Granular Computing: Pursuing New Frontiers of AI & Data Science

Presented By: Prof. Witold Pedrycz


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been enjoying a great deal of interest in the recent years owing to its successful applications reported in various areas including robotics, computer vision, and a plethora of systems engaging natural language processing. Data Science becomes instrumental in data analysis discovering essential dependencies and building prediction and classification models.

We advocate that bringing the concepts, methodologies, and formal frameworks of Granular Computing into the area of AI and Data Science can open new and promising avenues of further research and applications. Granular Computing is defined as a coherent and unified platform of acquiring, processing and communication of information granules delivering a highly needed abstraction mechanism.

The talk is self-contained: the principles and formalisms of information granules along with their underlying design principles are discussed in detail. It is shown that the notion of information granularity assumes an important position by bridging the gap between symbolic and sub-symbolic way of processing realized in AI.

The roles of information granules in various faculties of AI such as knowledge representation, concept formation and their hierarchical organization, problem solving mechanisms are elaborated in detail.   It is also emphasized that information granules play a visible role in revealing and characterizing interpretable relationships (dependencies) in data.

When: Tuesday, November 20th, 5:30pm (doors open)

Location: ETLC 1-003 room at University of Alberta, 116 St NW Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4


Panel Discussion: Considering having a business in the Artificial Intelligence industry?

– By TusStar Alberta, TEC Edmonton and AlbertaAI

4:00-6:00 PM, Oct. 17, 2018 Wednesday (Mountain/Alberta Time)

Organizers: TusStar Alberta, TEC Edmonton and AlbertaAI



Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been an essential part of our daily life. AI has developed a large number of tools to solve the most difficult problems in various areas. For example, the SeeingAI app developed by Microsoft can help people who are blind perceive the environment around them. For the past few years, AI has entered the consciousness of almost every industry. It has become one of the hottest topics of mainstream conversations. TusStar Alberta, TEC Edmonton and AlbertaAI have invited speakers with various backgrounds to give you insights about having a business in the AI industry from different perspectives.


4:00 – 4:30 Registration and networking
4:30 – 5:30 Panel
5:30 – 6:00 Networking


Bruce Alton, Partner of A-Partners

Bruce Alton is the founder of A-Partners which is an investor in, advisor to and founder of high-growth enterprises with a particular focus on companies that utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics as a competitive business advantage. 

He has been a company founder and senior operating executive and his thirty-year business career has spanned software development, advanced manufacturing, venture capital, energy and real estate.

Bruce was previously named as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture Magazine. He has been recognized for his work with several Alberta community organizations including the A100 – Alberta Technology Entrepreneurs Organization; the Kids With Cancer Society; and the Alberta Economic Development Authority.


Dave Damer, CEO of Testfire Labs

Dave Damer is a computer engineer and proven tech entrepreneur with over 27 years of business leadership experience, 18 of which have been spent building startups. 

In 2017, Dave founded Testfire Labs, a software company that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to build productivity solutions that modernize the way people work, so they can achieve more, faster.

Testfire’s flagship product is, an AI-assistant that transcribes meeting summaries and action items, audits meeting history, and drops it all into a simple, searchable dashboard, for unprecedented organization and productivity insights.

Testfire Labs has been named a Top Startup to Watch by Startup Edmonton, received the 2018 Startup Canada Prairies Region Innovation Award, and has been nominated for the Startup of the Year award by the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO).

Dr. Jin Shi, Director of Solutions Architecture, CenturyLink

Dr. Shi Jin has been leading the SafeHaven engineering team for the past 5 years, growing it from a small Edmonton based startup (DataGardens) to be part of one of the largest global technology companies (CenturyLink). 

Before that, Dr. Jin Shi worked in companies like Acrodex and Cybera. He also co-founded Canada’s first infrastructure as a cloud service company VRStorm.  Dr. Jin Shi got his BS from Tsinghua University of China in 2001 and PhD from Cornell University of USA in 2006.


Dr. Yuxi Li, PhD & Post-doc of Computing Science department at University of Alberta

Dr. Yuxi Li has more than ten years of experience in reinforcement learning, machine learning, and AI.  

Dr. Yuxi was an associate professor in China, and a senior data scientist in a fintech company in Boston area. He is a co-organizer for AI Frontiers Conference ( in Silicon Valley in 2017 and 2018. He serves as a Program Committee Member for AAAI 2019, a top AI conference. He published the influential Deep Reinforcement Learning: An Overview on arXiv, and is preparing for a book, to be available in early 2019. He is the founder of

Wei Sun, Vice President of ChiHe Investment Inc.

ChiHe focuses on policy-supported industries, makes equity investments in private enterprises with potentials, and enhances the financial and industrial resources of small and medium-sized enterprises, to boost the real economy. 

ChiHe make equity investment through private equity funds. By leveraging rich investing experiences, we manage the whole process including investment, financing, integration and exit. While achieving expected returns for fund investors, we provide private enterprises with funds, policy supports, market channel and other resources, to help them expand business in right geographic areas and grow rapidly. In 2016, ChiHe and its partners completed acquisition of Analogix Semiconductor in US.

Click here or scan the following bar-code to register today! 

Talk: Open Data, Data Science and Digital Innovation at City of Edmonton

When: 6:00-9:30 PM, Sep. 12, 2018 Wednesday

Speaker: Norman Mendoza, Ben Gready, Roman Eisne,
Jared Rewerts, Jeanna Somoza,
Smart City & Analytics Centre of Excellence,
City of Edmonton

City of Edmonton is a leading city on Open Data and Smart City. There are dedicated teams in the City focusing on open data, digital innovation, data science and disruptive technology.

Edmonton’s Open Data Strategy integrates the principles of the International Open Data Charter, outlines an action plan to realize the value of open data and provides metrics to evaluate performance. Through the application of this Open Data Strategy, Edmonton will continue to demonstrate international leadership in the practice of open government and will fulfill its role as a preeminent global city.

Data released by the City has the potential to be both impactful and beneficial, contributing to the livability of the city. Open data allows for direct visibility into how decisions are made, empowers citizens and enhances the relationship between citizens and public organizations.

Edmonton’s Open Data Portal provides public access to hundreds of datasets within their Open Data Catalog. Available in multiple formats, they can be downloaded for free.

City of Edmonton is also one of Canada’s Top Employers For Young People. In this event, leaders and a former summer student from the City of Edmonton introduced open data and the work related to data science, smart city and AI. There was an interactive panel discussion after the speeches.

Open Data at the City of Edmonton

(by Norman Mendoza, City of Edmonton)

Overview and Examples of Open Source
and IoT Projects at the City of Edmonton

(by Jared Rewerts, Software Engineer,
Jeanna Somoza, former Summer Student)

Data Science Projects at the City of Edmonton

(by Ben Gready & Roman Eisner, Data Scientists)

Panel Discussion

(by Norman, Ben, Roman, Jared, Jeanna, Lihang Ying, Frank Wang)

Organizers, Partners and Sponsors

Relevance of Human Intuition in AI Driven World

– By Shri Parnerkar Institute for Research, Innovation and Technology Foundation

Presenter: Shri Parnerkar Institute for Research, Innovation and Technology Foundation
Organizer: DPLMF
Co-Organizer: Alberta AI
Outreach Partner: TusStar
Where: Maple Leaf Room, Lister Center, University of Alberta
Google Map:

When: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM on October 24, 2018

A unique think tank discussion with eminent panelists.

The panel consists of industry professionals from various fields such as medicine, artificial intelligence, psychology, entrepreneurship, and more. This interactive seminar is designed to discuss the relevance of human intuition in an artificial intelligence driven world. How can Artificial Intelligence help humanity? How can a common man leverage Human Intuition? What is the role of intuition in Artificial Intelligence/Healthcare/Entrepreneurship? Join us at this one of a kind event and leave with your curiosities satisfied.

Congratulations to Mr Wenfei Zhang for his New Position at Tusstar Alberta

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Wenfei Zhang, the incumbent VP Strategic Planning of AlbertaAI, has been appointed to the Program Manager of TusStar Alberta on July 23. Congratulations Wenfei!

As AlbertaAI’s strategic partner, TusStar is not unfamiliar to our members. Established in 1999, TusStar is one of the longest-running and most successful Chinese techno-entrepreneurial incubators. With offices in 50+ Chinese cities and 10+ cities overseas, TusStar has provided service to 5,000+ companies, boasting 35 IPOs and over 3 billion dollars in equity return.

TusStar’s Alberta office opened up last June and has attracted much attention and support ever since. The launch of TEC Edmonton-TusStar Accelerator Exchangeprogram on June 11 this year marks its most recent advancement in Alberta as well as in Canada. TEC Edmonton and TusStar are top university incubators in Canada and China, respectively. This six-month program aims to help entrepreneurs in Canada/China to explore the markets in China/Canada.

Dr. Wenfei Zhang is one of the earliest executive team members of AlbertaAI. His service has benefited many AlbertaAI members. Meanwhile, his experience with AlbertaAI also established himself as a recognized contributor to the AI ecosystem in Alberta, which in turn helped him secure the senior position with TusStar Alberta.

It is our belief that the appointment is a win-win for both organizations, and it will set a great example for the career development of more AlbertaAI members. Let’s wish Wenfei greater success in both positions!

Talk: AI and how SAS is delivering an AI platform

Jan 26, 2018
Thanks to all the audiences for our talk: AI and how SAS is delivering an AI platform! There will be more events coming up, follow us on Linkedin or Wechat.
Here follows the slides of this talk,credit to SAS executive—-Steve Holder:

AlbertaAI_SAS talk by Steve Holder.pdf

Download File

The TusStar Start-up Incubator Presentation

By Yongzhe Hong
​Nov 28, 2017

We would like to thank the generous sponsorship from Barry Bian (TD Wealth Financial Planner).



Ms. Wei Han, Director of Institute Collaboration of Tusholdings Co. and Deputy General Manager of TusStar Business Incubator visited Edmonton with a delegation of Tusholdings and interacted with Chinese Immigrants and students on Nov 22, 2017. This event was organized by AlbertaAI Association, University of Alberta Chinese Graduate Students’ Club (UA – CGSC), Edmonton IT Club (EITC) and Tsinghua Alumni Association of Edmonton (TAAE). There were more than 70 people attended this event.



At the beginning, Frank Wang, the VP-External of AlbertaAI and president of TAAE introduced the main event organizer—AlbertaAI, which is a new non-profit and non-government organization founded by a group of passionate volunteers. This organization is dedicated to contribute to Alberta’s AI eco-system and connect Alberta AI community to the world.

Then, Ms. Han introduced the global innovation network of TusStar business incubator, early investment, eco-system for innovation and entrepreneurship, starting a business in China for oversea talents. Tusholdings is a large comprehensive enterprise strongly supported by Tsinghua University. TusStar, as the flagship company known for its innovative incubation and investment business, was named “Top 10 incubator in China” in 2014. The four-in-one platform of TusStar provides incubation service, open platform, training program and early investment. TusStar not only has established incubator bases in more than 60 cities in China, but also has global SciTech innovation net in 12 countries over 6 continents, greatly reduce the difficulty of overseas development for start-ups. It is worth mentioning that in this June, TusStar has officially opened a branch company in Edmonton, Alberta.


Working together with the Edmonton local business incubator “TEC Edmonton”, the two will establish an innovation fund to invest excellent companies. Ms. Han also introduced the AI innovation Centre in Shanghai, China. This innovation Centre will provide corresponding support for start-ups, including financial, legal, patent, tax and other aspects of professional services.



​In next round, three founders of business projects in the field of AI briefly introduced their project. Dr. Lihang Ying, the president of AlbertaAI introduced a location based instant smart notification app— Boardee, in which he is a cofounder. It is dedicated to the mission of aggregating location-oriented information, understanding personal contextual interests and pushing the right information on the right location and time.





Following that, Dr. Ming Dong shared his project of an infrastructure management platform.  This cloud computing products can provide intuitive, convenient, visual equipment health and risk assessment, and provide professional advice for the equipment maintenance, replacement and the selection of specific type.




Finally, Liming Zhang introduced a cross-border mobile payment platform project. This platform is now the authorized partners of Wechat pay and Alipay. In addition, it can also provide information display and shopping platform for Chinese tourists travelling in Canada.




Close to the end of the event, Tusholdings delegation interacted with the audiences and answered questions from them. Today, several audiences drove more than 300 kilometers from Calgary just for this event. The chief operation officer of TusStar Edmonton Branch Company Lixin Liu and TEC Edmonton director Lan Tan also attended today’s event.

AI Lecture Series III

Mastering AlphaGo Zero

This event was organized on Nov 18, 2017.

Al lecture Series II

Intelligent transportation, smart cities and autonomous driving

By Yifei Wang
Oct 29, 2017

The “intelligent transportation, smart cities and autonomous driving” lecture was successfully held at the University of Alberta at NRE 2-001 on Oct 21, 2017.

About 80 participants attended this event. Zhijun Qiu (University of Alberta tenure professor), Lihang Ying (AlbertaAI President), Lixin Liu (TusStar Alberta COO) and Yuxi Li (reinforcement learning experts) gave the fabulous talks and answer the questions from the audiences. AlbertaAI VP-External Yifei Wang hosted this event. University of Alberta Chinese Graduate Students’ Club (UA – CGSC), Edmonton IT Club (EITC) and Tsinghua Alumni Association of Edmonton (TAAE) are the co-organizer of this event.

Prof. Zhijun Qiu shared his insight of the status quo and progress of artificial intelligence, intelligent car and transportation. He also touched on the commercialization and Alibaba’s “City brain” project during the speech.
Prof. Qiu pointed out that artificial intelligence (computer technology) and the Internet of things (sensor technology, communication technology and microelectronic technology), are similar to the relationship between the brain and body. Currently, the vast majority of commercialized applications are “Pseudo artificial intelligence”, because the quantity and quality of data is not enough, the ratio of IT giants and startups focusing on AI is too low. The biggest advantage of artificial intelligence is “iteration”, the core value is derived from the data iteration, the algorithmic iteration, the iteration of application.

Then Dr. Ying gave the talk on “autonomous driving, implementation and open sources resources”, including Level 0 to 5 automatic grading system and the basic software and hardware of realizing autonomous driving. Dr Ying illustrated the Tesla Autopilot, which is based on radar, ultrasonic, camera sensor hardware, and the method and code implementation of using all kinds of data from sensor trained with deep learning model. He particularly demonstrated open source project OpenPilot, which has been implemented in cars from Acura, Civic. In the end, he touched on the StreetDrone (a self-driving car that develop the algorithm automatically) and the online self-driving certificate(can be obtained through the course in Udacity).

Mr. Liu, the Chief Operating Officer of TusStar Alberta, introduced the profile of TusStar. Liu described the business layout and achievement in expanding incubation network in China and the globe of the Tusholdings Co. Ltd. (a large integrated enterprise established in reliance on Tsinghua University) and its subsidiary corporation TusStar (an advanced Incubation Service Institution). The vision of TusStar Alberta which was established recently in May, 2017 is becoming a professional incubator focus on Alberta’s startup and investment.

Finally, Dr. Yuxi Li joined the panel discussion with the other three guest speakers. All the questions asked by enthusiastic audiences were answered. Noticeably, two of the audiences came all the way from Calgary after about 400 kilometers of driving only for this event!