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e-newsletter March 2018

It has been quite a busy time in the last three months. We have focused on two main activities: staffing the project, and connecting with stakeholders. We have filled 7 positions, while our partners also worked on filling positions at their sites.  Hiring advanced Data Scientists in today’s environment, with a very strong demand in academia and in industry, both in Canada and globally, is not an easy task. We are happy to have found and attracted very high-quality people with a variety of backgrounds and a wealth of relevant experience. At Dalhousie, we hired Data Scientists in data management, in (underwater acoustics) data analytics, and in data visualization.  We will be introducing the new hires in the next issues of the Newsletter. 
While MERIDIAN’s mandate is to provide advanced Data Science expertise to researchers from the partnering universities, we want to broaden the scope of our involvement by connecting in a meaningful way with other stakeholders who can bring value to MERIDIAN, while also bringing clear benefits to Canada. We identified several such potential collaborators, including NGOs and government-based groups that share common interests with MERIDIAN. We have met with Green Marine, Mission Blue, International Quiet Ocean Experience (IQOE), the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), the Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO) IT-team, COIN Atlantic, and just last week with Transport Canada. In the months to come, we will work on facilitating promising collaborations, and on putting in place meaningful, joint projects with some of these partners.  
With great excitement, we have started working with Prof. Mike Smit on the first MERIDIAN Connector Workshop. We are currently discussing MEOPAR’s assistance in putting this meeting together. The purpose is to establish direct research collaborations links between underwater acoustics data researchers, users in the marine research community and analytics experts. The preliminary timeframe for this workshop is planned for Aug. 23 and 24. Stay tuned! 
We would like to take the opportunity and introduce you to our Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and our Computer Science team leader. 

I am looking forward to working together and I would like to wish all MERIDIANers bonne chance
Dr Stan Matwin - MERIDIAN Principal Investigator

meet our scientific advisory committee (SAC)  

The MERIDIAN's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) will be led by Prof. Len Zedel from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a mandate to:

  • Guide the development of the MERIDIAN platform to realize the maximum scientific potential of Canada’s ocean data
  • Encourage and facilitate research that aligns with the MERIDIAN's Vision and Mission
  • Report to the Consortium Management Committee via the Scientific Advisory Committee Chair
  • Advise the Research Data Infrastructure Operations Committee of any arising or unmet scientific needs appropriate for the MERIDIAN Platform
  • Foster integration and interaction with relevant partners, both nationally and internationally
  • Facilitate interaction both within and between MERIDIAN users and partners
introducing our computer science team leads
Raymond T Ng - Professor and Canada Research Chair in Data Science and Analytics. Chief Informatics Officer, PROOF (Prevention of Organ Failure) Centre.
Raymond’s main research area for the past two decades is on data mining, with a specific focus on health informatics and text mining. Ray has co-led several large-scale genomic projects funded by Genome Canada, Genome BC, and industrial collaborators. Since the inception of the PROOF Centre of Excellence, which focuses on biomarker development for end-stage organ failures, he has held the position of the Chief Informatics Officer of the Centre. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Ng was the associate director of the NSERC-funded strategic network on business intelligence.
Fred Popowich - Computer Science Professor and Director of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Professional Masters in Big Data. 
Dr. Fred Popowich is a computer scientist and seasoned administrator at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He is responsible for leading and implementing an Initiative that engages people in advanced computing for innovation in teaching, research, and community impact. Dr. Popowich is a leader who works closely with industry, communities, and SFU partners to help Canada address the greatest challenges and opportunities in big data. Both locally and internationally, he facilitates connections between industry partners and researchers, as well as the next generation of hi-tech talent through academic programs. His research in Artificial Intellligence and Cognitive Science looks at how knowledge about language and the world can be represented, maintained, used and learned by computers.
Stan Matwin - Canada  Research Chair and Professor. Director, Institute for Big Data Analytics
Stan is the Director of the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie University, and a Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) at the Faculty of Computer Sciences. He is also Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, University of Ottawa and Professor at the Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences. He holds the titles 'Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee on AI' and 'Fellow of the Canadian AI Association (CAIAC)'. He is internationally recognized for his work in machine learning, text and data mining.
keep in touch
We believe that the success of this project largely depends on the efficient and honest communication with our team, partners and stakeholders. 

Please check our first e-Newsletter to learn about MERIDIAN's communication priorities, and our mission and vision. Check out our website at, and our Twitter to get more updates about the project. Our next e-Newsletter will be sent in June 2018. Hope to see you then.
MERIDIAN is supported by

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