Computer science professor Christie EzeifeComputer science professor Christie Ezeife is working on a research project to apply artificial intelligence to database search.

Researchers seek to employ artificial intelligence to customize information search

Searching for information online can be overwhelming, but a team of UWindsor researchers is looking to ease the process using artificial intelligence (AI) to help customize searches.

When searching through a database, users want to see the most relevant information, says Christie Ezeife, a professor and researcher in the School of Computer Science. She and PhD student Abdulrauf Gidado are using machine learning and AI processes to personalize a user’s visit to a community database search engine.

“The main objective of the system is extracting, cleaning, integrating data content from large collections of content databases, so that machine learning and artificial intelligence processes can be used to learn and identify the most relevant and influential contents for purposes of recommendation — and personalization — of such contents to users,” says Dr. Ezeife.

The two teamed with industry partner Electric Effect for a Mitacs Accelerate funded project called “Bio Window Knowledge: Personalizing Most Relevant Content from Big Data.”

Gidado says they are experimenting on various publishers’ pages.

“When you go to a publisher’s site for example, the first page of articles you’ll see may not be relevant to you, but Electric Effect wants to rely on machine learning techniques so that when people from different fields with different interests get to a page, the set of articles displayed to users will be personalized to users,” says Gidado.

The expected outcome of the system, Ezeife says, includes improving personalization, validation, and authentication through autonomous processes to help surface and deliver relevant articles to peers, identifying key opinion leaders in the community while collecting historical behavioural data and metrics.

Gidado built a program employing data models and business logic proprietary to Electric Effect to assess the variables of each article and determine its relevance.

“We take into consideration aspects such as how people interact with an article, how peers are commenting on articles, and how many people like an article,” he says. “Based on these variables we develop our computer program so when someone visits a page, the Bio Window system can determine the order of what that person sees.”

Electric Effect has connections to multiple Canadian research agencies. Gidado’s project is being experimented and deployed on the International Wound Community website.

“This project represents an application of database and data mining research to real world industry problems in areas of data extraction, integration, and mining of big data,” says Ezeife.

“This type of project gives students like Gidado real-life application development experience.”

—Sara Elliott

Beverly JacobsBeverly Jacobs will take up an appointment as senior advisor to the president on Indigenous relations and outreach on Jan. 17.

President names senior advisor on Indigenous relations and outreach

All post-secondary institutions have obligations under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, as well as the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice to end injustice and to address the legacy of abuse, trauma, and violence that Indigenous peoples have experienced and continue to experience. These moral and legal obligations are also reflected in the Universities Canada Principles of Indigenous Education.

The University of Windsor took its next step in working to meet those obligations Wednesday, announcing that law professor Beverly Jacobs has accepted the position of senior advisor to the president on Indigenous relations and outreach, effective Jan. 17 for a two-year term.

This interim position will provide vision, leadership, advocacy, and outreach, and will work consultatively to finalize the structure and responsibilities of a permanent Indigenous leadership role at the executive level at the University of Windsor and to address systematic support for the ongoing and necessary work of Truth and Reconciliation.

Over the next two years, Dr. Jacobs will pursue priorities to improve relationships with Indigenous peoples — students, faculty, staff, Indigenous communities and organizations; guide the development of the new Indigenous space on campus; collaborate on the development of respectful and sustainable decision-making and consultation processes related to Indigenous matters; and help the University chart its path as it begins to take more comprehensive action towards Indigenization and decolonization.

Jacobs’s leadership will be critical as the University begins the work of enhancing Indigenous leadership on campus and embedding Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into the University’s culture. She will work directly with the president and the executive leadership team; faculty, staff, students, and administrators from across campus; and members of Indigenous communities on and off campus.

Jacobs is transitioning into this role from a previous role as associate dean (academic) in the Faculty of Law, and practices law part-time at her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Windsor in 1994, a Master of Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000, and a PhD from the University of Calgary in 2018. Her research focuses on Indigenous legal orders, Indigenous holistic health, Indigenous research methodologies, and decolonization of Eurocentric law. Her work centres around ending gendered colonial violence against Indigenous people and restoring Indigenous laws, beliefs, values, and traditions.

Jacobs is a former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. She is nationally known for her work and commitment to Indigenous politics in Canada, is universally respected in this regard, and is understood to be a tireless and formidable advocate. She is a leading voice and an expert with respect to issues facing Indigenous people in her community, in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally.

Inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 2018, Jacobs received a Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law from the governments of France and Germany. She also received a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case in 2008, an Esquao Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, and a 2008 Canadian Voice of Women of Peace Award from the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative and Civilian Peace Service Canada.

Think Tanks logoWE-Spark Health Institute invites health-care researchers and professionals to present at its upcoming 2022 Think Tanks.

Health institute seeking presenters for think tank sessions

WE-Spark Health Institute is inviting researchers and health-care professionals to present at its upcoming 2022 Think Tanks.

Think tanks provide the perfect forum for people to share their health research problems and ideas and get help moving them forward. An excellent opportunity for those who want to connect with other experts in the field, get a community perspective, find collaborators, or explore funding opportunities.

Presenters are provided with everything they need. The institute’s staff will help to layout their pitch, invite specific people to inform the discussion, and provide a facilitator and note taker for the breakout rooms. Presenters are offered support to follow up on action items and get their research projects off the ground.

Think tanks are held every other month on Friday afternoons. View the results of past Think Tanks, and the 2022 schedule, here:

Interested presenters can contact WE-Spark assistant director Karen Metcalfe at

WE-Spark Health Institute is a partnership of the University of Windsor, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, and Windsor Regional Hospital designed to take healthcare to the next level through research.

Lancer logoLancer Recreation is offering free virtual fitness classes while the St. Denis Centre is closed.

St. Denis Centre extends closure

Lancer Recreation will offer free fitness classes over Microsoft Teams starting Monday, Jan. 10, to encourage physical activity while the St. Denis Centre is closed.

The building is closed until at least Wednesday, Jan. 26, in response to pandemic restrictions imposed by the provincial government. Find more information, including links to register for the virtual classes, at