The program consists of nine unique training components that together deliver both the interdisciplinary research skills as well as the professional skills that will allow trainees to translate this knowledge into productive collaboration with industry and public sector organizations.

The combination of these training components gives you an experience that generally will not otherwise exist:
Industrial Internship
All graduate and postdoctoral trainees are required to complete a five-month internship (20% of training period) with one of our industrial partners. This internship provides practical training in the application of data analytics and visualization methods to real-world problems, as well as marketable professional skills.

Interdisciplinary Rotation
All PhD and Postdoctoral trainees are required to complete a three-month interdisciplinary rotation in a laboratory other than their own (optional for Master’s students), in order to broaden their research skills. One goal here is to encourage data analytics students to gain visualization design experience and vice versa. We particularly encourage rotations with international academic collaborators to provide trainees with global experience.

Unique Cross-Institutional Project Course
To spearhead training, the four participating institutions have collaborated to develop a new inter-institutional graduate course on data analytics & visualization specifically for this program. Required for all trainees, this course provides instruction and training in state-of-the-art approaches for data analytics & visualization, which students will reduce to practice through a major interdisciplinary team project that delivers an end-to-end demonstration system (raw data to visualization) for a specific application problem. The multi-disciplinary team structure is similar to team structures found in the private sector and thus provides trainees with an improved capacity to work with industry. The course leverages synchronous remote learning environments to maximize use of limited trainee and instructor time.

Unique Interdisciplinary Curriculum
The program offers a broad, closely-coordinated selection of
graduate courses in sensing, signal processing, computer vision, data analytics, geomatics, computer graphics, visualization and design offered by the four participating institutions. Protocols have been put in place to allow students from each institution to obtain credit for courses taken at another institution. All graduate students are required to take at least one course from the Data Analytics group and one from the Visualization group. To our knowledge there is no other comparable program in Canada.
Annual Boot Camp on Data Analytics & Visualization
To bring trainees together with our industry partners, all trainees are required to attend an annual three-day Boot Camp. Day 1 consists of lectures and discussion of key application areas, led by invited experts. Day 2 involves presentations by all of the trainees, videotaped and reviewed with CREATE mentors to augment communications training. The final day focuses on professional skills training by invited experts, including CV and interview skills, communications and management skills, entrepreneurship and MELSI issues in data science. The workshop also provides an opportunity for informal discussion between trainees and collaborators, facilitating the planning of internships and transition to employment. At least one of these boot camps will be hosted at Concordia University in Montreal to provide greater opportunity to network with Quebec industry.

Public Speaking Requirement
Several components of the program, particularly the boot camp, are designed to provide training in knowledge translation. This culminates in a public presentation given by each trainee on their research and its impact on society, with the assistance of York’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit.

Site Visits
Trainees are required to participate in annual visits to industry sites in the Toronto (e.g., IBM, MTO, Mircom, Baycrest Health Sciences, Autodesk, Manifold Data Mining) and Montreal (e.g., Bombardier Aerospace, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, Pratt & Whitney Canada Limited, Altair Engineering, Marinvent Corporation) regions for demonstrations and discussions of data analytics applications. This provides trainees with a better understanding of DAV problems facing industry, of internship and employment opportunities in Canada, as well the critical professional networks they will need for their careers.

Summer School in DAV
An annual three-day summer school for senior undergraduates will take place annually at York University starting in the summer of 2016. The summer school will consist of wide-ranging talks on the theory and applications of data analytics & visualization, given by faculty and industry experts. The primary goal is to generate excitement for the field and attract top students to apply to the Masters level of the CREATE program.

Partnership with the Canadian Visual Analytics School (CANVAS)
All trainees are required to participate fully in the planning and delivery of this existing annual Canadian summer school. This participation provides trainees with instruction from academic and industry leaders on the most recent cutting-edge techniques in data analytics & visualization.