GRAND announces recipients of the 2013 Young Network Investigator Award
Congratulations to Drs. Scott Bateman, (University of Prince Edward Island), Michael Smit (Dalhousie University), and Daniel Vogel (University of Waterloo).
Posted by GRAND NCE, October 10, 2013

(Vancouver, BC) Recipients of GRAND’s 2013 Young Network Investigator (YNI) Awards are all rising stars in digital media research. The latest awards went to Drs. Scott Bateman, (University of Prince Edward Island), Michael Smit (Dalhousie University), and Daniel Vogel (University of Waterloo), all Assistant Professors at their respective universities.

The YNI Award program supports exceptional Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in the early stages of their academic careers. Created in 2011, the awards provide needed start-up funds when HQP make the transition from doctoral student or postdoctoral fellow to research faculty positions, enabling them to continue their involvement in one or more GRAND research projects. Up to $5,000 in seed funding over the first 12 months in their new positions nurtures, as well as leverages, their participation in GRAND until they can apply for funding as network investigators in the next funding cycle.

The 2013 YNI Award recipients were selected based on applications that emphasize their significant research contributions in GRAND and their impressive track record of student successes.

As a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan, Bateman has been involved in multiple GRAND projects. As a YNI he will continue his work in the SIMUL (Enhanced Communication in Simulation and Training) and GAMFIT (Gaming for Physical Fitness) projects with Drs. Carl Gutwin and Regan Mandryk at the U of S’s Interaction Lab. Bateman’s research work has contributed to ten high-quality peer-review papers – two of which received awards. He is presently focused on developing social feedback systems modeled on a theory of observational learning from the field of cognitive psychology. His study of social feedback for web searches suggests people will acquire skills and accomplish common tasks more successfully and with less effort by observing other people’s actions in similar situations. Through the capture and visual representation of applicable behaviours, he is developing a training environment that enables people to learn computer programming skills from each other. A trial version of the system is set to be deployed in the Fall of 2013 to augment his introductory programming course.

Smit has been working with Dr. Eleni Stroulia (University of Alberta) in GRAND’s MEOW (Media Enabled Organizational Workflow) project developing ways to streamline and support the collaborative activities within the GRAND network itself. His research interests include the privacy and security of software systems, and he has considerable experience in cloud computing research. At the U of A, Smit received the Computing Science PhD Early Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in the first three years of his doctoral program. As a post-doctoral fellow at York University, Smit and his research team received startup funding through the Ontario Centres of Excellence Market Readiness program to commercialize their research, which is presently underway. He is also the founder of Pontis Technology Consulting. Smit will continue his work in GRAND with Stroulia, as well as collaborate with Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd (Dalhousie University) in the area of social media and networks.

Vogel is looking at radically changing how, when, and where we interact with digital information through technologies that receive input from the body. As a computing science doctoral graduate from the University of Toronto (supervised by PNI Dr. Ravin Balakrishnan) and a BFA graduate (Emily Carr University of Art + Design), Vogel brings Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Visual Arts into play with his research. His ongoing work with Drs. Sidney Fels (University of British Columbia) and Sheelagh Carpendale (University of Calgary) in GRAND’s SHRDSP (Shared Displays) project combines visualization with ergonomic body inputs in applications that include urban wayfinding, shared public displays, and workplace fitness. Another ongoing project integrates thousands of artworks into a digital gallery environment; a successful prototype was installed at the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University. Vogel has also had a long-term collaboration with researchers at INRIA Lille in France, one of GRAND’s international partners. For his HCI work, he won Best Paper Awards at the ACM CHI in 2007 and 2010, and he was honoured with a 2010 Bill Buxton Dissertation Award for best Canadian dissertation in HCI.



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