Dr. Nick Cercone
was a world-renowned researcher who was a valued friend to students, staff and faculty members in the six universities in which he worked across Canada.
He was a passionate leader and a prolific researcher with a very lengthy record of accomplishments. He was a consummate networker, and his ability to spearhead a highly productive research enterprise while supervising his graduate students and taking on numerous leadership positions was exceptional. He was an inspiring and caring mentor and supervisor of numerous post-docs and graduate students.
Most recently he was the Principal Investigator at the Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data Driven Design (CIVDDD) at the Lassonde School of Engineering; Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, York University; and the creator of the BRAIN Alliance, a research network he launched in the last year of his life.
Professor Cercone served as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at York University from 2006 to 2009; Dean of Computer Science at Dalhousie University between 2002 and 2006; Chair of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo (1997-2002); Associate Vice-President Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Regina (1993-1997); and Chair of Computer Science at Simon Fraser University (1980-1985). He had obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Alberta in 1975.
Professor Cercone was a world-renowned researcher in the fields of artificial intelligence (including automated natural language understanding, computational linguistics, and knowledge representation), knowledge-based systems (including knowledge discovery, data analysis and data mining) and human-machine interfaces (including natural language and multimedia interfaces).
He co-founded Computational Intelligence, edited Knowledge and Information Systems, and served on editorial boards of six journals. He was a member of the ACM, IEEE, AAAI, AISB, and ACL, and past president of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence (now Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association/Association pour l’intelligence artificielle au Canada) and of the Canadian Association for Computer Science/Association informatique canadienne. He was also a fellow of the IEEE cited in 2003 for contributions to knowledge discovery and data mining. In 2014 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association and in 2015 from the Canadian Association of Computer Science for his many contributions to computer science.
He was the author of over 400 refereed papers and manuscripts; he received several best paper awards; and he supervised 125 graduate and postdoctoral students, including 30 PhDs, 20 of whom hold faculty positions. He held over $20-million in research grants in his esteemed career.
His friends will remember the contributions Nick made to their own lives and to our entire community. He was a loving and generous man of great humanity who delighted in helping others.