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


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 Law Schools.


His 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 Venezuela and of Russia.

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 the Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit, among others and is a regular contributor to Image, Sandy Hill's community newspaper.


Government of Canada Security Clearance: Secret.  He is fluent in English and French


Ph.D. Quantum Chemistry 1986

        University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

        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

        International Baccalaureate program and U.S. High School diploma (New York and Bangkok,     Thailand)


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 Ottawa for the production of the multi-platform wireless products LookWAYup LinkS-wap and TheirTime.   These are among the world's most popular wireless web sites.


1999 - 2001          Online Direct Inc.                                Vice-President Technology

Directed development teams in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Oregon, and New Hampshire for the production of community web sites, portals, java chat, advertising banner, and e-commerce systems.  Strategic planning, resource planning, reporting to senior executives and Board.  Identified and analyzed technology partnerships and acquisition targets.


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 Canada, LavalNet, and the Hierapolis consortium of the Quebec government.  Also did technology consulting for modernization of informatics infrastructure of foreign governments such as Venezuela and Russia.


1991 - 1993          Rockwood Informatics                     Knowledge Engineer

Managed development teams for artificial intelligence and Lotus Notes solutions.  Clients include Transport Canada, National Defence, Treasury Board Secretariat.


1988 - 1991          AMS Management Systems Canada, Inc.    Project Manager/Technology Architect

Consultant in the Federal Government practice.  Clients include U.S. military, DND, IBM, American Express, Transport Canada, Canadair, City of Montreal.  Developed and delivered project management courses for Public Service Commission.


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 Canada and Wardair, and COSICS, the benchmarking of midrange computers for a large-scale federal acquisition.


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 (Ottawa), Madeleine Meilleur (Ontario), Mauril Bélanger (Canada), Alda Santos (Conseil des écoles Catholiques, Kanata).

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, Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debating.  Trophies include second place, World University Debating Competition

Collaborateur, La Rotonde (Université d’Ottawa)

Features Editor, The Fulcrum (University of Ottawa)

Selected Professional Assignments


Policy Research


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.


Scientific Publishing

      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

      For 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 Canada.


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

      Provided technical expertise and managed several phases of the development of a registry of all environmental assessments carried out by the government of Canada.


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

      Product 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 U.S. educational portals.  Established partnerships with leading telecomm firms such as Nokia, Openwave, Palm, Vodafone, O2, Orange, Verizon Wireless, RIM, Singapore Telephone, Bell Mobility, Telus, Rogers ATT, and Cellmania.


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.


Course Development

      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

      Consultant retained by the consortium of 3 Ontario ministries to set up the architecture for all credit card payment services for courts and police forces.


Product Manager, e-commerce suite

      Product 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 Europe as iStore and iSite.  Multilingual.


Internet International Workgroup Application

      Manager 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 Canada, in 1995.

Professional Associations


AAAI              American Association for Artificial Intelligence

INNS               International Neural Network Society

Ottawa Sigart  Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group in Artificial Intelligence

CANS FINS    past Editor of "Soft Computing", Canadian Society for Fuzzy Information and Neural Systems

APS                 American Physical Society

DSNA              Dictionary Society of North America




1.       M. Laplante, "A Simple Model of Urban Density", Plan Canada March 2005

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

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:

6.     K Barker, T. Copeck, J.-F. Delannoy, M. Laplante, S. Matwin, S. Szpakowicz, "Flexible Summarization", AAAI Spring Symposium Workshop on intelligent text summarization, Stanford University, March 1998

7.       Harris, G.E., Laplante, M., "EXCLASS - Knowledge Based Job Classification and Evaluation", Combined Workshop on Advanced Technologies in Knowledge Based Systems and Robotics, Ottawa, November 1993.

8.      Laplante, M., Harris, G.E., "Artificial Intelligence Applied to Sonar Data Management", Combined Workshop on Advanced Technologies in Knowledge Based Systems and Robotics, Ottawa, November 1993.

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.

11.   Laplante, M., Languedoc, D., "Neural Network Application to Transportation", Transport Canada Publication, No. TP11149E, Transportation Development Centre, Montreal, September 1991.

12.   Laplante, M., "Neural Networks vs. Expert Systems for Decision Support" Proceedings of the DECUS Symposium, Ottawa, 1991.

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, University of Ottawa, 1986.

16.   Alper, H., Laplante, M., "Reactions of azirines with n-bromosuccinimide", Tetrahedron 34, 625, 1978.

Speaking Engagements


1.       Humility Must Be Earned: Computational Intelligence Need Not Make People Feel Stupid, Invited Speaker, 14th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ottawa. June 9, 2001.


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.


3.       Fuzzy Similarity of Complex Objects: Applications to Job Evaluation, Ottawa ACM SIGART. 17 January 1995


4.       Neural Network Application to Transportation, 4th Symposium on Applications of Expert Systems in D.N.D., Kingston, April 23 1992.


5.       Artificial Neural Networks in Naval Warfare, Canadian Operations Research Society, May 1991.


6.       Neural Network Applications for Credit Scoring Credit Management Systems User Conference, Washington D.C. May 7, 1991.


7.       Selecting Air Defense Tactics using Artificial Neural Networks Symposium on Applications of Expert Systems in DND, Kingston, May 3, 1991.


8.       Neural Networks vs. Expert Systems for Decision Support DEC User Society Symposium, Ottawa, February 19, 1991.


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, Ottawa, December 1988.