Our Team

The AI Hub has assembled a team of experienced academics and practitioners to lead its applied research efforts.  The diversity of fields of expertise reflects the reality of artificial intelligence deployments – it takes a team to plan and execute successful AI projects. 

The primary research team reports to the Dean and is supported by an advisory board, and oversees a large body of research associates who are hired from within Durham College’s student body.

Principal Investigators

As the AI Hub’s project manager, Ali Hirji has over 12 years of experience working on a variety of technology implementations in the government, academic and not for profit sectors. With a specific interest in broadband communications, Ali has held senior roles in projects to enable remote connectivity, implement technical trainings, bolster cyber security frameworks and enhance access to mission critical applications. He has also taken a lead role in securing funding for over 15 related projects and established numerous public private partnerships.   Ali is completing his PhD in communications and holds multiple research and teaching positions. 

E: Ali.Hirji@durhamcollege.ca 
T: (905)721-2000 x6407
Twitter: @abbaspeaks

Amit Maraj works as a professor at Durham College and is currently pursuing his PhD in Computer Science with a specialization in Natural Language Processing (NLP). He has rich experience working with Modern day Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). His specific interests include NLP using deep learning. Amit has spoken as AI guest speaker at several Universities in Ontario. He has created several fully documented Machine Learning examples, which are hosted publicly on GitHub for use by students. Amit has helped companies in developing an AI-based foundation within their daily operations. He has worked specifically with the companies operating in the healthcare sector to develop AI based solutions to increase patient care and satisfaction. Amit is passionate in the research and development of AI to enrich our everyday lives.

E: Amit.Maraj@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721-2000 ext. 2403

Andrew Mayne is earning an MSc in Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods and he has a track record of successful applied research projects at DC. He has extensive knowledge and research experience in data mining, Artificial Neural Network and high-performance computing.  Andrew works extensively in the design and validation of ANN algorithms utilizing many programming languages, APIs and libraries for AI and ML.  Professor Mayne is presently leading an AI project within the AI Hub focused on predictive indicators of student success as input to enrolment management as an internally funded College priority.

E: Andrew.Mayne@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721.2000 ext. 6115

Danny Aniag has two MSc in Computer Science and Information Security. He has more than 25 years’ experience in Business Intelligence, Systems Security, AI Development, Network and Server Administrations, and Risk Management and Data Recovery in academia and industry. Danny’s research focuses on AI solution, data security and data privacy.  Professor Aniag administers and oversees the AI Hub’s machine learning lab, working collaboratively with IBM on high capacity systems in AI applications

E: Danny.Aniag@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721.2000 ext. 3624

Sam Plati has a BBM, a BEd and a MSc.Ed, and brings deep experience in the areas of Telecommunications, Transportation, and SaaS implementations. His has specialist level knowledge in Clustering-Algorithms, Natural Language Processing (NLP), modelling and forecasting and business usage behaviour; Cross-Tabulation Analysis to identify key trends and drivers in product features, pricing, and adoption. His research focuses on data cleansing, mining and analysis and he serves in an advisory capacity to all projects on big data, cluster-based data analytics and use of AI in marketing solutions.

E: Sam.Plati@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721.2000 ext. 6149
Twitter: @ProfSamDC

Stephen Forbes is the current Program Coordinator for DC’s Computer Programmer/Computer Programmer Analyst programs, serves as one of two faculty representatives on DC's Academic IT Committee and recently completed his Master of Education. With over 10+ years experience as a functional lead and developer supporting small-to-medium enterprises Stephen's expertise focuses on connecting problems with strong technological solutions while analyzing and mapping further possibilities, a skillset he teaches to his students as systems analysis and design. Stephen has lead and engaged with a multitude of applied research projects as Principal Investigator and advisor in recent years and is a resident expert on transferring the knowledge and experiences gained from those projects back into the day-to-day classrooms of DC's computer programmer steams.

E: Stephen.Forbes@durhamcollege.ca
Phone: 905.721.2000 ext. 6397

Vibha Tyagi is the Manager, Applied Research Partnerships for the Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She provides expertise in the development of collaborative applied research projects through diagnostic assessments, market research, proposal writing and project management.  Vibha has managed several applied research projects including some of the first AI for business solutions projects at DC.

E: Vibha.tyagi@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721.2000 ext. 2867
Twitter: @tyagivibha