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Professor Foutse Khomh awarded a prestigious NSERC Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship

November 1, 2023 - Source : NEWS

Foutse Khomh, full professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering, is among the six recipients of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship for 2023.

Le professeur Foutse Khomh. (Photo : Sylvie Li)
Professor Foutse Khomh. (Photo: Sylvie Li)

NSERC awarded an Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship to Professor Khomh “in recognition of important advancements to enhance the reliability, fairness, and ethical alignment of software systems powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence applications.” The fellowship is accompanied by a research grant in the amount of $250,000 over the next two years.

The NSERC Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships are intended to further the careers of exceptional and promising faculty members who are highly regarded internationally for their innovative work. They are the most prestigious of the grants awarded by the federal agency to support discovery and innovation excellence by outstanding early-stage researchers whose work holds promise for the future.

“It is a great honour for me to accept this Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship,” Professor Khomh said. “This recognition of the quality and impact of our research efforts is a strong incentive for me to carry on researching and developing safe and secure software technologies that aim to solve the key challenges facing our society, while improving quality of life for our fellow citizens.”

He added: “I am sincerely grateful to my family, the members of my research team, my collaborators and Polytechnique Montréal for their unfailing support all these years.”

Improving the reliability and trustworthiness of software systems powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence

In its profiles of the winners of this year’s Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships, NSERC mentions the high regard in which Professor Khomh is held by members of the international software engineering community because of his expertise in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

“[His] research efforts are improving the dependability and trustworthiness of software systems globally,” the profile says. “[His] research group is developing techniques and tools to ensure the reliability, fairness, and ethical alignment of ML-powered systems throughout their entire lifecycle,” the agency wrote, emphasizing that Professor Khomh’s team is “specifically addressing concepts of equity, fairness, diversity, identity, and social inclusion, to enhance user confidence.”

The NSERC profile concludes: “Professor Khomh’s research advances the development and implementation of trustworthy AI applications, especially those powered by ML, so they can provide the maximum benefit as they integrate into sectors such as healthcare, transportation, security, and customer service. He is also the driving force behind the Software Engineering for Machine Learning Applications (SEMLA) international symposium, where the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in software engineering and ML discuss the future challenges and implications of engineering complex data-intensive software systems.”

Professor Khomh was invited to give the acceptance speech on behalf of all the winners of the 2023 Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships at the NSERC awards ceremony on November 1 in Ottawa.

About the Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships

The Fellowships are named for Arthur Bruce McDonald, a Canadian physicist who played a key role in the design and construction of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario, a joint effort between Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s. His research resulted in the discovery of “neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass,” and led to him win the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita.

From 1965 to 2021, the Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships were known as the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships. Previous winners include a member of the Polytechnique Montréal faculty: Christophe Caloz, currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was a recipient in 2013.

Professor Khomh, who holds the Canada-CIFAR Chair in AI on Trustworthy Machine Learning Software Systems as well as the FRQ–IVADO Chair in Software Quality Assurance for Machine Learning Software, was honoured in 2020 with the CS-Can|Info-Can Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of software maintenance and evolution.

Congratulations, Professor Khomh!

Learn more

Professor Foutse Khomh’s expertise
Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering website
SEMLA website (in French)
Arthur B. McDonald Fellowships web page

Suggested Reading

September 23, 2020

Polytechnique Montréal’s Professor Foutse Khomh wins research excellence award

December 7, 2021

Artificial Intelligence: a new Canada-CIFAR Chair in AI for Professor Foutse Khomh