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Solving problems with the internet of things

On October 13, Concordia professor Jia Yuan Yu explores how we can use data to make smarter cities
October 11, 2016
By Renée Dunk

Jia Yuan Yu: "In my research I'm applying machine learning, statistics and game theory to solve problems." Jia Yuan Yu: "In my research I'm applying machine learning, statistics and game theory to solve problems."

How can we use data sourced from everyday objects to make our live easier? This question is fundamental to the research of Jia Yuan Yu, an associate professor in Concordia’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science.

On October 13, Yu will discuss the internet of things alongside Mohamed Cheriet, a professor from École de technologie supérieure (ETS), as part of the Mat’Inno lecture series

Julien Brault, CEO of investment startup Hardbacon, will moderate the conversation.

Jia Yuan Yu | Photo by David Ward Jia Yuan Yu | Photo by David Ward

Organized by Montreal’s Quartier de l’innovation (QI), the public talks bring together academics from Concordia, McGill, UQAM and ETS to share their work.

Forbes magazine describes the internet of things as "the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other)."

We caught up with Yu to learn more about his research on the internet of things.

What can attendees expect to hear at the lecture?

Jia Yuan Yu: I’m gearing my talk towards a non-technical audience in order to introduce them to what’s going on in research, both in academic and industry circles.

The current focus of my research is applying machine learning, statistics and game theory to solve problems. I do this by using technologies such as internet-connected devices.

How does the talk connect to your research and teaching?

JYY: In the talk, I will share insights gained from building systems with many internet-connect devices. I also hope to create new collaborations, datasets to use in my graduate courses and training opportunities for Concordia students with QI.

Industry is interested in solving problems with data and computers, and that’s work that I’m doing as well at Concordia.

Where will you take your research next?

JYY: I’m interested in ride-sharing and how to make the process accessible, automatic and user-friendly. Ultimately, ride-sharing reduces traffic congestion and pollution in cities, but there’s a lot of friction involved in the process of matching travellers.

You have to first identify the right type of car, find someone to share a ride with, then negotiate a pickup location and time, etc. I’d like to make it simpler for travellers by collaborating with taxi companies and car manufacturers to develop new solutions.

Why is this important for Concordia and Montreal?

JYY: Like Concordia, QI trains people based on real problems that Montreal faces — that’s extremely important for my graduate students. QI, as an organization, prioritizes problems that are significant to smart cities — that’s an important fit for me.

Register for Yu's Mat'Inno lecture
 on the internet of things, which takes place on Thursday, October 13 at Plaza Centre-Ville (777 Robert-Bourassa Blvd.)


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