2016 Spring Newsletter / Faculty News

New Research Grants & Awards

Prof. Jamshid Beheshti is a co-investigator with Dr. Shaheen Shariff from the McGill Department of Integrated Studies in Education and others, on a 2015 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant (Letter of Intent). The project is entitled “Defining the Policy Lines: Examining the Role of News and Social Media, Popular Culture and the Justice System in Reducing and Mobilizing Change, or Sustaining Sexual Violence and “Rape Culture” in Universities.”

Prof. France Bouthillier is a co-investigator in collaboration with co-principal investigators Prof. Pierre Pluye, Associate Member, McGill School of Information Studies and McGill Faculty of Medicine; and Dr. Elham Rahme, McGill Faculty of Medicine, on the project “Methodological Developments, Québec SUPPORT Unit for Patient-Oriented Research in Quebec.” a 2015-2019 CIHR-FRQS-MSSS infrastructure grant of $2,750,000.
TreeThe Québec SUPPORT Unit for Patient-Oriented Research in Quebec is one of the links in the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec –Santé (FRQS). The project has four platforms which focus on 1) Data Access, 2) Methodological Developments, 3) Clinical and Evaluative Studies in Real-world Contexts, and 4) Research on Health and Social Services Systems, Knowledge Translation, and Implementation. The platform for Methodological Developments is housed at McGill and directed by Prof. Pierre Pluye. The goal of the platform is to respond to the needs of clients (researchers, patients, clinicians, managers) with respect to the latest methods for planning, conducting and evaluating patient-oriented research. As a co-investigator involved with the platform, Prof. France Bouthillier, with David Tang, MLIS’02, PhD’12, and Prof. Pluye, are developing and testing an information monitoring system to reduce the time and effort of retrieving relevant methodological publications and research projects by and for clients and their communities. They have designed a prototype of a Research Trend Monitoring (RTM) system that applies the principles of competitive intelligence and environmental scanning. The Research Trend Monitoring (RTM) system enables the monitoring of cutting-edge developments, such as new studies, as soon as they appear in bibliographic databases and as early as research protocols are granted by funding agencies. The systems allows some automated content analysis and the capture of collective insights from the research community as the users of the system can select and assess the most relevant records. A report of invention for the RTM system was filed by the three inventors at McGill University.

Prof. France Bouthillier also welcomed, for the first time at the School, a Research Trainee from Brazil funded by the Mitacs Globalink Program from May–August 2015. Mitacs Globalink invites senior undergraduate students from around the world to experience Canada as a leading destination for research and innovation. This competitive, fully-funded program pairs top-ranked students with faculty at Canadian universities for a 12-week research project of mutual interest. Mr. Gustavo Henrique de Souza Bodenmüller from the Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina worked under the supervision of Prof. Bouthillier to conduct research on Cultural Differences in Competitive Intelligence Practices.

Prof. Benjamin Fung, Canada Research Chair in Data Mining for Cybersecurity, has received a 3-year research grant from Zayed University, United Arab Emirates, for the project “Securing Critical Cyber Infrastructures for Smart Cities in the UAE.” This is a collaborative research project between Dr. Farkhund Iqbal, Affiliate Member, McGill School of Information Studies and Assistant Professor, Zayed University; Dr. Yan Bai, Visiting Professor, McGill School of Information Studies and Associate Professor, University of Washington Tacoma; and McGill University. The award, AED 500K = CAD $190K, is shared between the three universities.

From 2014 to 2016, Prof. Fung has been involved in four research projects with Dr. Farkhund Iqbal: “Mining Cyber-Intelligence from Social Media for Cybercrimes Detection”; “Arabic Authorship in Online Written Communication for Cybercrime Investigation and Detection”; “Secure and Privacy-Preserving Querying of Personal Health Records on the Cloud”; and “Messaging Forensics for Cybercrime Investigation and Detection.” The projects are funded by Zayed University with a total awarded amount of AED 356K, equivalent to roughly CAD $135K. McGill University has received approximately CAD $40K for these projects.

Prof. Catherine Guastavino, William Dawson Scholar, received a 2016 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage Grant for a project with industry partner Applied Acoustics Systems. The award is $25,000, plus $11,160 in-kind from Applied Acoustics Systems. Doctoral student David Romblom from the Multimodal Interaction Lab will take a leading role in the project.

The objective of the project is to develop virtual acoustics models to enhance user experience with software musical instruments. In the same way that Applied Acoustics Systems makes physical models of acoustic instruments, the proposed research will develop physical models of the acoustic environments in which the instruments are typically played, heard, and recorded. The sense of space provided by virtual acoustics models developed through this research is expected to increase the quality of interaction with software instruments and enhance the naturalness of physically-modelled software musical instruments.

Prof. Guastavino is one of nine co-investigators with principal investigator Dr. Marcelo Wanderley of the Schulich School of Music, McGill and CIRRMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology) for a 2015 project “Live Expression “in situ”: Musical and Audiovisual Performance and Reception.” The award, totalling $10,916,808, was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
The project involved the creation of a research hub designed to become the world’s leading research facility for the scientific study of live performance, movement of recorded sound in space, and remote, synchronous performance.

Prof. Guastavino has also been awarded a grant in the amount of $24,955 from the Institut de Tourisme et Hôtellerie du Quebec for the 2015 project “Influence de l’ambiance sonore sur l’experience du mangeur en restauration gastronomique.”
Prof. Guastavino is also the principle investigator for the project “Perception of Aural and Visual Trajectories for 3D Audio Composition and Production,” which received a Mitacs Globalink Research Award ($4,200). The award was used to fund a visit of doctoral student Justin Mathew from INRIA, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation in collaboration with Dr. Stéphane Huot (Co-P.I.).

Prof. Karyn Moffatt was awarded a six-month Engage Grant of $25,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for her project “Persuasive Game-Based Physical Therapy,” with industry partner Jintronix. Dr. Rita Orji, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Accessible Computing Technology (ACT) Lab, will take a leading role in the project. Game-based physical therapy—which harnesses the power of virtual games, motion tracking sensors, and evidence-based treatments—is an alternative way of delivering therapy services to clients. The objective of this project is to explore the design of persuasive interface elements for physical therapy tools to support long-term adherence at home and outside of tightly-monitored therapy environments. This project is expected to further technological innovation in persuasive technology and improve the effectiveness of low-cost, home-based, healthcare solutions.

Prof. Moffatt is also a co-investigator, with Dr. Cosmin Munteanu (UofT Mississauga) and collaborators from UofT and SFU, on the “AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence Project: CONNECT-CREATE” (Apr 1 2015–Mar 31 2018), which will design technological platforms to enable older adults to use digital storytelling as a means of communicating and socializing. This project has received $377,651.00 ($114,467.00 to McGill), with additional funds anticipated for 2016/17. Digital storytelling is a unique means of communication that can be enjoyable, meaningful, and life affirming, and can assist older adults in continuing to learn, grow, and maintain cognitive abilities. Prof. Moffatt and the research team will work with older adults to develop novel platforms and tools for creating digital stories covering significant events in their lives and/or their communities.

Daughter teaching mum using laptop

> Learn more about the School’s research at www.mcgill.ca/sis/research