School of Computer Science Ontario Graduate Student (OGS) Scholarship 2022-2023 Winners

PhD Student OGS 22-23 Winners

Ryan Bluteau / Advisor Dr. Gras

Picture of Ryan Bluteau
About your research:
   My research is focused on two areas primarily in improving language classification tasks in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and in improving lottery ticket pruning of tabular models. The former involves data augmentation and 0-shot labelling to expand the datasets available to classification tasks without human labelling. The latter involves using a genetic algorithm to encode tabular neurons for pruning and generate new population based the generation's pruned models' performance and other key metrics.

How is the OGS beneficial for you?   It is thanks to these scholarships that I'm able to continue working in these projects and free up time necessary to deliver better research. Working on a PhD can sometimes get difficult, and any help is greatly appreciated.

Benefits of working in Dr. Gras's Lab:  Dr. Gras is an excellent supervisor. He offers great ideas and guidance to the projects we work on. I'm often able to throw ideas at him and receive valuable feedback on the pros/cons of the idea and possible improvements.

Dr. Robin Gras Research Focus:  My domain of research is artificial intelligence. I focus mostly on two subjects. 1) Conceiving and developing agent-based artificial ecosystem simulations to investigate theoretical biology questions related to evolution, speciation, natural selection, and emerging intelligent behaviors. 2) Improving deep learning models for natural language processing tasks such as article classification and summarization. The goal of these projects is to produce more compact models, models that can tackle longer texts and mechanisms to include prior external information into these models.

Dr. Gras Regarding Ryan's Contribution:   Ryan is a very good student, and his current results are very promising. His research is related to the natural language processing subject, and more specifically about model compression and the addition of prior knowledge to model.

Muhammad Anwar Shahid / Advisor Dr. Jaekel
Picture of PhD student Muhammad Anwar Shahid

I am honored to be the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). I would like to express my gratitude for this financial support through 2022-23.  

About your research:   I am a PhD candidate at the school of computer science working under the supervision of Prof. Arunita Jaekel. Our research focuses on applying Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) algorithms to detect security attacks in the connected vehicles domain. Security is one of the biggest challenges in VANET because vehicular communication is vulnerable to various attacks. In VANET, security must ensure that exchanged messages are not altered or created by malicious attackers. Accurate and timely detection of these attacks can play a vital role in securing vehicular communication.

How is the OGS beneficial for you?  I was thrilled to learn of my selection, and I am deeply appreciative of the support provided by OGS. The financial assistance provided by OGS will be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses, and it will allow me to concentrate more of my time on studying. Thank you for supporting my “life-time” dream of becoming an educator in the field of computer science and giving back to the community

Benefits of working in Dr. Jaekel's Lab:   I really feel humbled and blessed in getting opportunities in Dr. Jaekel’s lab to conduct research in more innovative and creative ways. Also, I am getting regular guidance and support from my mentor as she ensures my graduate experience and scholarly work must be enriched to their full capacity.   

Dr. Arunita Jaekel's Research Focus:  Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) allow vehicles to communicate relevant information with other vehicles and roadside infrastructure to implement an intelligent transportation system. Connected and autonomous vehicles will form an important component of future VANETs, where vehicles transmit information about their current status (e.g., current location, speed, acceleration, steering angle, brake status and a variety of other parameters), road conditions, traffic incidents and driving preferences to surrounding vehicles.
Dr. Jaekel's research focuses on context-aware and computationally efficient communication strategies that will make next-generation vehicular ad hoc networks more secure, reliable, and responsive to user/application requirements. As part of this research, she and her research team are developing joint congestion and awareness control techniques that improve bandwidth utilization and guarantee the required levels of awareness for safety applications. They are also using machine learning and deep learning algorithms to detect malicious behavior that can disrupt communication and to quickly and accurately identify nodes engaged in such misbehavior.

Dr. Jaekel regarding Anwar's Contribution:  Anwar is working in the area of misbehavior detection in inter-vehicular communication. He has been investigating the use of AI and machine learning techniques to automatically detect false information in basic safety messages (BSMs) that are periodically broadcast by connected vehicles. Anwar is an excellent researcher, always takes initiative in his work and actively engages in mentoring junior students in our research group. As the senior PhD student working in this area, his contribution to the lab has been instrumental and he is an important resource person for all members of the group.


Undergraduate/International OGS 22-23 Winner

Mohammed Farhan Baluch / Advisor Dr. Rueda

Picture of Muhammad Farhan Baluch

About your research: My primary research interests include Machine Learning, Image processing, and deep learning applications in bioinformatics and healthcare problems. I’m profoundly interested in the problem of identifying key biomarkers in underlying diseases, which is a core research interest of my supervisor Dr. Luis Rueda. I would love to contribute to this research study.

How is the OGS beneficial to you? This scholarship will be extremely beneficial for me, as it’ll reduce the tuition fees by a major portion, which will help me focus on my study rather than spending hours on my part-time jobs to pay my dues.

Benefits of working in Dr. Rueda's lab: Working with Dr. Luis will benefit me immensely. Through his vast experience in research and teaching and his achievements, I wish to learn optimal approaches to handle complex problems, advance my research skills and enrich my understanding of the advanced topics of computer science. Also, understanding and contributing to the ongoing projects in his lab would give me exposure and opportunities to grow and excel in my career. 

Dr. Luis Rueda Research Focus:  Dr. Luis Rueda is currently a Full Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor. His current research interests are mainly focused on devising shallow and deep machine learning and representation learning algorithms at the fundamental level and applications in bioinformatics and cybersecurity to problems in protein-protein interaction, transcriptomics, integrative genome-wide analysis, identification of cancer biomarkers, user authentication, spam review detection and social engineering.

Dr. Rueda regarding Mohammad's contribution: Mohammed’s research will be focused on devising novel deep learning approaches based on graph neural networks used to analyze single-cell transcriptomic and multi-omic data to infer cell-to-cell communication, identification of cell types as well as identifying key biomarkers and potential drugs in specific cell types and underlying diseases.

MSc Student OGS 22-23 Winner

Regina Khalil / Advisor Dr. Kobti

Picture of Regina Khalil, MSc student and OGS22-23 winner

About your research: My thesis research will be carried out as part of the project "A Rapid Response Leveraging Newcomers' Pathway to Settlement." This current IRCC-funded project seeks to determine how artificial intelligence can be used to effectively deliver settlement services to newcomers. To determine the needs of each newcomer, an intelligent personalized recommendation system will be used. This artificial intelligence system can connect clients with the best settlement services in their area. The client data under consideration is dynamic and is currently stored in a relational database. A knowledge graph will be constructed from this database to investigate the changing relationships between client entities and to make implicit information more explicit.

How is the OGS beneficial to you? This scholarship will assist me in achieving my educational and professional goals. I intend to work while pursuing my graduate degree, but I want to devote most of my time to my studies. This scholarship will assist me by lowering the cost of tuition as well as the number of hours I will need to work throughout my studies. I'll be able to continue my academic achievements in this way.

Benefits of working in Dr. Ziad Kobti's lab: Working in Dr. Kobti's research lab provides me with an excellent opportunity to refine my leadership and teamwork skills as I collaborate with others on research tasks. Dr. Kobti has been an excellent research mentor, guiding me as I considered my research topic options and assisting me in narrowing down my research interests.