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Dr. Eric Grimson to share his journey from Estevan to MIT

Former Estevan resident will speak during the first of what will be a series of events.
Dr. Eric Grimson

ESTEVAN - A former Estevan resident is returning to his hometown to talk about his journey from the Energy City to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Eric Grimson is the chancellor for academic advancement at MIT, a professor of computer science and the Bernard M. Gordon professor of medical engineering, as well as a former head of the department of electrical engineering and computer science and former chancellor for MIT.

He will be the guest speaker at the first event in the Innovation Conversation series, developed by the Southeast TechHub. The event is a partnership with the Southeast College.

A Future in Tech: My Journey from Estevan to MIT is slated to take place March 2 at the college's Estevan campus. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Online participation will also be available.

"The TechHub has been open now since March of last year, and its goal is to help diversify or add technology-based jobs to Estevan's and southeast Saskatchewan's economy. And one of the things that I'm trying to do is to inspire local people to look at technology, both software and hardware, as a new business or a new job. In that, I decided to create Innovation Conversation, which is going to be a series of talks from people who are from Estevan or Saskatchewan on their career path within technology, again, just to inspire people and so that people know that there's this option," explained Gordon More with Southeast TechHub.

The other goal of the series is to introduce Estevan and the southeast to a bigger world.

"[We want] to let people out in the world know that Estevan and southeast Saskatchewan is a place of innovation, is a unique place of high intelligence and aptitude. And so by showcasing some of our homegrown innovators, we can let people in Canada, outside of Saskatchewan, or in the U.S. know how amazing we are," More said.

He added Grimson responded to his invitation quickly and agreed to become their first guest speaker for an in-person presentation.

According to his bio on the MIT website, Grimson also serves as interim vice-president for open learning. As chancellor for academic advancement, he represents the institute to alumni, parents and others, and is a central advisor to MIT's president on issues related to MIT's Campaign for a Better World. As vice-president, he oversees MIT's efforts in online education, including open courseware, MITx and xPro.

In addition to research in computer vision and medical image analysis, Grimson teaches introductory computer programming courses, including an online MITx course. In all, he has taught some 15,000 MIT undergraduates and served as the thesis supervisor to almost 50 MIT PhDs.

A fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, he earned a bachelor of science in mathematics and physics from the University of Regina and a PhD in mathematics from MIT, and holds a doctor of letters (honoris causa) from Dalhousie University and a doctor of science (honoris causa) from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina.

The first Innovation Conversation will also feature a drone demonstration, heavy equipment simulator test drive and other attractions. More said these elements were added to also serve their two main goals.

"Through these Innovation Conversations, the goal is to inspire locals to look at innovation and technology and also to showcase those from outside what we are. So, we looked at what more can we bring to the presentation, to the conversation so that when people attend, they can say oh, this is interesting what is offered in my community at this time," More noted.

The presentation will be engaging for a wide range of people who want to know more about technology and innovation.

"[It will be interesting for] the kids, especially those involved with St. Mary's elementary innovation program or the new computer science program at the Comp, or some of the adults who have come into the TechHub, asking about or setting up new technology-based companies, anyone and everyone who's just interested about innovation and technology," More said.

The presentation will also be live-streamed to help people from outside the southeast to learn more about Estevan and its opportunities.

The event is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend. More just asked that people register in advance.

"For those who want to attend we strongly recommend people registering beforehand on our event's page at the TechHub website (," More said.

To watch virtually, people are asked to email for the link.

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