Board of Directors

Board of Directors (July 1, 2017 to present)

  • Adele Newton (CS-Can | Info-Can), Executive Director
  • Doina Precup (McGill University), President

The Canadian computer science community has a great opportunity to re-organize itself and focus the attention of government and industry on the excellent quality of the research and training we provide. Other communities, from physics to medicine, recognize the need for CS to ensure the success of their own work. However, our work is often viewed as a ‘helper’. We should ensure that we are valued instead as a cutting-edge leader, and that government as well as Canadian industry understand the value of fundamental research and training in CS. I believe that I can serve well in the President role, due to extensive past experience interacting with various funding agencies and research communities. I served for 6 years on the NSERC Discovery Evaluation Group, including 3 years as group chair and member of the Committee on Grants and Scholarships (2010-2016). I have held or currently hold funding from NSERC but also a variety of other sources, including CIHR, CFI Cyber, MITACS, large companies (such as Google and Samsung), donations from non-profits, as well as small startups. I have also organized and participated in large multidisciplinary teams, most recently playing a central role in McGill’s CFREF grant.

  • Mark Green (Ontario Tech University), Past President

After serving as the President (2016-2017) of the Transitional Board and before that as the Ontario Member (2011-2013), Vice President  (2014-2015) and then President (2015-2016) of the Board of Directors for the predecessor organization CACS/AIC, my role is to provide continuity for the Board of Directors as the new organization moves forward.

  • Kate Larson (University of Waterloo), Vice-President

It is an interesting time to be a computer scientist in Canada. I believe it is very important that we have a strong national organization to support, promote, and represent computer science research and higher education across the country, and I hope that I will be able to play some role in helping shape this organization.  I have experience serving on scientific boards (for example, AAAI and IFAAMAS), a  strong and long-standing interest in diversity and outreach (for example, I co-chaired the 2013 Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing), and hope that I can provide a constructive perspective on both computer science research and higher education.

  • Kellogg Booth (University of British Columbia), Secretary

Computer science and engineering are alive and well in Canada, but often under-appreciated because we lack a strong nation-wide organization to advocate for us. CS-Can|Info-Can can coordinate efforts to increase federal and provincial research funding, raise our profile on the international stage by showcasing research and academic accomplishments, and draw public attention to computing not just as a career but also as a key driver of economic, social, and cultural growth. As a Board member I will pursue four initiatives: (1) increase NSERC and other funding for computing, (2) develop appropriate curricula on computing and its role in society for high schools and elementary schools to prepare Canadians to be informed citizens by increasing understanding of benefits and potential risks of computing, information, and communication technologies, (3) include computing courses as core requirements for all college and university students, and (4) harmonize relationships between computer science and engineering that have at times proven counter-productive for providing students and the public benefits from our discipline. The future of computing is closely tied to success engaging the many other disciplines that now rely on computing. My past experience leading cross-disciplinary NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, and art and design initiatives should be useful.

  • Stan Matwin (Dalhousie University), Treasurer

I would like to (1) Represent Atlantic Canada, with its complex ecosystem of small and medium CS departments, at the national level. (2) Contribute  my  experience in serving our community at all levels — provincial (Ontario and Nova Scotia), federal and international —  to actively argue, represent and promote the needs of our discipline, with its constantly growing economic and social importance, in front of the federal government, media, and policy makers. (3) Promote a deeper and continuous reflection inside and outside of our community on the socially sensitive issues our discipline has spawned, e.g. data privacy, impact on the traditional job market, international digital divide, etc. (4) Contribute to the Board my rich network of high-level, international contacts in the computer science communities in the US, South America, Asia, and Europe. (5) Contribute to the Board  my abilities to communicate effectively and forcibly in both official languages. If elected, I will be able to allocate the necessary time to working with the Board; my current administrative load will allow it.  I already travel regularly to Ottawa for projects, meetings, etc.

  • Yvonne Coady (University of Victoria), Director

I enthusiastically volunteer to work on issues involving diversity and inclusion within Computer Science in Canada.  Following the launch of CS-Can/Info-Can in Ottawa, several attendees expressed an interest in forming a sub-committee specifically to focus on increasing engagement from underrepresented groups—in particular, women and aboriginal students.   Key initiatives suggested in the diversity brainstorming session included three avenues we could simultaneously pursue right away:  (1) collecting accurate statistics on the status of minorities from Canadian universities, colleges, and industry (2) coordinating with active organizations (such as CRA-W, and several initiatives in Aboriginal Education) and (3) lobbying the government for funding to develop educational resources addressing the skills gap, and ongoing support in the form of scholarships, recruitment funds, and faculty awards. CS-Can/Info-Can has the opportunity to further coalesce many small initiatives already underway across Canada in order to have a greater impact at a national level.   The possibility of running a Canadian equivalent of the annual Tapia Conference in the United States to celebrate and connect on issues surrounding diversity would also be an avenue this group could explore, in addition to sponsoring the Canadian Conference for Women in Computing (CAN-CWiC).

  • Eugene Fiume (University of Toronto / Simon Fraser University), Director

The fruits of computer science research have both changed our world and changed our understanding of it.  Yet it is a discipline at best is in its childhood, and for much of our history we have played in sandboxes isolated from the day-to-day affairs of the world.  No longer.  We are seeing that the impact of CS is pervasive and global, and we should be thinking in those terms.  As a research area, CS must grow to interleave with other fields, particularly those in the social science and humanities.  From a research perspective, CS must become a deeper part of the enquiry into the fundamental questions of humanity and the cosmos through the concepts that are fundamental to our thinking: algorithms, modelling, simulation, abstraction, efficiency, scale.  But to play in a larger sandbox, we have to welcome more players.  We must reach out and advocate to a broader audience: to different disciplines, to the general public, to all levels of government, to our schools, and to many international bodies. Inclusivity is key.  CS-Can has the potential to do this and I would be proud to be a part of leading that effort.

  • Ali Ghorbani (University of New Brunswick), Director

It has been an honour and privilege to have served CACS-AIC in a number of capacities including vice-president for two years. With over 36 years of experience in academia (teaching, research, and administration) and substantial industry experience, I believe I can bring to the Board of CS-Can/Infor-CAN a deep understanding of our profession, a strong work ethic, visionary skills, and team leadership. Computer Science is facing new and demanding challenges. It is vital that the CS-Can/Info-Can use all of the resources available to it to effectively plan and implement a strategic course of actions that will ensure its sustainability, the CS community’s commitments to excellence in CS education and research, maintain and improve our long standing position in Canada as a vital field of applied science for the economic prosperity of our Country and beyond, and as a pioneering contributor to the field of science and technology. I strongly believe that CS-Can/Info-Can must give voice to all its members in order to be engaged in collegial discourse on the important matters facing our Community.

  • Tamer Ozsu (University of Waterloo), Director

I have long advocated the formation of an open membership computer science organization in Canada; I am happy that we have reached this point. The formation of a new professional organization requires commitment of time and effort from its members — there is a lot of work to be done, and urgently. We need to formulate our vision for the organization and for Canadian computer science, establish alliances with organizations of similar mission both within and outside Canada, and formulate strategies for our interactions with government and funding agencies. I would like to assist, and I believe I have policy and organizational experience that should be helpful in getting this organization up-to-speed. I was the Chair of ACM SIGMOD (2001-2005), represented CACS on the CRA Board (2009-2013), served on VLDB Endowment Board (1996-2002), and have been on the ACM Publications Board since 2003. I was the Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science (2007-2010) and the Associate Dean of Research (2014-2016). I am the Founding EIC of ACM Books, and was the Founding EIC of Synthesis Lectures in Data Management (2009-2013). I would like to put these experiences to work on behalf of our new organization as Board member.

  • Yasha Pushak (University of British Columbia), Student Representative

My goal is to establish a community of Canadian Computer Science post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows. I believe this community will in turn foster a thriving, national community of academics and industry members, thus realizing CS-Can’s vision to advance Canadian computing research, education and innovation. I first began this work in 2015, when I co-founded the Canadian Undergraduate Computer Science Conference (CUCSC). The CUCSC provides Canada’s brightest undergraduate researchers with a unique opportunity to present their computing research to like-minded peers. Moving forwards, I plan to use my connections to bring together CS-Can and the CUCSC, and to establish a similar event for graduate students that includes a broader discussion about issues facing our community (e.g., the energy cost of computing, or the growing gap between those who have access to technology and those who don’t).

  • Julita Vassileva (University of Saskatchewan), Director

I wish to contribute my experience in research leadership (serving on NSERC grant-selection committee) and science outreach and diversity (serving as NSERC CWSE for the Prairies) to CS-Can. I believe that it is high time to launch an active national Computer Science (CS) organization in Canada. Technologies based on CS research are becoming the main tools of science and economic development, with major impact in the social sphere and politics. Using the momentum of the public attention focus on AI, Big Data, and Security, we should create a visible and active presence on the Canadian science organizations landscape to claim CS contribution in the development of these technologies and to connect computer scientists. CS-Can can enable sharing of best practices in the discipline, educate the public, in order to fascinate and attract the brightest young minds to CS. It will also lobby educational, social, political and government organizations for better funding of CS research and CS education at all levels. Other sciences and engineering have national organizations that are very successful in ensuring public respect to their disciplines and access to public resources for research, and we deserve the same.

  • Carey Williamson (University of Calgary), Director

I am interested in serving on the Board of Directors for CS-Can/Info-Can as the new organization gets on its feet (e.g., bylaws, finances, membership) and finds its voice (e.g., NSERC, CRA, outreach). Particular priorities for me include linkages to the fledgling national CS student organization (CUCSC), expanding the scope/visibility for our awards program (e.g., teaching awards, student awards, dissertation award), and improving our online Web presence. I believe that I can bring a lot of wisdom and experience to the new leadership team of CS-Can/Info-Can. My past experience includes six years as a department chair attending the CACS/AIC AGMs, two years on the CACS/AIC Executive as the CRA representative, and the past year on the interim board as we transition from CACS/AIC to CS-Can/Info-Can. From these activities, I have an in-depth understanding of the current challenges facing Computer Science in Canada and elsewhere (e.g., enrollments, diversity, research funding, university budgets), as well as good working relationships with several other (current and former) department chairs across the country. These are assets that will allow me to help contribute to the realization of the ambitious vision for CS-Can/Info-Can.

  • [position currently vacant], Industry Representative

Past Board Members

Transitional Board 2016-2017
(from CACS/AIC to CS-Can/Info-Can)

  • President: Mark Green (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
  • Vice President: Jörg Rudiger-Sack (Carleton University)
  • Anne Condon (University of British Columbia)
  • Mark Giesbrecht (University of Waterloo)
  • Parvin Mousavi (Queens University)
  • Mario Nascimento (University of Alberta)
  • Houari Sahraoui (Univérsite de Montréal)
  • Michael Shepherd (Dalhousie University)
  • Carey Williamson (University of Calgary)

Executive Board 2015-2016

  • President: Mark Green, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (to 2017)
  • Past President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary
  • Vice President: Vacant
  • Secretary: Ricardo Hoar, Mount Royal University (to 2016)
  • Teasurer: Eric Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan (to 2015)
  • CRA representative: Carey Williamson, University of Calgary (to 2016)
  • British Columbia: Vacant
  • Prairies: Mario Nascimento, University of Alberta (to 2016)
  • Ontario: Sheridan Houghten, Brock University (to 2015)
  • Quebec:Houari Sahraoui, University of Montreal (to 2016)
  • Atlantic: Darcy Benoit, Acadia University (to 2016)

Executive Board 2014-2015

  • President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary (to 2015)
  • Past President: Gord McCalla, University of Saskatchewan
  • Vice President: Mark Green, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (to 2016)
  • Secretary: Ricardo Hoar, Mount Royal University (to 2016)
  • Teasurer: Eric Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan (to 2015)
  • CRA representative: Carey Williamson, University of Calgary (to 2016)
  • British Columbia: Martin Ester, Simon Fraser University (to 2016)
  • Prairies: Mario Nascimento, University of Alberta (to 2016)
  • Ontario: Sheridan Houghten, Brock University (to 2015)
  • Quebec:Houari Sahraoui, University of Montreal (to 2016)
  • Atlantic: Darcy Benoit, Acadia University (to 2016)

Executive Board 2011-2013

  • President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary (to 2014)
  • Past President: Gord McCalla, University of Saskatchewan
  • Vice President: Ali Ghorbani, University of New Brunswick (to 2014)
  • Secretary: Ricardo Hoar, Mount Royal University (to 2014)
  • Teasurer: Eric Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan (to 2013)
  • CRA representative: Tamer Ozsu, University of Waterloo (to 2013)
  • British Columbia: Kevin O’Neil, Thompson Rivers University (to 2014)
  • Ontario: Mark Green, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Quebec: Gregory Dudek, McGill University (to 2014)
  • Atlantic: Danny Silver, Acadia university (to 2014)

2009-2010

  • President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary (to 2011)
  • Past President: Gord McCalla, University of Saskatchewan
  • Vice President: Mike Shepherd, Dalhousie University (to 2011)
  • Secretary: John Bate, University of Manitoba (to 2011)
  • Teasurer: Akashai Aggarwal, University of Windsor (to 2010)
  • CRA representative: Tamer Ozsu, University of Waterloo (to 2011)
  • British Columbia: Bill Aiello, University of British Columbia (to 2010)
  • Prairies: Eric Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan (to 2010)
  • Ontario: Dave Hughes, Brock University (to 2010)
  • Quebec: Gabriel Girard, University of Sherbrooke (to 2010)
  • Atlantic: Ali Ghorbani, University of New Brunswick (to 2010)

2008-2009

  • President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary (to 2009)
  • Past President: Gord McCalla, University of Saskatchewan
  • Vice President: vacant
  • Secretary: John Bate, University of Manitoba (to 2009)
  • Treasurer: Akshai Aggarwal, University of Windsor (to 2010)
  • CRA representative: Frank Tompa, University of Waterloo (to 2009)
  • British Columbia: Bill Aiello, University of BC (to 2009)
  • Prairies: Eric Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan (to 2010)
  • Ontario: Dave Hughes, Brock University (to 2010)
  • Quebec: Gabriel Girard, University of Sherbrooke (to 2010)
  • Atlantic: Wolfgang Banzhaf, Memorial University (to 2009)

2007-2008

  • President: Ken Barker, University of Calgary (to 2009)
  • Past President: Gord McCalla, University of Saskatchewan
  • Vice President: vacant
  • Secretary: John Bate, University of Manitoba (to 2009)
  • Treasurer: Peter Cribb, York University (to 2008)
  • CRA representative: Frank Tompa, University of Waterloo (to 2008)
  • British Columbia: Bill Aiello, University of BC (to 2008)
  • Prairies: Kevin Schneider, University of Saskatchewan (to 2009)
  • Ontario: Dave Hughes, Brock University (to 2008)
  • Quebec: Jean Meunier, University of Montreal (to 2008)
  • Atlantic: Wolfgang Banzhaf, Memorial University (to 2008)
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