By Derek Sankey
The impact of their work is profound and far-reaching, from exploring how the brain controls infections in the body, to archiving medieval texts in electronic form. Now, four more professors will share the prestigious honour of a University of Calgary University Professorship.
The University Professorship program was introduced to give appropriate praise and recognition to the U of C’s top researchers. The distinction carries with it the ability for recipients to expand their research into new territory.
“The scholars being honoured with University Professorships are extremely impressive, both for their academic and research accomplishments and for their dedication to the university community,” says Dr. Dennis Salahub, U of C vice-president (research and international). “This is a great honour for equally great stars at the U of C.”
The program is open to full-time faculty members and candidates being recruited to the U of C as full-time professors. Nominees, submitted by faculty deans, must undergo a rigorous review process. Approved candidates receive an annual budget to help further their research goals.
This year’s University Professorships are being awarded to:
Inducted into the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI Academy on Computer-Human Interaction last year and now a co-recipient of the iCORE Smart Technologies Chair in Interactive Technologies, Dr. Saul Greenberg is a leader in computer science research.
His work is well-known, highly respected and heavily cited by industry and academia. Funding over the years from such prominent companies as Microsoft Research, Smart Technologies Inc. and Intel has bolstered Greenberg's research and development of human-computer interaction tools and systems.
Using investigative techniques into the social aspects of groupware technology, for example, his work has led to the successful commercialization of various toolkits, software architectures, groupware systems and applied social science theories.
Greenberg has been a full professor in computer science since 1997 after serving in several other roles at the University of Calgary since 1989. During that time, he has also held positions in industry with organizations such as TR Laboratories, the Alberta Research Council (ARC) and as a private consultant.
He earned his industrial post-doctorate from ARC in 1990 after obtaining his PhD in computer science from the U of C in 1989. His master's degree in computer science was completed in 1984 in Calgary after he finished a diploma in education and a bachelor’s degree in science in microbiology and immunology, both from McGill University in the late-1970s.
His awards for teaching and research span three decades, including the 1997 Faculty of Science Award of Excellence in Teaching "for consistently outstanding contributions in teaching." Within the computer science department, he oversaw the graduate student office as director of graduate affairs and is a member of the department's executive committee.
Managing information in the knowledge era, creating technologies and understanding human behaviour, institutions and cultures are cornerstones of Dr. Murray McGillivray’s career with the University of Calgary as a professor of English. His research in digital humanities revolves largely around the areas of medieval studies, editorial theory and digital editing. As a pioneer in the application of digital technologies to research and teaching in the humanities, he has been able to attract a level of funding that is unusually high in the Faculty of Humanities—almost $400,000 in research grants.
One of the early innovators in developing digital forms for the scholarly edition, McGillivray’s current research involves completing the first electronic editions of poems from a Middle English manuscript in the British Library in London, yielding new benchmarks for the electronic archiving of medieval texts.
He first joined the U of C English Department in 1988 after completing his PhD at the University of Toronto in 1987, and has served as department head.
he creator of the first online course in the Old English language, McGillivray has also been a leader in developing blended learning courses for humanities students and is described as the type of professor who “can bridge the seemingly natural divide between computers and the humanities.”
He has earned international recognition for his work ensuring that our written culture will reach future generations by taking on a digital form. He has been the recipient of many awards, scholarships and honours during his career and his recognition with a University Professorship serves to honour his many contributions to the university and much broader communities.
Advancing health and wellness has been a pillar of Dr. Quentin Pittman’s academic career at the University of Calgary, which has focused on neuroscience research that has had an impact at national and international levels. His contributions to enhancing the university’s status as a leading research university have been dramatic, particularly in the area of how the brain controls the body’s response to infection, described as a “vital issue for human health” by his colleagues.
Pittman earned his Bachelor of Arts and Science with a major in biology in 1972 from the University of Lethbridge before obtaining his PhD in medical science (neuroscience) from the U of C in 1976. Throughout his career, he has served in prominent roles with respected medical institutions, such as the Montreal General Hospital, the Arthur V. Davis Centre for Behavioural Neurobiology (Salk Institute), the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.
His dedication has earned him a lengthy list of awards, honours and research grants from the most respected organizations in his field, including the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Medical Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He has also served as president of the Canadian Physiological Society, among several other prominent positions.
Pittman’s laboratory continues to be at the forefront of his field and has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications. He received the Outstanding Achievement in Supervision Award from the U of C in 2003 and he continues to play a pivotal role in helping the Faculty of Medicine explore leading-edge research in areas of neuroscience and medicine.
Dr. Apostolos Serletis joined the University of Calgary in 1984 as an assistant professor of economics in the Faculty of Social Sciences, marking the start of many years of contribution to the university community. His career has led him to become an internationally recognized scholar whose research has made a significant impact in various areas of economics.
Serletis has been a full professor of economics and finance since 1991, specializing in macroeconometrics, monetary and financial economics and nonlinear and complex dynamics. His research continues to be widely published in highly regarded academic publications, such as the Canadian Journal of Economics, and most recently, in the Journal of Macroeconomics.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Piraeus in Greece in 1976, he obtained his Master of Arts from the University of Windsor in 1979, before moving on to earn his PhD in economics from McMaster University in 1984. Recent awards include a Faculty of Social Sciences research fellowship in 2002 and distinguished research awards in both 1997 and 2003 from the U of C. He has also received several research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) during that time.
Serletis’s role as a professor has allowed him to play a very active role with graduate students, having supervised 28 master’s and seven PhD candidates. He is widely acknowledged to be an outstanding macro and monetary economist by his colleagues and is highly respected by his peers and students.