A Canada CIFAR Chair in Artificial Intelligence is granted to Golnoosh Farnadi

January 20, 2021

For the third time, one of the School faculty is granted a prestigious Canada CIFAR Chair in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This research chair is awarded to Golnoosh Farnadi, an Assistant professor who joined the Department of Decision Sciences in November 2020.

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) announced a series of new appointments including this one on January 19, 2021. The Institute aims at keeping Canada at the forefront of research in artificial intelligence through attracting and retaining in the country the best talents in this domain.

As her colleagues from the Department, Laurent Charlin and Jian Tang – also holders of Canada CIFAR Chair – Golnoosh Farnadi is affiliated with Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. She has been granted a 5-year funding for her research chair for a total of one million dollars.

 “It’s a real honour and a privilege to receive the CIFAR Chair. It will give me the freedom to hire students and form a research group, which is at the heart of my academic career objectives. Holding a CIFAR Chair is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with a whole community of AI researchers across Canada,” says Professor Farnadi.

An important research topic during her tenure will be to address fairness in machine learning, or more specifically, how to get around algorithm discrimination:

“Nowadays, automated systems based on AI algorithms are being used in a lot of domains and we trust those systems to make fair objective decisions. The reality is that they discriminate and this is mainly because the data we use to train our machine learning models very often reflect the inequalities of our society. My interest is to develop AI tools that are responsible and trustworthy,” she sums up.

About Golnoosh Farnadi

Golnoosh Farnadi holds a joint PhD in Computer Science from the universities of Ghent and KU Leuven, in Belgium. Before joining HEC Montréal as a faculty, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at MILA and Polytechnique Montréal, and a Research Fellow at the University of California – Santa Cruz.

Golnoosh has significant collaborative experience with both academia and industry including Microsoft research, UCLA, University of Washington, and Tsinghua University. These successful collaborations are reflected in more than 40 publications in international conferences and journals. She has also received two paper awards for her work on statistical relational learning frameworks. She contributed to the community by giving invited talks, and organizing workshops and schools related to the topic of ethics in AI. She was one of the organizers of the 1st MILA/IVADO summer school on Bias and Discrimination in 2018 in Montreal and has been the scientific director of the MOOC based on its content.

Her research interests have been focused on bias and discrimination in AI, but also include probabilistic graphical models, decision making under uncertainty and computational social sciences.

Watch the video of the announcement of the 29 new Canada-CIFAR Chairholders

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