We spoke to Samrajesh Mault, PhD, who recently joined SCS as a Faculty Lecturer and Academic Program Coordinator in the Technology & Innovation domain. Samrajesh comes from the Kuwait College of Science and Technology where he served as a lecturer and lab leader in the computer science and engineering department.
You’ve been described as an expert in cybersecurity. Could you explain what cybersecurity is all about and its impact?
In today’s world, information technology has a tremendous impact on everyone’s daily life and as a result, information security is crucial. Cybersecurity is generally described by a three-letter triad - CIA: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Nowadays, most of us access critical financial and other personal information online using either a mobile device or computer. Cybersecurity, education, and awareness are critical for both organizations and individuals. It is more like riding a bicycle than driving a car in that one needs to keep riding to avoid falling. Therefore, we must keep on learning and being abreast of the latest developments and challenges.
In what ways can information technology improve education globally?
Today, Information Technology plays a crucial role in transforming our world, from connecting people across the globe to controlling rockets. Moreover, we see Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems that learn from large amounts of data and then produce new information.
There are several ways to improve the well-being of global citizens. To realize this, there is a need for advanced IT professionals who can take development to the next level and others who can disseminate knowledge to reduce the digital divide across the globe.
A world without existing data would mean generative AI would not be able to generate anything since it works with the existing knowledgebase humans have created. Therefore, in the future, human creativity, imagination, and innovation as well as AI-based systems are very much needed to better solve the world’s problems.
Let me focus on the future of the education sector with advanced technologies. I think AI can play an important role. Personalized learning can be customized for each learner’s unique skills, abilities, needs, background, experience, and interests. Each learner has their own preferred mode of learning: visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic (as specified in the VARK model for learning styles). By finding the natural learning style of an Individual and then adjusting teaching methods we can help individuals learn better. AI systems can help us overcome the shortage of instructors by completing some administrative tasks and, freeing up instructors’ time so they can focus on completing tasks that require human intelligence.
Furthermore, by 2030, the education sector will have the least number of jobs that can be automated.
Finally, I would like to state a quote from researcher Brett A. Becker: “Combining the best of human and machine for the benefit of the learner is the true goal of artificial intelligence in education.”
What do you hope to accomplish as a faculty lecturer here at the McGill School of Continuing Studies?
I believe a good instructor teaches a complex thing in a simple manner that is understood by learners. As a recipient of the best instructor award in my previous teaching assignment, I strive to do my best to make learning an enjoyable experience for my students.
Secondly, as an academic program coordinator, I am involved in curriculum updates which include updating the program curriculum and incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technological development, to help SCS meet its core objectives and industry needs.
Finally, I aim to do research in my area of expertise and contribute to the scientific community in developing sustainable solutions. I believe with my extensive teaching, industry, and research experience I will be able to make a positive impact at SCS.
We understand that in your spare time you are also a motivational speaker. What are some of the topics you discuss?
Yes, I love to motivate youth and teens. I have conducted numerous public speaking workshops both offline and online as well as youth programs on stress management, time management, effective decision making, and choosing the right career path using various scientific approaches. I also love motivating kids in the church ministry.
How have your first few months in Montreal been?
Great, when I arrived in Montreal first, I got a lot of support from our domain director and team. I feel at home here and it’s wonderful to be a part of McGill SCS. Moreover, my wife and I were thrilled to bring along our small 3-year-old pet dog Cutie to Montreal. She loves the pleasant weather here and is so excited to be outdoors and explore.