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The 2019 Killam Prizes, presented by the Canada Council for the Arts, recognize Yoshua Bengio and André Blais, whose careers and professional achievements have had an impact in Canada and around the world.
The Killam Prize in Natural Sciences was awarded to Yoshua Bengio, a world leader in artificial intelligence. The Killam Prize in Social Sciences was awarded to André Blais, an internationally renowned expert in electoral systems.
Former CIRANO Fellow, Yoshua Bengio has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operational Research at the Université de Montréal since 1993. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms and is also the founder and scientific director of Mila, the Institut québécois d'intelligence artificielle. Mr. Bengio's research has earned him several awards. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the Marie Victorin Prize. Most recently, the Association for Computing Machinery named him co-winner of the A Prize. Mr. Turing, considered the "Nobel Prize for Computer Science".
CIRANO Fellow and full professor in the Department of Political Science at the Université de Montréal, André Blais is particularly interested in electoral behaviour, public opinion, electoral systems and political participation. André Blais, holder of the Université de Montréal Research Chair in Electoral Studies, is a member of the Centre pour l'étude de la citoyenneté démocratique and was chair of the planning committee of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. His work in the field of elections, electoral systems and voter participation has contributed significantly to the advancement of political science in Quebec and Canada and has earned him international recognition. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999, Professor Blais received the 2010 Award of Excellence from the Société québécoise de science politique. His research work led him to win the coveted Killam Fellowship in 1995.
Killam Prizes recognize the career achievements of eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities. The Canada Council for the Arts awards 5 Killam Prizes of $100,000 each year (1 prize in each of the fields of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering).