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Celebrating Creativity and Innovation

Posted by Michele Charlton on June 23, 2020 in Research, Faculty, Awards

A total of 54 Dalhousie University researchers have been announced as recipients of over $2 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through its Discovery Grants and Research Tools and Instruments Grants Programs.  

9 of the successful projects come from Computer Science Researchers with Drs. Dirk Arnold, Travis Gagie, Malcolm Heywood, Evangelos Milios, Sageev Oore, Paul Ralph, Srini Sampalli, Luis Torgo, and Nur Zincir-Heywood receiving funding.

The Discovery Grants (DG) program is NSERC’s largest and longest-standing program. By supporting ongoing research programs with long-term goals, Discovery Grants give researchers the flexibility to explore the most promising avenues of research as they emerge. Recipients are not only making an impact on their field of study, but are specializing in research with the potential to impact the world.

The Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program fosters and enhances the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment.  

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I’d like to thank the country’s researchers for the hard work they continue to do at such a challenging time,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in a press release. “With this support, we are investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research.”

The announcement was made on Wednesday, June 17. An investment of almost $500 million was made in 2,400 researchers across the country who are pursuing research in a wide variety of natural sciences and engineering disciplines, including biology, mathematics and statistics, computer science and artificial intelligence, chemistry, and chemical engineering.  

In addition to the Discovery Grants, a Dal researcher also received a Discovery Accelerator Supplement grant, which is valued at $120,000 over three years. This program provides substantial and timely additional resources to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of established, superior research programs.

“Congratulations to all the recipients,” says Alice Aiken, vice-president research and innovation at Dalhousie University. “These researchers are leaders in their fields, and to be recognized with DGs and RTIs demonstrates the significant impact of the creative and innovative research they are undertaking.”

The successfully-funded Computer Science projects are:

Dr. Dirk Arnold: Evolutionary Computing: Constraints, Surrogate Models, and Noisy Gradients
Dr. Travis Gagie: Compact Data Structures for Computational Genomics
Dr. Malcolm Heywood: Scaling Genetic Programming to Complex Reinforcement Learning Tasks
Dr. Evangelos Milios: Semantic Representations for Interactive Text Mining
Dr. Sageev Oore: Deep Learning Systems for Musical Audio Generation
Dr. Paul Ralph: Reconciling Modern Design Practices with Agile Software Development Methods
Dr. Srini Sampalli: Unified Architecture for Security, Reliability, and Trust in Internet of Things
Dr. Luis Torgo: Anomoly Detection for Trajectory Data
Dr. Nur Zincir-Heywood: Dependable Analysis of  Network Application Data