Health

AI researcher, Soviet historian among winners of $100K Killam Prize

Canada Council for the Arts recognized academics for outstanding contributions to the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.

Montreal AI expert Yoshua Bengio and human genome scientist Dr. Stephen Scherer from U of T among winners

Yoshua Bengio, a computer scientist who studies artificial intelligence at Université de Montreal, is among five Canadian scholars receiving a $100,000 prize for excellence in their respective fields. (Amelie Philibert/Canadian Press)

Five of Canada's leading scholars in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to Soviet history are being honoured with the $100,000 Killam Prize.

The Canada Council for the Arts recognized academics from across the country Thursday for outstanding contributions to the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.

Winners included Université de Montreal professors André Blais, an expert in electoral studies whose project examined the behaviour of voters and parties in 25 elections across five countries, and Yoshua Bengio, whose expertise in artificial intelligence has also earned him the A.M. Turing Award, known as the "Nobel Prize for Computer Science."

Dr. Stephen Scherer of the University of Toronto was commended for research that has shaped our understanding of the human genome and founding a database used in thousands of clinical diagnoses per day.

Fellow University of Toronto professor Lynne Viola, a specialist in the history of the Soviet Union, and University of Waterloo systems design engineer Keith W. Hipel were also among the honourees.

Winners are chosen by a committee of their peers.

Previous winners include Victoria Kaspi, the late Mark Wainberg, and Nobel Prize winner Arthur McDonald.

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