Our Mentors

Our Mentors

Chenqiu Zhao, PhD Candidate, University of Alberta

Chenqiu Zhao received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in software engineering from Chongqing University, Chongqing, China, in 2014 and 2017, respectively. He used to be a Research Associate with the Institute for Media Innovation from 2017 to 2018, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore . He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree in Multimedia Research Center, Department of Computing Science in the University of Alberta. His current research interests include computer vision, video segmentation, pattern recognition, and deep learning.

Chris Chen, Lead Data Scientist, Competition Master at Kaggle

Chris Chen received his degree in Computer Science in 2001 at Chongqing University of Posts & Telecom. He is a Lead Data Scientist with extensive experience in leading Advanced Analytics projects in Telecom and Oil & Gas industry. He is a Competition Master at Kaggle, the largest and most influencing data science competition platform, and has ranked top 1% globally. Chris is a lifetime learner, the chief family cheerleader, and an untalented yet persistent cook.


Leyuan Yu, NLP Data Scientist, Manulife

Leyuan specializes in solving industrial NLP challenges, from problem define to solution delivery. Leyuan currently works at Manulife Advanced Analytics team as an NLP Data Scientist, prior to that he worked at Deloitte OmniaAI as a Data Scientist and various companies as a software developer for years.

Tian Liang, PhD, Simulation Specialist, RTDS 

Tian Liang (S’16, M’20) received the B.Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering from Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, in 2011. He received the M.Eng. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2014. He received his Ph.D. degree in Energy System at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 2020. He is working as a simulation specialist in RTDS technology, the world’s benchmark company for real-time power system simulation.  His research interests include real-time emulation of power systems, power electronics, artificial intelligence, fault detection and isolation, and System-on-Chip.

Xian Chen, PhD, VP & CTO, Zhejiang WalkGIS

Xian Chen received the B.Eng. degree and M.Sc. degree in Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, China. He received a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Canada, in 2010. His research focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Clouding Computing and Software Engineering, etc. He has worked as a senior manager in information technology enterprises since 2011 and accumulated rich experience in the industry. He is currently focusing on GIS-based solutions in Smart City and Natural Resource Management.

Xinli Cai, Fire Weather Research Analyst, Natural Resources Canada

Xinli Cai is a Fire Weather Research Analyst at Natural Resources Canada. Her domain expertise is wildfire prediction, with a strong understanding of statistical analyses and machine learning. Her recent projects are around spatial wildfire danger mapping, predicting extreme fire weather events with deep learning, and downscaling precipitation with deep super-resolution. Currently, she is also finishing up her second MSc in Computer Science at the University of Alberta. Outside of work, Xinli co-founded the Google Developer’s Group (GDG) Cloud Edmonton, one of the fastest-growing developers’ communities in Alberta. She is looking forward to meeting more interesting people and to building the Alberta Developers’ community together!

Xinyao Sun, PhD Candidate, University of Alberta

Xinyao Sun received BASc degree in Computing Science from the University of Alberta and got Master degree at UofA with a Specialization in Multimedia. He is working toward a Ph.D. degree in UofA, and his research interests mainly include computer vision, signal processing, machine learning and blockchain technology. His main focus now is using signal decomposition techniques to improve the remote sensing processing pipeline using Synthetic Aperature Radar (SAR) for wide-area monitoring of earth from space. 


Yongzhe Hong, MD, MSc, PhD, Data Analyst

Dr. Hong provides consultation on the design and analysis of clinical studies to the members of

Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Alberta. He has more than 7 years of experience dealing with large population-based health data.  Dr. Hong applied a variety of statistical methods for primary and observational studies, including descriptive analysis, survival analysis, time series analysis, longitudinal analysis, and risk adjustment and modelling. He is currently a member of the Biomedical AnaLytics Studio And Methods unit (BALSAM). His research interests include Causal inference and AI in Healthcare.


Yuxi Li, PhD, CEO, Attain.ai

Yuxi Li, author of the 150 pages Deep Reinforcement Learning: An Overview, with around 500 citations, ​at https://bit.ly/2AidXm1​, and is writing a book about reinforcement learning applications. He is the lead guest editor for a Machine Learning Special Issue, lead co-chairs for an ICML 2019 Workshop and a 2020 virtual workshop, all on reinforcement learning for real life. He was a co-organizer for AI Frontiers Conference in Silicon Valley in 2017 and 2018. ​He has published refereed papers at venues such as NIPS, AISTATS, and INFOCOM. ​He obtained the Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Alberta and was a postdoc there.  He serves as TPC Members/reviewers for conferences and journals, like AAAI 2019-2021, PLOS ONE and TKDD. He was an associate professor in China and a senior data scientist in the US. He founded attain.ai.