Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Workshop & Mixer

Thursday, March 21, 2024
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Laughlin Hall, Welker Room

Cost: Free

This interactive workshop will introduce students to a range of practical applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI:ML) and highlight different careers that utilize these tools. Students will gain first-hand experience using different tools and interacting with professionals working in the field. Please bring your computer to follow along. No previous experience or knowledge is necessary. A networking mixer with food and drink will follow the workshop. Please register to help us get a headcount for ordering food. Bring your ID if you plan to drink alcohol.

4:00 – 4:05pm Welcome & intro by Dr. Miron Avidan
4:05 – 4:20pm Part 1: AI:ML for academic use with Lauren Panton
4:20 – 4:50pm Part 2: Visual AI:ML with Rick Gardinier
4:50 – 5:10pm Part 3: Intro to Machine Learning with Brian Collins
5:10 – 5:20pm Presentation of B&DS related programs and wrap up – Dr. Miron Avidan
5:20 – 5:50pm Networking reception

Part 1: AI:ML for academic use
With Lauren Panton, Chatham’s Director of Instructional Technology and Teaching Development
AI and machine learning hold vast potential for academic purposes such as writing and presenting which is only beginning to unfold. Lauren will kick off the workshop with a focus on ChatGPT and Microsoft CoPilot. If you would like to follow along, please prepare by creating a login account in advance at:
• ChatGPT ( ChatGPT ( - requires a login
• Microsoft Copilot: Microsoft Copilot: Your everyday AI companion - open without a login, but a login is necessary for extended use.

Part 2: Visual AI:ML
With Rick Gardinier, Partner and Chief Digital Officer at Brunner
Rick will demonstrate powerful visual AI tools such as Midjourney and Dall-E. He will also talk more broadly about how AI technologies are disrupting the advertising and marketing industry. In particular he will share how Brunner is exploring and using AI technologies for content marketing and creative inspiration. Finally, Rick will also touch on the responsible use of AI in the business world, as well as some of the potential risks associated with this emerging technology.

Part 3: Intro to Machine Learning
With Brian Collins, Sr. Technical Program Manager at Amazon Artificial General Intelligence
To conclude, Brian will go over some of the basic concepts of AI and Machine Learning, and how they are different from traditional programming. He will then introduce Large Language Models (LLM) as a transformative tool for the processing of textual data. Finally, Brian will run a demo (based on Claude.AI, no need to open an account in advance) to demonstrate the immense power of these tools for learners in an academic environment.


Rick Gardinier is a partner and Chief Digital Officer at Brunner - one of the region’s largest marketing services companies, with headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Atlanta. Rick has led digital marketing at Brunner for 24 years, and is currently the head of marketing technology, web, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) business lines. For 10 years he also ran Brunner’s “Technology Innovation Lab”, focusing on how to reach consumers using innovative technology. Rick is excited by the intersection of marketing and technology. He has a BS Degree in Computer Science, and an MBA in Marketing. He has also worked in the Business-to-Business (B2B), Financial, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), and healthcare sectors, and is currently also an adjunct professor for Chatham.

Brian Collins is the Senior Technical Program Manager for Amazon Artificial General Intelligence (formerly Alexa Speech Recognition). Alexa/Amazon Devices is the company behind Alexa, Kindle, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Echo, Astro, Luna, Ring, and Project Kuiper. Brian coordinates complex multi-team computer science initiatives which drive the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Machine Learning (ML) efforts for the Amazon Artificial General Intelligence. Brian has driven ASR initiatives to new product offerings. Brian coordinates between teams on three continents to ensure program launch deadlines are met and to ensure complex dependencies are overcome. In the evenings, Brian works as an adjunct professor teaching technology and business courses for Chatham University. Brian has earned a bachelor’s degree of liberal arts (BS), a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Doctor of Business Administration in management (DBA), as well as a Master of Software Engineering (MS).

Lauren Panton is Chatham’s Director of Instructional Technology and Teaching Development. She coordinates and supervises daily activities, including overseeing staff and student workers; provides a vision for initiatives and innovations supporting instructional technology and teaching excellence across campus; oversees the administration, implementation, management, assessment, and training of university enterprise-level teaching and learning technologies, including the university learning management system (LMS); and collaborates with campus partners to build and strengthen existing professional development initiatives around technology usage and pedagogical best practices.

Dr. Miron Avidan is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Business at Chatham’s Falk School and the School of Arts, Science, and Business. After completing a M.Sc. in Applied Statistics from Tel-Aviv University, Miron moved to Montreal (QC) towards a Ph.D. from McGill University’s Faculty of Management (Department of Strategy and Organizational theory). His thesis concerns the Water-Energy Nexus and how it is addressed by the corporate world. Additional research interests of his include corporate water stewardship, corporate governance, and sustainability metrics. Miron is inspired by research that aims to reduce the negative environmental impact of business activity.


Fee : Free

Registration has closed. Please contact Jessy Swisher at for additional information.


Laughlin Hall, Welker Room

Contact Information

Jessy Swisher