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Professor Angela Schoellig (left, UTIAS), an autonomous robotics expert, is among 34 newly appointed CIFAR AI chairs. (Credit: Neil Ta)

Professor Angela Schoellig (UTIAS) has been named a Canada CIFAR AI Chair, a position that will expand her innovative research into self-navigating machines and catalyze future collaborations.

Schoellig joins 34 newly appointed CIFAR AI chairs, including Professor Gennady Pekhimenko (Computer Science, ECE) and seven others from U of T, who will receive funding for their leading research in areas that have significant global impact. The appointments are part of a national strategy funded by the Government of Canada, aimed at attracting and retaining leading artificial intelligence (AI) experts from around the world.

“I am thrilled to be recognized in this esteemed group of my peers,” says Schoellig. “It will further my research in using machine learning to build next-generation robots that operate more efficiently and safely in real-world situations.”

Schoellig will receive five years of dedicated funding to support research excellence in machine learning and to help train the next generation of AI leaders.

Schoellig also holds a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning for Robotics and Control. Her research centres on using machine learning to enhance the capabilities of robots in human-centric environments. Among other projects, Schoellig and her graduate students are developing algorithms that provide greater accuracy and control for self-navigating drones and self-driving vehicles.

CIFAR, the Canadian-based global organization that supports collaboration and advancement in research, launched its Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy in 2017 — the Canada CIFAR AI Chair program is a cornerstone of that strategy. The chairs are nominated by the three national AI institutes: Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute.

“We are very proud of this recognition for Professor Schoellig,” says Ramin Farnood, Vice Dean of Research at U of T Engineering. “The leading-edge research carried out by Professor Schoellig and her team has immense potential to deliver innovative solutions on a global scale. It’s a testament to the University of Toronto’s thriving community of world-class talent in artificial intelligence.”

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