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MEET OUR VANIER SCHOLARS

Alper Aksac

A doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer Science under the supervision of professor Reda Alhajj, Aksac arrived from TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara, Turkey. He currently researches autonomous systems based on machine learning and computer vision techniques for determining the grade of a cancer that will help guide pathologists or other clinicians. His record to date is distinguished by a large number of high quality papers and he has extensive industrial experience, including two technology start-ups. More recently, Aksac led a student team at the Microsoft Imagine Cup: Canada, taking first position in the games category.

Carlos Enriquez-Victorero

Hailing all the way from Cuba, Enriquez-Victorero is a PhD student in chemistry under professor Peter Kusalik. He is researching a possible control mechanism for hydroxyl radicals in aqueous environments. Due to the fleeting nature of this radical compound, investigation is exacting but will have enormous impact as it appears across a range of domains including cosmic reactions, atmospheric chemistry, diseases such as cancer and in the mechanisms of aging. His studies will have both a broad and deeply felt scientific impact. 

Muhammad Omer

A first year PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering, Omer aims to improve medical imaging technology for breast cancer diagnosis and monitoring treatment. New imaging methods provide different information on breast health, and the Tissue Sensing Adaptive Radar (TSAR) research group has been developing approaches to image the breast with microwaves. Under the supervision of Elise Fear, Omer is investigating the interactions between ultrasound and breast tissues with the aim of adding this information to the microwave imaging technologies. The synergistic combination of the microwave and ultrasound imaging is expected to lead to new breast imaging systems that may be effective for monitoring breast health. 

Jessica Switzer

Switzer is a PhD student in clinical psychology in the Faculty of Arts who studies how children reason and make sense of their world. Her research explores how children use labels to guide their reasoning skills, adding to the debate about what role labels have in guiding children’s inductive inferences. Switzer has found that between 14 and 15 months old, children change how they categorize information. As part of her graduate studies, Switzer is doing a practicum at the Alberta Children’s Hospital two days a week. She’s also collaborating on a project that’s investigating how infants use gestures in their vocabulary development. Read more about Jessica Switzer >>

Kyle Wilson

When PhD student Kyle Wilson left the comfort of his Florida home two years ago to enrol at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Science’s ecology program, he knew he’d have to swim against the current to earn research funding as a foreign student in Canada. What he didn’t know, at the time, was that pursuing novel inland fish conservation research work and engaging in meaningful outreach projects would land him one of the most prestigious scholarships offered North of the border. “The main draw to studying in Calgary was my significant interest in the world-class work done by professor John Post in the area of fish ecology. I was also attracted to the school because of its proximity the Rockies and the chance to discover a whole new country,” he says.