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Simon Overduin
Ph.D. Neuroscience, MIT
M.D., McMaster University
Director of Technical Development

Simon has a MD from McMaster University, a PhD in systems neuroscience from MIT, and postdoctoral experience in computational neuroscience from Boston University and UC Berkeley. His research has focused on the learning and performance of complex behaviours including reach-to-grasp, speech and mental rehearsal. Of particular relevance here, he has applied complex mathematical tools to predict and adapt to changes in brain activity over learning, in the context of real-time brain-computer interfaces. He has also consulted for a number of other for-profit and not-for-profit companies in the US, Canada, and the UK, operating in the areas of neurotechnology, scientific consulting, and academia-industry partnerships. His 20+ years' experience in software development allowed him to build the alpha version of the Syngli software, and to direct further technical development.

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Il Gon Kim
B.Eng. Electronic Engineering, Myongji University
Developer & System Engineer

Il Gon Kim is a developer and system engineer from Seoul, a dynamic and attractive city. Il Gon has 15+ years of web and mobile application development and senior quality assurance experience at firms including AhnLab and NHN - positions that involved supervision of international teams of engineers. At Syngli, his software engineering responsibilities include network administration and project management. In his spare time, he finds enormous joy in playing with Linux and watching MLB.

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Natasha Swiderski
M.A. Linguistics, Western University
B.A. Anthropology, Western University
Project Coordinator

Natasha is working as a project coordinator to help Syngli create and develop their e-learning resources for dyslexic learners. Her work includes communicating with our partners on this project, facilitating market research and analyzing data to help communicate the viability of this project, gathering data from end users and curriculum design. She also helps with testing the software as well as user experience and interface design.

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Avery Toepell
Health Studies, University of Waterloo
Digital Curriculum Developer

Avery is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about health promotion, and is always eager for new learning opportunities. At Syngli, she is working primarily on content creation, whilst also using the experience as an opportunity to learn more about software development and the health sciences.

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Saman Sandhu
Software Engineering, University of Waterloo
Software Developer

Saman is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo pursuing a Bachelor of Software Engineering. At Syngli, he is primarily focused on implementing data science solutions to aid in identifying segmentation rules that optimize human retention of text. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, playing soccer and spending time with his family.

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Evelyn Eekels
Creative Designer, CerebellumBug
Digital Curriculum Creator

Evelyn's artistic experience includes traditional oil and acrylic paintings, ink drawings for children's educational books, as well as video game development. For Syngli, she assists in logo design and the creation of illustrations included within the knowledge database.


Advisors

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Marcella Erskine
Founder & Director, Music Shakers
Education Startup Consultant

Marcella has a Master's degree in Social Work from Hunter College, New York, where she specialized in group and community work, and a B.Sc. in Psychology from Colorado State University. Her experience includes teaching music and movement in schools in the USA and UK, as a Social Worker with alcohol and drug dependent youth, and as a group leader facilitating support groups for cancer patients. She founded and directs Music Shakers, providing classes to children, parents and caregivers in order to foster experiential learning of music and movement, enhance early childhood development and build communities of families. She is also a member of Science Capital, an independent non-profit company which provides a direct link between academic and business experts. At Syngli, she advises on educational entrepreneurship, and adaptation of the platform to children and learners with communication disorders.

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Samantha Frosst
Founder, Frosst Learning Centre
Language Learning Disorders Advisor

Samantha has a B.Ed. in Secondary Science Education and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, from McGill University. She is the founder and head educator at Frosst Learning Centre. She has also received training in the Orton-Gillingham approach. Samantha specializes in teaching individuals with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia. As an individual with dyslexia, she understands firsthand how challenging school and learning can be when you struggle with reading and writing. An unwavering desire to teach fuels her passion to apply and develop methodologies and processes to accelerate a student's learning ability.

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Steven Fyke
Creative Director, Snap Pea Design
Design Strategy Mentor

Steven has over 15 years experience designing and building strategy, prototypes, products and user experiences. Through his career he has developed an extensive and varied technical background but understands that great engineering cannot build great products without the foundation of a cohesive user story. He is a strong believer in User-Centered design and helps to grow strong companies and products through critical analysis of user research, the creation of new experience paradigms, diving into the technical details and large quantities of tea. Steven holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and has over 140 US patents to date in the fields of mechanical design, short-range wireless communication, security, user interfaces and others.

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Abby Goodrum
Professor and Program Co-ordinator, UX Design, WLU
UX Design Advisor

Abby has a Bachelor's Degree in Radio, TV and Film and a Masters and PhD in Information Science. Prior to her appointment as Professor and Program Director of the User Experience Design program at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU), she held held faculty positions at Syracuse, Drexel and Ryerson, and taught User-Centered Design, Usability, UX, Knowledge Management, Information Architecture, and Digital Reference. She additionally spent time working as a researcher at CNN, and in educational technology for IBM. She was the founding Director for Social Science Research in a $23M Canadian Centre of Excellence that served as both a research network and commercialization engine in order to address complex issues in digital media and transform multidisciplinary research into user-centered solutions. Her research bridges computer science, humanities, communication studies, information management, and media studies, and focuses on understanding how humans seek, use, share, manipulate, store, retrieve, and organize digital multimedia. She is advising Syngli on its own UX design and testing, including its incorporation of gamification elements.

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Jesse Hoey
Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Director, BayesACT Inc.
Computational Modelling Advisor

Jesse's research is on human emotional intelligence, its cultural and social dependencies, and its application in ethical computational intelligence. He studies sociological, psychological, economic, neuroscientific, anthropological and philosophical approaches to emotion, and builds functional computational models that leverage these insights in application domains such as intelligent tutoring and assistive technology. He advises on how measures, models, and displays of emotion can be used to build more effective and engaging interactive systems.

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Randy Harris
Professor, English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo
Computational and Cognitive Rhetoric Advisor

Randy Allen Harris is Professor of English language and literature, at the University of Waterloo, and Research Director of The Rhetoricon Project. His work appears in a wide range of journals, including Argument & Computation, Metaphor & Symbol, and Advances in the History of Rhetoric; his books include Rhetoric and incommensurability, The linguistic wars, and two volumes of Landmark essays in rhetoric of science.

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Kevin Hood
President, Market Access Corporation
Sales and Marketing Mentor

Kevin is a lifelong entrepreneur with over thirty years' experience developing and working with new business ventures. Over the years he has worked with many startups, emerging companies, associations and major corporations. Clients have included IBM, CIBC, Northwestern Mutual Financial, Microsoft Skills 2000, Supply Chain Management, Philips Electronics, Maplesoft, Virtek and the Canadian Professional Sales Association. His book "Six Steps to Self-Employment" is a guide for anyone interested in creating and sustaining a successful entrepreneurial career. He originated and developed the "Tech Sales Program" delivered through the Schlegel Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University and Communitech, and instructs on marketing and sales in the Masters in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program at the University of Waterloo. Kevin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Western University.

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Jeffery Jones
Professor, Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University
Director, Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience
Systems Neuroscience Advisor

Jeffery is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University and Director of the Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. He uses EEG, fMRI, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, eye tracking, and EMG to uncover the differences between normal and impaired brain function. His applied research addresses a wide variety of problems, including the development of technologies for detecting and measuring cognitive impairments and earlier diagnosis of social and communication disorders.

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Brian Jung Myeng Lee
B.Math., University of Waterloo
Technical Recruiter

Brian is a Computer Science graduate from University of Waterloo with Bachelor's of Mathematics. He started as an embedded systems programmer at BlackBerry in 2006. He always welcomes good technical discussions. He specializes in drawing technical talents to Syngli, and telling everyone about it. His main interest is inspiring people, and providing a fresh look at everything.

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Sheila McIlraith
Professor, Computer Science, University of Toronto
Knowledge Representation Advisor

Sheila's research is in the area of knowledge representation and automated reasoning. Her work has had notable impact on Semantic Web Services and emerging Web standards, as well as next-generation NASA space systems. Of particular relevance to Syngli is her expertise in web- and cloud-based semantic representation, probabilistic reasoning, and data-intensive decision-making. She has advised the company on upgrades to its modeling of users' knowledge states and learning trajectories.

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Yasaman Rafat
Associate Professor, Brain & Mind Institute, Western University
Associate Professor, Languages & Cultures, Western University
Multilingualism Advisor

Yasaman is an Associate Professor in the Brain & Mind Institute and the Department of Languages & Cultures at Western University. She is a linguist and works on second language acquisition, bilingualism and language change. She is working with Syngli on testing its approach to adult second (and beyond) language learning, including emphasis on expressive aspects such as handwriting, and on multilingual corpus creation.

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Suzanne Stevenson
Professor, Computer Science, University of Toronto
Computational Linguistics Advisor

Suzanne's computational linguistics research takes a highly multidisciplinary approach integrating computational theories and techniques with insights from the fields of linguistics and psycholinguistics. A primary focus of her work is the automatic acquisition of linguistic knowledge from large text corpora, using machine learning approaches. Another main area of interest is work on cognitive models of human language acquisition and processing. She is advising Syngli on a suite of computational linguistic techniques to upgrade the system's ability to automatically create and evaluate content and responses.


Alumni

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Amanda Assi
Psychology, University of Waterloo
Digital Content Specialist

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Annette Brown
Certificate IT Business Analysis, Conestoga College
B.Sc. Computing, Wilfrid Laurier University
Operations and Software Tester Analyst

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Jason Cheung
Software Engineering, University of Waterloo
Performance Visualization Designer

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Stephen Choi
Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Data Analyst

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Ben Craig
B. C.S., University of Waterloo
Software Developer & Designer

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Wei Dai
IT Business Analyst Graduate Certificate, Conestoga College
Business Analyst

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Helen Dong
Business Administration, Wilfrid Laurier University
Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Business and Front-End Developer

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Rui Xiao Dong
M.Sc. Applied Computing, University of Toronto
NLP Researcher

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Hoda Ghonim
IT Business Analyst Graduate Certificate, Conestoga College
Data Analyst & Market Researcher

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Kanwal Gilani
Certificate IT Business Analysis, Conestoga College

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Kevin Guo
Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

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Marjorie Javier
Graduate Certificate IT Business Analysis, Conestoga College
BSc Computer Science, Lyceum of the Philippines University
Business and Software Analyst

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Yun-Ha Jung
Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo
Content & UI Developer

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Rick Kim
Freelance Web Developer
Mobile Developer

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SungJoe Kim
B.Sc. E.E. & Telecom. Tech., HanYang University
Software Engineer & Developer

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Kelvin Lin
Engineering and Management, McMaster University
Software Engineering Intern

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Dominic Mo
Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo
Content & UI Developer

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Venkata Sai Santhosh Nedunooru
B.Eng., Osmania University
Software Developer

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Sheldon Ni
Software Engineering, University of Waterloo

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Pavlo Petrushko
B.Sc. C.S., Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University
Software Developer

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Vishal Raheja
M.Sc. Applied Computing, University of Toronto
ML Researcher

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Stanislav Rashevskyi
Electronic Systems Engineering, Conestoga College
Software Engineering Intern

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Amanda Redpath
Electrical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Content & UI Developer

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Ariana Rodriguez
Management Engineering, University of Waterloo
Web Designer & Developer

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Himel Saha
Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo

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Damian Sarzynski
M.B.A., Lazaridis School of Business, WLU
Business Analyst

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Vigneshwaran Sendhil
Software Engineering, University of Waterloo
Market Researcher & Content Developer

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Heather Shapiro
Ph.D. Neuroscience, UC Davis
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist

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Sheetal Weiz Srihala
B.Eng. Electronics & Comm. Eng., HKBK College of Engineering
Neural Engineer

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Rachel Tyli
Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Project Engineer Intern

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Ivan Richard Ugolole
B.Eng. Electronic Engineering, INTI International University
Post Grad Mobile Solution Development, Conestoga College
Animation & UI Developer

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Maria Valencia
Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Intern

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Bill Wu
Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo
Software Developer

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Melissa Yu
Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Intern

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Nancy Zhou
Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

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Selina Zhou
Certificate IT Business Analysis, Conestoga College
English Language and Culture, Beijing Foreign Studies University
Business & Software Analyst

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Shirley Zhou
B.Eng. C.S. & Tech., Zhejiang U. of Technology
Market Liaison


Organizations