Amit Maraj is the program co-ordinator of the Artificial Intelligence, Analysis, Design and Implementation graduate certificate and a full-time professor within the Computer Systems and Programming streams at Durham College (DC) in the School of Business, IT & Management.
Maraj is an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enthusiast with significant expertise in natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning. His areas of research are advancing and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing unique and cutting edge technological solutions using AI. He has worked with sectors including agribusiness, health care, transportation, and health and safety.
As a principal investigator with DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), Maraj has developed and implemented more than 15 industry-led applied research projects focused on helping organizations adopt AI technologies into their business models.
With ORSIE, he helped establish the Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (AI Hub), and created boot camps, workshops and several fully documented machine learning examples, which are hosted publicly for use by students.
A member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Data Analytics graduate certificate and the Artificial Intelligence Analysis, Design and Implementation graduate certificate, Maraj has been awarded with the Silver Faculty of Excellence in Leadership by Colleges and Institutes Canada as well as the Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award by DC.
In addition to DC, Maraj works as chief executive officer and founder in Oiika, and as a teaching assistant for Ontario Tech University for Machine Learning, Cryptography and Network Security, and Discrete Mathematics courses.
Maraj is completing his Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science with a specialization in NLP and holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Security (Honours), from UOIT and a Computer Systems Technician Diploma from DC.
Additional roles at Durham College
- Program Coordinator: Artificial Intelligence, Analysis, Design and Implementation Graduate Certificate
- Member, Program Advisory Committee, Data Analytics Graduate Certificate (2017-18)
- Member, Program Advisory Committee, Artificial Intelligence, Analysis, Design and Implementation Graduate Certificate (2018)
Area of Research
- Advancing Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Tourism
- Enabling Technologies of the Future
- Cultivating Healthy Lives and Resilient Communities
- Enhancing Scholarly Teaching and Learning
- Machine Learning
- Data Science
- Artificial intelligence
- Deep Neural Networks
- Natural Language Processing
- Recommender Systems
- Web Development
- Mobile Development
- Language Modeling
- Natural Language Understanding
- Dev Ops
- Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, expected graduation 2022
- Master of Science in Computer Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2018
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Security (Honours), University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2016
- Diploma in Computer Systems Technician, Durham College, 2014
Current Research projects
Industry Partner: The Mobile Experience Co
A solution was required to improve the time needed to sort through the industry partner’s receipt submissions from users for promotions the company ran. The team at DC including four student research assistants, led by Principal Investigator Amit Maraj, is developing a four-stage pipeline to pre-process, perform OCR, extract text, and draw insights from pictures of receipts fed into the MobileXCo system.
Industry Partner: Precise Park Link
As the largest parking management and equipment provider company in Canada, this industry partner deals with several hundred parking lots across the nation. They needed a solution to the large number of customer service requests at the parking lot gate. Co-Investigators Amit Maraj and Clint MacDonald along with seven student research assistants developed a Customer Service bot, which can replace up to 70% of these requests. The pipeline for the bot includes speech-to-text processing, a recurrent neural network, and a text-to-speech synthesizer for an end-to-end solution.
Industry Partner: TelliGram Company
TelliGram Company is an Augmented Reality (AR) company focused on providing low cost, aﬀordable Augmented Reality experiences for businesses and consumers. With Durham College they wish to develop a personal assistant for their online shoppers using AI who would provide consumers with product visualization (AR), actual sizing (AI) and recommended shoes (also using AI). Students under Amit Maraj’s and Noopa Jagadeesh’s supervision are developing and training neural networks so that they can use harvested feet and shoe images to create a Computer Vision pipeline in order to accurately detect foot and shoe dimensions. The proposed pipeline will then use those dimensions to create shoe and shoe size recommendations.
Past research projects
Industry Partner: iCare Home Health Services Inc.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was built into an app to provide medication management, real time tracking of body readings and virtual caregiver reminders. Under the direction of the Principal Investigator, Amit Maraj, four student research assistants (two went on to become Principal Investigators) were involved in learning the user’s behaviours to enhance the application’s experience through the development of algorithms on speech recognition and natural language processing. Several unique AI- related features were added to the Health Espresso app to enhance accessibility and ease of use. A medical care specific speech recognition and classification algorithm allows users to command the Health Espresso application with their voices instead of through the touchscreen interface.
Durham College identified a need for efficient and customized closed captioning of teaching materials including video lectures. As the Principal Investigator, Amit Maraj scoped out a project to use AI to solve this issue. Under Amit’s supervision, students developed a software to run on various Durham College (DC) teaching materials for accurate closed captioning. This software was wrapped in a web application and featured robust editing and per-word highlighting based on confidence.
Using state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI), this research project involved the wide space of Image Recognition. Under the direction of the PI, students researched artificial neural networks such as multilayer perceptrons and convolutional neural network architectures to develop an AI-based solution for generating descriptive captions for DC social media posts based on what the AI learned from the picture in question.
Industry Partner: Woodleigh Farms Ltd.
Woodleigh Farms Ltd., uses UAVs to inspect crops with normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) and near-infrared (NIR) sensors. Their challenge was the inability of the software to incorporate and process the NDVI images into the farm software programs. This project, with the assistance to two student research assistants, developed the bridging software (middleware) to process the data from the UAV and incorporate the high resolution NDVI images into a variety of databases allowing Woodleigh Farms Ltd. to scout fields using different methods with a high level of accuracy.
In this project a publicly available dataset of over 500 students’ alcohol consumption habits was analyzed, sanitized, cleaned, and pre-processed. Subsequently, several unsupervised Machine Learning algorithms were employed to yield correlations within the dataset that revealed students who consume more alcohol have a positive correlation with more free time on their hands, spend less time studying, and lack guardians whose occupations reside within health care.
Technologies and Frameworks used
- Jupyter Notebooks
Researcher Presentations/ Publications
Sept. 2018 How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Your Competitive Advantage, 2018 Innovation Forum, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT)
June 2018 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, DC Professional Development Day &
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, DC Faculty Retreat
May 2018 Applied Artificial Intelligence in Business, DC Board of Governors
March 2018 Using Seq2Seq Recurrent Neural Networks for Deep Learning Chatbots, UOIT
Sept. 2017 AI Solutions in Health Care, Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Canada (IITAC) Lecture Series
June 2017 Deep Learning, University of Ontario Institute of Technology 4th year IT students
- Created several fully documented Neural Network examples which is hosted publicly on GitHub for use by students in the
March 2017 Machine Learning session at 36 hour Hackathon, Ryerson University
- Created several fully documented Machine Learning examples, which is hosted GitHub for use by students in the
- April 2018 - Faculty of Excellence in Leadership (Silver), Colleges and Institutions Canada
- May 2017 - Top Faculty Research Award, DC, Research Day