My professional goal is to bridge the gap between the outputs of scientific research and the inputs needed by real-world Internet applications. I enjoy overcoming new business challenges with state-of-the-art technology in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Usability, Data Visualization, and Product Design. I can speak business, technology and science. Entrepreneurship has often been the way I’ve found to achieve my professional goals. More than 20 years of experience creating AI companies.
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Marc Torrens received a MSc degree in Computer Science from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Catalonia, in 1997. He received his PhD degree from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2002.
In 1997 he joined the AI Lab of the EPFL as a research assistant and Ph.D. student in the area of Intelligent Agents. In 1999, Prof. Boi Faltings, Dr. Pearl Pu, Dr. Christian Frei and Dr. Marc Torrens launched a start-up company to commercialize and further develop the concepts of their research applied to the travel industry. From April 2000 to May 2001, Marc was serving the company as Chief Technology Officer. In May 2001, Iconomic Systems S.A. was successfully taken over by i:FAO A.G., the German technology leader in eProcurement software for the business travel. As of May 2001 he worked for i:FAO’s Future Lab being responsible for the development of reality: a cutting-edge technology software for supporting corporate travelers. From December 2002 to July 2004, he was also a Postdoc researcher at the Aritificial Intelligence Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
From 2002 to 2003, he obtained a postgraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, organized by the Chair of Entrepreneurship at the EPFL. He was leading a team winning the business plan competition Venture 2002, organized by ETH Zurich and McKinsey. Their business plan summary was selected in the top 10, out of 207 other participating teams.
In 2004, Dr. Francisco J. Martin and Dr. Marc Torrens co-founded Strands, Inc. in Oregon, USA. Strands develops recommendation and personalization technologies to help people discover new things. Marc served the company as Chief Innovation Officer for 14 years. As CIO, Marc led the innovation and product development teams. Some of the most relevant achievements include one of the early music recommender systems, a patent portfolio of more than 14 patents that were sold to Apple, Inc., and a full fintech product suite deployed to dozens of top wordwide banks. From 2004 to 2007 Marc was serving the company from its headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon, US. In 2007 the company move its headquarters to Barcelona and Marc came back to its native city.
In September 2018 Marc started working as a Professor at ESADE (Profesor Asociado) in the Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences. He is also Board Director at Strands since 2015.
He has taught Recommender Systems in the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data at the IE Business School (IE) from 2015 to 2018. He has also been invited by The Valley Digital Business School for several in-company lectures for Accenture and Banco Santander on Big Data and Machine Learning. Marc also organised and taught a full course on FinTech at the Geneva Business School in 2016.
He is member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the ACM, and the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence. Marc has published more than 20 referred papers on his work in international conferences and journals on Artificial Intelligence and Usability. He is also the inventor of several software patents. Marc co-chaired the Fourth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems in Barcelona.
He is actively involved in technology and science divulgation activities (see the book “Inteligencia Artificial”).
He is proficient in Catalan, Spanish, English and French.