Mathematician fights water waste with robotic sprinklers

Enter InteliRain. The Alberta start-up has its sights set on solving inefficient outdoor sprinklers that waste water due to poor design. The company’s intelligent sprinkler systems only water the lawn or fields, while avoiding sidewalks.

However, when InteliRain CEO Cam Cote realised that wind was thwarting the efficiency of his sprinklers, he turned to University of Alberta mathematician Yile Zhang to develop an innovative solution through a Mitacs internship.

Putting graduate research into practice

Luckily, with the help of Mitacs — a national not-for-profit organization that designs and delivers research and training programs for Canadian academics — Concordia students are being given the chance to do just this.

Contributing to prostate cancer research in Canada

This desire to explore has led him to a Mitacs Globalink Research Internship at the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy at Queen’s University this summer.

Refining innovative technologies

With the support of Pierre des Lierres, Business Development Director at Mitacs, the company obtained the financial support of Mitacs Accelerate Quebec and connected with Iban Harlouchet and Professor Pierre Lafaye de Micheaux from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Université de Montréal. Iban undertook research at Odotech to optimize algorithms of the e-nose sensors that analyze olfactory emissions.

Beating oral cancer with Mitacs research

By diagnosing oral premalignant lesions that might progress to cancer and making better clinical decisions, clinicians can significantly lower the mortality rate, increase quality of life with earlier and less traumatic surgery and reduce healthcare costs.

Toronto-based ProteoCyte Diagnostics Inc. developed a new diagnostic testing system, StraticyteTM, which can accurately and objectively identify premalignant oral lesions that have a high risk of becoming cancerous, allowing patients to undergo early treatment to ensure survival and improved quality of life.

Using technology to fight disease

Bojan Ramadanovic, a postdoctoral fellow at the Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences (IRMACS) Centre at Simon Fraser University, specializes in mathematical modeling of complex social systems, including the spread of disease and delivery of healthcare. Through Mitacs-Accelerate and working under his academic supervisor, Dr. Alexander Rutherford, he partnered with pharmaceuticals company Merck Canada Inc.

Companies unleash power of mathematics to boost productivity and create jobs

The idea had its fair share of skeptics at the time, but also some influential champions within the NCE. In 1998, after reviewing a slate of about 80 applicants, the NCE selection committee decided that four would become Networks of Centres of Excellence, including the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems or Mitacs.

Mitacs was created to overcome three main hurdles facing the academic community and the very people and sectors that could benefit most from advanced mathematical and statistical techniques, tools and methodologies.

Revolutionizing breast cancer treatment

However, it is difficult for doctors to determine which patients are not responding to the drugs early in the process, so alternative treatment options can be tried.  As a result, patients can be over-treated, and unnecessarily suffer the side-effects of chemotherapy before realizing it is having little effect.

Masters student Xiaohui Wang at the Department of Computational Mathematics at the University of Waterloo set out to change this through a Mitacs-Accelerate internship with Ontario-based Rna Diagnostics.

Driving innovation through research collaboration

Before Binbin Wang’s Mitacs-Accelerate internship with energy company Nexen Inc., he knew “next to nothing” about crude oil trading.  In four short months, under the guidance of Dr.

Starting a research career on stable foundations

For Oleksandr Romanko of McMaster University’s Department of Computing and Software, a postdoctoral fellowship through Mitacs Elevate helped him to transition to the world of risk analytics when he was hired as a full time Research Analyst this summer by IBM.

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