Prof. Josep Lluis de la Rosa (Peplluis)

Full Professor at the University of Girona (UdG), Spain


Title: On digital assets and the blockchain disruption. A path of 5000 years

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Abstract: I’ll invite you to discover the fundamentals of Money, and nowadays currencies, from the prehistoric times until now, and we will do as well a step into the future to grasp the technology and societal disruptions of Blockchain and the Smart Contracts technologies.  Once familiarized with them, I will propose a series of challenges for you to develop together.

Bitcoin represents a next generation of currencies in an evolution that started 5000 years ago. Blockchain, originally the name of the tracking database underlying the virtual currency Bitcoin, the term is today used broadly to refer to any distributed electronic ledger using software algorithms to record transactions with reliability and anonymity. This technology is as well referred to as distributed ledgers (its generic name), cryptocurrencies (the virtual currencies that engendered it), bitcoin (the today prevailing cryptocurrency), and decentralized verification (its key differentiating attribute).

At its heart, Blockchain is a self-sustaining, peer-to-peer (P2P) database technology for recording and managing transactions with no central ledger or service involvement. Because Blockchain verification is handled through algorithms and consensus among multiple computers, the system is presumed immune to fraud, tampering, or any outside control. It is conceived to protect against domination of the network by any single computer or group of computers, which are relatively anonymous, identified only by pseudonyms, and every transaction can be relied upon.

The distributed ledger technology (DLT) that started with Bitcoin is pretty fast becoming a crowdsourced system for all types of verification. Could it replace notary publics, manual vote recounts, and the way banks manage transactions. Can it be applied elsewhere? The definite answer is, yes.

In the seminar, I will explain one example of Logo Detection as previous step for visual Identity Validation implementable in Blockchain. The hint: A standard Blockchain is indeed a database, a distributed database that relies on a probabilistic consensus mechanism; a Blockchain is also immutable; The consensus-based validation, right at the core operations of the Blockchain, might be the hint to be it applicable to Identity. And many others might follow. You will discover them. And let me go with you. The work is exploratory in nature.

Biography: Prof. de la Rosa is a full professor at the University of Girona (UdG) Spain and Rensselaer Institute of Technology (RPI) New York, USA. He is also the director of the Technology Research Center Easy and of the Official Master in Smart Cities of the UdG. He has MBA of the UdG and PhD in Computer Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). De la Rosa is expert in intelligent agents, social networks, virtual currencies, and digital preservation and their application to the market. He is a researcher with entrepreneurial vision that has created several spin-off companies starting from the first world robotic soccer team as early as 1996. His research about complementary and virtual currencies started from 2006 and soon later he got fascinated by the disruption of the Blockchain technology and its advantages. From then, he has been working on this topic to design new types of money suitable for the Internet.

Dr. Ebrahim Bagheri

Associate Professor and the Director for the Laboratory for Systems, Software and Semantics (LS3) at Ryerson University


Title: Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Modeling on User-Generated Content

Abstract: The identification of actionable insight from social media and network content has received wide attention in the recent years. This is primarily due to possibility of using this information to model and predict user behavior, activity and decision making attitudes both at a micro as well as a macro levels. An important aspect of social networks pertains to the dynamic and temporal evolution of social content and structure. In this talk, I will review three applications with due consideration paid to temporality and show how the consideration of temporal aspects can enhance application-level performance. These applications range from temporal community detection, prospect user modeling and personalized event modeling.

Biography: Ebrahim Bagheri is the Canada Research Chair in Software and Semantic Computing, Associate Professor and the Director for the Laboratory for Systems, Software and Semantics (LS3) at Ryerson University, and has been active in the areas of the Semantic Web and Software Engineering. He was one of the research team leaders of the national project on Radiation Emission Monitoring at the National Research Council Canada and was responsible for leading the development of the Semantic Web and Knowledge Engineering components of that project. In 2011, he co-chaired the Canadian Semantic Web Conference in Vancouver, BC ( His work on Semantic-Driven Information Extraction has resulted in several provisionally patented technologies including Denote and Derive. Denote is a semantic annotation platform based on Linked Open Data and Derive is an extensible architecture for unsupervised knowledge extraction and object (concept and property-value pair) population from the Web. He has been involved in projects that encompass the use of Semantic Web technologies in the areas of e-commerce and business process modeling funded by NSERC, AIF and IBM. Over the past 5 years, he has led projects worth over $8M CAD including various NSERC research and development projects with over 12 industrial partners. He is a senior member of IEEE, an IBM Faculty Fellow and a member of PEO.


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