Chechik Named Bell University Laboratories Chair in Software Engineering
In 1999, BUL established a series of endowed chairs to support multi-disciplinary research at the University of Toronto. Click here for full story.
Steve Cook Appointed to the Order of Ontario
25 "extraordinary Ontarians" received the province's highest official honour. Click here for full story
Two Graduate Students Win Distinguished 2012 Google Fellowships
PhD Students Tyler Lu and James Martens are two of only 14 students honoured in North America. Click here for full story.
Miller Named Bell University Laboratories Chair in Information Systems
Renée Miller has been re-appointed as the Bell University Laboratories Chair in Information Systems, part of the Bell University Laboratories initiative, a collaborative research program funded by Bell Canada and U of T. Established in 1998, the chair provides continuous leadership in research and education, and in the Bell University Laboratories Program, which identifies emerging research areas and addresses technical issues vital to the information technology and telecommunications industries of Ontario.
Congratulations, Renée on this honour (for the second time)!
More information on the role can be found here.
DCS Machine Learning Wins International Challenges this Fall
Teams from DCS took first place in both Merck Molecular Activity and ImageNet Visual Recognition Challenges. Click here for full story.
Staff Members Hancock and Raghubar Awarded U of T Excellence Awards
This year, the department completed the creation of the Centre for Collaborative Interactive Digital Media (CCIDM) in the Bahen Centre. This project, started in 2010, could not have been accomplished without the professional dedication of dgp Lab Systems Administrator John Hancock and Special Projects Coordinator Joseph Raghubar. Click here for full story.
McCarthy and Mandel Honoured with Arbor Awards
The department was proud to honour two alumni at the annual Arbor Awards ceremony, held at the President's official residence. The Arbors were created in 1989 to recognize alumni and friends for outstanding volunteer service to the university. Click here for full story.
Levesque Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from CAIAC
Hector Levesque was awarded the 2012 CAIAC Lifetime Achievement Award this month. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given on an annual basis to "an individual to recognize a lifetime of scientific excellence and outstanding contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence."
Find more information on the award here.
See the CAIAC home page here.
Brudno and de Lara Named U of T Inventors of the Year
This month, UofT Research announced the second annual Inventors of the Year awards. Michael Brudno, Eyal de Lara, and alumni Andres Lagar-Cavilla, Adin Scannell, and Joseph Whitney were recognized for their work in cloud computing. Click here for full story.
Dickinson Receives Lifetime Research Achievement Award from CIPPRS
Sven Dickinson was awarded the Award for Research Excellence from the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society (CIPPRS) at the annual Canadian Conference on Computer and Robot Vision (CRV). The award recognizes leadership and outstanding performance in research related to computer vision and/or robotics over the span of the recipient's career. CIPPRS noted: "Sven, with over 100 publications, a NSF career award in 1996, and a Premiere's Research Excellence Award from the Government of Ontario was a worthy recipient of this distinguished award."
Description of CIPPRS: The Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society (CIPPRS) is a special interest group of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) and is the national representative organization of the International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR). CIPPRS was established in the 1970's. Its key annual activity is the sponsorship of the Canadian Conference on Computer and Robot Vision (CRV), formerly known as Vision Interface (VI). CRV (and previously VI) have a tradition of being co-located with AI and GI, a pair of conferences focused on artificial intelligence and on computer graphics and human-computer interfaces. The CIPPRS website can be found here.
The CRV website can be found here.
John Mylopoulos Receives Honorary Degree from RWTH Aachen University in Germany
The Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics, and Natural Sciences of RWTH Aachen University awarded DCS professor emeritus John Mylopoulos (University of Toronto and University of Trento) an Honorary Doctoral Degree for his outstanding accomplishments as a pioneer in the cross-discipline of Conceptual Modeling. Click here for full story
Ryan Johnson Wins 2012 SIGMOD Dissertation Award
Ryan Johnson has been awarded the 2012 SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award. The annual SIGMOD Jim Gray Dissertation Award recognizes excellent research by doctoral candidates in the database field.
Ryan completed his dissertation titled "Scalable Storage Managers for the Multicore Era" at Carnegie Mellon University. DCS Awards Committee Chair Eyal de Lara noted, "Johnson's dissertation is a tour de force in identifying bottlenecks when scaling OLTP systems to many cores, proposing innovative solutions to each of them. The ideas in the thesis such as speculative lock inheritance, new techniques for combining log requests, and data-oriented transaction execution are highly innovative, and the work is remarkable for its breadth, depth, thorough implementation, and evaluation."
Find more information about the SIGMOD Gray Award here. Congratulations, Ryan!
2012 Connaught Winners Announced
The University of Toronto Connaught New Researcher Awards was developed to foster excellence among assistant professors within the first five years of their appointment, helping them to establish a strong research program.
The Connaught was awarded to 66 researchers this year, including some of our own in the "Physical Sciences & Engineering" category:
- Azadeh Farzan - awarded to support her work on the "Scalable analysis of concurrent software"
- Bianca Schroeder - awarded to support her work on "Designing and building more reliable systems"
- Ruslan Salakahutdinov (cross-appointed to DCS) - awarded to support his work on "Learning hierarchical models: Theory and applications"
Congratulations to all!
See the UofT's article on the 2012 Connaught awards here.
Faculty and Staff Recognized for Long Service to the University
This week, the University of Toronto held their annual reception to recognize employees who have dedicated many years of service.
DCS honourees at the 2011-12 reception:
- Ron Baecker, faculty member and Director of the Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab (TAGlab), was honoured for 40 years of service.
- Wayne Enright, faculty member, was honoured for 40 years of service.
- Eugene Fiume, faculty member and Director of the M.Sc. in Applied Computing program, was honoured for 25 years of service.
- Angela Glinos, technical staff member and CDF Supervisor, was honoured for 25 years of service.
- Marina Haloulos, administrative staff and Financial Officer, was honoured for 25 years of service.
Congratulations, all! We would also like to thank them for their dedicated service to the department during their time at UofT.
Kelly Gotlieb Receives Eponymous Medal from IEEE
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) honoured DCS Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb at the 2012 Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE 2012) in Montreal in late April.
Gotlieb was the recipient of the very distinguished, newly named IEEE Canada Calvin C. Gotlieb Medal. He was awarded the medal for his outstanding contributions to the field of computer science and engineering.
See the IEEE Canada site here [http://www.ieee.ca], and the CCECE 2012 awards page here: http://ieee.ca/ccece12/award.html.
Kelly Gotlieb Receives ACM Outstanding Contribution Award
Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb was honoured this month with the 2012 Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award.
His citation notes that, during his 20-year stewardship of the ACM Awards Committee, "Gotlieb helped define the program and raise its prestige and recognition worldwide, allowing ACM to play a major role in promoting excellence and achievement across the computing community. He chaired the ACM A.M. Turing Award Committee, and promoted the Turing Award, propelling its visibility globally, which helped increase the award’s cash prize from $1,000 two decades ago to the current $250,000."
Gotlieb has been an active member of the ACM for over 60 years, also serving as editor-in-chief of Communications of the ACM (1962-1965) and Journal of the ACM (1966-1968).
Gotlieb will formally receive his award at a ceremony this June in San Francisco. See more information on this prestigious award here. Congratulations!
Karen Reid Honoured with 2011-12 President's Teaching Award
Great teaching at U of T. Click here for full story.
Geoff Hinton Wins 2012 Killam Prize
University Professor Geoffrey Hinton, one of the world’s leading researchers in machine learning and artificial intelligence, is the winner of one of five 2012 Killam Prizes. Click here for full story.
Mike Brudno Wins 2011 Outstanding Young Canadian Computer Science Researcher Prize
This month, Michael Brudno was awarded CACS' annual Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award for his "fundamental contributions to Computational Biology, an interdisciplinary field that aims to solve biological problems through the development of algorithms and other computational methodologies." The award citation also noted, "Dr. Brudno’s contributions clearly set him aside as one of the top young computer scientists, not just in Canada, but internationally. His is a stellar record of research productivity, student supervision, and scientific service."
The Young Canadian CS prize is awarded to faculty members in Canada who have had an outstanding impact in their field within 10 years of graduation from their Ph.D. program.
See more information about CACS, Mike Brudno, and the other two recipients of the 2011 award here. (Incidentally, one of the other winners, Joanna McGrenere, did her Ph.D. at DCS.)
DCS Celebrates 2012 Cressy Recipients
This month, the department proudly celebrated several undergraduate students as winners of the 2012 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award. Click here for full story.
PhD Student George Dahl Awarded Microsoft Research Fellowship
This February, PhD candidate George Dahl was awarded a distinguished 2012 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. The Fellowship is a two-year program for outstanding PhD students nominated by their universities, and was given to 12 PhD students in North America this year.
Dahl, supervised by Geoffrey Hinton, describes his research interests as "deep learning architectures, speech recognition and language processing, undirected graphical models, and most of statistical machine learning." The Microsoft Fellowship honours the best young minds in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics; Dahl's award is only the second Fellowship to come to Canada since the award was created.
Eugene Fiume & 3D Software Leader Autodisk Receive 2011 NSERC Synergy Award
This February, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) announced their annual major research awards. Included in this list were the four annual Synergy Awards for Innovation, one of which was won by faculty member Eugene Fiume, representing the Dynamic Graphics Project, and industrial partner Gord Kurtenbach (a DCS alumnus), representing Alias and Autodesk. Click here for full story.
Grad Student Joanna Drummond Wins Microsoft Graduate Women's Scholarship
Microsoft Research announced the recipients of their 2012 Graduate Women's Scholarship Program. The scholarship was created to support promising students in the first year of their graduate studies.
The 2012 group included ten women from the top CS schools across North America; the prize includes $15,000 USD for the coming academic year and a $2,000 conference/travel allowance. Joanna was awarded the scholarship in recognition of her accomplishments and demonstrated potential. CLICK HERE for more information on the Microsoft Graduate Women's Scholarship Program.
Baecker Named ACM Fellow
This December, Ron Baecker was honoured as a 2011 ACM Fellow. The 2011 fellows were named for leadership in the field and for "helping to drive the innovations that will sustain competitiveness in the digital age." The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) annually identifies a group of individuals who "serve as distinguished colleagues to whom the ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership as the world of information technology evolves."
Ron was named a fellow for his "contributions to human-computer interaction and computer animation." See the official press release naming the 46 2011 ACM Fellows. Congratulations to Ron for this very impressive achievement!
Gotlieb Receives Honorary Degree from the University of Victoria
On Thursday, November 10, the University of Victoria bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Engineering to DCS Professor Emeritus C.C. "Kelly" Gotlieb. UVic describes their honorary degree as "the highest honour the university can bestow for distinguished achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts and public service."
Kelly received this honour in recognition of his pioneering work in Computer Science, including his founding of the first computing centre in the country. Read the full citation here.
In honour of this very distinguished occasion, the B.C. and Victoria chapters of Canada's Association of Information Technology Professionals (CIPS) held a dinner at the Union Club of British Columbia. In the dinner program, CIPS noted, "As the co-founder in 1958, and an early national president of CIPS, Dr.Gotlieb was instrumental in [the] development of Canada’s professional organization for I.T. practitioners. In 1988, he gave his name to the new C.C. Gotlieb CIPS Contribution Award. In 1996, in recognition of his outstanding career … and his enormous contributions to CIPS … he received the Order of Canada."
Kelly also had the opportunity to speak to the Victoria newspaper the "Times Colonist", urging stronger efforts to safeguard systems controlling vital infrastructure from attacks. See the article here.
The department continues to be very proud of Kelly's well-deserved recognitions and accomplishments. Congratulations, Kelly!
McIlraith Honoured with SWSA Ten - Year Award
The department's Vice Chair, Sheila McIlraith, received a Ten-Year Award from the Semantic Web Science Association (SWSA) on a paper she co-authored, titled "DAML-S: Semantic Markup ForWeb Services". The paper is credited with defining "a de facto standard for the description of services on the Semantic Web and [influencing] a large number of projects including both research and later standards efforts."
The SWSA is an international organization that promotes scholarly work on the semantic web and runs a conference at which the award-winning paper appeared in 2001. These "test of time" awards are especially noteworthy as they indicate not just a significant paper, but a paper that continues to be judged significant ten years later. More details on the Ten-Year Award can be found on the Semantic Web Science Association site.
In addition to this exciting news, Sheila and her co-authors used their prize to establish a Semantic Web Services Research Challenge to encourage new and innovative research in the are of Semantic Web Services.
Gries Awarded 2011 OCUFA Teaching Award
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association (OCUFA) has selected Paul Gries as one of five winners of the 2011 OCUFA Teaching Award. It is gratifying to see his outstanding teaching record recognized by this Ontario-wide organization, which serves all but one of the universities in Ontario. The OCUFA award is considered the province's most prestigious recognition of teaching.
In addition to receiving strong teaching evaluations year after year, Paul's continuous efforts to improve the undergraduate experience, along with his high school outreach efforts, have significantly improved the experience of our undergraduate students. In the U of T article about the 2011 award-winners, chair of the OCUFA award selection committee Judith Poe commends Paul, calling him “a master teacher [who] is adored by his students for his passion and commitment” to their learning.
This is a big year for Paul, as this is his second big award: in April, he also received a 2011 U of T President's Teaching Award.
Celeste Francis Esteves Receives Arbor Award
Celeste Francis Esteves received one of the 2011 Arbor Awards from the University of Toronto Alumni Association.
The Arbors were created to honour "alumni who help make the U of T a better place to learn and work through their dedication and generosity." Celeste's citation reads: "Celeste Francis Esteves has demonstrated her commitment and loyalty to the Alumni Association of Woodsworth College. Celeste, who is now president of the association after serving as secretary and vice-president, chaired the committee that organized the 35th Anniversary Spring Reunion in 2009. She is also currently a member of the University of Toronto Alumni Association’s Community Engagement Initiative."
Congratulations, Celeste, on being recognized for your outstanding personal service to the university.
Ganjali Receives Early Researcher Award
The Province of Ontario's Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) announced awards under its Research Excellence, Research Infrastructure and Early Researcher programs on July 25; the U of T earned more than $24.9 million in total.
Eighteen researchers were recognized with the Early Researcher Award (ERA), which helps promising newly-appointed researchers build their teams. DCS' Yashar Ganjali was awarded funding for his project titled, "Network management for next generation Internet." His citation reads: "With the amount of data continuing to grow, the Internet is reaching the point where its limitations are becoming clear. At the University of Toronto Dr. Yashar Ganjali is developing technologies necessary for the next generation Internet – work that will help Ontario’s information technology companies play a key role in the future of the industry."
See the U of T press release on the MRI awards here; see the ministry's list of U of T ERA recipients here.
Miller Named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Professor Renee Miller has been elected as one of the 2011 Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada.
The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists. It is Canada's national academy. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences. The RSC consists of nearly 2000 Fellows, men and women who are selected by their peers for outstanding contributions to the natural and social sciences, in the arts and the humanities.
As Canada's national academy, the RSC exists to recognize academic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote Canadian culture. Renee's citation for the nomination reads: "Professor Renee J. Miller is world-renowned as a pioneer in the field of Database Systems, a core topic for Computer Science. Her work has focused on the long-standing open problem of data integration and has achieved the goal of building practical data integration systems. At the same time, Professor Miller has been a leader among her peers in Canada and abroad, spearheading research and research activity. Her profile is unique in that it combines gracefully theoretical elegance, reflected by citations and scholarly awards, with industrial impact, reflected by patents and successful industrial products."
Four DCS Faculty Members Receive NSERC Accelerator Awards
The Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) were created to "accelerate progress and maximize the impact of outstanding research programs". These grants provide a researcher with $120,000 over the next three years.
DCS had four winners in this latest round:
- Aaron Hertzmann - Modeling human locomotion control
- Kyros Kutulakos - Foundations of computational photography and videography
- Karan Singh - Sculpt and sketch interfaces for 3D modeling
- Daniel Wigdor - User interface feedforward and feedback supporting and enabling body tracking technologies
The University of Toronto had 17 DAS recipients in total. For more information on the award and a full listing of the 2011 funded projects, see the NSERC site.
Borodin Named University Professor
One of the most significant ways the University of Toronto recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement is through the designation of 'University Professor'. The U of T was proud to name Allan Borodin as one of these eminent professors. (Allan joins DCS' Geoff Hinton in this distinguished group.)
Allan's citation notes: "Professor Borodin has a long and distinguished research career in theoretical computer science. His central area of interest, computational complexity and algorithm design, addresses the basic issue of determining the minimum resources required to solve computational problems. A common theme in Borodin's research is that he explores fundamental questions that seemingly should be well understood but often defy answers to even the most basic aspects of these questions. Hence, he has often been at the forefront of developing new models and problem formulations that have become standard frameworks for computer science studies."
More information and Allan's full citation may be found on the U of T Vice-President and Provost Web site. Also, the U of T Bulletin released an article on the 2010-2011 University Professors.
Brudno Receives Connaught New Researcher Award
Michael Brudno was awarded a 2010-2011 Connaught New Researcher Award for his work on "Enabling medical application of high throughput sequencing technologies."
The University of Toronto's Connaught New Researcher Program was designed to foster excellence in research and innovation by providing support for researchers at the assistant professor level who are within the first five years of their first academic appointment at the University of Toronto. The awards are intended to help these early-career researchers establish a strong research program, thereby increasing their competitiveness for external funding.
Find more information on this award on the UofT website.
McIlraith Named AAAI Fellow
Professor Sheila McIlraith has been elected one of the six 2011 fellows of AAAI (the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence). This is the highest honor in the AI community, aimed "to recognize individuals who have made significant, sustained contributions---usually over at least a ten-year period---to the field of artificial intelligence". Sheila was recognized "for significant contributions to knowledge representation, reasoning about action, and the formal foundations of the semantic web and diagnostic problem solving."
Information about the AAAI fellows program is available on their website.
Sheila joins six other UofT colleagues - Professors John Mylopolous, Geoff Hinton, Hector Levesque, Mark Fox, Craig Boutilier and Fahiem Bacchus, who are members of this prestigious group.
Gries Receives 2011 President's Teaching Award
Senior Lecturer Paul Gries was awarded the University of Toronto's highest teaching honour. The university-wide President's Teaching Award recognizes sustained excellence in teaching, research in teaching, and the integration of teaching and research.
Paul received this award for “his skill and passion for teaching,” and for introducing many innovations to our courses, “always with an eye to the latest ideas in pedagogy and in the discipline of computer science.” He has made a significant impact, doing things such as building many valuable educational tools, co-authoring books on introductory computer science, and making many contributions to computer science at the high school level.
Find more information on Paul's award on the Provost's website.
Reid Honoured with UofT Foley Student Experience Award
Karen Reid has been chosen as the University of Toronto's Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award recipient. The award recipient is selected based on making a "distinctive and lasting contribution to enhancing the quality of the undergraduate or graduate student experience at the University of Toronto." This award recognizes the impact that Karen has made on lives of many undergraduate students who have been engaged in research projects under her guidance.
For further award information, please click here.
Braverman Awarded 2011 Sloan Fellowship
Mark Braverman has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2011.
The $50,000 awards are given to early-career scholars in recognition of their achievements and their potential to contribute substantially to their fields. Winners in the fields of chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience and physics are nominated by their peers and selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.
“The scientists and researchers selected for this year’s Sloan Research Fellowships represent the very brightest rising stars of this generation of scholars,” says Dr. Paul L. Joskow, president of the Sloan Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to be able to support their work at this important stage in their careers.
Braverman is one of three recipients from Canadian universities among the 118 scholars selected.
Braverman, who received his PhD in 2008 from the University of Toronto, is interested in complexity theory, the theory of real computation, machine learning, algorithms, game theory, and applications of computer science in health care and medicine.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of the General Motors, the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.
Rackoff Honored with 2011 RSA Conference Award
Professor Charlie Rackoff is the recipient of the 2011 RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics.
Established in 1998, the RSA Conference Awards are presented to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations in the field of cryptography, public policy and information security. The RSA Conference Award for Mathematics recognizes innovation and ongoing contribution to the field of cryptography.
From the citation: Rackoff's research interests are in computational complexity. For some time now he has been specializing in Cryptography, Security, and Security protocols. He was a co-originator of the important concepts of "interactive proofs" and "zero-knowledge proofs", for which he co-won the 1993 Godel Prize.
For more information, see the RSA site here.
Hinton Wins 2010 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal
Professor Geoffrey Hinton, considered one of the world’s foremost researchers in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence, has been awarded the 2010 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.
The medal, named for Canadian Nobel Laureate Gerhard Herzberg, is awarded annually by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to Canadian research in the natural sciences and engineering.The prize provides the researcher with $1 million over five years to further his or her research.
DCS Student Farah Juma Awarded Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship
First year Master's student, Farah Juma has been awarded the Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship.This competitive and prestigious scholarship is awarded to female students in their first year of graduate studies on the basis of academic achievement and research potential. Only 10 of the women’s scholarships were given within North America.
Farah is in the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning group, supervised by Sheila McIlraith. Her research interests include preference-based planning and reasoning with structured theories (eg. MaxSAT).
For further information about the award, please see the scholarship website.