Profile of Martin Laplante
Dr. Laplante was VP Technology for the Canadian-based, publicly-traded software company Online Direct Inc. until 2001. He and a partner have since repurchased the established company RES Policy Research Inc. RES works in two fields: quantitative studies in support of public policy, and artificial intelligence software. With RES , he has returned to consulting and accepted assignments for several major Quebec municipalities, for the Ontario Government's Integrated Justice project, and done technology architecture and planning for two Ottawa technology startups, as well as his company’s own products. In recent years he has become increasingly active in municipal affairs through his volunteer positions within the community, and professionally in consulting and computer modeling of urban policies. See his blog at reversezone.blogdns.com
He has a distinguished record in research and development in
the areas of expert systems, neural networks, computational linguistics, and
fuzzy logic systems. He is currently on the Scientific
and Operating Committee of the Ontario Research Network for Electronic
Commerce, a group dedicated to multi-disciplinary research projects,
that includes Computer Science, Business, and
professional work in the area of policy research includes writing the Canadian
Real Estate Association’s policy documents for the reform of residential
mortgage prepayment laws, and presenting them to the Ministry of Finance, to
the Canadian Bankers’ Association, and to both the House of Commons and the
Senate Banking Committees. He has also
done policy work for other governments, notably the governments of
His volunteer work includes significant responsibilities in the area of urban planning and development, and in education. As Planning and Development Director for Action Sandy Hill, he has negotiated many compromises between developers and surrounding neighbours and businesses. Where a compromise was not possible, he presented the Association’s case to the appropriate decision makers, successfully more often than not. He has personally presented a complex re-zoning case to the Ontario Municipal Board against 3 opposing counsel. He has had both peer-reviewed papers and general articles published in the areas of urban planning and modeling.
Before embarking on his career in information technology and
related policy research, he worked in journalism, in both languages,
including the Canadian Renewable Energy
News and Velo-Ontario, as well as being Features Editor for The Fulcrum. He has recently written opinion pieces for
Ph.D. Quantum Chemistry 1986
Dr. Laplante won an NSERC Scholarship from the years 1979-81 and 1981-83. He was also awarded a Chemistry Department award for excellence in laboratory teaching in 1984.
B. Sc. (Hon) Chemistry 1979
High School, 1975
Baccalaureate program and U.S. High School diploma (
2001 - present RES Policy Research Inc. Vice-President and part owner
Currently working on adapting the U.S. UrbanSim model for
Canadian units and data. Directed a
development team in
1999 - 2001 Online Direct Inc. Vice-President Technology
Directed development teams in
1993 - 1999 RES Inc., RES International Inc. Director Advanced Technology Division
Directed development teams for the development of artificial
intelligence applications. Hired
scientists and directed R&D.
Projects include the Travel Expert System (consortium of 19 federal departments)
EXCLASS Classification Expert System (consortium of 12 federal departments) and
several projects done for Defence Research organizations. Developed e-commerce consulting and
development practice. For the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Agency, designed
and managed development for the Federal Environmental Assessment Index. Other clients include the National Bank of
1991 - 1993 Rockwood Informatics Knowledge Engineer
Managed development teams for artificial intelligence and
Lotus Notes solutions. Clients include
1988 - 1991 AMS Management Systems Canada, Inc. Project Manager/Technology Architect
Consultant in the Federal Government practice. Clients include
1985 - 1988 Loecus Informatics Inc. Senior Systems Analyst/Project Leader
Systems analysis and management of teams for numerous
projects. Significant projects include ACAS (Airport Cost Accounting System),
BPAX (Baggage-Passenger Matching) for Transport
Volunteer, Journalism and Community
Director, Action Sandy Hill, Planning and Development, Services en Français
Past Director, Action Sandy Hill, Education, Vice-Chair Recreation
Election campaign staff for Georges Bédard (
Membre, Action Francophone, Comité consultatif d’ACFO Ottawa
Judge, tournoi régional des débats français pour écoles secondaires de l’est ontarien et l’outaouais. Proposed and managed $300000 project under “programme favorisant le partenariat en technologie” (pfpt) between Conseil des Ecoles Catholiques Centre-Est, the province of Ontario, and technology companies.
Comité de levée de fonds de l’église Sacré-Coeur
President, Association des Parents et Enseignants, école Saint-Pie-X. Also School Board committees.
Contributor, Image (Sandy Hill community newspaper)
Journalist, Vélo Ontario
Journalist, Canadian Renewable Energy News
Président, Société des débats français, université d’Ottawa, Comité des anciens débattants des universités canadiennes (caduc). Organised university and high school tournaments.
English Debating: Director Central Region,
Collaborateur, La Rotonde (Université d’Ottawa)
Features Editor, The Fulcrum (
Selected Professional Assignments
Impact of Changes to the Interest Act
For the Canadian Real Estate Association, produced a quantitative study of the impact on consumers of current and proposed lender practices related to the early repayment of residential mortgages. The study required structured interviews with bank managers, and the analysis of the differences between stated policies and results in the field. Developed the CREA policy solution since supported in a government white paper and presented it to the Canadian Bankers Association. Witness at Commons and Senate committees.
Urban Density Modeling
Developed and published the results of a mathematical model of urban areas that predicts how changes in density in one part of a city will affect density elsewhere in the city.
Review of Post-Secondary Recruitment System
With another consultant, reviewed the Public Service Commission's Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR) system to determine whether it is a suitable framework to develop more government recruitment systems. The study required interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, analysis of design, testing, and procedure documents, of source code, logs, and incident reports. Recommendations dealt with IT organization structure, software development process, technology infrastructure, and transition and production processes.
Informatics Planning for the Venezuelan government
For the OCEI (Oficina Central de Estadística e Información de la Presidencia de Venezuela), reviewed the census and survey processing, Data Dissemination and Internet network, in the context of the PLATINO project. The report had substantial influence on the informatics planning of the office.
Electronic Data Interchange Seminar
For Government Services Canada, organized a seminar, invited industry experts, and chaired sessions to present the current state of the market and technology for EDI (Electronic Data interchange) within the public service.
Russian Standards Office
For the Russian Standards Office, designed and delivered a training program based on best practices of the other standards offices including Québec and Canadian ones.
Analyzed the requirements of scientific publishers for electronic transmission of manuscripts and publishing office automation. The study was used to plan strategies for Canadian research journals to improve the speed of dissemination of peer-reviewed scientific papers. This 1986 study recommended the use of a new network of networks becoming known as “internet”.
Neural Network Applications Study
the Transportation Development Centre, prepared a survey of Canadian
capabilities in neural networks, and identified promising applications in
transportation, published as a book. The project included a tutorial to
introduce transportation managers to neural networks. The work involved writing an annotated
literature review and interviews with all leading researchers in the area of
neural networks in
Expert System Feasibility Study
For a large municipal government, identified areas in the collection of commercial and property taxes that could be automated using expert systems technology integrated into a mainframe application. Done in French..
Environmental Assessment Registry
technical expertise and managed several phases of the development of a registry
of all environmental assessments carried out by the government of
Travel Expert System
Director of a product development team that developed a very large expert system application that automates every aspect of government travel expenditure policy, for a consortium of 18 Government of Canada departments. It has been in daily operational use for 10 years.
Product Manager, LookWAYup
manager and author of LookWAYup software.
This multiple-platform tool is one of the world's most popular sites for
wireless devices. It is an English
dictionary and thesaurus, linked with 6 other languages. The tool is installed in many school boards
and private schools and is prominent on
Document Management Research Project
Manager of a major ($1+ million) DND-funded project to test and develop new technologies in the management of text. This required a gap analysis of both products and ongoing research.
Adjudication and Overpayment Expert Systems
Manager of a project to integrate expert systems technology into a major systems re-design. Two expert systems were integrated into the client environment, one for adjudication of disability benefits, the other to advise on collection actions resulting from overpayments.
Text Summarization Research
Manager of RES component and investigator of a joint NRC/University/Industry project to develop software that summarizes technical text.
Knowledge Engineering for Planning Methodology
Manager of a Knowledge Engineering project that formalizes the knowledge asset of a group of experts in the area of patent office automation. This project used the KADS methodology.
Air Travel Security System
Led a team of software and hardware specialists to design, develop, and implement a major distributed system to track passengers, bags, and cargo to detect potential security threats in airports.
Acoustic Monitoring and Diagnosis
For DREA (Defense Research Establishment Atlantic), with Iotek as prime contractor, developed the Software Specification Report for the SNMS (Ship Noise Management System) Automated Noise Fault Diagnosis Module. The program is aimed at the Canadian Patrol Frigate mid-life refit.
Designed and delivered course materials for a 5-day Informatics Project Management course for the federal public service. The course is intended for public servants who will undertake management functions.
Computer-based training product
Designed and managed the implementation of a DOS-based computer-based training system that interpreted SGML files. Features included user customizability, graphics, animation, adaptation to high or low end machines, and extreme compactness. Managed the development of a one-day course on the Universal Classification Standard for the federal public service.
Land Transaction Management System
Stabilized and supported subsequent releases of a system for the management of reserve lands. The system has remained in daily use in headquarters, district and band offices for over 7 years. Designed and delivered courses in its use.
Payment Infrastructure, Integrated Justice Project
retained by the consortium of 3
Product Manager, e-commerce suite
manager and designer for the RES-Cybermall and RES-Catalog software suites, a
multi-merchant e-commerce environment with multiple payment solutions. Marketed for the hybrid kiosk market under
the name EKOMS, and in
Internet International Workgroup Application
for ciars (CRAD International Research Activities Reporting System), a secure
system allowing selective read, edit, and data management access to defense
research progress reports for authorized users.
This system, using the RES-Reach product, allows a database of reports
to be edited cooperatively by a work group and maintains a record of changes. This was probably the first web-based
application in the government of
AAAI American Association for Artificial Intelligence
INNS International Neural Network Society
CANS FINS past Editor of "Soft Computing", Canadian Society for Fuzzy Information and Neural Systems
APS American Physical Society
M. Laplante, "A Simple Model of
2. M. Laplante, "Dense Downtowns Chase Families Away", Ottawa Citizen 26 July 2004
3. M. Laplante, "Too High a Density Can Also Promote Sprawl", Planetizen Op-Ed Feb 2004 http://www.planetizen.com/oped/itemprint.php?id=115
4. M. Laplante, "Document Linking Method and System using Concept Chaining", USPTO Patent Pending 30 May 2000
5. M. Laplante, " The Transnet: A New Force in Business-to-Business Commerce ", Company white paper about Business-to-Business agents URL: http://www.res.ca/fra/ec/ec.html
6. K Barker, T. Copeck, J.-F. Delannoy, M. Laplante,
S. Matwin, S. Szpakowicz, "Flexible
Summarization", AAAI Spring Symposium Workshop on intelligent text
Harris, G.E., Laplante, M., "EXCLASS - Knowledge Based
Job Classification and Evaluation", Combined Workshop on Advanced
Technologies in Knowledge Based Systems and Robotics,
8. Laplante, M., Harris, G.E., "Artificial Intelligence
Applied to Sonar Data Management", Combined Workshop on Advanced
Technologies in Knowledge Based Systems and Robotics,
9. Laplante, M.,, "Neural Networks Promise Pinpoint Targeting", Canadian Direct Marketing News, November 1992.
10. Korelsky, T., Laplante, M., Forget, S., "The EXCLASS Job Description and Job Evaluation System", 6th International Conference on Systems Research Informatics and Cybernetics, August 1992.
12. Laplante, M., "Neural Networks vs. Expert Systems for
Decision Support" Proceedings of the DECUS
13. Laplante, M., "Artificial Neural Networks", Intelligent Systems Review, p. 5, Aug. 1988.
14. Jacobson, J.Z., Laplante M., Mogford, Richard, "Artificial Neural Networks in Naval Warfare", BMC Report for DND, March 1988.
15. Laplante, M., "Explicitly Correlated Wavefunctions for
Multi-electron Diatomics" PhD Thesis,
16. Alper, H., Laplante, M., "Reactions of azirines with n-bromosuccinimide", Tetrahedron 34, 625, 1978.
Humility Must Be Earned: Computational Intelligence Need Not Make
People Feel Stupid, Invited Speaker, 14th Canadian
Conference on Artificial Intelligence,
2. Stratégies de reformulation interactive des requêtes en recherche d'information, ou: 'Combien de fois dois-je te le demander?', Outils de recherche et d'analyse de l'information textuelle, 67e Congrès de l'ACFAS, Ottawa. May 10-11, 1999.
Fuzzy Similarity of Complex Objects: Applications to Job Evaluation,
Neural Network Application to Transportation, 4th Symposium on
Applications of Expert Systems in D.N.D.,
5. Artificial Neural Networks in Naval Warfare, Canadian Operations Research Society, May 1991.
Neural Network Applications for Credit Scoring Credit Management Systems
Selecting Air Defense Tactics using Artificial Neural
Networks Symposium on Applications of Expert Systems in DND,
Neural Networks vs. Expert Systems for Decision
Support DEC User Society Symposium,
9. Predictable Predictors: Convergence and Generality of Back-Propagation Neural Networks, Ottawa Machine Learning Group, November 2nd, 1990.
10. Desktop Publishing: "What is it, Who needs it,
and Why", Data Processing Institute,