Another NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement Award winner from SFU Computing Science

August 18, 2009

Dr. Jiangchuan Liu, Associate Professor at the School of Computing Science has won the Discovery Accelerator Supplement (DAS) Award this year. This completes a hat-trick for the School of Computing Science Faculty who have won three DAS awards in the past two years (Dr. Greg Mori and Dr. Jian Pei, both SFU Computing Science Faculty members received DAS awards last year).

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada grants the DAS awards to researchers who show strong potential to become international leaders in their respective areas of research. For 2009-2010, The DAS awards have been given to 100 recipients whose research programs fall under the four main areas that have been identified as priorities in the 2007 Federal Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage. Dr. Liu’s research falls under the priority area of Information and Communication Technologies.

In addition to the DAS award, NSERC also renewed Dr. Liu’s Discovery Grant award, doubling the original grant amount, which is a rare occurrence in NSERC’s history.

Dr. Liu not only has strong academic contributions, but his research has had a tremendous impact on the industry.  His research focuses on one of the popular topics of today’s times – multimedia communications and wireless sensor networking. The CoolStreaming software designed by Dr. Liu and his team has been credited as the first large-scale peer-to-peer live video streaming system. CoolStreaming is a P2PTV (peer-to-peer television) technology that enables users to share television content with each other over the Internet. This system has attracted over a million users and inspired a number of popular industry products; particularly Chinese based PPLive –the world’s largest online video entertainment media platform.

The CoolStreaming software has led to the development of a series of other real systems through collaborations with Industry. Some of Dr. Liu’s recently released products are the apt-p2p software distributor in Ubuntu, NetTube accelerator – a social network based, peer-to-peer short video sharing platform, and MoViShare - a mobile social networking platform for instant video sharing along with user location information using GPS - in collaboration with Nokia Canada.

Dr. Liu’s repertoire of industry collaborations includes local and international companies such as Eyeball Networks, Bits Republic, Cisco Canada, PPLive, and Microsoft Research.

Dr. Liu and his team have also had several noted academic contributions including 42 journal papers and 55 conference papers which have attracted nearly 2000 citations in academic literature. His Multimedia and Wireless Networking Group currently consists of 1 postdoctoral researcher, 7 PhD students and 6 Masters students. His graduates have gone on to Assistant Professorships and Research positions at various universities and research labs worldwide.

Dr. Liu is the founding program co-chair of Ambi-sys’08, a new international conference focusing on ubiquitous multimedia, and an editor of leading international journals, e.g., IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. His team recently received the IWQoS’08 Best Student Paper Award, IEEE Multimedia Communications Technical Committee 2009 Best Paper Awards, and the 2009 BCNET Broadband Innovation Challenge for NetTube.

Excited and grateful for receiving the DAS award, Dr. Liu will be using the grant money to support research students, academic publications and product development in collaboration with industry.
According to Dr. Liu, “This is a commendable achievement for our School as it is one of the few Computer Science departments to have received 3 DAS Awards [along with those of Universities of Toronto and Waterloo] in the past 2 years.  I am grateful to SFU, the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the School of Computing Science for their support and encouragement.”

Written by Salima Vastani