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CMS faculty members win distinguished prizes

The department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences at UTSC has had a year full of noteworthy achievements, as a number of its faculty members won awards and recognition from all over the world.

Three professors, Bianca Schroeder, Russ Salakhutdinov, and Robert Young, received the highly competitive 2013 Sloan Research Fellowships, in recognition of their outstanding performance in science research. Salakhutdinov was also recently named a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow, following his groundbreaking research work that has been used at scientific companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Google.

Balazs Szegedy, an associate professor in CMS, received the 2013 Paul Erdos Prize for Mathematics, from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, awarded each year to an exceptional mathematician under the age of 40. It was Szegedy’s third academic award this year. He also won the Coxeter-James prize from the Canadian Mathematical Society and the 2012 Fulkerson prize, both with respect to his important research work in discrete mathematics.

“I was very delighted to receive this award. It’s very humbling to be on the same list with great mathematicians such as Endre Szemeredi and Laszlo Lovasz,” he says.

Assistant Professor Ryan Johnson received the 2013 IBM Faculty award. This is a competitive worldwide program that nurtures collaborations between researchers at leading universities and those at IBM.

“The prize is important to me not only because of the research support it provides, but because of the vote of confidence it represents from an industry partner,” says Johnson, who received $26,000 to help him develop database systems that can support sophisticated analysis of huge datasets while simultaneously ingesting large amounts of new data.

Another post doctoral fellow, Eleonore Faber, was recently named one of the “Top 35 under 35 in Austria” by the Austrian Research Fund. Faber is doing research in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry with Professor Ragnar Buchweitz.  

CMS department Chair and Professor David Fleet said these international accolades and fellowships are a culmination of years of outstanding work done by faculty members.

“We have amazing researchers spanning mathematics, statistics and computer science, with international academic acclaim and profound industry impact, along with award-winning teaching.  This is a department I am truly honoured to be a part of,” he said.

Fleet recently spoke to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) about his research on artificial vision systems.

© University of Toronto Scarborough