Lifetime Achievement Awards | 2018

Jacob Slonim

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University

Jacob Slonim

Dr. Jacob Slonim has made many outstanding and sustained contributions to the field of computing over his long career as a Canadian computer science faculty member and industrial researcher. Through his efforts over many years, exceptionally strong ties between academic and industry researchers in Canada were forged and strengthened. His leadership in establishing the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) in 1990, the NSERC-funded Consortium for Software Engineering Research (CSER) in 1996, the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University in 1997, and the Academic Research Centre at Business Objects / SAP in 2006 is a series of significant achievements in building effective national and regional frameworks to support collaborative research between universities and companies. Dr. Slonim’s exemplary record of service to the discipline stands out for its impact on the Canadian computing community.

Dr. Slonim held full-time faculty positions at the University of Western Ontario (1986-1989) and at Dalhousie University (2002-2010) and adjunct positions at four Canadian universities (Dalhousie, Waterloo, Western, and York). He also held positions in industry as a researcher or research manager at Canadian Jurimetrics (1970-1974), NDX Corporation (1979-1982), GEAC Computers Canada (1982-1988), and IBM Canada (1989-1997). During this time he served on numerous boards and committees that oversaw or reviewed Canadian research programs and proposals, especially for projects that bridge between universities and industry.

The vision that he crafted for the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) at IBM Canada had a transformative effect on computer science in Canada, both in academia and in industry. As the founding Head of Research, he developed a nation-wide network of research partners who worked closely with scientists and engineers at IBM developing prototypes based on academic research and then integrating the prototypes into commercial products and services. The annual CASCON conference he initiated further accelerated the transfer of ideas back and forth between campuses and industrial labs and became the de facto Canadian gathering place for the exchange of ideas for computing researchers.

The tremendous impact that IBM CAS had was recognized by NSERC when the 2006 Leo Derikx Synergy Award was given to CAS and twelve of its university partners, and again in 2017 when the IEEE Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering Synergy Award recognized 25 years of sustained software engineering research partnerships.

Dr. Jacob Slonim’s efforts to promote and maintain strong links between academic researchers and industry researchers through a number of initiatives have helped maintain Canada’s standing in the forefront of the international computing community. Dr. Slonim’s tireless pursuit of this goal makes him truly deserving of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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