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Professor of Computer Science; Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity; director of Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity
City: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Country of Origin: Iran
Ali Ghorbani came to Canada with his wife, Mahin, and three children, Baharak, Babak and Forough, in 1991 and have called it home ever since. Ghorbani held a variety of positions in academia for the past 37 years, over 20 years of it at University of New Brunswick (UNB). As a professor and an entrepreneur, he worked to create opportunities for his students and colleagues to excel. Most of his graduate students either went on to become entrepreneurs, faculty members or work at companies such as IBM, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, to name a few.
Currently, Ghorbani is a professor of Computer Science, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, and director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity, which he established in 2016. The institute is a comprehensive multidisciplinary training, research and development, and entrepreneurial unit with more than 50 researchers and graduate students.
He served as the dean of the faculty of computer science at the University of New Brunswick for nine years, from 2008 to 2017. He is also the founding director of the laboratory for intelligence and adaptive systems research, as well as the co-founder of the Privacy, Security, Trust (PST) Network in Canada and the organizer of its annual international conference. He served as general chair and program chair/co-chair for 14 international conferences and workshops.
Ghorbani has spent the last 27 years of his 37-year academic career carrying out both fundamental and applied research in the area of cybersecurity, machine learning and web intelligence. He is the co-inventor of three awarded patents in the field of network security and web intelligence and has published more than 270 peer-reviewed articles and supervised more than 180 research associates, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students during his career.
Since 2010, he has obtained more than $15 million to fund eight large multi-project research initiatives. He co-authored the book, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems: Concepts and Techniques, which was published by Springer in October 2010. He served as the co-editor-in-chief of Computational Intelligence: An International Journal from 2007 to 2017.
He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He received UNB’s Merit Award and Research Scholar Award in 2003 and 2007, respectively.
Furthermore, he developed some technologies that have been adopted by high-tech companies and co-founded two startups, Sentrant Security and EyesOver Technologies in 2013 and 2015, respectively. He is the recipient of the 2017 Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur Award.
Ghorbani has also served as a member of many boards and councils, including the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) Professional Standards Advisory Council (PSAC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada committee on Safety and Security, the Computer Science Society and Canadian Association of Computer Science.
To give back to Canada for all the opportunities he has had, Ghorbani and his wife established a scholarship at UNB for computer science or software engineering students from developing countries.