Michael Miller Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Michael Miller who, after a long and very private battle with manic depression, took his own life on August 3, 2000.  He was 31.  Mike had a brilliant mind, and was a diligent student and a sensitive and creative individual who was very aware of life’s idiosyncrasies.  His family and friends have donated to the Michael Miller Scholarship fund in honour of a really great guy.

After completing an honours degree in psychology Mike began Health Information Science as an undergraduate in 1993 and finished with an MSc in 1998.  To the department Mike brought a wry sense of humour and a low key cool.  An evening of pool showed Mike off at his best – relaxed, smart conversation alternated with quiet study and clean shots as he cleared the table.

The HINF curriculum satisfied Mike’s wide ranging interests and his appetite for problem solving.  His scholarships and high grades reflect this.  Mike’s thesis came into focus the day he decided he needed a new way to understand the data his program – which indexed and searched large document sets – was generating.  To do so, he extended his program to convert its data to VRML, creating a virtual reality interface to the query results such that one could navigate through space and visit clusters of related documents.  Optimizing the statistical algorithms underlying this novel interface became the core of his thesis.  It led directly to his job as a software engineer on the search team at Excite in California.

Mike accomplished a great deal in his short life. At the same time that he was achieving his goals he was struggling with an internal burden that was with him every day and everywhere.  Mike’s achievements are proof enough of his character and intellect.  To have accomplished so much while bearing such a weight marks him as exceptional.

Return to Index