Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer
Dr. Schaeffer received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and holds both an M.Math. degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo. He has been a faculty member at the University of Alberta for more than 20 years, and has been a Canada Research Chair since 2002 and an iCore Chair in High-Performance Artificial Intelligence Systems since 2001.
Dr. Schaeffer is world-renowned for his work in applying artificial intelligence and parallel computing techniques to computer game playing. He was the author of the checkers-playing program Chinook, which has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the first computer program to win a human world championship in any game. In 2007, it was announced that he and his colleagues had solved the game of checkers, making it the largest game to be solved to date.
Dr. Schaeffer has gone on to do outstanding work on games such as poker, Hex and Sokoban. His poker software is currently on par with some of the best human players in the world. Dr. Schaeffer has devised several algorithms that have been used extensively, and has a very impressive publication record. He is also the co-founder of the companies BioTools and Chenomx, and was the lead investigator in putting together the Western Canada Research Grid and related interprovincial, multi-institutional high-performance computing initiatives.
Dr. Schaeffer has received many honours over the years, including being named an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow, a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. We are pleased to be able to add to his list of awards today by presenting him with our Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer!
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