The University of Winnipeg



One $50K donation sparks over $3 million in research funding

Dr. Ezzat Ibrahim, ©UWinnipeg

Dr. Ezzat Ibrahim is thrilled that his initial $50K donation sparked over $3 million in research projects taking place in the UWinnipeg lab named in his honour. ©UWinnipeg

One year ago today, The University of Winnipeg opened the Dr. Ezzat A. Ibrahim GPU Educational Lab, thanks to a generous $50K donation by Dr. Ezzat A. Ibrahim.

“This donation has had a fantastic ripple effect, leading to over $3 million in research projects,” said Dr. Christopher Henry, associate professor, applied computer science. “We have been able to significantly leverage this one-time donation.”

The lab, which is led by Drs. Henry, and Christopher Bidinosti, associate professor, physics, is buzzing with activity as UWinnipeg researchers and industry partners work to:

  • enable the next revolution in global food production through automatically labelled data sets and machine learning, in partnership with George Weston Limited, thanks to a $250,000 Weston Seeding Food Innovation Grant, and a $202,000 Mitacs Accelerate Grant;
  • find GPU solutions for power systems computer-aided design,working with industry partner, Manitoba Hydro International, thanks to a $30,000 Mitacs Accelerate grant;
  • disrupt map production using deep neural networks for satellite image segmentation, thanks to funding of $32,203 from industry partner, Manitoba Hydro, $32,000 from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education, and $30,000 from industry partner, GeoManitoba;
  • develop customer profiling and prediction of revenue, cost, and margin-based on customer behavior, thanks to $37,500 from NSERC, and $12,500 from industry partner, DecisionWorks;
  • make improvements to a Monte Carlo simulator for optical coherence tomography;
  • develop a GPU Laplacian solver for magneo-statics applications, thanks to funding from NSERC and The University of Winnipeg;
  • create a genetic algorithm for optimized magnet design, thanks to funding from NSERC USRA;
  • develop neural algorithms for musical styles, thanks to $6,500 in funding from Mitacs Globalink;
  • quantify the similarities of families of sets, thanks to funding from NSERC USRA; and
  • work in partnership with Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI) to promote machine learning and grow the digital agriculture industry in Manitoba, thanks to $2.4 million in funding from Western Economic  Diversification Canada .

When Ibrahim donated funds to help purchase the initial equipment for the learning lab, he said his hope was that the lab would be utilized by academics, students, industry and all levels of government to identify and develop novel solutions for challenging problems. With ten dynamic projects empowered by over $3 million in funding, he is thrilled to see his vision coming to life.

“Having visionary donors like Dr. Ibrahim is so important,” said Dr. Jino Distasio, Vice president of Research and Innovation. “His gift will continue to support research excellence at The University of Winnipeg for years to come. We are grateful of his gift and shared vision of research excellence”

The Dr. Ezzat A. Ibrahim GPU Educational Lab is a cutting-edge research space for applied parallel computing. In any given week, more than a dozen researchers access the space to advance their knowledge of high performance computing.

“It is so important to take a pause and once again thank Dr. Ibrahim for his wonderful donation,” said Distasio. “Just a year ago, he shared in the vision of UWinnipeg researchers who have since gone on to deliver on their goal of using GPU technology to explore new frontiers in research.”