Project Description

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Heather Champion


  • Philosophy of algorithms

  • Philosophy of information

  • Philosophy of artificial intelligence



Google Scholar profile


Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

I am currently a doctoral student in philosophy at Western University. My research areas include the philosophy of algorithms, information, and artificial intelligence. My interest in the philosophy of algorithms stems from my M.Sc. in medical physics, where I contributed to the development of an evolutionary optimization algorithm for radiotherapy treatment planning. I also contributed to computational models of several astrophysical phenomena throughout my B.Sc. in physics and astronomy. My professional experience as a data analyst and software developer further drive me to reflect philosophically on the nature of algorithms. 

My research focuses on the role of theory and practice in intelligence mechanisms, particularly algorithms. I am interested in how abstraction, generalization, analogy, and idealization enable algorithmic ways of knowing and how these lead to scientific discovery. This research draws on my academic background in computational physics and my professional background in data analysis and software development. I have also grown my knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence by participating in the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute / Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Deep Learning Reinforcement Learning Summer School 2019. 


Champion, H., Algorithms and cosmos: abstraction as faithful attention to creation. Forthcoming in Theology and Science.

Fiege, J., McCurdy, B., Potrebko, P., Champion, H., & Cull, A. (2011). PARETO: A novel evolutionary optimization approach to multiobjective IMRT planning. Medical Physics, 38(9), 5217-5229.

MA Thesis (M.Sc.)

“Beam Angle and Fluence Map Optimization for PARETO Multi-objective Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Treatment Planning”

Conference Presentations (selected)

Champion, H., Pizzi, N., & Krishnamoorthy, R. (2014, June). Tactical clinical text mining for improved patient characterization. In 2014 IEEE International Congress on Big Data, 683-690.

Champion, H., Fiege, J., McCurdy, B., Potrebko, P., & Cull, A. (2012). Sci—Thur AM: Planning‐04: Evaluation of the fluence complexity, solution quality, and run efficiency produced by five fluence parameterizations implemented in PARETO multiobjective radiotherapy treatment planning software. Medical Physics, 39(7 Part 2), 4619-4620.

Champion, H., Fiege, J., Potrebko, P., Cull, A., & McCurdy, B. (2010). Sci—Sat AM (1): Planning—02: Validation of IMRT solutions for PARETO multi‐objective beam angle optimization software. Medical Physics, 37(7 Part 3), 3907.