Ali A. Ghorbani

Prof. Ghorbani is among the pioneering members of the Canadian AI research community who identified the important intersection of AI and Cybersecurity very early on. He founded a research laboratory in this space more than 20 years ago, which is not only the playground for several startup companies and knowledge transfer to companies such as IBM Canada but has also been an instrument through which the nationally funded National Cybersecurity Consortium was created worth over $160 million. This is a truly unique consortium spanning multiple academic institutions and serving the Canadian research ecosystem as well as the broader Canadian community as a whole.

From the perspective of service to the Canadian AI community, Prof. Ghorbani served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Computational Intelligence journal for over a decade. He also served as the Program Chair for the Canadian AI conference as well as a Program Committee member for this conference. He founded the Privacy, Security, and Trust Conference (PST), which has now risen to fame and is widely recognized both nationally and internationally. He has served CS-CAN in various capacities while also serving as Dean of the oldest standing Computer Science faculty in Canada for over 10 years. He served as Vice President of the Canadian Association of Computer Science (CACS/AIC), served as a CIPS Professional Standards Advisory Council (PSAC) member, and was on the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) Committee on Safety and Security. Currently, he is a member of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Council on Ethics and Modernization of Microdata Access and an associate member of the Digital Technology Supercluster.

In terms of student and highly qualified personnel training, Prof. Ghorbani’s students are outstanding in both quantity and quality. He has supervised close to 40 PhD students and 70 Masters-level students. Many, if not all, of his graduate students are accomplished members of their respective communities, either in academia or industry. This is in large part due to the training environment afforded by Prof. Ghorbani, which offers hands-on participatory work with relevant industry partners on applied and important research problems.

He has published over 100 journal papers in highly reputable venues, as well as 200+ conference papers at highly competitive conferences. All of these papers have been written in close collaboration with his students and highly qualified personnel. The influential impact of his work can also be observed through the high number of citations they receive with close to 26,000 citations, an h-index of 55 and i10-index of 182.

As a well-rounded academic with an entrepreneurial spirit, Prof. Ghorbani developed several technologies adopted by high-tech companies and co-founded three startups, Sentrant Security, EyesOver Technologies, and Cydarien Security, in 2013, 2015, and 2019. Prof. Ghorbani’s role in the success of Q1 Labs Inc. and its QRadar technology has been featured in the book Unicorn in the Woods by Cordon Pitts (2020). He is the recipient of the 2017 Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur Award and Canadian Immigrant Magazine’s RBC top 25 Canadian immigrants of 2019. In addition, he was named one of the 40 inspiring Canadians in the book Forty Brilliant Canadians and Their Vision for the Nation by Mark Bulgutch (2022).