Science, tech ministry grants 122 research awards
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST, ) yesterday granted awards to 122 scholars, including one whose research is aimed at building a better system for music recommendation.
At a Taipei ceremony yesterday, MOST Minister Shyu Jyuo-min (
) awarded the agency’s annual prizes for academic research.
This year, the funding body gave out 10 Merit MOST Research Fellow Awards (
) , 72 Outstanding Research Awards (
) and 40 Ta- You Wu Memorial Awards ( ), which are worth NT$ 200,000 each and reserved for academ- ics aged 42 and younger.
Yi- hsuan Yang ( ), of National Taiwan University’s undergraduate class of 2006, is a winner of the MOST’s Ta-You Wu Memorial Award for his work on music recommendation systems.
In 2011, he founded the Academia Sinica’s Music and Audio Computing Lab, where one project works to uncover the patterns of music listening during diverse human moods.
A second project, “Musical Basis that Span Million Songs,” is aimed at automatically generating a semantic description for any given song, be it a funky synthpop or a tune that is “arousing, not tender.”
Other winners of the MOST re- search awards for young scholars include Chu Hui-chun ( ) for her work on game-based learning, and Hsin-an Hou ( ), who has published pioneering research on acute myeloid leukemia.
John Wang ( ), an assistant research fellow at the Academia Sinica, won for his work on fire ant genetics that could be instrumental to containing the invasive species.
Wang is co-author of “A Y-like Social Chromosome Causes Alternative Colony Organization in Fire Ants,” which was published in the UK-based scientific journal Nature in 2013.
According to the study, there are two types of fire ant colonies: In the first type, workers can tolerate multiple queens in a single nest, and in the second, they can tolerate only one and will kill other queens if they enter.
Wang and other researchers demonstrate that there is a key “supergene” that causes queens to emit odors signaling worker ants to enact specific social behaviors.
If humans can replicate the odor, they can signal worker ants to destroy queen ants in the nest and thereby control the colony’s propagation, according to the study.
MOST, formerly the National Science Council, grants research awards each year to scholars who have published internationalgrade research.