Five students from universities in Canada were recognized on Tuesday night for research achievements that advance industry innovation, creating new products and services and transforming the lives of Canadians.
Each of the students received an award at the third annual Mitacs Awards Reception, held to honor the contributions of researchers, who have participated in Mitacs programs aimed at fostering research and innovation, as well as forging stronger bonds between academia and businesses across Canada.
– Mitacs & NRC-IRAP Award for Commercialization: Adam Metherel from the University of Waterloo for a research project with Certo Labs
– Mitacs Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Innovation: Liang Feng, hosted in the summer of 2013 by the University of Ottawa
– Mitacs Master's Award for Outstanding Innovation: Emily Morris from the University of British Columbia for a research project with the BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute
– Mitacs PhD Award for Outstanding Innovation: Andre Bezanson from Dalhousie University for a research project with Daxsonics Ultrasound
– Mitacs Post-Doctoral Award for Outstanding Innovation: Cindy Chamberland from Université Laval for a research project with Ubisoft
Of particular interest to gamers was Cindy Chamberland who won the Mitacs Post-Doctoral Award for Outstanding Innovation. Through Mitacs Accelerate, Cindy teamed with Ubisoft Quebec to conduct research about video games. Her research involved analyzing the eye movements of gamers as they played specific games developed by Ubisoft in order to assess the relationship between eye movement and game outcome.
What she discovered is that players are more likely to quit a game early if they miss critical information due to conditions such as inattentional blindness, a phenomenon where you fail to notice changes in a visual scene when your eyes are under a high workload. Cindy's findings will enable developers to pinpoint exactly where game parameters need to be changed in order to keep gamers engaged, improving the overall gaming experience for people who play video games.
Chamberland is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Université Laval.
For more information on all of this year's winners, visit www.mitacs.ca.