EXPO 2020 Panel Session: “Artificial Intelligence Education: How to train the future AI workforce for research and innovation?”

On 14th December 2021 Nazarbayev University Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) is organizing a Panel Session “Artificial Intelligence Education: How to train the future AI workforce for research and innovation?”.

In the first part of the session, the founding director of ISSAI, Dr. Atakan Varol, will present ISSAI research projects and share the Institute’s expertise in the fields of Data Science, Smart Systems and AI. The presentation will be followed by a discussion session moderated by Dr. Vassilios Tourassis.

A distinguished panel of AI experts and academics will seek to unravel the question of what kind of AI skills are most in demand to succeed, the ways to remain relevant and competitive, the latest trends and real-life examples of success stories in AI. The panel speakers will cover the emerging AI techniques and the future of the job market with regard to the development of AI. Panel speakers will include AI experts and CTOs from tech companies like G42, Causaly Inc and Jusan Bank.

The session will be an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the current trends and developments in AI, the future of jobs, and the skills and knowledge required to meet the new demands. The session participants will also be able to put their questions to the panel speakers.




Dr. Vassilios Tourassis, Dean of the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences at Nazarbayev University.

He received the 5-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University. Before joining Nazarbayev University, he was a Research Fellow at the Carnegie-Mellon’s Robotics Institute, a tenured Professor at the University of Rochester, New York, USA, and most recently the Vice Rector for development and research at the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece.




Dr. Atakan Varol, Founding Director of the Institute of Smart Systems and AI, Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Dr. Varol joined NU as a faculty member of Robotics in 2011 after completing his doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University. He served as a technical editor for top journals and conferences in Robotics. He published over 80 impactful papers on artificial intelligence, bionics, soft robotics, sensor fusion, and augmented reality.


Dr. Taieb Znati, Professor and Dean, College Of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University

Prior to joining UAEU, he was a Professor and Chair of the CS Department at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as the Director of the Computer and Network Systems Division at the National Science Foundation. In 2004, he led the Information Technology Research Initiative (ITR), focused on the design and engineering of resilient and reliable software architectures for large-scale systems. He also served as a Senior Program Director in the NSF/ANIR Division. Dr. Znati’s current research interests are in cloud and data-intensive computing, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, and energy-aware resiliency models for extreme-scale systems. He published over 90 journal papers, 175 referred conference papers, and several books on networked systems and network protocols. Dr. Znati served as the General Chair and Chair of several main conferences, including ICDCS 2019, GlobeCom 2010, and INFOCOM 2005. He was the co-founder and General Chair of SECON 2004. He served or currently serves as a member of Editorial Boards. He also served on the Science Foundation Ireland Board, and Co-Chaired the Network and Information Research and Development (NITRD) for Large Scale Networking. He was member of the Internet2 Research Advisory Council for Developing Strategies for Research. He also served as the Chair of the Committee of Visitors of the Advanced Networking Program of the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) of the United States Department of Energy.


Dr. Shadab Khan, Head of AI and Applied Sciences, G42, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

G42 Healthcare, leading efforts in analysis of large scale health data from EHR, genomics, imaging, claims, and other sources. Prior to joining G42, Shadab was a research scientist at Inception Institute of AI, where he worked on data-efficient machine learning. At IIAI, Shadab also co-developed curriculum for MS and PhD courses at MBZ University of AI in UAE, while closely participating in the university’s accreditation process. Shadab has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Dartmouth College, and did his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.


Artur Saudabayev, Co-founder and CTO at Causaly Inc., London, United Kingdom.

“Causaly” Inc, a London-based technology company that uses AI to quickly find causal evidence and generate insights from vast amounts of documents in the field of biomedicine. “Causaly” has recently raised $17 million in venture capital. Artur has received his Bachelor’s degree from Dublin Institute of Technology, and his Master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh.



Bauyrzhan Aubakir, Director for Analytics and Data Science Department, “First Heartland Jusan Bank” JSC, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Prior to that he worked as a Computer Engineering Instructor at American University of the Middle East. He received his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Robotics from the Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan.






National Pavilion of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Business Lounge, 2 floor; working hours 10AM – 22PM.
Detailed information is available on the website www.expo2020dubai.com.
If you are vaccinated you must present proof of at least one dose of any COVID vaccine. If you are unvaccinated you must present a negative PCR test certificate for a test conducted within the last 72 hours.


Date: 14th December 2021

Time: 15:00-17:00

Venue: Dubai Expo, National Pavilion of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Conference Room

Register here