York’s Centre for Vision Research awards two Marian Regan Prizes

In the end, the jury just couldn’t decide, so they doubled the honour on Friday, April 25, awarding not one, but two graduate students with the Marian Regan Prize for best master’s level thesis in a a vision related topic for 2013.

Two graduate students who won thesis prizes
Stefania Moro (left) and Kevin DeSimone were each award Marian Regan Prizes for best master’s level graduate thesis published in 2013

This year the award committee was unable to choose between the top two candidates and decided to award two prizes. The winners were Stefania Moro, supervised by York psychology Professor Jennifer Steeves, for her thesis on “Audiovisual processing in people with one eye” and Kevin DeSimone, supervised by York biology Professor Keith Schneider, for his thesis “Resolving the projection of an occluded stimulus on the human cortical surface”. The committee that awarded the prize was chaired by York psychology Professor Fran Wilkinson. The prize was presented by York psychology Professor Laurence Harris, director of the Centre for Vision Research.

More about Marian Regan

The prize is named for Professor Marian Regan (1937-2010), who was a beloved member of the Centre for Vision Research and the wife of professor emeritus David Martin Regan. Marian was born in Folkstone in England but her family soon moved to London. She was evacuated to a farm in Wales with her brother and sister during the Second World War. She read mathematics at London University, where she met her future husband in 1956. Mrs. Regan taught mathematics in a girl’s grammar school in London. After moving to Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1965, where her husband was employed at Keele University, she continued teaching mathematics.

Marian Regan

In 1975, the Regans moved to Dalhousie University. It was there that Marian Regan completed a master’s degree in mathematics while her two sons were at school. In 1986, David and Marian Regan moved to York University, where Marian Regan developed a novel mathematical technique for modelling nonlinear systems, such as the human visual and auditory systems.

She was awarded a PhD under the supervision of Professor Ralph Nichols, then Chair of the Department of Physics, and went on to use her technique to model human steady-state electrical and magnetic brain responses to visual and auditory stimulation. She published papers in numerous journals, including Vision Research, Auditory Research, Brain Research, Experimental Brain Research, Biological Cybernetic, and the Canadian Journal of Neuroscience. Marian Regan died on April 17, 2010.