Greg has been a faculty member in the Department of Humanities since 2011. Previously, he taught literature and humanities at Simon Fraser University. His graduate training is in comparative literature and Asian studies, and he has written on Nietzsche, critical theory, and modernism. Recently, Greg has been teaching courses in science fiction at Concordia University and Dawson, which has inspired him to explore humanity’s encounter with artificial intelligence. His research examines how it will transform the way humans construct notions of the self and other, culture, and language. Today, humans are constantly under the observation and scrutiny of AI. How will this relationship affect the way humans comprehend themselves and their relationship to their lifeworld? How will humans coevolve with AI, the planet’s newest intelligent species? Will commonplace definitions of life and intelligence transform in the near future? Greg is developing modules for courses––both science fiction and otherwise––that inspire students to explore these immediate questions.
Charles Le Guen is the Chair of the 3D Animation & CGI department at Dawson College, where he has been teaching since 2013.
For over twenty years, Charles has lived and worked around the globe, creating computer-generated visual effects for Hollywood feature films, video game cinematics, high-end television shows, and TV commercials.
As a Computer Graphics Supervisor, Charles has built and managed small, highly-skilled teams. As a technical artist, he is able to script in python, has often worked with beta software and is no stranger to learning new workflows under pressure.
With a University degree in Fine Arts, Charles also has prior experience as a traditional stop-motion animator, and has drawn professionally for numerous TV shows, including Arthur and Animal Crackers.
Charles has lived and worked in New York, Munich, Sydney, Adelaide, Auckland, as well as his home town of Montreal.
Cheryl’s background and expertise lie in lens and screen based media arts practices. Initially a practitioner, she later became a writer and critic with a particular interest in the affective and political dimensions of amateur media technologies and personal archives. At different times, in different lives she has studied and written about the part played by domestic film/photography in the construction of self and group identities (MFA – Studio Arts, Concordia University), the role of popular cultural narratives contesting/negotiating the same (PhD Humanities, Concordia University), the aesthetics of archival and forensic practices in the digital age (Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Visual and Cultural Studies Program, University of Rochester), and, how changes in media forms see corresponding variations in human cognition and perception (ongoing). Her AI project considers the social and cultural implications of proliferating algorithms in the world of online communication, how they impact cultural production, and how they bear on social formation and exchange. Cheryl is currently the Coordinator for the Arts, Literature and Communications Program at Dawson and Co-Chair of the Cinema and Communications Department, where she also teaches.
Garry Ka Lok Chu has been teaching at Dawson College for more than a decade. He works as an ambassador to deliver mathematical concepts in an easy fashion, with the primary goal to help students understand basic principles.
He explores well-known and interesting daily-life probability questions in his statistics classes.
He explains in online lectures how to interpret timely statistical charts and different mathematical models concerning COVID-19.
He applies his technical knowledge to develop a course to help students appreciate the relationship between Math and Art in a recreational way, using magic squares, for example.
He believes now is an appropriate time to help students solve the mathematical mystery behind AI, or machine learning, based on statistical theory, linear algebra, and calculus.
Vanessa Gordon teaches Politics at Dawson College. Before that, she completed a
BA in Politics from McGill and an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s
Before coming to Dawson, she worked in numerous countries and in a range of
fields, including peacekeeping, crime prevention and international development.Her interest in artificial intelligence stems from her experience with Canada’s
NetCorps Program, as well as her current involvement in the climate change
movement. Drawing on work undertaken by American political scientist Erica
Chenoweth, as well as MIT’s Centre for Civic Media, Vanessa and her students will
explore how to use data to pursue meaningful social change.
Jennifer Sigouin has been teaching Sociology at Dawson College since 2012. She completed her PhD from McGill University specializing in social stratification and quantitative methods. More specifically, she obtained a SSHRC Fellowship to help her investigate the potential wage gap experienced by racialized minorities in Canada. She also taught several courses as a course lecturer at McGill University, and participated in research projects on migrants’ health. Prior to joining Dawson, Jennifer held multiple job positions ranging from analyst for the United Nations to web manager at UQAM. She is planning to develop a course that would address how traditional and contemporary sociological theories can be applied to the topic of artificial intelligence and, more precisely, to the creation of apps. She is hoping that this project will lay the groundwork for the future objective of bridging different disciplines around the theme of Sociology and Artificial Intelligence.
Ahmad Banki teaches in the department of economics. He studied at the University of Calgary and McGill. His pedagogical experience and interests include the flipped classroom model, Universal Design for Learning, active learning, and immediate feedback strategies. He has collaborated with a number of communities of learning at Dawson. He has a YouTube channel featuring his pedagogical instructions and economics lessons. He is also an advanced user of Moodle.
Dan Pomerantz is a faculty member in the Computer Science department. He initially became interested in AI during the Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov chess matches, where a computer beat the previously unbeatable human chess champion. This was interesting because most analyses felt that Kasparov was better than the computer, but he suffered from two human-specific problems—fatigue and emotions. Although early on, this really revealed the potential power an AI system could have due to a “secret weapon” of consistency.
For the Dawson fellows, Dan is primarily interested in developing course material related to the ethics of AI. These issues include (but are not limited to!) the ethics of facial recognition software, targeted advertising, self-driving cars, using cell phone tracking for epidemiological purposes, and more. Our society is changing rapidly, and it’s important for citizens to be capable of making informed decisions.
Myriam Rafla teaches in the department of Cinema Communications at Dawson College. Following an MFA in Film Production with a specialization in Scriptwriting from York University, she pursued a career in Quebec cinema with the cultural funding agencies as a script analyst at SODEC and Telefilm Canada. Myriam is currently completing a Ph.D. at Concordia University in Communication focusing on digital narratology and new media.
Robert Stephens teaches Philosophy and Humanities at Dawson College, and is the current Coordinator of the ALC Arts & Culture Profile. He has a PhD in Philosophy from McGill University, where is dissertation was focused on defending a computationalist theory of human cognitive architecture, in which problems faced in the development of AI are used to help illuminate how the human mind is organized, and how human cognitive limits may in turn be usefully studied to inspire new designs for artificial minds. In his classes at Dawson, he tries to facilitate student understanding and analysis of the impacts of widespread deployment of autonomous decision-making algorithms/artificial intelligence systems (AIS) with respect to three interrelated areas: potential economic/employment displacement, the essential data literacy and technical competency that all members of society will require, and the need to manage the transition to widespread integration of AIS in a socially beneficial, ethical, and equitable fashion. Before coming to Dawson, Robert was a High School English and Drama teacher. In his spare time, he builds custom electric guitars and ukuleles.
Last Modified: July 15, 2021