Paul Gries, Steve Engels & Mario Grech

Co-Founders & Directors of DCSIL


DCSIL  Finetech & AI Accelerator/Incubator of the Year Nominee 2018 by the Digital Finance Institute*

Paul GriesAcademic Lead, Co-Founder

Paul is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
Paul was the  Acting Vice-Dean Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts & Science and Decanal Liaison for Online Learning in 2015/2016, and is a pioneer in MOOCs.


He has numerous teaching awards, including the President’s Teaching Award at the UofT and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award. Paul earned a BA and an MEng, both in computer science, from Cornell University.

Paul is the co-author of Practical Programming, An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python, Pragmatic Bookshelf.

Steve EngelsAcademic Lead, Co-Founder

Steve Engels is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Steve has been delivering courses since 2002 in introductory programming, computer organization, software engineering and video game design, and is known for his supervision of capstone and independent research students. He has won multiple awards for this work, including the Arts & Science Distinguished Teaching Award.

Steve has an academic background in computer engineering and artificial intelligence (machine learning and natural language processing). His current research focuses on the design of educational video games, while his past research interests include applications of artificial intelligence, video game design and VR technology. Steve is also the coordinator of the Video Game Design focus in computer science, and the organizer of GameProfs, a group that unites the digital media instructors across all Ontario colleges and universities.

Steve also works extensively with industry groups, connecting companies with his students and with other colleagues in the department. He is involved with the computer science Innovation Lab (DCSIL), runs an industry-sponsored digital media showcase event called Level Up, and is a coordinator for an international collaboration between UofT's computer science department and the Aga Khan Foundation's University of Central Asia.

Mario GrechCo-Director, Co-Founder 
Mario Grech is an active high-technology business executive, entrepreneur, and investor with international leadership experience in both large Silicon Valley tech companies, including CRAY Research, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, as well as co-founding/co-funding four successful privately-held startup ventures. He also serves as an adviser to U.S. Government Departments and agencies on export and repatriation control policy for advanced supercomputing technologies.


He guest lectures at Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and is an active member and sponsor of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship in Houston Texas. He is an Adjunct Professor, Associate Graduate Faculty Member, student mentor, and an adviser for Special Projects and Entrepreneurial Initiatives at the University of Toronto's Department of Computer Science (DCS). He is a co-founder and Director of the DCS Innovation Lab as well as the Co-chair of the DCS Entrepreneurship Committee.


Mario is a General Partner at an innovation funding and commercialization firm specializing in disruptive advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. He is an Executive Committee Member with a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the worldwide enablement and proliferation of discontinuous innovations.


He holds a Master's of Business in leadership from Rice University, and a Bachelor's of Applied Science in engineering from the University of Toronto. Mario’s fields of interest include Machine Intelligence and Quantum Computing.

*Photo: The Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL) was nominated for the Accelerator/Incubator of the Year Award by the Digital Finance Institute at the 4th Annual Canadian FinTech & AI Awards which took place on November 26, 2018 at The Carlu in Toronto. The nominees and their special guests are shown in the photograph.

Left to Right — Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and DCSIL Co-Founder and Academic Director Paul Gries; Founder and CEO Ice Dragon Corrosion Inc. Dr. Zoe Coull, PhD PEng; PhD Student, Cofounder and CEO Chopin Inc. Carol Gomes; Adjunct Professor, DCSIL Co-Founder and Director Mario Grech; Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cofounder and CEO Shield Crypto Systems Glenn Gulak; Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations Georgette Zinaty; Senior Commercialization Manager, Innovations & Partnerships Office Donna Shukaris-Walker; Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and DCSIL Co-Founder and Academic Director Steve Engels; Business Development, Financial Technology and Cybersecurity - Ontario Centres of Excellence Elizabeth Chak

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Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL)
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