Students ask questions after the keynote presentation at Digitized

Digitized 2019

Every year hundreds of high school students visit the U of S campus for a one-day conference to learn about computer science and technology. This past Tuesday 350 students did just that, attending the 14th edition of Digitized.

Keynote speaker Mark Matthews of Google kicked off the day with a compelling presentation on Artificial Intelligence. A native of Saskatoon, Mark graduated from the U of S with two bachelor degrees before landing a job as a software engineer at DreamWorks Animation. After a decade working on hit movies in the visual effects industry, Mark made the move to Google, working as a Senior Software Engineer in their mobile vision group. After a brief look at what it's like to work at Google, Mark delved into the current state of Aritifical Intelligence and what the future of the field may look like. All 350 students were also treated to some swag courtesy of Google!

Mark Matthews answers questions after his presentation at Digitized.

Students then particpated in a number of speaker sessions and hands-on workshops. 

The speaker sessions included local industry professionals Dr. Aaron Genest and Dr. Mike Wesolowski, who were here to discuss the topics of entrepreneurship in technology and virtual reality, respectfully. Department of Computer Science Professor Jeff Long discussed Game Design, answering the question 'Does your game need AI?'. Meanwhile, Ph.D student Kimberly MacKay shared her expertise in Bioinformatics with her presentation entitled 'Bio-info-what? When Biology and Computers Collide'.

The final speaker of the day was Dr. Ivar Mendez, a the Fred H. Wigmore Professor and Provincial Head of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority. His work in remote-presence robotib technology is focused in rural health and remote health care, with a particular emphasis in improving health care access to First Nation'ss communities. In his presentation, Dr. Mendez took the students on a remarkable journey to a Regina hospital, where he demonstrated how a remotely controlled robot could be used to diagnose patients in under-serviced locations. 

"After a very interesting session with the esteemed Dr. Ivan Mendez, which showcased nanotechnologies, brain cell replacement, and more, everyone in the room is buzzing with energy in excitement for our futures!" - Digitized 2019 Participant

Each student was also able to participate in a workshops during their day on campus. This year, the workshops were on the topics Visual Arts, Game Design, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cyber Security, and Networking.

A pizza lunch, sponsored by Innovation Sask, broke up the day and things wrapped up with prizes provided by the Department of Computer Science and Co.Labs. 

A big thanks goes out to all of our sponsors, including The President's Office, The College of Arts and Science, and University of Saskatchewan ICT. Over 40 U of S volunteers were also instrumental in making this day a success. Digitized is organized by the Department of Computer Science in partnership with the Sasaktoon Industry-Education Council.

More pictures of this year's event can be found on our Flickr page