Meltem Ballan

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Meltem Ballan is a neurodiverse computer engineer and neuroscientist. She researches the effects of AI and studies Sustainable AI solutions on different disciplines, behavioral interventions and software tools as medical treatment, reducing the environmental effects of blockchain and fashion using AI. She is passionate about TRUE Diversity and Inclusion in the STEM domain, particularly AI and Data Science.


Meltem is an accomplished technology executive and educator with a unique combination of analytical and business expertise developed over 20 years both in industry and academia. She is a pioneering woman data scientist (first woman neurodiversity fellow at GM) who has nurtured and mentored hundreds of budding analysts and scientists as a recognized leader and as an advisory board member. She is a technology M&A advisor and partner at Great-Orion Holding.

She co-founded a technology startup providing a big-data analytics and ML platform. Managed large multinational and multidisciplinary projects in automotive, aviation, healthcare, software and marketing. She established labs, worked on academic projects, authored over 30 publications on ML/AI implementation, analytics and neuroscience.

She worked as a senior member of the Chief Data and Analytics Office at General Motors. She partnered with startup incubators (Global 500 and ERANYC) to evaluate their early seed company portfolio on tech stacks. During her career she has designed complex machine learning models and implemented AI projects including natural language processing (NLP), linear and logistic regression, supervised and unsupervised learning, neural network, deep learning algorithms and hybrid approaches of computer vision. Her passion for cognitive and biological bases of data prompted her to have a career in academia where she received a post graduate degree in Complex Systems and Brain Sciences with a minor in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. She implemented her knowledge of neuroscience and analytics while a professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical School.

She is a regular invited speaker for institutions and conferences including CES, UT Austin, UT Dallas, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford along with technology and data science conferences within the US and internationally. Ballan joined the Bennington faculty in Fall 2022.