Meet Geoffrey Hinton, U of T’s Godfather of Deep Learning

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

//Meet Geoffrey Hinton: U of T Professor Emeritus of computer science, an Engineering Fellow at Google, and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

In this interview with U of T News, Prof. Hinton discusses his career, the field of artificial intelligence and the importance of funding curiosity-driven scientific research.//

Proud to be a UT computer science grad. Wish I had taken a class from Prof. Hinton.

Meet Geoffrey Hinton, U of T’s Godfather of Deep Learning

This video of “Panel of Pioneers” at RE-WORK (Deep Learning Summit Track 1, Montreal, 2017) is a great watch.

Intro from Yann (FB Director of AI Research) LeCun’s FB page.

//Video of the panel in which Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and I answer questions moderated by Joelle Pineau (who leads the FAIR-Montréal lab).

This took place at the Re*Work deep learning summit in Montreal a few weeks ago.//

Intro from the web page (with video, ~23 minutes).

//Overview

The Deep Learning Summit took place in Montreal on 10-11 October 2017 and brought together global AI pioneers including: Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun, and Geoffrey Hinton, as well as experts from companies including Intel, NVIDIA, Twenty Billion Neurons and Apple.

We’re currently working on the videos for the summit so please fill in the form below and we’ll email you when they’re ready.//

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U of Toronto engineering researchers mend broken hearts with expanding tissue bandage

Friday, 25 August, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 9.56.43 AM - New biomaterial developed by U of T engineering researchers could be delivered through minimally invasive surgery

Very cool news. Excerpts from University of Toronto news “New biomaterial developed by U of T engineering researchers could be delivered through minimally invasive surgery” (emphasis, extra note & links added) (for an in-depth look, see technical article, Nature Materials “Flexible shape-memory scaffold for minimally invasive delivery of functional tissues” ),

A team of U of T engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp.

Repairing heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack or medical condition with regenerative cells or tissues usually requires invasive open-heart surgery. But now biomedical engineering Professor Milica Radisic [K’s note: including links to PubMed listed articles] and her colleagues have developed a technique that lets them use a small needle to inject a repair patch, without the need to open up the chest cavity.

Radisic’s team are experts in using polymer scaffolds to grow realistic 3D slices of human tissue in the lab. One of their creations, AngioChip, is a tiny patch of heart tissue with its own blood vessels – the heart cells even beat with a regular rhythm. Another one of their innovations snaps together like sheets of Velcro™.

Such lab-grown tissues are already being used to test potential drug candidates for side-effects, but the long-term goal is to implant them back into the body to repair damage.

“If an implant requires open-heart surgery, it’s not going to be widely available to patients,” says Radisic.

She says that after a myocardial infarction – a heart attack – the heart’s function is reduced so much that invasive procedures like open-heart surgery usually pose more risks than potential benefits.

“It’s just too dangerous,” she says.

Miles Montgomery, a PhD candidate in Radisic’s lab, has spent nearly three years developing a patch that could be injected, rather than implanted. [K’s note: more news on Miles]

“At the beginning, it was a real challenge,” he says. “There was no template to base my design on, and nothing I tried was working. But I took these failures as an indication that I was working on a problem worth solving.”

After dozens of attempts, Montgomery found a design that matched the mechanical properties of the target tissue and had the required shape-memory behaviour: as it emerges from the needle, the patch unfolds itself into a bandage-like shape.

[…]

The scaffold is built out of the same biocompatible, biodegradable polymer used in the team’s previous creations. Over time, the scaffold will naturally break down, leaving behind the new tissue.

The team also showed that injecting the patch into rat hearts can improve cardiac function after a heart attack: damaged ventricles pumped more blood than they did without the patch.

“It can’t restore the heart back to full health, but if it could be done in a human, we think it would significantly improve quality of life,” says Radisic.

There is still a long way to go before the material is ready for clinical trials. Radisic and her team are collaborating with researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children to assess the long-term stability of the patches, as well as whether the improved cardiac function can be maintained.

They have also applied for patents on the invention and are exploring the use of the patch in other organs, such as the liver.

“You could customize this platform, adding growth factors or other drugs that would encourage tissue regeneration,” says Radisic. “I think this is one of the coolest things we’ve done.”

Injectable tissue patch could help repair damaged organs – U of T Engineering


U of Toronto University Professor Emeritus Stephen A. Cook won NSERC $1 million Herzberg Medal – with interview by Kempton

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

20130227 Professor Cook interview pix

Congratulations to University of Toronto Computer Science professor Stephen Cook, best known for formulating the P v. NP problem, for winning the $1M 2012 Gerhard Herzberg medal (also via CBC News)!

After all these years, I still remember the thrill in taking my first year UT Comp. Sci class in 1987 with prof. Cook! And it remains an honour (and bragging right) to have taken the famous third year CSC364 Computability and Complexity class with prof. Cook and seeing him proved to us 3-satisfiability and taught us P v. NP, etc. I am truly excited for prof. Cook!

Check out my 15 minutes interview with Prof. Cook this morning: Interview with Dr. Stephen A. Cook, 2012 Winner of NSERC’s $1m Herzberg Medal

By the way, as prof. cook mentioned in the interview, he came to the idea of the NP complete problem about 6 months after he came to Toronto in 1970. If you read the detailed & insightful oral history interview with Stephen Cook (courtesy of University of Minnesota), you will realize professor Cook could have easily stayed at UC Berkeley (if they had not denied him tenure) instead of joining us at University of Toronto! Lucky us!

Last week, I asked prof. Kelly Gotlieb “Father of Computing in Canada” for his thoughts about some giants in computer science, here is what Kelly has to say about Steve (video clip).

Here is “NSERC Presents 2 Minutes With Stephen Cook

Here is an excerpt from a great Q&A from U of Toronto.

What drew you to this field – and to this particular focus?
I enrolled as a mathematics graduate student at Harvard in 1961, thinking I’d concentrate in algebra. Computer Science did not yet exist as a discipline. After taking a course in `logic and computation’ from Hao Wang, my future advisor, I switched fields. My PhD thesis was inspired by a question posed by a pioneer in the field named Alan Cobham: Is multiplication (of large numbers) intrinsically harder than addition? Part of the challenge was to formulate this as a precise mathematical question.

Why U of T?
I joined the faculty of the computer science department at U of T in 1970. This was one of the world’s first CS departments, and Tom Hull, the department chair, had a powerful vision for its future. He already had recruited some aspiring young faculty, including my close colleague Allan Borodin, who continues to be a pillar of the department. It helped that Toronto is a good sailing venue on Lake Ontario, and sailing was (and is) a major hobby for my wife and me.

What advice would you give to a student just starting out in this field?
You’ve made a good choice. The possibilities are boundless.

Via this UT page, see more media coverage about the 2012 Herzberg Prize at these links below:

“- Globe & Mail

– Canada.com

– Calgary Herald

– CBC News


eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

This is the second (eps 02) of a series of extensive chats with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. In this video episode (as oppose to audio recording only in episode #1), we further discussed Google Driverless Cars and Google Glasses in a bit more details, and a few other topics. (I will try to provide a time code key when I have time later or if someone can help me with providing a time code key to the interview.)

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

P.S. Incidentally, I am happy to claim credit for suggesting Kelly to setup a Google+ account and then also helped him to setup his computer this morning so that we were able to conduct a successful Live Broadcast using the Google+ Hangout On Air technologies using its YouTube engine! It puts a smile on my face in helping the man who helped bought the second electronic computer (a Ferranti machine for $300,000) in the world in 1951 to use Google’s cutting edge technologies to broadcast live from his and my home!


Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

20130212 Father of Computing Kelly interview - pix

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

This is an extensive interview with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Feb 2013 interviewed by Independent reporter Kempton Lam
KL: Kempton Lam
KG: Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb
Table of content (with time codes):
0:00 KL: Introducing Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, “Father of Computing in Canada”, University of Toronto
0:29 KL: My question about Google Driverless Cars. Three US states already has law permitting testing of Google Driverless Cars. Talking about California governor signed the bill, “SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements” into law.
2:07 KL: Bill SB-1298 allows Google to test the Google Driverless Car provided Google pays a $5 million insurance, and provided there is a driver in the car.
2:21 KG: “That’s what I expected.”
2:35 KL: My concerns were concerns raised by Kelly in an earlier speech of his.
2:47 KG: listing some of the concerns he has with concepts like Google Driverless Cars. “United States is a very litigious society.”
3:12 KG: Google Driverless Car gets into an accident, whose to blame? And who can you sue? The person who wrote the program? Google who authorize the car? Car manufacture? The person who is in the car? Or all of the above? […] Lots of questions to be asked when failure happen. Read the rest of this entry »


Interview with Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey, re upcoming court case

Tuesday, 22 January, 2013

Yasmin Nakhuda & Darwin (IKEA) Monkey

Late last night, I interviewed Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey over the phone. Have a listen to the extensive phone interview first before you leave any comments. If your comment don’t show you have actually listened to the interview, I reserve the right to not approve it. I have seen way too many comments on articles/posts about this issue that have gone totally out of control elsewhere (CBC and other media outlet) and I won’t let it happen here. So please keep your comments brief, to the point, and don’t make any personal insults or groundless attacks. Disagreement is fine, strong critique is ok, but pointless insults are decidedly NOT!

As the issue of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey is in front of a court (case is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Jan 31, 2013) and hotly discussed/debated amongst Canadians, all the readers comments will be heavily screened & monitored me. We are civilized people and many of us are Canadians so we are better than those people who cannot ground their arguments in facts and reasons. Former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau got it wrong with his so call “Reason before Passion (La Raison Avant la Passion)“, in our social media age where anyone and everyone can have their worldwide platform and LIVE video broadcast channel, we must aspire to have “Reason alongside Passion.

Have a listen to my extensive phone interview Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda, owner of Darwin (IKEA) Monkey

Research & reading materials

1) Have a read of Toronto’s animal control by-law.
Toronto-by-law 1184_349

2) Can anyone help me here? I like to find the court filings by Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary online. Have the Sanctuary or its lawyer posted these documents online? If you know where to find them, please leave a note in the comment as I would like to read them.

3) I found the court filings by Ms. Yasmin Nakhuda online here at her lawyer’s website and I found them useful to read. I suggest you read them to understand what were said under oath by Officiers Joseph Florillo and David Behan describing what exactly happened during the own process of them taking Darwin.

Highlighted Transcript of Officer Joseph Fiorillo Jan 17 2013
Summary of Transcript of Officer Joseph FiorilloJan17 2013

Highlighted Transcript of Officer David Behan Jan17 2013
Summary of Transcript of David Behan Jan17 2013

Concluding thoughts and Personal notes

After interviewing Yasmin for over 40 minutes last night, I cannot disagree more with people who hear or know about the case from reading a headline here and there and watching a minute or two of news clips and then went on to insult Yasmin, her family, and even her children. Lets ground our discussion and look at the facts and situation surround this specific case of the lovely Darwin (IKEA) Monkey.

On a very personal note, I hope and wish for wisdom in the judge for this case and that the best outcome for Darwin will be delivered. Yes, may be I’ve watched way too many episodes of Judge John Deed (especially loving the earlier seasons 4, 1, and 2), I hope the judge for this case is as wise or wiser than Judge Deed!

P.S. Thanks again to Yasmin for her time to be interviewed by me. And special thanks to Calgary Public Library for stocking great TV DVDs like Judge Deed. Not unlike pure mathematics, we sometimes learn a lot more about justice from a fictional drama than real life court cases that can be very messy at times.

P.P.S. I wrote a light hearted “funny” piece about Darwin “Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea & No charges by T.O. police!” on Dec 10th, 2012. Even it was meant to be a funny piece, I do insist on my thinking and comments to be solidly grounded. Compare to that time, I think my positions and views have now definitely changed given the new information I have come to learn about this case.


Twitter Patrol – Toronto Police Const. Scott Mills

Friday, 20 July, 2012

My friend +Toronto Police Service Constable +Scott Mills was featured in this insightful +CBC News The National video piece Twitter patrol “Paul Hunter speaks with a Toronto police officer who uses social media to combat gang violence.” Check out Twitter patrol.

P.S. It is too early to tell but I haven’t heard of any advance warning signs for the tragic event unfolded last night (“Colorado theater shooting: a deadly attack delivered with brutal precision“). On a day like today, I want and try to think positive and hope that some future tragedies can be avoided by police departments getting more involved in social media.


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