The Toronto-based Vector Institute has named its first CEO in Dr. Garth Gibson. His appointment is effective January 2, 2018.
In the past, Gibson has acted as professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was also co-director of its Master of Computational Data Science program, and Associate Dean for Master’s Programs in the School of Computer Science.
In particular, Gibson is recognized for working on scalable computer research enabling the development of supercomputers. He established the school’s Parallel Data Lab.
“Vector’s mandate calls for a leader with expertise in advanced science, entrepreneurship and business,” said Ed Clark, founding chair of the Vector Institute. “Dr. Garth Gibson is that leader, and we are very fortunate to welcome him to the Vector Institute. Working with our partners in academia and industry, Vector is building on Canada’s strong foundation of globally-recognized talent and research to translate discoveries into economic growth and prosperity for Canadians.”
The Vector Institute was established in March 2017 with over $80 million from the public and private sector. According to The Globe and Mail, there have also been issues with competing priorities among stakeholders at the Institute, and Gibson will have the challenge of reconciling academics to do basic and applied research.
“These are communities that don’t normally understand each other, and being able to explain to them what to expect and focus on and what can be delivered is a big challenge,” Gibson told the Globe. “I know how much time it takes to explain to one strong-minded sponsor what to expect from a group … working on a project, and what not to expect.”
Gibson expressed some enthusiasm for being among researchers to return to Canada from the US to build the country up as an AI leader. “Canada has the potential to become a global leader in advancing AI research, development and commercialization, and all of Canada stands to benefit as a result. I’m a proud Canadian who grew up in Aurora and graduated from the University of Waterloo. I am excited about returning home to help lead these efforts with the Vector Institute.”