Eric Schost

University of Western Ontario

Éric is a gifted interdisciplinary researcher at the intersection of mathematics and computer science. He was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, the most prestigious of the elite French grande écoles, where he ranked first at the admission exam to the École Normale Superieure de Cachan, established for the pure and applied sciences. During his studies he placed 38th in the 1996 French national mathematics exam.

His first two positions were at École Polytechnique (Paris), the most prestigious French engineering school. He was convinced to come to The University of Western Ontario where he is making many important research contributions in computer algebra, cryptography, and high performance computing as an Assistant Professor and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Computer Algebra. The Department of Computer Science and the Ontario Research Centre for Computer Algebra are extremely fortunate to have him as a faculty member. Prior to his nomination for the Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Prize, he had already demonstrated that he was a very strong nominee. Since then, he has been further acknowledged by his peers with an NSERC Discovery Grant that recognizes him as being in the top 10% of all Computer Science researchers in Canada in his award year, an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement award, and as part of an NSERC RTI-1 Grant which received the maximum amount for that award. He is destined to maintain a most visible presence in his research field.

Éric’s research is in computer algebra, which deals with the manipulatation of mathematical formulas and expressions in a symbolic manner. He has had a number of significant achievements in well-studied areas such as fast arithmetics and symbolic computation. What is most interesting about his research is that it combines sophisticated mathematical theory with practical methodology. The computational needs to solve many of these questions are great, so solving real-life problems usually requires a non-trivial computational effort. A notable application is in cryptography, where more than a million CPU hours were used to construct a secure and fast cryptosystem. Éric’s work combines diverse themes and techniques, such as fast arithmetic operations for polynomials and the resolution of polynomial systems.

One can safely say that everything Eric does is at a high level, be it research, teaching or academic service, and that is due in particular to his incredible dedication and industriousness. Eric is already well recognized by the computer algebra community and he is a frequent speaker in the field at universities and professional meetings. He has been recognized with the prestigious honour of being the General Chair of the International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation to be held in 2011.

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