Dr. Mark Schmidt Awarded NSERC Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship

November 1, 2023

We already use machine learning (ML) in applications such as face detection in cameras, language translation on our smartphones, and automatic captioning of Zoom calls. Soon it will be a key component of major advancements ranging from drug discovery to how we interface with technology. However, ML’s impact will be limited if users need to become experts at finetuning its complexities for each application.

Dr. Mark Schmidt is an expert in ML whose research focuses on making ML faster and more user-friendly so it can become more broadly accessible. While known for his theoretical contributions to improving the algorithms underlying ML programs, Schmidt strives to apply his advancements to real-world situations to have maximum impact. His team has made contributions to a variety of topics including monitoring penguin populations in Antarctica, improving seismic imaging to select sites for oil drilling, removing unwanted blemishes from portrait photos, and building a system to detect heart motion abnormality before a heart attack occurs.

Schmidt’s advancements are also having a major impact on Canadian healthcare. In a key project, he collaborated with Synthesis Health to design and test a system for detecting abnormalities in X-ray images. The method showed a dramatic reduction in missed abnormalities and has been approved for clinical use by Health Canada, the first time an ML-assisted radiology system has received this approval in Canada.

Text courtesy of NSERC - view original NSERC post

View 2023 NSERC award winners announcement

 Mid-shot of Dr. Mark Schmidt with NSERC prizes 2023 logo overlaid
Mark Schmidt
Department of Computer Science