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Canada awards top science prizes
Date:2/14/2011

This release is available in French.

This week, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awarded 12 prizes to outstanding researchers. With an annual budget of more than C$1 billion, the federal granting agency is the country's largest funder of advanced research and training.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton was honoured with the prestigious Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. The University of Toronto computer scientist has contributed major advances to the understanding of neural networks and cognitive neuroscience. His computer algorithms are used in a wide variety of applications from voice recognition and the reading of bank cheques to the monitoring of industrial plants for safety. The Herzberg Gold Medal recognizes his sustained research excellence and influence.

Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi collected the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award, which is given to a researcher who has made a recent outstanding advance. The McGill University astrophysicist's team put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to a unique and rigorous test. Dr. Kaspi's team also found a number of missing links between two classes of dense stellar objectspulsars and magnetarsand discovered the most rapidly rotating neutron star.

Electrical engineer Guy Dumont and anaesthesiologist Mark Ansermino, both from the University of British Columbia, received the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering. Their collaboration yielded intelligent devices and systems that assist anaesthesiologists to monitor vital signs more effectively during surgeries.

Six rising international stars received E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships. These awards provide new opportunities for the winners to explore promising research avenues.


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Contact: Danielle Nasrallah
Media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca
613-897-3703
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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