2017 Undergraduate Research Conference

2017 Undergraduate reserach conference prizewinners
Tristan Kosciuch, Katarina Kuhnert, Lauren Thompson, Jade Sauvé, Dean Bruce Lennox, Edward Chernysh, Andrei Lupu, Chelsea Kim, Johanna Hoshizaki, Hamza Ahmad.

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, fifty students presented their research projects at the thirteenth annual Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). McGill judges had the arduous task of choosing the victors (see below). The prize ceremony took place in McGill's elegant Moyse Hall, and was followed by a very special keynote address (see also below). The day culminated with a reception for students, friends, and alumni, where everyone celebrated the accomplishments of McGill Science students.

Keynote address

The Faculty of Science was honoured to welcome distinguished scientist Professor Doina Precup to deliver the keynote address at the thirteenth annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Her talk was entitled:

"Artificial Intelligence in the 21st Century"

Prof. Doina Precup
Prof. Doina Precup

Professor Doina Precup (School of Computer Science, McGill University) holds the Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning at McGill, and serves as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science. Professor Precup will lead DeepMind’s new AI lab in Montreal. She also serves as Associate Scientific Director of the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives research initiative which aims to reduce the human and socio-economic burden of psychiatric and neurological illnesses, and improve the mental health, quality of life, and productivity of Canadians and people around the world. Her research focuses on artificial intelligence, machine learning (especially reinforcement learning) and applications of these methods to real-world problems. CIFAR, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, has recognized her as the Senior Fellow for Learning in Machines & Brains. In recognition of significant accomplishments within the field of artificial intelligence, Doina Precup was granted Senior Member status by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in 2015.



First and second prizes were awarded in six categories as follows:

Biological Sciences Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Tristan Kosciuch
Project: Population and diet dynamics of an invasive predator
Supervisor: Prof. Lauren Chapman
Nominated by: Department of Biology

Tristan Kosciuch

2nd prize: Lindsay Burns
Project: Host-cell mediated modification of bacterial virulence factor NleA
Supervisor: Prof. Samantha Gruenheld
Nominated by: Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Photo not available

Earth & Environmental Sciences Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Jade Sauvé
Project: Response of Antarctic Sea Ice to Climate Change: Role of Oceanic Mesoscale Eddies
Supervisor: Prof. Carolina Dufour
Nominated by: Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

Jade Sauvé

2nd prize – TIE: Katarina Kuhnert
Project:  Arctic and Subarctic Sea-Level Change and Policy in Northern Canada
Supervisors: Prof. Natalya Gomez, Dr. Leonard Tsuji
Nominated by: Department of Geography

Katarina Kuhnert

2nd prize – TIE: Lauren Thompson
Project: Effects of long-term fertilization on dissolved matter in an ombrotrophic bog
Supervisor: Prof. Tim Moore
Nominated by: Department of Geography

Lauren Thompson
Mathematical & Computational Sciences Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Andrei Lupu
Project:  Imitation Upper Confidence Bound for Bandits on a Graph
Supervisor: Prof. Doina Precup
Nominated by: School of Computer Science

Andrei Lupu

2nd prize: Edward Chernysh
Project:  Weakly Monotone Decreasing Solutions to Elliptic Schrödinger Systems
Supervisor: Prof. Jérôme Vétois
Nominated by: Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Edward Chernysh
Medical Sciences Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Johanna Hoshizaki
Project: Using bioinformatic analysis and CRISPR gene editing to develop attenuated strains of Leishmania as a potential vaccine
Supervisor: Prof. Greg Matlashewski
Nominated by: Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Johanna Hoshizaki

2nd prize: Chelsea Kim
Project: Deciphering the molecular mechanisms used by LPP to regulate cell migration through experiments and mathematical models
Supervisors: Prof. Claire Brown & Prof. Anmar Khadra
Nominated by: Department of Physiology

Chelsea Kim
Physical Sciences Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Vincent Trudel
Project: Synthesis of Thiazolo [5,4-d]pyrimidine-based Bisphosphonates as Inhibitors of the Human Geranylgeranyl Pyrophosphate Synthase
Supervisor: Prof. Youla Tsantrizos
Nominated by: Department of Chemistry

Vincent Trudel

2nd prize: Haoran Liao
Project: Investigating the Clustering Behaviour of Nanoparticles with Confinement Microscopy
Supervisor: Prof. Sabrina Leslie
Nominated by: Department of Physics

Photo not available

Psychology & Neuroscience Photo (click for larger image)

1st prize: Dasha A. Sandra
Project: How Much Does My Thinking Cost? Individual Differences and Sensitivity to Reward in Cognitive Performance
Supervisor: Prof. A. Ross Otto
Nominated by: Department of Psychology

Dasha Sandra

2nd prize: Hamza Ahmad
Project: Processing of somatosensory information by the central nervous system
Supervisor: Prof. Theodore Milner
Nominated by: Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education (Faculty of Education)

Hamza Ahmad


Download the following slides to announce the Undergraduate Research Conference in your class or elsewhere:


victor.chisholm [at] mcgill.ca (Victor Chisholm), Student Affairs Administrator, 514-398-5964

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