Faculty Profiles

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The MSc CDA features award-winning faculty members from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Sobey School of Business. Our instructors are experts in wide ranging computing and data analytics disciplines and maintain active research programs and industry partnerships.  MSc CDA also features industry based instructors in each course, so students receive real-world learning experiences and connections to potential internships, sponsored projects, and industry events.

Dr. Pawan Lingras

Director, MSc CDA
Professor, Mathematics & Computing Science
MCDA5580 Data Mining
MCDA5550 Web, Mobile, Cloud Application Development

Pawan Lingras is a Professor of Mathematics and Computing Science and Director of M.Sc. in Computing and Data Analytics at Saint Mary’s University. He has delivered more than 45 invited talks at various institutions around the world. He has authored more than 210 research papers in various international journals and conferences. He has also co-authored three textbooks, and co-edited two books and eight volumes of research papers.  He has been Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant recipient for 30 years, as well as other commercialization funding programs including NSERC Engage, NRC/IRAP, Nova Scotia Productivity and Innovation fund, and Mitacs.  His total research and development grants as of March 2020 exceed $3.5 million with $3 million coming in the last five years. He has collaborated with more than 25 companies on projects ranging from feasibility studies to product development. He has supervised 137 research students (2 PDF, 10 PhD, 77 Master's, 48 UG).  His research and commercialization projects include data mining, big data, retail mining, wearable technology, Internet of Things, sensor data analysis, Web usage mining, image processing, engineering process mining, clustering - pattern profiling, prediction, automated classification, association mining and optimization using evolutionary algorithms. He is an active organizer and reviewer for a number of international conferences and journals.

Pawan is a recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Research, Father William A. Stewart, S.J., Medal for Excellence in Teaching by the alumni association and Faculty of Science Teaching Excellence award by Saint Mary’s student association. He was the coach of Saint Mary's CS Huskies programming team from 1999-2010, winning eight Atlantic Canadian Championships, four runner-up finishes, and one trip to the World Finals (Hawaii, 2002). He continues to mentor students in a variety of app development competitions.

Pawan is a graduate of IIT Bombay with graduate studies from University of Regina. His co-authors include professionals from Canada, India, China, Tunisia, USA, UK, Germany, Norway, and Chile. He was the Director of a Business Administration and Computing program in The Gambia, West Africa. He recently served as a University Grant Council (UGC) funded Scholar-in-Residence at SRTM University, Nanded, and as a visiting professor at IIT Gandhinagar, both in India. During these two visits in 2011-12, he extensively traveled through India giving more than 40 invited talks. He has also previously served as a Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Scholar. He has also participated in a Science tour of Germany and most recently served as a visiting faculty at Munich University of Applied Sciences.

Dr. Michael Zhang‌

Dr. Michael Zhang is Associate Professor in the Department of Finance, Information Systems and Management Science at the Sobey School of Business. He was Acting Associate Dean in Research and Knowledge Mobilization, at the Sobey School of Business from 2019 to 2020. He holds Adjunct Professor appointments in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at the University of Prince Edward Island and the Department of Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University. Dr. Zhang’s research is in the area of analytics in healthcare services management and supply chain management. He teaches courses of Applied Data Analysis, Statistics, Operations Management and Quantitative Methods for PhD in Applied Science, Master of Finance, Master of Applied Science, MBA and Undergraduate students.  Dr. Zhang received his PhD in Management Science from the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario; his Master of Financial Economics from Xiamen University, and B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering from Zhejiang University in China.

Dr. Hai Wang

Hai Wang is a Professor in the Department of Finance, Information Systems and Management Science at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. He was an Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor in the same department from 2004 to 2016. He also holds an Adjunct Professor appointment in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. He received his B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of New Brunswick in 1995, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1997 and 2004 respectively.

His research interests are in the fields of business intelligence, business analytics, machine learning and data management.  His research is currently funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He was the Acting Director of the M.Sc. CDA program during 2020-2021.

Dr. Stavros Konstantinidis

Professor, Mathematics & Computing Science
MCDA5540 Managing and Programming Databases

Stavros Konstantinidis obtained a BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Athens (1988), and the MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Western University (1992 and 1996, respectively). From the summer of 1996 to the summer of 1998 he served as an assistant professor in the department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Lethbridge. In the summer of 1998 he joined the department of Mathematics and Computing Science at Saint Mary's University (SMU), where he is currently a tenured professor. At SMU he has served as coordinator of graduate students, coordinator of computing science, and chairperson of the department. He is interested in theoretical and mathematical aspects of computing science, and applications in error control codes, string processing, and bioinformatics. He has published many scientific articles in leading journals and international conferences, including two best conference paper awards. He has served in the program committees of several international conferences as well as in various committees of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada---as a national committee chair in two occasions.


Dr. Yasushi Akiyama

Associate Professor, Mathematics & Computing Science
Associate Director - Admissions, MSc CDA
MCDA 5530 UI/UX Design and Quality Engineering

Yasushi completed his MSc from Saint Mary’s University and PhD from Dalhousie University. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computing Science at SMU and a Human-Computer Interaction researcher. His research focuses on design, implementation, and evaluation of digital tools that support users to view and manipulate different types of multimedia data. In addition to his academic research, he has also worked with the industry partners on several Research and Development (R & D) projects.


  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • UI/UX Design and Evaluation
  • Digital Creative Tools
  • Multimedia Data Visualization
  • Multimodal Interaction Technologies


Mohamed Eltobgy 

Manager, Business Analysis - IBM Canada
MCDA 5530 UI/UX Design and Quality Engineering

Mohamed is the Manager for the Business Analysis team at IBM Halifax, Canada and SMU MSc CDA Alumni (2016) with extensive experience in Business Analysis and IT including expertise in system analysis, software development, managed services, business analytics, and managing the requirements lifecycle. Mohamed has worked in different domains with strong knowledge in financial services, telecommunications and health care. 


  • Business Analysis and Analytics, System Analysis and design, data migration.
  • Enterprise Design thinking.
  • Agile project management, Agile Methodology.
  • Solution design, managing requirements lifecycle, application managed services.

Chad West

Manager of IT, Municipality of the County of Kings
MCDA5540 Managing and Programming Databases

Chad is currently the Manager of IT for the Municipality of the County of Kings.  He was previously the software architect for Track Group Analytics and spent over 14 years on the IBM DB2 SQL query compiler development team.


  • Full-stack Software Development
  • SQL compilation and optimization
  • Agile Methodologies and Project Management

Daniel Penny

Adjunct Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computing Science

Lead Solution Architect, AXIS Capital
MCDA 5510 Software Development in Business Environment
MCDA 5550 Web, Mobile, and Cloud Application Development

Dan completed his BSc in 1996 from Saint Francis Xavier University and his MSc from Saint Mary’s University in 2012.  Dan’s 25-year professional career followed the emergence of the internet, as technology moved into our daily lives. Initially with roles in software development teams he focused on technology, with the last decade being a member of technology leadership teams, using technology to transform businesses to succeed in industry.  Over his career he worked in many domains, examples include: Telecommunications, environmental science, eCommerce, health care, and is currently working in the insurance domain.  As a member of the MCDA team Dan enjoys working with the students, faculty and industry experts to build and deliver the skills, tools and technologies of the future. 


  • SDLC processes and methodologies
  • Web and Cloud technologies
  • Software architecture / development
  • Leadership & Strategic Thinking
  • Process Automation

Neil Williams:

Neil Williams is an accomplished program/project manager and management consultant with over 46 years’ experience mainly in the Information Technology domain. His broad base of experience includes managing complex initiatives involving diverse stakeholders, implementing solutions that fundamentally shift client business models. Passionate about building strong relationships as a trusted advisor to clients, he is known for his ability in building effective teams and mentoring/coaching individuals while delivering results on time and within budget.

Neil holds a BSc. (Honours) degree in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg -1977, Project Management Professional (PMP) designation and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC).

Specialties/Interests include:

  • Project/Program Management
  • Management Consulting
  • Networking/Relationship Building
  • Mentoring


Kanngi Mahajan

Kanngi is the Manager and Lead Mobile Application for the Business Transformation Services practice at IBM Halifax, Canada and also the SMU MSc CDA Alumni (2017) holding expertise in Mobile Technologies, Data Analytics and IT with a good experience in Travel and Transportation industry.


  • Mobile Technologies
  • Agile
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management and Delivery

Predrag Rajnis

Associate Director, Business and Application Solutions – Dalhousie University
MCDA 5570 Big Data and Information Technology Management

Predrag leads the team supporting enterprise solutions at Dalhousie University and is a SMU MBA Alumnus. His life-long career in IT encompasses a variety of roles in several areas of Information Technology with emphasis on IT in Higher Education. He has extensive experience helping business units solve real-world problems through the use of technology.


  • IT Management
  • Service Management
  • Process Management and Re-engineering
  • Business and System Analysis
  • Full Systems Development Lifecycle
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