From Tunisia to Canada: Mitacs intern works to improve voice recognition technology

Semah Aissaoui’s journey with Mitacs began in summer 2018 as an undergraduate in Tunisia when he first came to Canada as a Globalink research intern. He progressed on to receive the Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship and attend graduate school at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada with the award. He now works with Fluent.ai on a Mitacs Accelerate award, researching how to remove background noise and reverberation from sound signals to enhance the accuracy of offline voice-activated devices.

Revitalizing Indigenous languages using digital tools

When Annalena Felber made the journey from Germany to the University of Saskatchewan in the summer of 2017 to work with Assistant Professor Marguerite Koole, the pair had an entirely different summer research project planned.

User-friendly app for gauging autism

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication. This once misunderstood disorder affects a broad range of communications skills and behaviours.

According to Public Health Agency Canada, one in 66 Canadian children are diagnosed with autism.

“Research and innovation are important here”

Rui applied for the Mitacs’ Globalink Research Internship in the summer of 2014 —hoping to be accepted to the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at SFU. He was accepted to the internship, which would be supervised by Associate Professor Carman Neustaedter, to study interactive computing and design.

Big data takes a shot at crime in Saskatchewan

But now, a partnership between a team of researchers from the University of Regina’s Department of Computer Science and ISM Canada is creating new tools using “big data” that can help to tackle crime on the streets using information from the virtual world.

Seeking a big data solution

Protecting children and teenagers from cyberbullying

Although their filtering system is able to find malicious chat messages with high accuracy, Two Hat Security was interested in applying machine learning algorithms to automatically detect negative content. To help solve their research challenge, they turned to a Mitacs Accelerate internship with University of Alberta Computer Science PhD candidate Ken Dwyer.

Positioned for Success

However, his experience led to a change in perspective. “In a big company, there isn’t as much opportunity to make decisions that lead to improvements in a technology.”

Rohit had come to Canada in 2012 to pursue an MBA focused on entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria. During his program, he undertook a Mitacs Accelerate internship with Limespot, a small e-commerce start-up with five employees, a far cry from his experience at Blackberry.

A visual way to understand and analyze large quantities of scientific data

Envenio’s proprietary software EXN/Aero takes advantage of compact supercomputing equipment to speed up CFD solutions, and as a result, it generates output data at a high rate. Prior to the Accelerate internship, EXN/Aero could not process or display the streaming output data in a useful, dynamic manner.

Intern developing facial recognition app for Google Glass

Working under the supervision of Professor Shi Cao in the Department of Systems Design Engineering, Shefali is using her computer science background to help develop an innovative face recognition app for Google Glass — a type of “wearable technology” — like glasses with an optical head-mounted display.

Hailing from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, in Pilani, India, Shefali says she is thrilled to take part in research involving Google Glass, calling her project an “amazing opportunity to have hands-on experience with today’s technology.”

Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards: Kit Chen and Neesha Desai, Alieo Games

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and Alberta Innovates for their support of the STEP program in this story. Across Canada, the STEP program also receives support from the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

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