Lab Members

James Hughes

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, Alley Heaps Associate Chair, &
W.F. James Chair (scholar) of pure and applied sciences

James Hughes completed his BSc honours at Brock University studying Computer Science and Physics in December 2012. He defended his MSc degree in Computer Science focusing on Bioinformatics at Brock under the supervision of Dr. Sheridan Houghten in August 2014. James moved to London Ontario to pursue his PhD at the University of Western Ontario where he studied Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Neuroinformatics under the supervision of Dr. Mark Daley, who is now the Vice-President Research at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. James defended his thesis in July 2018 and began his appointment at St. Francis Xavier University in August 2018.

James’ interests include the development of machine learning algorithms for real world applications. Although he is interested in many algorithms, particular strategies of interest are Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Neural Networks. Application areas include neuroinformatics, bioinformatics, kinematics, geology, art, finance, and clinical applications.

Twitter: @Modsurski
YouTube: Modern Survival Skills
Twitch: conlabx

Sumaiya Amin

MSc Student

Sumaiya has joined the Convergence Lab this Fall (2020). She is an MSc student at St.FX who will be working with Dr. James Hughes and Dr. Derrick Lee on deploying Machine Learning approaches to elucidate health-related issues.

She has completed her BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET) in 2019. She is a former Lecturer of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS) in Bangladesh. She has been indulged in various research activities throughout these times. Her area of interest includes Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, Evolutionary Algorithm, and Data Mining.

Fatemeh Zare Mehrjardi

MSc Student

Fatemeh is an MSc student in Computer science in the Convergence Lab. She has completed her BA in Computer engineering in “Shiraz university of Technology” in 2018 . During this time she achieved valuable experiences in Artificial Intelligence (from various tournaments) and research. Now she interests in Machine learning algorithms specially in biomedical datas , evolutionary computing.

Fatemeh has been a member of the Convergence Lab since 2020.

Mbongeni Ndlovu

MSc Student

Mbongeni is an MSc student in Computer Science in the Convergence Lab. He completed his BBA (advanced) in Enterprise Systems from St. Francis Xavier University in 2020. His research interests are in developing a software application that Strength and Conditioning coaches can use to either enhance their training programming workflows or automate their ability to prepare training programs for athletes, based on their sport, position and individual characteristics. 

Mbongeni’s research is now supported under Mitacs Accelerate Entrepreneur program, which funds student entrepreneurs to further develop their research and this will allow him to make significant progress on his research efforts. 

The Catholic Register St. FX student develops AI coaching app
StFX News Athletic training and coaching made smarter from new spin-out company from St. Francis Xavier University

Athar Omidi

MSc Student

Athar is currently an MSc student in the Convergence Lab working on functional alignment of fMRI data. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and her master degree in Operations Research from Shiraz University under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Bagher Ahmadi. She worked on the Kidney Exchange Programming as her MSc dissertation. Her interests are the application of Mathematics and Computer Science in Biomedical Sciences.

Anik Das

MSc Student

Anik Das is an MSc (thesis-based) student in the Department of Computer Science at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) who has joined the Convergence Lab in Fall 2021. He will be working under the supervision of Dr. James Hughes on various real-world applications of Machine Learning, focusing on health-related perspectives of the human being. Also, he will be serving as a Teaching Assistant at StFX.

He is a Former Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at Bangladesh University, Bangladesh. Earlier, he has completed BSc in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Bangladesh in 2019. He possesses a strong interest in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Evolutionary Computation, Data Mining, Human-Computer Interaction, Data Science, Social Media Analysis, Game AI, Bioinformatics, Neuroscience, Educational & Health Games and Multimedia Systems.

Faisal Bin Aziz

MSc Student

Faisal Bin Aziz is a graduate student (master’s in Computer Science) at St Francis Xavier University, starting in September 2021. Along with Dr. James Hughes, he is also been co-supervised by Dr. Ryan Reid (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Human Kinetics). Together, they will be working on a “smart monitoring system to improve the virtual care for individuals at risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, living in rural areas of Nova Scotia”.

Faisal previously completed his Bachelor in CS back in 2020 from International Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC), Bangladesh. After that, he has worked for a few months as a software engineer. He is a technology enthusiast and particularly interested in Machine Learning and Data Analysis. In his free time, he loves to travel and read books.

Ethan Heavey

Research Assistant and Senior Undergraduate Thesis

Joining the Convergence Lab in Summer 2021, Ethan is an Advanced BSc with BBA student studying at St. Francis Xavier University, and, through the Computer Science department, has worked as a teaching assistant in his third year of study. Under Dr. Hughes, Ethan will be writing his senior thesis, and working with the StFX Forensic Psychology Department to assess the risk an individual poses of perpetrating violence against others.

Ethan is interested in the machine learning and artificial intelligence fields of Computer Science. Specifically, the practical application of Neural Networks and Evolutionary Computation fields.

Past Members

Noah Barrett

Research Assistant and Senior Undergraduate Thesis

Noah was a member of the Convergence Lab between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021. He was working on Super Resolution of remotely sensed images and learning robots. Noah obtained funding from NSERC to work on Deep Learning applications in Remote Sensing. He completed his BSc in 2021 and is working towards his MSc at Dalhousie University as an NSERC Graham Bell funded student

StFX News Building robots: Computer science student’s undergraduate honours thesis looks at how we can relate human interactions to actions robots are taking

Travis MacDonald

Research Assistant and Senior Undergraduate Thesis

Travis was a member of the Convergence Lab from Spring 2019 — Summer 2021. His research interests fall in the intersection of music and computer science. Since joining, he had completed SmartDrone: An Aurally Interactive Harmonic Drone, accepted to and published in New Interfaces for Musical Expression’s 2020 (NIME 2020) conference. He had also received the Alley Heaps Summer Research Internship Award to conduct research on machine learning and music during the spring of 2020. Travis completed his BA Honours in 2021 and is currently a software engineering.

StFX News StFX Computer Science Student’s Research on Interactive Music Accompaniment Tool Accepted at Top International Conference

Hannah Macdonell

 Research Assistant and Senior Undergraduate Thesis.

Hannah joined the Convergence Lab Fall 2020 and worked with Dr. Mike Melchin and Dr. James Hughes developing a horizon annealing method to correlate sedimentary strata layers from distinct regions on a regional and global scale.

Hannah also completed her BSc in Computer Science and a BASc in the Climate and Environment program in the spring. Her thesis, supervised by Dr. Andrew MacDougall and Dr. James Hughes, focused on developing methods for downscaling reanalysis climate data to point scale observations in mountainous terrain for the open-source software GlobSim – a sublime interdisciplinary project incorporating both of her programs. She is currently pursuing her MSc degree at Carleton University.

Chao Xue

Senior Undergraduate Thesis

Chao was a member of the Convergence Lab from Summer 2020 to Summer 2021 while pursuing his second degree (Bachelor of Science, Honour) in Computer Science from St. Francis Xavier University. Originally from the historic and cultural city in China – Changzhou, he transferred from Changzhou University to St.FX to complete his undergraduate study. During his study in St.FX, he has gained further interests in more application areas of Computer Science and Statistics, including evolutionary computation, machine learning, data analytics and etc. He plans to continue his education and research after his wonderful undergrad experience. In addition to his major area study of interests, he likes the topics of international relations, world history, as well as languages.

Brandon Anthony

Research Assistant. The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

Brandon finished his BSc in Computer Science at St. Francis Xavier University in 2020. He worked as a teaching assistant through the department of Computer Science in his final two years at St. FX. His interests include cyber security and ethical hacking and is now pursuing a career in cyber security.

Brandon was a member of the Convergence Lab in 2019 where he worked on a prototype application to interface with small wind turbines used for device charging, for Aurea Technologies (Halifax, NS). He obtained funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to work on this project.

Grace Thompkins

Research Assistant

Grace is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo studying biostatistics in the faculty of Mathematics. Originally from Valley, Nova Scotia, she completed her Master’s of Mathematics (MMATH) degree in biostatistics at the University of Waterloo in 2020 and her Bachelor of Science (BSc, Honours) in Mathematics (Statistics Concentration) in 2019 from St. Francis Xavier University. She is currently researching in the field of personalized medicine, specifically in patient centred care and shared decision making.  She is also working on her first publication which followed from her work on her undergraduate thesis in occupational epidemiology.

Grace was a member of the Convergence Lab in 2019 where she worked on a colour blindness correction simulator for Coloursmith Labs (Halifax, NS). This project was funded by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).  Along with the project through the Convergence Lab, during her time at StFX Grace had also worked as an actuarial intern at Manulife Financial (Waterloo, ON) as well as a research assistant, math learning centre tutor, and teaching assistant at StFX through the department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Jacob Turner

Senior Undergraduate Thesis

In the Convergence Lab, Jacob completed a thesis studying a new hybrid representation in genetic programming. Combining Standard Tree representations with Acyclic Graph representations. This strategy aimed to increase the efficiency of genetic programming, without decreasing the quality of results. Jacob completed his bachelors degree in 2020 with an advanced major in computing.

Frequent Collaborators (Current and Past)

Dr. Ryan Reid, St. Francis Xavier University.

Dr. Dan Ashlock, University of Guelph.

Dr. Joseph Alexander Brown, Innopolis University — Head of the Artificial Intelligence in Game Development Lab.

Dr. Mark Daley, The University of Western Ontario — PI of the Computational Convergence Lab. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) — Vice-President Research.

Dr. Sheridan Houghten, Brock University.

Dr. Ethan Jackson, Vector Institute — Technical AI Staff and Scientist.

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