SFU Computing Science Professors Win NSERC-DAS Awards

March 20, 2009

The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada is heavily recognized throughout the country for its contributions to research projects focusing on science and technology.

One of the most prestigious grants that this government organization provides is through the Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program. This program provides substantial resources to outstanding researchers who show strong potential to become international leaders in their respective area of research. More specifically, only 100 recipients are selected annually across all scientific fields of research throughout Canada to receive $120,000 in grant money over a span of 3 years. Therefore, it is considered a great acknowledgment to their work, their research efforts and their School, that two SFU Computing Science researchers were individually acknowledged and awarded funds from the DAS Program in the same year.

Dr. Jian Pei and Dr. Greg Mori, both Professors of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University, are more than honoured to receive a grant of such stature and see this as a reflection of SFU Computing Science’s capabilities.

“I’m happy to receive it,” stated Dr. Mori with a modest smile. “I’m also very excited because we [SFU Computing Science] have a good group of young professors that are capable of a lot. This bodes really well for our School.”

Another piece of information that bodes really well for SFU is the fact that DAS is an award that surpasses the Discovery Grant award in terms of prestige and provides recognition to the School and its staff.

Dr. Mori was recognized and awarded this illustrious grant for his exceptional research in motion-based analysis of video sequences. He looks forward to expanding further on his research. “The primary use of these grant funds are for paying research assistants,” said Dr. Mori. “This grant will provide us with the peoplepower to focus on these projects, which includes research on the use of shape and motion cues to figure out a person’s actions.”

Dr. Pei was awarded the DAS grant for his outstanding contributions to the field of data mining and will focus the funds towards his project in the area of uncertain data mining. The NSERC Committee recognized Dr. Pei as a “very successful young researcher” for his outstanding contributions to the field of data mining. According to one external referee, “Dr. Pei’s publication record was one of the strongest seen in the 2008 competition.”

Dr. Mori and Dr. Pei provide an accurate synopsis of the great minds that make up the School of Computing Science at SFU, meaning that this probably isn’t the last time that a researcher from SFU Computing Science will win the DAS grant.

- Written by Kamil Karamali