2017 Event Speakers


  • Anissa Abi Dargham

    Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair of Research
    Stony Brook University, USA - Lecturer, Columbia University, USA

    Ayse Basar Bener

    Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Director, Data Science Laboratory, Academic Director of Big Data, IBM Canada Software Laboratory Affiliated Scientist, LiKa Shing
    Ryerson University, Canada

    Daniela Colombo

    Advanced Analytics Specialist
    Microsoft, EMEA

  • Nesreen Ghaddar

    Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Qatar chair in Energy Studies, Director of the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, American University of Beirut

    Ghida Ibrahim

    Senior Data Scientist
    Liberty Global, The Netherlands

    Tuba Islam

    Global Data Analytics Solutions Manager
    SAS, UK

  • Rouwaida Kanj

    ssistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut

    Nadia Massoud

    Professor & Chair of Finance, Associate Dean of Research, Analytics in finance
    Melbourne Business School, Australia

    Fadwa Mouhanna

    IoT and Big Data
    Co-Founder, Markelligent, UAE

  • Farah Naja

    Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences Analytics
    American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Dean Lina Obeid

    Dean of Research, Professor of Medicine, Scientist and Biomedical Researcher
    Stony Brook University, USA

    Christine Priesach

    Head of Data Science IoT and Predictive Maintenance
    SAP, Germany

  • Lubna Rashid

    Data Analytics for Refugee Crisis Management
    The Technical University of Berlin, Germany

    Samina Rizwan

    Senior Director & Domain Leader for Big Data and Analytics, Middle East and Africa
    Oracle, UAE

    Rima Semaan

    Data Scientist
    Microsoft, Gulf

  • Siroun Shamigian

    AI and Data Analytics for Education
    Co-Founder, Kamkalima, Lebanon

    Priscilla Elora Sharuk

    Computer and Network Security
    Co-Founder, MYKI, Lebanon

Anissa Abi Dargham
Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair of Research
Stony Brook University, USA - Lecturer, Columbia University, USA
Anissa Abi-Dargham, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Translational Imaging in the Psychiatry Department of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She also serves as Director of Clinical and Imaging Research in the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research, and Director of the Silvio O. Conte Center for the study of "Dopamine Dysfunction in Schizophrenia", both based at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Abi-Dargham has received numerous awards, and published over 120 articles in major scientific journals. She is currently deputy editor of imaging for both neuro-psycho pharmacology and biological psychiatry and former President of the Brain Imaging Council for the Society of Nuclear Medicine. Additionally, she has a large portfolio of federal, charitable and industry funded studies.
Ayse Basar Bener
Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Director, Data Science Laboratory, Academic Director of Big Data, IBM Canada Software Laboratory Affiliated Scientist, LiKa Shing
Ryerson University, Canada
Dr. Ayse Basar Bener is a professor and the director of Data Science Laboratory (DSL) in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University. She is the director of Big Data in the Office of Provost and Vice President Academic at Ryerson University. She is a faculty research fellow of IBM Toronto Labs Centre for Advance Studies, and affiliate research scientist in St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Her current research focus is big data applications to tackle the problem of decision-making under uncertainty by using machine learning methods and graph theory to analyze complex structures in big data to build recommender systems and predictive models. She is a member of AAAI, INFORMS, AIS, and senior member of IEEE.
Daniela Colombo
Advanced Analytics Specialist
Microsoft, EMEA
Daniela joined Microsoft in mid-2015 as a MACH MBA (Microsoft Academy for College Hires - MBA), she then joined the Microsoft EMEA Global Black Belts team as a Technology Solutions Professional covering Advanced Analytics. Daniela focusing on identify and developing customers’ advanced analytics projects and help them to start or accelerate their digital transformation. Her primary focus is on developing models in Machine Learning leveraging Microsoft R Server and the deep-learning frameworks. In her current role, Daniela covers Western Europe. Previously she was working for Infosys in London and Delhi as Engagement/Account Manager with focus on creating and helping manage the overall partnership and identifying new business opportunities. Before moving to London, Daniela, was living in Shanghai, China, where she pursed an international MBA focused on math models for managerial decision making and develop a project on Data Monetization for iBe Consulting Firm. Prior to these experiences, she worked for 4 years for Vodafone, as a senior project manager where she developed advanced analytics projects and was responsible for the digital transformation of the sales platforms. Daniela has a Master Degree in Pure Math and an International MBA. She is fluent in English and intermediate in Mandarin. During her years at university, Daniela was also part of the Italian Olympic Team for Sailing where she competed for representing Italy at the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens 2004. Daniela enjoys sports, such as ice-skating, sailing and fit-boxing.
Nesreen Ghaddar
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Qatar chair in Energy Studies, Director of the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources
Department of Mechanical Engineering, American University of Beirut
Dr. Ghaddar is Qatar Chair of Energy Studies professor of mechanical engineering and Director of the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources at the American University of Beirut. Her primary research focus is in the area of efficient cooling, solar energy applications, energy conversion, and bio heat modeling and thermal comfort. Dr. Ghaddar is also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Islamic World Academy of Sciences; and the Lebanese Academy of Science. Dr. Ghaddar has published more than 120 papers peer reviewed journal articles and more than 100 conference proceedings articles. In 2014, she was listed by Muslim Science among the top-20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World describes as the Shaper of Energy Future, Kuwait and Lebanon.
Ghida Ibrahim
Senior Data Scientist
Liberty Global, The Netherlands
Ghida Ibrahim is a Data Scientist and ICT Engineer with ~ 6 years of operational and research experience within two major Internet Service providers worldwide. In her very recent role, Ghida works as a senior Data Scientist for Liberty Global in Amsterdam where she uses the company’s data for understanding customer churn, enabling predictive network maintenance and recommending TV programs and videos to consumers. Ghida holds a PhD and Masters in ICT Engineering from Telecom ParisTech, France leading engineering school in ICT. Her research, focusing on optimizing web content distribution and delivery in the future internet, was conducted within the R&D division of Orange in Paris. Ghida equally holds an online specialization in Data Science from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to her full-time job, Ghida started Rafiqi, an online platform for connecting refugees in Europe to volunteering mentors. She is a contributor to the World Economic Forum, both in her capacity as a Global Shaper of the Amsterdam hub and an appointed member of the Global Future Council on the future of computing, a group of 20 experts reflecting on the evolution of computing and how to use new technologies to enhance the public good. Last but not least, Ghida is the VP of programs of Arab Women in Computing, an ABI chapter focusing on Arab women empowerment through technology and entrepreneurship.
Tuba Islam
Global Data Analytics Solutions Manager
SAS, UK
Tuba Islam is an analytics expert in SAS UK, designing analytical solutions to solve complex business issues in creative and effective ways. She is specialized in predictive modeling, segmentation, text mining, forecasting and analytical life cycle management. Tuba has implemented many successful projects across different industries including rogue trader fraud detection, smart metering analytics, credit risk, churn prediction, rate making and demand forecasting. She has been at SAS for almost 10 years.
Rouwaida Kanj
ssistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut
Dr. Kanj is currently working as an assistant electrical and computer engineering professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut. Her research interests include advanced algorithmic research and development, computer-aided design, statistical simulation methods, modeling and abstraction with particular focus on design for yield, manufacturability and reliability (DFY/DFM/DFR), Low power design methodologies, and volatile and nonvolatile memories. Prior her work at AUB, Dr. Kanj worked at the IBM Research Labs as a research scientist.
Nadia Massoud
Professor & Chair of Finance, Associate Dean of Research, Analytics in finance
Melbourne Business School, Australia
Nadia Massoud joined Melbourne Business School in 2014 as the Ian Potter Chair Professor of Finance and Associate Dean of Research. After completing her PhD. in Economics and Finance at Queens University, Massoud held associate professor positions at the University of Alberta and York University’s Schulich School of Business. Her research, which has received extensive awards and appeared in leading journals, including the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Rand Journal of Economics and others, focuses on corporate governance and regulation in the banking sector.
Fadwa Mouhanna
IoT and Big Data
Co-Founder, Markelligent, UAE
Entrepreneur Fadwa Mouhanna is Co-Founder of Markelligent, a startup that aims to harness the IoT through collecting data from the sensors and providing companies with services relating to data analytics. Along with her Co-Founder Elias El-Khoury, and through Markelligent, Mouhanna aims to offer IoT solution packages to citizens’ pre-existing problems, generating revenue for the startup and improving the quality of collectivelives.
Farah Naja
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences Analytics
American University of Beirut, Lebanon
r. Farah Naja is an associate professor in Nutrition Epidemiology, FAFS, AUB. She earned her doctoral degree from University of Toronto, Canada. Since joining AUB in 2008, Dr. Naja has been leading an active research portfolio. A main focus of her research is the development and validation of tools to be used in nutrition research. Recently, Dr. Naja has been leading collaboration between Qatar and Lebanon to launch the first mother and child cohort study in the Middle East and North Africa region, examining the effects of maternal and young child nutrition on birth outcomes and growth patterns. Dr. Naja has also received several awards including the Constantin A. and Constantin C. Rebeiz Best Paper Award for 2011 and 2013, and Best Poster Award, 1st Annual Biomedical Research Day, Feb 2012.
Dean Lina Obeid
Dean of Research, Professor of Medicine, Scientist and Biomedical Researcher
Stony Brook University, USA
Dr. Lina Obeid received her medical degree with distinction in 1983 at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. She performed residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University, fellowship training in Endocrinology and Geriatrics, and post-doctoral work with Professor Robert Lefkowitz at Duke. Dr. Obeid rose through the ranks at Duke University to become Associate Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology. In 1998 Dr. Obeid was recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she served as the Boyle Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, and as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Staff Physician at the Charleston Veterans Affairs Hospital. Dr. Obeid became Associate Director of the MD/PhD training program at MUSC and Director for an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Biomedical Research on Lipidomics and Pathobiology. In 2012 Dr. Obeid was recruited to become Professor of Medicine and Dean for Research at Stony Brook University. In this capacity she oversees all research core facilities, research space allocation, helps with research faculty recruitment, and coordinates management of $75M in research grants in the school of medicine. Dr. Obeid launched her research career by studying the role of signaling lipids in cell stress, aging, inflammation and cancer. She was the first to identify the role of the lipid ceramide as a regulator of cell death. She has contributed to more than 200 scholarly publications, has been invited to speak at over 70 national and international meetings, and has obtained 17 research grants, most of which were funded by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to Dr. Obeid has organized a dozen national scientific meetings including Gordon Research Conferences, served on numerous scientific review committees, and on the editorial board of several major biomedical journals. Dr. Obeid has mentored 25 junior faculty members, served as thesis director for 16 PhD and MD/PhD students, served on thesis committees of an additional 25 PhD students. Dr. Obeid continues to mentor and advocate for junior scientists in the biomedical arena, including physician scientists and women in science and medicine.
Christine Priesach
Head of Data Science IoT and Predictive Maintenance
SAP, Germany
Christine leads a Data Science team at SAP which is in charge of integrating Machine Learning into IoT applications. She is shaping the Machine Learning strategy for SAP’s IoT offering and is making IoT applications intelligent. Her vision is that all applications are becoming intelligent, especially in the area of IoT. Christine joined SAP in 2006 and besides her leadership role has worked as a Data Scientist in customer projects and in product management for IoT products. She studied Computer Science and holds a PhD in Machine Learning from University of Freiburg and University of Hildesheim. Moreover, she is a mother of two children.
Lubna Rashid
Data Analytics for Refugee Crisis Management
The Technical University of Berlin, Germany
Lubna is a doctoral candidate at the Technical University of Berlin, economic development through entrepreneurship in conflict and refuge. Prior to starting her PhD, she completed her MS from the Georgia Institute of Technology school of Industrial Engineering with a focus on health systems and technology management, and conducted research on predicting patterns in hospital re-admissions and surgical site infection occurrence using big data analyses. She later joined Accenture as a management consultant, and freelanced as a consultant for startups, social organizations, and nonprofit groups around Europe and the Middle East.
Samina Rizwan
Senior Director & Domain Leader for Big Data and Analytics, Middle East and Africa
Oracle, UAE
Ms. Rizwan is currently leading the business development team for Big Data and Analytics across the Middle East and Africa. Her team evangelizes Oracle’s innovative Big Data and Analytics solution with the objective to deliver value to business in the context of the Big Data Management value chain. Now, with Big Data Cloud Service, she works with customers to transition and transform their IT environment and prepare it to serve the modern Enterprise. Prior to her current role, she was leading the prestigious Oracle Insight team for the Middle East Africa region.
Rima Semaan
Data Scientist
Microsoft, Gulf
Siroun Shamigian
AI and Data Analytics for Education
Co-Founder, Kamkalima, Lebanon
Shamigian is the co-founder of Kamkalima, an EdTech startup that focuses on leveraging machine learning and AI to support Arabic language instruction. A seasoned teacher and administrator, she has been working with schools in the MENA for over 23 years. More recently as education technology specialist, Shamigian has supported schools with strategy and capacity building for successful education technology integration focusing on 21st century skills.
Priscilla Elora Sharuk
Computer and Network Security
Co-Founder, MYKI, Lebanon
Priscilla Elora Sharuk is an avid entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of the Tech Startup “MYKI”, an enterprise solution for digital workspace management, and the first MENA based startup to make it to the most coveted startup battlefield stage in the world, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. Priscilla delved deep into data science during the creation of Caroline, an artificial intelligence created by MYKI to automate the process of lead generation and sales. Priscilla obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Design and EcoManagement from the American University of Beirut. She was named “Top 20 Lebanese Entrepreneurs of 2014” as well as “Leader of Innovation 2016” by her alma matter the American University of Beirut.

2017 Agenda


2017
10:00 AM
Registration & Networking
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

10:20
Welcome
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

Dr. Lama Moussawi-Haidar – Associate Professor of Management Science, AUB Ambassador of Stanford WiDS
Olayan School of Business American University of Beirut

10:30
Opening Remarks
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

Dr. Fadlo Khuri – President of the American University of Beirut

Track I: Applications of Data Science in Healthcare
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

10:40
Keynote 1
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

Dean Lina Obeid – Dean of Research, Professor of Medicine, Scientist and Biomedical Researcher
Stony Brook University, USA

11:05
Keynote 1 Q&A
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

11:10
Break
Venue: Maamari Auditorium

11:15
Tech Talk 1
Venue:

Dr. Anissa Abi Dargham – Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair of Research
Stony Brook University, USA
Lecturer, Columbia University, USA

Topic: PET imaging analysis

Ms. Tuba Islam – Global Data Analytics Solutions Manager
SAS, UK
Topic: Building the process for applied data science in health
Dr. Farah Naja – Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences Analytics
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut Topic: Data analytics in health care and dietary patterns
Moderator: Dr. Chantal Farra – MD Associate professor, Director of Medical Genetics
Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut

12:00
Tech Talk 1 Q&A
Venue:

12:15
Lunch
Venue:

Track II: Applications of Data Science in Technology
Venue:

1:15
Keynote 2
Venue:

Dr. Ayse Basar Bener Professor – Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Director of Data Science Laboratory, Academic Director of Big Data, IBM Canada Software Laboratory, Affiliated Scientist, LiKa Shing Knowledge Institute
Ryerson University, Canada

1:40
Keynote 2 Q&A
Venue:

1:45
Tech Talk 2
Venue:

Dr. Nesreen Ghaddar – Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Qatar Chair in Energy Studies, Director of the Minub and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut
Topic: Data science and modeling to impact human behavior for energy conservation
Dr. Marriette Awad –  Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, American University of Beirut
Topic: Machine learning applied to power, computer, architecture, health, and multimedia
Dr. Christine Priesach – Head of Data Science IoT and Predictive Maintenance
SAP, Germany Topic: How to implement data science in IoT applications
Dr. Rouwaida Kanj – Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut Topic: Importance sampling and rare events for reliable chip design
Moderator: Dr. Fatima Abu Salem – Associate Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science Department, American University of Beirut

2:45
Tech Talk 2 Q&A
Venue:

Track III: Applications of Data Science in Business & Finance
Venue:

3:15
Entrepreneurship Panel
Venue:

Ms. Fadwa Mohanna – IoT and Big Data
Co-Founder, Markelligent, UAE Ms. Siroun Shamigian – AI and Data Analytics for Education
Co-Founder, Kamkalima, Lebanon
Ms. Priscilla Elora Sharuk – Computer and Network Security
Co-Founder, MYKI, Lebanon Ms. Lubna Rashid – Data Analytics for Refugee Crisis Management
The Technical University of Berlin, Germany
Moderator: Mrs. Fida Kanaan Kharrat – Director of Executive Education
Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

4:00
Entrepreneurship Panel Q&A
Venue:

4:15
Break
Venue:

Track III Tech Talk Moderated by: Dr. Lina Daouk-Oyry
Venue:

4:30
Tech Talk 3
Venue:

Ms. Samina Rizwan – Senior Director & Domain Leader for Big Data and Analytics, Middle East and Africa
Oracle, UAE
Topic: The rise of data capital
Dr. Nadia Massoud Professor & Chair of Finance, Associate Dean of Research
Melbourne Business School, Australia
Topic: The benefits of Big data for financial intermediaries and regulators.
Dr. Ghida Ibrahim – Senior Data Scientist
Liberty Global, The Netherlands
Topic: TV programs and video products recommendation at Liberty Global
Co-Presenters:
Ms. Rima Semaan –
Data Scientist Microsoft, Gulf Ms. Daniela Colombo Advanced Analytics Specialist
Microsoft, EMEA(Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Topic: Applications of data science in retail, aviation, banking, and education in the MENA.
Moderator: Dr. Lina Daouk-Oyry – Assistant Professor in Organizational Behavior, Director of Evidence-Based Healthcare Management Unit
Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

5:30
Tech Talk 3 Q&A
Venue:

Closing Remarks
Venue:

Dr. Lama Moussawi-Haidar

Roundtable Discussions
Venue:

11:10
Roundtable I
Venue: Venue: Room 428, 4th floor, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

Ms. Rima Semaan – Data Scientist
Microsoft, Gulf
Ms. Daniela Colombo Advanced Analytics Specialist
Microsoft, EMEA(Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Subject: Applications of data science in retail, aviation, banking, and education in the MENA.

2:00
Roundtable II
Venue: Room 428, 4th floor, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut

Ms. Priscilla Elora Sharuk – Computer and Network Security
Co-Founder, MYKI, Lebanon
Dr. Sara Najem – Researcher
National Center for Remote Sensing National Council for Scientific Research Lebanon

4:30
Roundtable III
Venue: 428, 4th floor, Olayan School of Business

Dr. Christine Preisach Head of Data Science IoT and Predictive Maintenance
SAP, Germany
Subject: Data science in IoT: what is different, what is not.

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