Vincent Tao, Founder and CEO,

05:30 PM (PST), Tuesday, November 2, 2021
08:30 AM (GMT+8), Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Abstract: TBA.

Biography: Vincent is a visionary, entrepreneur and known investor who has built successful companies under various culture environments both in China and North America. Vincent has received many distinctions for his achievements including 2017 Honorary Doc Degree from York Univ., 2017 Best Chinese Entrepreneur Award By Univ of Berkeley California Alumni, 2014 China top 100 most influential person, 2014 top 30 tech investor and 2012 E&Y the Most Impactful Entrepreneur Award.

Vincent is Founder and CEO of, a smart location infrastructure company aims to revolutionize the future autonomous world. He was founding partner of PPTV and former CEO, China’s leading online TV provider with 300 million active user per month. PPTV was invested by Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Softbank. Vincent was former executive at Microsoft, the founding member of Microsoft mapping program after Microsoft acquired his company, GeoTango, a pioneer in internet mapping. Vincent was instrumental to help build Microsoft global mapping platform ranging from aerial mapping to 3D automation, Vincent also responsible for MSFT internet and mapping business globally and has led a number of MnA transactions. Prior to his entrepreneur venture, Vincent held Chair Professor position at York University, Toronto. He was recognized by his peers as a world-class expert in mapping. Vincent has authored and co-authored over 200 technical papers, and holds a number of technical patents. He stills keeps his academic interests being adjunct professor of five universities.

Core Experiences: (1) Unique US and China Cross-culture experience in developing successful organizations at Microsoft, PPTV, GeoTango, U.N and Universities. (2) Hands-on experiences in Consumer Internet, Mapping and Media (3) Serial Entrepreneur with track record on building successful businesses

Geospatial Technologies for Ride-Sharing and Delivery Platforms

Dawn Woodard, Senior Director of Data Science for platform technologies, Uber

05:30 PM (PST), Wednesday, November 3, 2021
08:30 AM (GMT+8), Thursday, November 4, 2021

Abstract: Ride-sharing and delivery platforms such as Uber require complex geospatial inputs in order to generate their user experiences, match demand with drivers, and calculate fares. For example, route planning for meal deliveries uses predictions of the travel time between any two locations in the road network, and platform efficiency heavily depends on the accuracy of these predictions. I will describe the data-driven geospatial technologies, including those for travel time prediction, route optimization, and map error detection, that form the foundation of such multi-sided platforms. I will detail the challenges, such as data sparsity on parts of the road network, and show that highly accurate predictions need to take into account the granular dynamics of the physical system (traffic patterns in the road network). I will also illustrate machine learning architectures that incorporate this contextual information.

Biography: Dawn Woodard leads modeling and analytics for platforms including Uber Maps, which is the geospatial platform used in Uber’s user interfaces and decision systems. The team’s technologies include road map and points of interest data, map search, route optimization, travel time prediction, and navigation. Dr. Woodard earned her PhD in statistics from Duke University, after which she was a faculty member in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell. There she developed forecasting methods for emergency vehicle decision support systems, in collaboration with ambulance organizations. After receiving tenure at Cornell, she joined Microsoft Research for her sabbatical, where she created travel time prediction methods for use in Bing Maps. She then transitioned to Uber, leading modeling and analytics for the pricing and matching teams, eventually transitioning to her current role in Platforms.