Derek Ruths

Derek Ruths is Associate Professor of Computer Science at McGill University. He joined the faculty in 2009 after completing his PhD in Computer Science at Rice University. His ongoing work considers the problem of characterizing and predicting the large-scale dynamics of human behaviour in online social platforms. His work involves active collaborations with colleagues in the social sciences, humanities, and in industry. He has published in top-tier journals and conferences including Science, EMNLP, ICWSM, and PLoS Computational Biology. His research is funded by a wide array of organizations including NSERC, SSHRC, tech companies, and the US National Science Foundation – underscoring the broad, interdisciplinary nature of his work.

If data science tools have made billions of dollars for companies like Amazon, imagine what we can do when we apply them to helping the most urgent and pressing problems we face in our communities – however local or global the scale. I co-founded and run Charitable Analytics International – which focuses on enabling social good initiatives to do more using data science. We’ve worked with an array of organizations from the UN to the National Democratic Institute to the RightsCon international conference on digital rights.

I believe that a good government has responsible and active data science initiatives across the board. I work hard to support governments’ efforts to achieve this – especially in Canada. Some of my past contributions include:

  • Serving on the Canadian federal COVID-app advisory committee
  • Advising policy makers on opportunities and challenges around data-driven approaches to mitigating terrorism
  • Providing policy and technical guidance to a pan-Canadian healthcare analytics initiative.

Together with Prof. Taylor Owen, we run the Tech Informed Policy Initiative which publishes memos that give government policy makers

I’ve founded and run several companies in the data science sector – so I’ve done everything from building full-stack ML software to assembling executive-level go-to-market strategies. To this end, I’ve consulted with industry – advising and developing initiatives that range from company-wide data science strategy to specific, critical data science projects. While currently I do most of my corporate work as Chief Data Scientist at Petro.ai, from time-to-time I’ll take on another project. Get in touch if your organization is looking for support in building data science capacity, strategy, or transformation.

Network Dynamics Laboratory
Network Dynamics Laboratory
Charitable Analytics International
Charitable Analytics International
Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science
Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science
Tech Informed Policy
Media Ecosystem Observatory

Office:McConnell #106N
Mail:McConnell Engineering Bldg, Rm 318
3480 University Street
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3A 2A7