MIT expert to be celebrated by U of S

SASKATOON - The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will celebrate the achievements of one of our province's foremost experts in computer science and artificial intelligence at this year's Spring Convocation.

Eric Grimson, a 63-year-old Estevan native who has spent more than 30 years teaching at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—widely regarded as the top technical institute in the world—will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from the U of S on May 31 at TCU Place. While he has spent the bulk of his career in the United States, Grimson remains close to family and friends in Saskatchewan and is proud of his Prairie heritage.

"Though I have not lived in Canada or Saskatchewan for over 40 years, my roots are deeply embedded in the province and I retain a fond loyalty to my birthplace," said Grimson. "To be recognized by the U of S, and perhaps to provide an inspiration for future generations that one can have impact even if coming from humble beginnings, is humbling and greatly appreciated."

Grimson graduated with a bachelor of science (high honours) from the University of Regina in 1975, before moving on to earn his PhD in mathematics at MIT in 1980. Four years later, he joined the faculty and has been there ever since, including serving a term as chancellor.

"As one of Canada's leading research-intensive universities, we hold great admiration for Professor Grimson's achievements in an exemplary teaching and research career that has spanned three decades at MIT, one of the world's most prestigious research schools," said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. "Along the way, Professor Grimson has never forgotten his Prairie roots, and the Saskatchewan values and commitment to community that he grew up with have served him well in his career in the United States."

Grimson has taught more than 11,000 MIT undergraduates over the past three decades, has served as the thesis supervisor for close to 50 PhD students, and has instructed nearly a million students worldwide through online courses. He is internationally recognized for his work, particularly in the field of medical image analysis used in the treatment of Alzheimer's and schizophrenia and computer-guided surgery, and is an avid proponent of research-intensive universities.

"Great ideas can come from many different places, and a good scientist or engineer is constantly scouring literature for interesting ideas," said Grimson. "The U of S has certainly had research results of wide impact, going back to the 'cobalt bomb' for cancer treatment, or Gerhard Herzberg's foundational work on molecular spectroscopy."

Grimson will be one of six honourary degree recipients at this year's U of S Spring Convocation ceremonies.

For the full schedule, see:

University of Saskatchewan:
Established in 1907, the University of Saskatchewan has a long history of excellence. We are a member of the U15 group of Canada's top research-intensive universities, offering unique facilities such as the Canadian Light Source, VIDO-InterVac and the Global Institute for Water Security. The university is committed to First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success and to welcoming diverse perspectives and ways of knowing, both from across Saskatchewan and around the world. Our graduates are known for their work ethic, resourceful nature and determination, and will continue to build on our history of success to address the world's challenges.


For more information, contact:
Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
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