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Canada AI researcher, Russian history specialist among winners of $100,000 Killam Prize

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 on Thursday for outstanding contributions to the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering.

Winners included University of 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.”

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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 a 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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