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UNB and the McKenna Institute to Host Fulbright Canada Visiting Scholar

Author: Jeremy Elder-Jubelin

Posted on May 31, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) will be home to a new Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Digital Transformation. It will be housed in UNB’s faculty of computer science, enabling collaborative opportunities that advance artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science knowledge. They are jointly hosted by the Faculty of Computer Science and funded by UNB’s McKenna Institute.

“This Fulbright Canada Research Chair Award enhances the faculty of computer science’s drive to become a beacon for the digital community and a centre of excellence for computer science research toward major societal challenges,” said Dr. Luigi Benedicenti, dean of computer science. “The interdisciplinary nature of the research will create deeper interconnectedness, leading to socially relevant applications specifically conceived for New Brunswick, and with benefits locally and globally.

The Fulbright Canada Research Chair will enhance scholarly activity at UNB in emerging domains of computer and data science, including areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data visualization and extended realities.

While at UNB, these Fulbright Scholars will both contribute their own expertise in the field and will help strengthen existing collaborative opportunities or develop new ones through activities such as collaborative research, teaching, and public engagement and knowledge mobilization activities. It will create a structure at UNB that addresses AI and data science by enhancing the existing UNB research network with strong internal and external interdisciplinary ties.

The Fulbright Canada Research Chair Award provides opportunities for U.S. academics to take up visiting scholarships at Canadian institutions. During their tenure, which can range from four months to one year, they teach courses, conduct research, and support faculty growth in their areas of specialization.

UNB’s faculty of computer science, established in 1990, is Canada’s first computer science faculty.

The McKenna Institute fuels economic growth and social progress by advancing the use of digital technologies in New Brunswick. The Institute collaborates to accelerate our talent pipeline, nurture ideas and enable all New Brunswick communities to thrive in a digital world.

The program is offered by the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America, known as Fulbright Canada, which grew out of the American Fulbright international scholarship program established in 1946. Fulbright Canada was founded in 1990. It administers a number of other awards and opportunities, including visiting scholars and scholars-in-residence, student and post-doctoral opportunities.

Since 1990, four UNB students and faculty have been Fulbright Scholars, and 13 U.S. scholars have been hosted at UNB.

The new research chair is the first established in the province and one of only two active research chairs in the region.