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Faculty & Instructors

For the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence, Smith School of Business has lined up an impressive group of faculty and instructors whose expertise, experience and teaching abilities will ensure an extraordinary student experience.

Faculty are drawn from leading experts and experienced teachers at Smith School of Business plus adjunct faculty from the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a hub of outstanding global talent focused on research excellence in deep learning and machine learning.

Faculty and instructors subject to change.

Technical Expertise

Dr. Ceren Kolsarici is an Associate Professor, Ian R. Friendly Fellow, Scotiabank Scholar and a member of Scotiabank Center for Customer Analytics at the Smith School of Business.

Dr. Kolsarici specializes in Big Data and analytics applications on domains including advertising, mobile and digital marketing, diffusion of new products, pharmaceuticals and financial sector. Her current projects focus on design and evaluation of integrated marketing communications campaigns, media selection and scheduling, budgeting and development of advertising creative strategies. She develops new models and methods to improve managerial decisions and marketing applications in practice, by helping managers better understand how marketing affects firm performance and designing marketing programs that maximize profitability. Dr. Kolsarici's research has been published in leading journals such as Management Science, Journal of Marketing Research, and International Journal of Research in Marketing. She has been invited to present her work at institutions such as UC Davis, Northwestern University, Erasmus University, Tilburg University, Koc University as well as national and international conferences in Australia, Belgium, US, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Turkey.

Ceren has received several awards and grants for her scholarly contributions including the QSB New Researcher Achievement Award, MSI's Top Young Scholar Nomination, SSHRC, FQRSC and other external funds, American Marketing Association-Sheth Consortium Fellowship, as well as nominations for national (SSHRC) and provincial (ADESAQ) doctoral dissertation awards. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing (2009) from McGill University a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering (2002) from Middle East Technical University, and an MBA (2004) from Bilkent University. Dr. Kolsarici teaches Advertising, Social Media and Marketing Analytics in Commerce, MBA, MMA and Ph.D. programs. She also continues to do consulting and executive training for various companies in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Nediak is interested in complex Management Science, Operations Research and data analytic problems with a significant computational component. The techniques employed in his research range from integer and nonlinear optimization to control theory and stochastic simulation. His current research focuses on new models in Revenue Management and Dynamic Pricing.

Dr. Nediak has undergraduate and M.Sc. degrees from the Department of Management and Applied Mathematics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia. He has received his PhD in Operations Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Dr. Shai is one of Canada’s most accomplished data scientists. With extensive knowledge in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and data mining, he brings over a decade of academic and industry experience in genomics, information retrieval, recommendation systems, and analytics.

Dr. Shai has designed and implemented predictive algorithms for web-based content aggregation services, optimized collaborative filtering approaches for recommendations engines, and built deep networks for predicting the impact of scientific publications.

He has held leadership positions at Upsight, Meta, and CZI and is currently a director at Deloitte Canada, bringing his AI expertise to a wider market. He holds a PhD in Computer Engineering, with focus on Machine learning and Computational Biology from the University of Toronto.

With a unique ability to present technical topics in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way, Steve is a sought-after professor and AI expert at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business. He leads both introductory and expert-level courses on multiple aspects of AI in undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs. He has been selected by students in the Master of Management Analytics as MMA Professor of the Year for the last three years running.

Holding PhD, MSc, and BSc degrees in Computer Science, Steve’s research focuses on analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing. His work has been published in leading journals including IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering, and others. In recognition of his work in the analytics and AI space, he was awarded a prestigious Scotiabank Scholar research grant.

Beyond teaching and research, Steve has run a big data startup company and conducted industrial operations research at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor and commercial electronics company. He regularly consults with a wide range of organizations on the application of AI for best business outcomes.

Matthew Thompson's research is in real options theory and applications in energy markets. Matthew’s work has gained significant national and international recognition from the operations research community (winner of the best student paper award of the Canadian Operational Research Society and finalist in the prestigious George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award of INFORMS).

Dr. Valenzano is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Ryerson University. His research focuses on understanding different sequential decision-making methods, such as those used in reinforcement learning, automated planning, heuristic search, and game-playing systems.

He holds a PhD in Computing Science from the University of Alberta, and was also a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He also has experience developing sequential decision-making methods for financial methods, which he did while working as an Applied Research Scientist at Element AI.

Management Expertise

A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the YMCA of Kingston, Ontario (1995 to 2008), Mr. Bissonette began teaching at Smith in 2000. Possessing both private and public sector experience, Mr. Bissonette has considerable managerial expertise at both the middle management and upper management levels and has been involved in a number of turnaround initiatives. Possessing over 20+ years of teaching experience at both the university and college levels, Mr. Bissonette is also a successful entrepreneur, operating his own employee benefit consulting business. Mr. Bissonette holds an MBA from Clarkson University and a Bachelor of Administration from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. A published author, Mr. Bissonette’s textbook, Business: Strategy, Development, Application, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Publisher, has been adopted (all or in part) by a number of universities and colleges across Canada. Mr. Bissonette also oversaw the creation of the Smith School of Business’ “Living Case” unit and has personally written and been actively involved in a number of cases associated with this innovative initiative.

Professor Dacin's research interests include cultural heritage and traditions, social innovation/entrepreneurship, and strategic alliances.  Her work has been published in leading management journals including the Academy of Management JournalAcademy of Management ReviewAccounting, Organizations, and SocietyJournal of Business EthicsJournal of ManagementJournal of World BusinessOrganization Science, and the Strategic Management Journal. She has also served as Senior/Consulting Editor for Organization ScienceJournal of International Business StudiesJournal of Management Inquiry. She has previously served for multiple terms on the Editorial Review Boards of the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, the Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Organization and Strategic Management Journal

Professor Dacin teaches courses in leadership, change, and strategy. Professor Dacin advises and speaks to major corporations in the airline, biotechnology, defense, energy, financial services, healthcare, and telecommunications sectors as well as a number of public sector and non-profit organizations.  She currently sits on the boards of the Kingston Community Foundation and GRLI, a global advocacy organization for promoting responsible leadership in business schools and organizations. Professor Dacin has received several awards and recognition for research and teaching.  Most recently, she was inducted as a Visiting Fellow into Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge, UK and is a Visiting Fellow of the Judge Business School. She has also been a Visiting Professor for several years at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.

Dr. Tracy Jenkin is an Associate Professor at Smith School of Business, affiliate member of Ingenuity Labs Research Institute, and a Faculty Affiliate at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Her current research explores human-AI collaboration and cognitive processes. She has also published in the areas of data analytics, environmental sustainability and IT (green IT), project management, and project alignment. She has published in a variety of top journals including Business and Society, The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, Decision Sciences, Information and Organization, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Information Technology, and MIS Quarterly. Dr. Jenkin’s teaching focuses on analytics, artificial intelligence, and agile project management.

Dr. Jenkin received her PhD in Management (MIS), with a minor in Computer Science, from Queen’s University. She previously worked in the IT and software industry for ten years, working with a broad range of organizations, such as Accenture, Dell and new venture Trilogy Software, and across a diverse set of industries, including telecom, high-tech, financial services, and commodity chemicals.

Mr. Kearns has more than 20 years of experience leading successful startup, turnaround and high-growth business units at premier global firms. He has broad experience in data analytics, technology, management and operations. Known for quickly repositioning businesses, driving revenue and profit growth, effective communications, and client focus, his leadership style is famous for being both strategic and operational. His specialties are risk management, global growth and innovation.

Elspeth Murray has served as the Associate Dean - MBA and Masters Programs since 2012, and has been a professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business since 1996. She also holds the CIBC Fellowship in Entrepreneurship, and founded Smith's Centre for Business Venturing. Prior to joining Smith, she worked in industry for 7 years for several firms including IBM, and Canadian Tire. As an integral part of her work in the strategy and new venture fields, Dr. Murray specializes in the management of change. In 2002, she co-authored a best-selling book, Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days, Oxford University Press, with Dr. Peter Richardson. She has recently co-developed (with Dr. David Saunders) the Analytics Climate Assessment Tool (ACAT), which is used to assess organizations technological capacity, skill sets, and analytics culture. Current research is focused on best practices in leading and managing change to create an analytics culture.

Dr. Murray teaches on many MBA and Executive Education programs, and consults widely with a diversity of firms including BMW, Detour Gold, Wawanesa Insurance, Versacold Logistics and the Auditor General for Canada. She serves as a Director for several firms and is an advisor to several start-ups and CEO's. Dr. Murray received an undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics, and an MBA, both from Queen's University. Her doctorate in Strategy and Management Information Systems was completed at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Shawna O'Grady is an authority on strategic human resources management, team-building, and the cross-cultural aspects of international business. She is an experienced team facilitator who is in high demand for her original approach to team-building.  She is also the author of Border Crossings – Doing Business in the U.S., an award-winning book on international business.  She has consulted with many organizations including Microsoft, MDS, Mattel, Shoppers Drug Mart, Enbridge Consumers Gas, Industry Canada, BMW, Novo Nordisk, Oracle, Xerox, Bell Canada, GlaxoSmithKline, Ministry of Finance, Canada Post Corporation, and TD Canada Trust.

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