of web­sites or apps in or­der to an­a­lyze the data and ad­vise their clients on how to im­prove their on­line plat­forms.

The Mi­tacs grant al­lows a grad­u­ate stu­dent or post­doc­toral fel­low to work on-site with an in­dus­try part­ner and then com­plete his or her re­search at the univer­sity un­der the guid­ance of a fac­ulty su­per­vi­sor. Ms. Ma­haraj is look­ing for new ways to im­prove data anal­y­sis at iPer­cep­tions through ma­chine learn­ing. She is thus con­duct­ing re­search into the ways that data re­gard­ing con­sumer habits can be bet­ter an­a­lyzed. The ex­pe­ri­ence so far, she notes, has been in­valu­able: “I love re­search for its own sake,” she says, “but hav­ing prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions for the things I’m try­ing and learn­ing makes a world of dif­fer­ence to my mo­ti­va­tion. It’s ex­cit­ing just to learn new things, but un­til you use those skills and con­cepts to solve a real prob­lem, they only ex­ist inside your head. This in­tern­ship has al­lowed me to take things out of my head and make them ex­ist in the real world, and maybe even be use­ful to some­one! So re­ward­ing.”

Mi­tacs is a Cana­dian re­search in­tern­ship pro­gram that pro­vides in­terns with op­por­tu­ni­ties to trans­fer their skills from the­ory to real-world ap­pli­ca­tion and al­low com­pa­nies to gain a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage by ac­cess­ing high­qual­ity re­search ex­per­tise. The in­dus­try part­ner ben­e­fits from th­ese in­tern­ships as the in­tern can bring new per­spec­tives, ex­per­tise and so­lu­tions to prob­lems it faces. Mi­tacs part­ners with the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Na­ture et tech­nolo­gies, which con­trib­uted $10,000 to Dr. Bentabet’s grant.

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