Katya Kudashkina, Tech Entrepreneur, M.B.A., Ph.D.

13+ years of business & advanced analytics experience.

Deep expertise in AI, with the knowledge of expected future trends, challenges of real-world applications, and the business value of AI. An intuitive leader in identifying opportunities for building AI-based solutions to deliver on business and financial goals. Excellent at analyzing the potential of data analytics and AI-powered improvements and assessing expected return on investment. Expert at identifying risks associated with technology developments, and the metrics necessary for success. Versatile background includes engaging and leading teams, developing lasting relationships with clients, delivering AI-based solutions, raising capital & negotiating.

Contact: Please email me or message me on LinkedIn. If we haven't met and you don't know my email please schedule a 10-min introduction call with me via this link.

About me

In May 2022 I started a new role of a Director of Engineering, Intelligent Search & Assistant at Ceridian.

In December 2021 I defended my Ph.D. I was co-supervised by Jakob Foerster (University of Oxford) and Richard S. Sutton (University of Alberta RLAI, Amii, DeepMind). My thesis topic was "Model-based Reinforcement Learning for Developing Intelligent Assistants".

Prior to that, I've spent time in both, corporate and startup worlds. I've founded two startups: UDIO AgTech, and Cultura. The companies graduated from Creative Destruction Lab (2015), Next Founders (2016), and NextAI (2017). In the corporate world, I started my career at IBM (2009) working with Cognos solutions. After that I spent five years at CPP Investments (2010-2015) and almost two years at Revera (2021-2022) as a Director, Data Analytics where I was leading the design and execution of company's advanced analytics strategy.

At 22 years old I moved to Canada, started from scratch, received B.Sc. with honors, Computer Science from Ryerson University (also worked as TA & RA), and an M.B.A. from University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management.

Before all of that... I grew up in the middle of Siberia, Russia, in a tiny village, which I left at 16 years old to pursue an Engineering degree in Saint-Petersburg at ITMO University where I completed 4yrs out of required 5.5 before moving to Canada. While working on my degree I was running a crepe restaurant in Saint-Petersburg (60 seats capacity).


Model-based reinforcement learning, machine learning, psychology, human-computer interaction, intelligent assistants, conversational AI.

My academic family. Middle: my academic great grandfather, Peter Stone.

My Ph.D. committee. Left: Jakob Foerster. Right: Richard S. Sutton.

The other side of my academic family: my academic grandfather, Andy Barto.

Invited Talks, Webinars & Workshops

Media Coverage

Honours and Awards

  • 2020. Tim Price Alumni Community Award. The award reflects my commitment to NEXT's alumni community and the mission to create a more prosperous Canada.

  • 2020. CIFAR Collaborative Research Catalyst Grant

  • 2017. Arrell Scholarship, $200,000.

  • 2015. Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, University of Toronto. The award recognizes outstanding extra- curricular contributions.

  • 2015. Top 6 in 2015 Hult Prize Challenge. Out of 59 competing international teams for innovative ideas to build a sustainable early childhood education start-up enterprise

  • 2014. Dean’s Honour List, University of Toronto

  • 2008, 2009, 2010. Dean’s Honour List, Ryerson University

  • 2001. Silver Medal. Russia. Students who received 4 out of 5 in only one subject and the highest grade (5 out of 5) in every other subject receive a Silver Medal

Publications and Pre-Prints

Kudashkina, K., Wan, Y., Naik, A., & Sutton, R. S. (2021) Planning with Expectation Models for Control, ArXiv:2104.08543

Kudashkina, K., Pilarski, P. M., & Sutton, R. S. (2020). Document-editing Assistants and Model-based Reinforcement Learning as a Path to Conversational AI. ArXiv: 2008.12095

Kudashkina, K., Wittek, P., Kiros, J., & Taylor, G. W. (2020). Modular Length Control for Sentence Generation. In Proceedings of the 28th European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Kudashkina, K., V. Chockalingam, V., Taylor, G. W., and Bowling, M.: Sample-Efficient Model-based Actor-Critic for an Interactive Dialogue Task. ArXiv: 2004.13657

Kudashkina, K., Corradini, M., Thirunathan, P., Yada, R., & Fraser, E. (2022) Artificial Intelligence technology in food safety: A behavioral approach

Trends in Food Science & Technology 924-2244(123), 376-381, doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2022.03.021

Duncan*, E., K. Kudashkina*, K., Nixon*, A., (2018) Agricultural Research Data Governance: Principles and Pathways, Presented as a poster at the Arrell Food Summit and as oral at The 8th International Conference on Sustainability and Responsibility. (*) Equal contribution.

Ilie, S., Kudashkina, K., (2010) A model reduction technique for stochastic biochemical kinetics, Proc. of The International Conference on Bioinformatics & Computational Biology(2), CSREA Press, Las Vegas, pp. 448-453.

Selected Research Talks