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Anthony Brohan

Location: Montreal, QC

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2008


Improving Predictive Text

News Release

Montreal Youth Takes Texting to Next Level with Winning Science Fair Project
Computer Whiz Wins Manning Innovation Award at 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair

OTTAWA, ON - (May 16, 2008) Montreal's Anthony Brohan caught the attention of judges at the 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa for his computing project to make text messaging more effective. Brohan, one of over 450 finalists at last week's national fair, won a $4000 Manning Young Canadian Award and $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award.

Brohan, who is 17, developed a computer program to improve predictive text, a method for inputting text on cell phones and other wireless messaging devices. With this method, the user keys in only a few of the letters that make up a word and the device "guesses" at the word based on an internal dictionary. Sometimes, however, the device does not know which word to choose or does not recognise the user's spelling mistakes. Brohan addressed these problems in his project.

First, the young computer scientist developed a program that takes into account the context of ambiguous word choices, making predictive text more accurate. In addition, he created a rudimentary spell-checker. In future, as the bandwidth of cell phone networks increases, Brohan hopes to run his program on cell phones.

The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation introduced the Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize Canada's innovative youth. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects at the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) for a $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award. These are presented at the CWSF ceremony; four of these are selected for a $4000 Manning Young Canadian Innovation Award. These top four young winners and other Manning Innovation Award winners are recognized in person at the Foundation's Annual Awards Gala.

Visit www.manningawards.ca for more information and winner videos.

Bruce Fenwick, Executive Director, Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, Phone: 403-645-8277 Email: bruce.fenwick@encana.com

Lori Murray, Youth Science Foundation Canada, Phone: (Toll free) 866-341-0040 ext. 3 Email: communications@ysf-fsj.ca