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Date: April 22, 2005

UVic Awarded Four New Canada Research Chairs

Four promising scholars in the fields of engineering, computer science, and astronomy are the University of Victoria’s newest Canada Research Chairs.

Canada Research Chairs are aimed at increasing Canada’s research capacity by attracting and retaining the best researchers. UVic’s four new chairs are among 106 across Canada that are being announced today in Winnipeg by Industry Minister David Emerson.

The four new UVic recipients are all tier-two Canada Research Chairs, who are considered “stars of tomorrow.” They’ll receive $100,000 in research funding annually for five years, renewable once.

The new chairs are:

Dr. Xiaodai Dong, Canada Research Chair in Ultra-wideband Communications, is developing new high-speed communication systems using ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless technology. UWB has applications in home networking, multimedia communications, remote sensing, and medicine. Dong joined UVic’s department of electrical and computer engineering in January.

Dr. Venkatesh Srinivasan, Canada Research Chair in Complexity of Computing, seeks to distinguish problems that are easy to solve using a computer and those that are inherently difficult. The research is relevant to other areas of computer science and to electronic security questions such as the protection of e-mail. Srinivasan is a faculty member in UVic’s department of computer science.

Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey, Canada Research Chair in Human Computer Interaction for Software Engineering, designs and builds innovative software tools to help people manipulate large bodies of information and solve complex tasks. Her work emphasizes the interplay between technology, human behaviour and social structures. Storey is a faculty member in UVic’s department of computer science.

Dr. Kim Venn, Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics, uses large telescopes and light-separating instruments to analyse the chemical composition of stars to study galaxy formation and evolution. Venn is currently on faculty at Macalester College in Minnesota. She’ll join UVic’s department of physics and astronomy in September.

To date, UVic has been awarded 30 Canada Research Chairs for a total investment of $26.7 million. The university will be awarded another five chairs by the end of this year.
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Media contacts:
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7641 or vshore@uvic.ca

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