Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowship

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, providing grants to nonprofit organizations around the world in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare, since the commencement of its grantmaking activities, in 1996. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellowships were established to mark the celebration of a 70-year partnership between Canada and Greece.

The Fellowships are awarded annually to exceptional Greek Master's and PhD applicants across a wide array of graduate programs at McGill. This allows Greek graduate students the opportunity to pursue their studies at McGill, and to contribute to building the foundation for future collaboration between Canada and Greece.

2022/23 - Antonios Valkanas, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Stavros Scholar - ValkanasOne might argue that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been the most impactful invention since the inception of the Internet more than three decades ago. To name a few applications, AI techniques guide self-driving vehicles, curate web content, and form an integral part of most functions of a modern smartphone. The fact that AI remains in a high growth phase even after more than a decade of continuous breakthroughs attests to its seemingly boundless potential.

Graph-structured data emerge across natural and social sciences, from social networks to protein interaction networks. However, graph-structured data form a particularly challenging area for AI algorithm development due to their non-Euclidean domain. This often renders the existing mathematical tools of general AI techniques inapplicable; hence, new ones are needed. In my dissertation, under the supervision of Professor Mark Coates, I aim to advance the state-of-the-art in graph learning by developing machine learning algorithms for graphs. Besides theoretical research, I plan to apply graph learning techniques to computer-based human motion prediction, recommendation systems, and telecommunication networks.

I am more than grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for supporting my work. Had it not been for the Niarchos Fellowship, graduate school would have doubtlessly been financially stressful for me. Thanks to the Foundation’s generous financial aid, I am able to study for my courses, attend international conferences, and, most importantly, devote my full attention towards answering important research problems of potentially high impact reaching far outside my field.

2021/22 - Dimitrios Machlouta, History and Classical Studies

Stavros Niarchos Scholar - Dimitrios MachloutaStudying history is always something challenging and time-consuming. It is at the same time rewarding since once embarked in this journey one is privileged to discover the most unexpected answers to one's intellectual inquisitiveness. According to an oral tradition, Marc Bloch once said that historical questions are just like paper ships; they either keep afloat or sink in the sea of archival data. The latter means you have to retry once again with a new hypothesis. My dissertation, through extensive research of archival sources and interviews, traces the itinerary of those Greek academics who went into exile following the Junta coup in Greece. Through the practice of connected history, which interwinds the local with global, and under the guidance of Professor Tassos Anastassiadis at the Department of History at McGill, I locate the place of the French-educated Greek intellectuals who arrived in Montréal during the sixties within both the Greek diaspora and the anti-junta movement. I argue that their activities and connections were global in scope, even if conditions in Québec shaped their perceptions. Moreover, they were constantly crossing the two shores of the Atlantic between North America and Europe in the pursuit of expanding further the impact of their cause.

I am grateful to the Niarchos Foundation for supporting my research warmly. These funds will permit me to focus during the next years merely on my research and enrich the primary material through the exploration of archival collections not only in Greece and Canada but also in France and the U.S.A. I strongly believe that through this generous support, this research has the potential of enhancing further our understanding of transnational intellectual exile, migration, and political activism against authoritarian forms of ruling, an issue of timely importance in our world.

Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation Fellowships for Excellence in Graduate Education

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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