Members press release

PRECARN, Canada - IFR-R&D Institute

Team from University of British Columbia Wins First Annual Intelligent Systems Challenge

The Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association / Association pour l'intelligence artificielle au Canada (CAIAC) and Precarn Incorporated announced the winners of the first annual CAIAC-Precarn Canadian Intelligent Systems Challenge at the Intelligent Systems Collaborative Conference. The overall winning team was from the University of British Columbia. The winner in the graduate student category was a team from the University of Waterloo.

In a very tight race with student teams from all across Canada, the team from UBC wrote the best software algorithms to solve a selected industrial challenge. Adam Williams and David Fagnan of the winning team from the University of British Columbia received the grand prize and a cheque of $6,000. "The competition was a wonderful experience as it was very exciting and inspiring to learn what is involved in programming for current real world problems." said Adam Williams. "We're thrilled that we won. The fact that there were so many talented teams kept us motivated throughout the competition".

The prize for the graduate student category was received by Yichuan Tang from the University of Waterloo.

This inaugural year of the competition, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA) contributed the challenge - detecting suspicious maritime activities with incomplete information. "The Intelligent Systems Challenge for the 2008-9 season has been a huge success", says Dr. Harold Zwick, Director of R&D at MDA. "Student teams across Canada have proposed a variety of very interesting solutions. We believe that the ideas generated will lead to improved solutions to challenging problems."

"I wholeheartedly support the Intelligent Systems Challenge, established by PRECARN Incorporated and the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association" says Simon Peacock, Dean of Science at the University of British Columbia. "These competitions will help engage Canadian students in the exciting field of intelligent systems and deepen their understanding of the ways that new innovations in computer science can contribute to society."

CAE Professional Services, FPInnovations and Girih.org short-listed for the 2009­2010 Intelligent Systems Challenge

The Intelligent Systems Challenge is a series of annual competitions among university, college and high school students across Canada. The students develop software programs to solve challenging, real world problems faced by Canadian companies, organizations and the society as a whole, using technologies and methods from the areas of artificial intelligence.

Every year, Canadian companies and organizations compete in having one of their challenges selected for the programming competition.

In an announcement at the Intelligent Systems Collaborative conference on Tuesday, Dr. Holger Hoos, president of the CAIAC and Derek Best of Precarn Incorporated, announced the short list of Canadian companies for the next Intelligent Systems Challenge (in alphabetical order):

  • CAE Incorporated, "Detecting Social Media Indications of State Failure". The challenge is to make a computer able to detect indications of a state failure by monitoring media and social network reports from events around the world.

  • The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, a division of FPInnovations, Division Feric, "Moins de vides, plus de profits!". The challenge is to minimize energy waste of truck fleets, particularly by minimizing driving empty loads when you have a lot of pick-up and delivery jobs and restrictions on their loads.

  • Girih.org, "Intelligent Person Identification on the Social Web". The challenge is to search the web to identify a person?s web accounts without confusing it with accounts of people with the same name.

 

"The Intelligent Systems Challenge is an exciting new development on the Artificial Intelligence scene", says Dr. Alan Mackworth. And Dr. Mackworth should know; he is the Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence at the University of British Columbia and recently held the presidency of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). As he tells it, companies benefit from formulating feasible problems and seeing potential solutions, "but also, it engages Canadian students by getting them to bridge the gap between their academic skills and a roblem. Yes, this competition really highlights the role of Artificial Intelligence systems, the strengths of our students and the vigor of Canadian industry".

The final selection of the challenge problem for the 2009-2010 Intelligent Systems Challenge will be announced in June, and prizes will be awarded in May 2010.

About the CAIAC Precarn Intelligent Systems Challenge

The CAIAC Precarn Intelligent Systems Challenge is a series of annual competitions among university, college and high school students. The students work on computationally challenging, real world problems faced by Canadian companies, organizations and the society as a whole, using technologies and methods from the areas of artificial intelligence and intelligent systems. The students can work in teams. The competition is a joint initiative by the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association / Association pour l'intelligence artificielle au Canada recarn Incorporated. The competition web site is: http://www.intelligent-systems-challenge.ca.

The competition is aimed at helping students sharpen their technical skills, create healthy competitions among schools, generate interest among students in solving real­world challenges, foster university-industry contacts and create interest in Canada for engineering and science education.