Case Study Presenters

The Data Science Certificate includes the unique opportunity to learn from industry and organization experts with case studies, providing learners with important insights into the professional world of data science analytics.

We invite case study presenters from various professional backgrounds to share their experience in applying data science methods at daily work.

Zia Babar

Zia Babar, PhD
Director, Cloud Engineering, PwC Canada

Zia is a life-long learner, practitioner and researcher in the general area of enterprise information systems with almost two decades of professional experience in developing enterprise grade, mission critical software applications encompassing areas such as applied artificial intelligence, big data analytics, distributed systems, high-performance computing, data platforms, and data engineering. His professional and research interests lie at the intersection of business and technology, and trying to understand how to best design and engineer information systems to serve enterprise goals and objectives.
He has experience working in startups, scaleups and large global corporations in progressively senior positions. He has a PhD from the University of Toronto, MS from San Jose State University, and an MBA from Schulich School of Business, York University. His research focuses on data-centric systems design for fast moving enterprises.

Tom Cardoso

Tom Cardoso
Investigative reporter, The Globe and Mail

Based in Toronto, Tom Cardoso has been with The Globe since 2014, and has previously reported extensively on white collar crime, gun violence, systemic racism in the correctional system and the finances of the Catholic Church. He has specialized in telling complex stories, often by collecting and analyzing data obtained through creative freedom-of-information requests.

Ajit Desai

Ajit Desai
Principal Data Scientist, Banking and Payments, Bank of Canada

Ajit Desai is currently working as a principal data scientist in the research division of the Bank of Canada’s Banking and Payments Department. His current work leverages cutting edge techniques such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing to study payments data (including cryptocurrency data) with the primary objective of making Canada’s digital payments infrastructure safe and efficient. Dr. Desai received his Ph.D. from Carleton University in 2018 in Computational Science and Engineering and M.S. from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2011 in Aerospace Engineering.

Kamilah Ebrahim
Associate, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Kamilah is a Management Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Toronto, where she provides strategic advice to solve complex problems and seize new opportunities. Previously, she has worked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Global Affairs Canada and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. She is passionate about using data science and language models to create explainable and transparent technical solutions. Kamilah has a Master of Information from the University of Toronto, focusing on Human-Centred Data Science and Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications within the public sector, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Economics from the University of Waterloo.

Chris Henry

Chris Henry
Senior Economist, Bank of Canada

Chris Henry serves as lead economist for the consumer survey research program on the Currency Department’s Economic Research and Analysis team. Chris first joined the Bank as a Research Assistant in 2012, and recently rejoined in 2021 after completing his PhD in Economics. In his role, Chris contributes to the design, implementation, and analysis of a range of surveys that measure the use of cash and alternative methods of payment. He holds an PhD in Economics from Université Clermont Auvergne (France), and an MSc in Mathematics from McMaster University.

Nicholas Mitsakakis

Nicholas Mitsakakis, MSc, PhD, P.Stat.
Senior Biostatistician and Associate Scientist, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Adjunct Lecturer, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Dr. Mitsakakis is a Senior Biostatistician and Associate Scientist at the Clinical Research Unit of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. His expertise includes applied machine learning, health data science and clinical biostatistics. He has been developing and teaching courses on Data Science, Machine Learning and Biostatistics at the University of Toronto since 2013.

Hareem Naveed

Hareem Naveed
Associate Vice President Integrated Analytics, Munich Re Life, US

Hareem Naveed leads the machine learning engineering team for Munich Re’s Integrated Analytics team. The MLE team builds tools to accelerate the development and deployment of models. Previously, Hareem completed the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship at the University of Chicago. She has a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto.

Richard Wintle

Richard Wintle, PhD
Assistant Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics, SickKids Hospital

Dr. Richard Wintle is the Assistant Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children, the Toronto node of CGEn, Canada’s national genome sequencing and analysis network. TCAG’s main area of research focuses on the whole-genome analysis of both healthy populations, and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. More specifically, Dr. Wintle’s research aims to elucidate the genomic constribution to the neuromotor condition, Cerebral Palsy. He is the Associate Scientific Director of the Ontario-based “CP-NET” integrated discovery program, serving as lead of its genomics program, and is a founding member of the Governance Council of the International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium. He co-Chairs the ClinGen CP Gene Curation Expert Panel (GCEP). Most recently, he has taken on the role of Executive Director of HPC4Health, a private cloud-based, high-performance computing and storage consortium designed to handle personal health information (PHI) containing data.

Prior to re-joining SickKids in 2006, Dr. Wintle spent six years in genomics and drug discovery startup companies, following postdoctoral training in molecular neurobiology at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He completed his PhD at SickKids as a student in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto.

Holly Xie

Holly Xie
Senior Applied Scientist – Machine Learning Products, Xero Accounting

Honglei (Holly) is a senior applied scientist, machine learning products at Xero where she led an applied research program that underpin development of automatic field extractions from financial documents empowered by large scale deep learning models. She has extensive experience applying ML to business applications in industry across various domains. She holds a Master of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.