Montréal’s place at the forefront of North American university cities was commemorated this year when the city was named the best city in the world for students. Greater Montréal’s 11 universities house over 155,000 students, including the largest number of university researchers in Canada. And Canada supports their work: of the $900-million awarded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Montréal has received a whopping 24%. McGill University and Université de Montréal are ranked amongst the world’s best learning institutions, and the city is also home to the Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO) responsible for leaps and bounds in the study of AI and Big Data, itself the recipient of $93.5-million from the First Research fund in 2016.
UdeM’s MILA (the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms) composes the largest and most renowned group of deep learning researchers in the world. MILA’s director Yoshua Bengio is a pioneer in the study of Deep Learning, and his research has been cited over 4,000 times in international studies. More than 250 doctoral students and researchers in Montréal make up the world’s largest academic concentration, developing a broad range of AI-related topics from language processing, reinforcement learning and computer vision.
But the movement doesn’t stop there. Several grassroots organizations including MTL Data, MTL Machine Learning and Data Driven MTL all operate in the city, alongside 125 Meetup groups with over 45,000 members connected to startups and independent initiatives.