FSE Professor Jianhong Wu receives renewed Canada Research Chair

The federal government announced June 10 that it has renewed Professor Jianhong Wu’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Industrial & Applied Mathematics. Wu, a professor in York University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, researches the dynamics of differential equations that arise from population biology, disease transmission and neural networks.

Right: Professor Jianhong Wu

As a Tier 1 CRC, Wu will receive $1.4 million over seven years. The renewal is part of a package of CRC appointments announced earlier in Ottawa by John Baird, minister of the environment, on behalf of the Jim Prentice, minister of industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program.

“Our government recognizes the key role that the Canada Research Chairs Program plays in building on Canada’s growing reputation as a global leader in research and innovation,” said Baird. “Guided by the S&T Strategy [Science & Technology Strategy], and reinforced in Budget 2008, our government is working to mobilize science and technology to our country’s long-term economic and social advantage.”

In all, the government announced an investment of $113 million to fund the appointment of 127 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 35 Canadian universities, including $4.8 million in infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation essential to the projects being conducted by 33 of the chairs.

"Professor Wu’s CRC renewal recognizes the excellence of his research while building upon York’s research strengths," said Stan Shapson, York vice-president research & innovation. "Federal research investments are crucial to attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers. Programs such as the Canada Research Chairs also allow us to sustain York’s globally competitive research programs while enabling research that has an impact upon Canadians’ quality of life and the country’s economic and social well-being."

Wu is an internationally recognized authority in the mathematical theory and applications of delay differential equations, infinite dimensional dynamical systems, non-linear analysis, data analysis, population biology and neural dynamics. He leads a group of students from the Laboratory for Industrial & Applied Mathematics in researching the mathematical foundation for dynamic memory storage and retrieval, with applications to pattern recognition in complex data. He also leads a national research team of mathematicians, epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease experts and leading public health scientists to map the spread of diseases such as SARS, influenza and West Nile virus. Wu’s research uses mathematical models and computer simulations to track and predict disease spread patterns, from which recommendations can be made to evaluate and improve public health policy in Canada and elsewhere. His research can also be used to predict the long-term status of ecosystems comprised of interacting and competing species, which continuously seek limited food and resources. 

The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities achieve research excellence in natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities.

For more information, visit the Canada Research Chairs Web site.

Submitted to YFile by Elizabeth Monier-Wiliams, research communications officer