Congratulations to UTSC computer science professor Nick Koudas and doctoral student Nilesh Bansal, who were recently named University of Toronto Inventors of the Year for 2011. The pair received the inaugural award along with eight other U of T faculty from areas as diverse as chemistry, engineering and medicine.
Koudas and Bansal were honoured for their innovations in social media analytics, specifically tools they built that use data mining and content aggregation technology to perform advanced, real-time, automated monitoring of blogs, social networks, message boards and news sources.
Their inventions arose from a research project they began in 2005 called BlogScope. In 2007, the team founded a startup company based on the technology, Sysomos Inc., which grew very quickly over the next two years and built an impressive roster of international clients. They sold the company in 2010.
“We are very grateful that the university has recognized our efforts,” says Dr. Koudas. “With this new award, the university is fostering ideas that lead to entrepreneurial activities, and this is a very good direction to take. There are so many good ideas on campus, and the more we can assist these ideas to come to fruition, the more benefits we’ll see, not only for this city and this province, but for the whole country.”
"We are most pleased with this well-deserved recognition of Professor Koudas and Mr. Bansal as Inventors of the Year", says UTSC Vice-Principal (Research), Malcolm Campbell. "Their collaboration epitomizes the innovative drive and entrepreneurial spirit at UTSC. Their invention links academic-based discovery with real-world solutions, which is entirely in keeping with UTSC’s credo: Tomorrow is Created Here."