UMaine Artificial Intelligence Webinar Series

Join us and a diverse panel of experts from various companies and institutions for our continuing webinar series covering a diverse set of topics in this exciting field.

These free webinars are for the Maine business community, policymakers, attorneys, healthcare providers, and other members of the public. 

Visit our Webinar webpage for video archives.

November 3, 2022 – Technology Predictions: Art, Science, and Fashion

Watch the Recording Here!

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Moderated by: Dr. Ali Abedi, UMaine Associate Vice President for Research and AI Steering Committee Chair


Dejan Milojicic, Hewlett Packard Labs, Distinguished Technologist

Dejan is a distinguished technologist and director at Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA (1998-). Previously, he worked in the OSF Research Institute, Cambridge, MA (1994-1998) and Institute “Mihajlo Pupin”, Belgrade, Serbia (1983-1991). He received his PhD from the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany (1993), and his MSc/BSc from Belgrade University, Serbia (1986/1983). Dejan has more than 200 papers, 2 books and 75 patents. He is an IEEE Fellow (2010), ACM Distinguished Engineer (2008), and HKN and USENIX member. He received the IEEE Computer Society Richard Merwin Award.

October 6, 2022 – Secure AI

Watch the Recording here!

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Moderated by: Dr. Julia Upton, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Husson University; IEEE Maine Section Chair and IEEE Maine Communications/Computer Societies Joint Chapter Chair


Dr. Yuhong Liu, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University

Yuhong Liu, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Santa Clara University, received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 2012. Her research interests include trustworthy computing and cyber security of emerging applications, such as online social media, Internet-of-things, and Blockchain. She is currently serving as an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor, Associate Editor of APSIPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing, and an APSIPA Distinguished Lecturer. 

September 1, 2022 – AI for Public Safety- “Staying Ahead in the Age of Billion Dollar Disasters: How one Startup uses AI to Help Teams Leverage Situational Awareness During Disasters and Other Safety Threats” 

Watch the recording here!

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Zac Canders, Co-Founder & Co-CEO DataCapable, In this AI-focused presentation, team members from DataCapable will discuss how AI is helping their team of expert analysts provide situational awareness to emergency managers, utilities, transportation authorities, and more.

The DataCapable Platform is powered by patented real-time AI and backed by expert analysts. The DataCapable® Platform™ pinpoints high-impact events as they occur and provides updates as they unfold.

Zac Canders is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of DataCapable. He lives in Bangor, Maine. Zac is a huge advocate on the usage of AI for public safety and infrastructure resilience.

Katy Desjardin, Director of Customer Success, DataCapable, Katy Desjardin is a UMaine Alum and Director of Customer Success at DataCapable. She has successfully led the go-live of the DataCapable Platform solutions at customers around the world. Katy is well-versed in the execution of complex IT and business implementation projects, including how organizations can benefit from the value of AI.

Justin Nordstrom, Lead Software Engineer, DataCapable, With 10 years of experience in the Software Engineering field, Justin spent the first part of his career doing system integration for large scale distributed systems and cloud software. At DataCapable, Justin leads development and manages the continuous improvement processes for all aspects of the DataCapable Platform.

April 7, 2022 – Explainable AI: Hopes and Hypes in Healthcare – Webinar video available 

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Moderated by Dr. Julia Upton


Hongfang Liu, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic –Link to Dr. Liu’s Presentation

Dr. Hongfang Liu is a professor of Biomedical Informatics at the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Liu’s primary research focus is to facilitate the secondary use of clinical data for clinical and translational science research and health care delivery improvement using data science, artificial intelligence, and informatics approaches. Her research has been extensively funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2003. She is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and Deputy Editor of Health Data Science Journal.

Ahmad P. Tafti, Ph.D., University of Southern Maine –Link to Dr. Tafti’s Presentation 

Dr. Tafti is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern Maine, where he is leading the USM HexAI Research Laboratory. Dr. Tafti received his PhD in computer science with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and 3D computer vision. He is passionate about AI and its applications in healthcare.Dr. Tafti is the 2021 SiiM Imaging Informatics Innovator awardee, Mayo Clinic Transform the Practice awardee, an NVIDIA GPU awardee, and GE Healthcare Honorable Mention awardee. To date, he has authored 45+ peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Tafti has organized numerous workshops and tutorials on intelligent health systems and has served on the program committee of 15+ conferences, symposiums, and journals in AI and Digital Health Sciences.

Yanshan Wang, Ph.D., University of PIttsburgh- Link to Dr. Wang’s Presentation

Dr. Wang is vice-chair of research and assistant professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and secondary appointments in the Intelligent Systems Program, School of Computing and Information, and the Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests focus on artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning methodologies and applications in health care. His research goal is to leverage different dimensions of data and data-driven computational approaches to meet the needs of clinicians, researchers, patients, and customers. He joined Pitt in June 2021 from the Mayo Clinic where he still holds an adjunct Assistant Professor position.

March 3, 2022 – AI in Art – View Webinar Recording Here

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Pindar Van Arman, AI Artist

Pindar Van Arman is an American artist and roboticist who designs painting robots that explore the differences between human and computational creativity. Since his first system in 2005 he has built multiple artificially creative robots earning multiple accolades including a TEDx Talk, making the Shortlist at Barbican’s DevArt Competition, and First Prize in the Robot Art 2018.

Vikas Dhiman, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Maine

Vikas Dhiman received the B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India in 2008, the MS degree in Computer Science and Engineering from University at Buffalo, NY in 2014, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2019.

He is currently an Assistant Professor with the ECE department in the University of Maine, Orono. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of California, San Diego from 2019 to 2021. His research interests include robotic localization, mapping, reinforcement learning, and safe-control of robots.

February 3, 2022 – AI Webinar –Recording

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Alina Zare, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Florida

Alina Zare teaches and conducts research in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning as a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Florida. Dr. Zare’s research has focused primarily on developing machine learning algorithms to autonomously understand and process non-visual imagery. Her research work has included automated plant root phenotyping using visual and X-ray imagery, 3D reconstruction, and analysis of X-ray micro-CT imagery, sub-pixel hyperspectral image analysis, target detection and underwater scene understanding using synthetic aperture sonar, LIDAR data analysis, Ground Penetrating Radar analysis, and buried landmine and explosive hazard detection. She earned her Ph.D. in December 2008 from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Florida in 2016, Dr. Zare was faculty at the University of Missouri.

Haiyi Zhu, Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University 

Haiyi Zhu is an Assistant Professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Zhu received a B.S in Computer Science from Tsinghua University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Zhu has received an NSF CRII award as well as several paper awards in venues such as CHI, CSCW, and Human Factors, and an Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Zhu has also taken on major service roles in the community, such as serving as the secretary/treasurer of HCIC, and program committee members for CHI and CSCW.

November 4, 2021– AI in Healthcare
(There no recording available for this webinar)

Moderated by: Ali Abedi, Associate Vice President for Research, UMaine


Behrouz Shabestari, National Technology Centers Program Acting Director, Division of Health Informatics Technologies 

October 7, 2021– AI In Space and Aerospace -Recording available here.

Biographies of Webinar Speakers


Moderator: Ali Abedi, Associate Vice President for Research, University of Maine

Janette C. Briones, Principle Investigator: SCaN Cognitive-Communication System Project, Glenn Research Center 

Nargess Memarsadeghi, Goddard Space Flight Center, AI Center for Excellence Lead.

September 9, 2021Recording available here.
AI in Cyber Security

Biographies of Webinar Speakers

Moderators: Ali Abedi and Julia Upton


Bill Leigher, Rear Admiral (Retired), United States Navy

Scott McGaunn, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation-Boston

Daniel Shoemaker, 2021-2023 IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor

Dick Wilkins, Principle Technology Liaison for Phoenix Technologies Ltd.

 This series is sponsored by the University of Maine. Contact for more information.