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Dr. Nick Cercone

Dr. Cercone is an exemplary scholar, mentor and a leader with exceptional contributions to the field of computer science, in particular artificial intelligence, since receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1975.

Dr. Cercone is widely recognized as a pioneer, a technical visionary and a world leader in the areas of natural language processing and Big Data and data mining. His research has contributed useful software, including natural language systems, classification software, data mining software, and health informatics systems with various critical applications in areas such as computational approaches to assistive technology. Most notably, his work on ‘Big Data’ since 1990s have been central to the research in this key area of computer science. Recently, Cercone has led a large group of researchers to develop a network called: Big Data Research Analytics and Information Network (BRAIN). Moreover, he is currently the lead Principal Investigator of Ontario Research Fund, Research Excellence – the Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV/DDD) that is recognized for its cutting-edge and pioneering vision research in Canada.

Cercone has published over 400 refereed manuscripts in well-respected venues (including 100 journal articles, 40 book chapters, and over 250 conference articles). He has edited 10 special issues of journals and 10 books.

He has been a much-sought speaker at 15 international conferences. According to Google Scholar, Cercone’s publications have been cited nearly 6000 times and have an h-index of 35. Moreover, his research has resulted in over $20 million in research funding (e.g., $12M from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)).

Dr. Cercone has a great record of sustained excellence in teaching and supervision (over 100 Highly Qualified Personnel including supervision/co-supervision of 16 Post-Doctoral Fellows, 78 Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, 9 research officers at York and Simon Fraser University labs and external examiner for 21 students). Students supervised by him are holding titles such as Canada Research Chair Tier I, Linguistics Chairman, Associate Dean, Computer Science Chair, NSERC Accelerator awardee, and 21 university professors (11 at Canadian universities).

Dr. Cercone has an exceptional record of leadership in establishing and expanding numerous computer science programs at several universities. As Vice-President (VP) Research, he inspired University of Regina’s research, into major funding initiatives and the successful construction of Regina Research Park. He helped establish the Laboratory for Automation, Communication and Information Research during one-year visit at Victoria. As the initial Director of the Centre for Systems Science (CSS), Cercone developed the CSS into a successful research infrastructure for advanced systems research. At Waterloo, he developed new interdisciplinary programs as Computer Science Chair. Assuming Deanship of the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie, he led the development of a series of innovative graduate and undergraduate programs. As Dean of Science and Engineering at York, Cercone reorganized the Faculty to decentralize budgets and authority.

Dr. Cercone also has an exceptional record of professional contributions to various scholarly communities. In a collaboration, Cercone initiated and edited the international journal, Computational Intelligence, for 20 years. He was Editor-in-chief of Knowledge and Information Systems and is on the editorial board of 10 international journals. He is co-Editor in Chief for Big Data and Information Analytics. He has been President of Canadian Society for the Computational Studies of Intelligence, President of the Canadian Society for 5th Generation Research and inaugural President of the Canadian Computer Science Chairs Association. He has been a member of many major committees and boards (e.g., Steacie, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems-Networks of Centres of Excellence). He has been general chair of 17 international conferences (e.g., IEEE Big Data Conference, 2014, and the International Conference on Big Data Science and Engineering, 2014), program chair of 8 international conferences, steering committee member for 14 international conferences, and on many program committees.

For his accomplishments, Dr. Cercone has been recognized with many awards and honours, such as the CSCSI/SCEIO Distinguished Service Award, 1996; IEEE Fellow, 2002; Web Intelligence Consortium Outstanding Contribution Award, 2010; and Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association Fellow, 2011.