Keynote Speakers

Vassilios S. Verykios

Hellenic Open University

Title: Shadows and Silhouettes: Protecting Privacy in the Expansive Realm of Big Data

Abstract: As digital information increasingly dominates our lives, the boundaries of privacy are continuously challenged. This speech addresses the critical issues and ethical dilemmas surrounding privacy in the Big Data era. It explores the delicate balance between technological innovation and individual privacy rights, shedding light on the complexities of data collection, storage, and analysis. By advocating for robust privacy measures and responsible data practices, this discussion aims to chart a course toward protecting personal information in an ever-expanding digital world.

Brief Bio: Vassilios S. Verykios embarked on his academic journey with a Diploma from the University of Patras, followed by MSc and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. His career has seen a harmonious blend of teaching and research, from his early years as an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University to his tenure at the University of Thessaly in Greece and the Hellenic Open University, where he now serves as a Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Information Systems.

Prof. Verykios’s research traverses the vast landscapes of Data Management, Data Mining, Big Data, Parallel Systems, and Educational Data Mining. With over 200 publications in esteemed journals and conferences, his work has illuminated the intricacies of data in the digital age, earning more than 10000 citations on Google Scholar. His monograph, “Association Rule Hiding for Data Mining,” published by Springer, reflects his deep engagement with the ethical dimensions of data privacy.

His contributions extend beyond academia into the realm of international collaborations, with participation in projects funded by the Australian Research Council, Google, and SNF. He has consulted for leading tech companies and has been a visiting researcher at prestigious institutions, including CERIAS and the US Naval Research Laboratory.

Bill Kapralos

Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Canada.

Title: Immersive virtual learning environments (iVLEs) for healthcare education: Current state-of-of-art, and open problems

Abstract: Immersive virtual learning environments (iVLEs), serious games and virtual simulations in particular, allow trainees to learn from virtual simulated experiences in an interactive, engaging, and ethically safe manner. Although the use of iVLEs in healthcare education was steadily growing over the last 10-15 years, their use was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as they played a significant role in facilitating remote learning during the pandemic-related-lockdowns. Within healthcare education, iVLEs are not so much technologies of the future but rather, of the present. Educators are finding innovative ways to leverage the coupling of iVLEs and emerging technologies such as extended reality (augmented, mixed, and virtual realities), and artificial intelligence (AI), to transform healthcare education. Despite the popularity of iVLEs and their potential in healthcare education, there are various limitations associated with their use that must be addressed. With a focus on healthcare education, this presentation will begin with an overview of iVLEs, and the various relevant emerging technologies they incorporate (XR and AI). A brief discussion regarding the limitations and potential solutions to these limitations will follow.

Brief Bio: Bill Kapralos is an Associate Professor within Game Development and Interactive Media program and the maxSIMhealth Laboratory at Ontario Tech University, and the Technical Lead of the Collaborative Human Immersive Interaction Laboratory, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. His current research interests include: immersive technologies, serious gaming, multi-modal virtual environments/simulation/reality, and spatial sound generation.  He was recently awarded a Greek Diaspora Fellowship. He is a past recipient of an Australian Government 2018 Endeavour Executive Fellowship, a past recipient of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, a past recipient of an IBM Centres for Advanced Studies Faculty Award, and a past co-recipient of a Google Faculty Award.