Prof. Dr. Aytül Erçil

Prof. Erçil has received a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Mathematics from Boğaziçi University in 1979, MS and PhD in Applied Math from Brown University in 1980 and 1983 respectively. She has then worked at General Research Laboratories for five years as senior research scientist and staff research scientist . She has been a faculty member and founding director of BUPAM Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision Laboratory at Boğazici University in 1988-2001 and has been a faculty member and founding director of VPALAB Computer Vision and Pattern Analysis Laboratory at Sabancı University since 2001. Prof. Erçil has directed many international projects (Nato, FP4, Eureka, NSF, FP6, Nedo, FP7). She has been the founding president of TOTIAD – Turkish Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis Society and executive board member of IAPR, International Association of Pattern Recognition. Her work has received many awards including International Achievement award, Eureka Success story, Endeavor Entrepreneur, technology award finalist, Veuve Clicquot high impact female entrepreneur of the year award – Turkish representative, first prize in Machines and Accessories Production Technologies award, ‘Turkey’s female entrepreneur’ award, ‘Crystal Tree woman entrepreneur of the year’ award, ‘ANSIAD academician of the year’ award, “Microsoft Woman leader in Information Technologies” award. Prof. Ercil was the founding partner and CEO of Vistek since 2006 which was acquired by ISRA Vision in 2013. She is currently a co-founder of Rebuslabs and co-founder and CEO of Vispera.

 

Dr. Zeynep İnanoğlu

Zeynep spent the early years of her adult life in speech signal processing research, earning a PhD at Cambridge University (Machine Intelligence Lab in the UK) after completing her undergraduate studies in Electrical, Computer & Systems Engineering at Harvard University. Her PhD thesis focused on emotion conversion in spoken English and her journal publication on this topic received the best publication award issued by the European Association for Signal Processing. After her PhD studies, Zeynep was an investor and business development executive at Phonetic Arts which ended up being the first UK company to be acquired by Google in 2010. She has worked for Google from 2010 till late 2013, focusing on various product strategy and marketing roles in Turkey and across Europe. She spent two years at Dogan TV as Chief Digital Officer to ramp up the broadcast network's digital business unit and build the teams necessary to execute its long-term digital strategy. Zeynep joined Palantir in early 2016 and currently oversees platform narrative and positioning.

 

Dr. Deniz Kural

As the Principal Investigator and founder of Seven Bridges, Dr. Deniz Kural leads the R&D efforts and supervises the deployment of software products for large scale genome projects. The PhD work he did for 1.000 Genomes Project (the world's first large scale undertaking) became an inspiration for the foundation of Seven Bridges. He proposed graph based database structures for enabling an efficient analysis and storage of genomic data on a national scale. At Harvard Medical School Dr. Kural helped George Church program the Polonator, the next generation DNA sequencing machine. As a leader in the large scale analysis of genomic data, he participated in many high profile events as an invited speaker, including the Cold Spring Harbor Biology Conference and Boston Genomics Festival. Dr. Kural got his AB in Mathematics from Harvard College in 2007 and his PhD from Boston College with a thesis on the analysis of genomic structural variation.

 

Çınar Şahin

Çınar is a Senior Staff Software Engineer and Tech Lead Manager at Google Inc. His team works on the Search and Assistant products focusing on language understanding, question answering and conversational technologies. He loves working on problems that involve knowledge representation, natural language processing and machine learning. He joined Google New York in 2008 after completing his BS in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He continued his education in the Language Technologies Institute in CMU with a Master's degree. In his thesis, he explored time, action and process representations and their application to event monitoring and detection.

 

Alp Tilev

Alp is the technical director of Great Lakes Energy based in Kigali, Rwanda. He has been working primarily on rural electrification through solar energy systems in off-grid areas. A computer scientist by background, Alp worked many years at Microsoft, where he helped make Microsoft relevant for hackers and startups in the New York City community, leading initiatives in open sourcing certain codebases and working closely with developers through small hacking camps. He started his career as a developer working on natural language processing and machine learning for Fast Search, a Norwegian software startup. Alp holds a BA in Computer Science from University of Aarhus and Istanbul Bilgi University.