Department-based Nominees for Board of Directors

[La version française]


Kellogg Booth

Professor Emeritus, Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia

Biographical Information

BS Caltech 1968 (math), MA and PhD UC Berkeley 1970 and 1975 (computer science). Programmer at Lawrence Livermore Lab 1968-1976, computer science faculty at the University of Waterloo 1977-1990 and UBC 1990-present (emeritus as of 2017). Research interests in HCI (collaboration technology, AR/VR, and classroom technology), computer graphics, and analysis of algorithms. Senior leadership roles include scientific director Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) NCE, associate director NECTAR strategic research network, president Canadian Human-Computer Communication Society, chair ACM SIGGRAPH, director Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (UBC), and director Institute for Computer Research (Waterloo). Numerous program and conference organizing committees.

Statement of Interest

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.


Sven Dickinson

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Biographical Information

Sven Dickinson is Professor and past Chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto.  His research interests revolve around the problem of shape perception in computer and human vision. He's received the NSF CAREER award, the Ontario Premiere's Research Excellence Award, and the Lifetime Research Achievement Award from the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, he's founding co-editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Computer Vision from Morgan & Claypool Publishers, and he serves on the editorial boards of six journals.

Statement of Interest

As past department chair, I was very active in advocating for our discipline.  While we've made some progress in getting our universities to understand the strategic importance of computing, progress has been slow on the NSERC and national fronts, with basic research funding in CS lagging that of the natural sciences and engineering.  Canadian industry still doesn't understand the value of investing in basic research, and NSERC's emphasis on industry-academic research does little to address the problem.  We're already starting to see some movement in machine learning and data science, but such stimulation must be much broader, and not dependent on short-term industry needs.  CS-CAN needs to achieve the impact of its US counterpart, the CRA, which has helped the US Government understand the strategic and economic importance of computing.  We need to change the way both our government and industry thinks about computing, and help them understand that downstream industrial success comes from upstream basic research success.  Moreover, success in basic research requires attracting the best minds which, in turn, will require more competitive basic research funding.  CS-CAN can play an important role here, and as a CS-CAN board member, I would be committed to this challenge.


Ali Ghorbani

Professor and Dean, Faculty of Computer Science, University of New Brunswick

Biographical Information

Ali Ghorbani has held a variety of positions in academia for the past 36 years. He is currently holds Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Cybersecurity, and is the Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and the Director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at UNB.  Dr. Ghorbani supervised more than 160 research associates and graduate students and authored more than 200 peer reviewed research papers in journals and conference proceedings. He is the co-inventor of 3 awarded patents in the area of Network Security and Web Intelligence, the co-Editor-In-Chief of Computational Intelligence. His book on Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems was published in 2010.

Statement of Interest

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.


Mark Giesbrecht

Professor and Director, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

Biographical Information

Mark Giesbrecht is Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he has been a professor of Computer Science for the past 16 years. Prior to this he was at the University of Manitoba and University of Western Ontario.  He also served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Waterloo and has been deeply involved in CS research, education and recruitment. His research is in symbolic computation and computer algebra, for which he was named ACM Distinguished Scientist and was a co-winner of the NSERC Synergy Award in 2004.

Statement of Interest

As a member of both the NSERC Liaison Committee and the former CACS/AIC CS Chairs Committee, I have been advocating for and assisting in the formation of an active and representative academic Computer Science organization in Canada.  CS-Can/Info-Can is that organization, and is much needed as an advocate for our field with granting agencies, government and industry.    This organization must focus on all roles of modern CS academic departments including education, research, and outreach.   As Director of the largest CS unit in the country at Waterloo, and also at two other great Canadian universities, I have experience and appreciation for departments of different scales and locales.  I was elected Chair of ACM SIGSAM (the ACM Special Interest Group for my research area of symbolic computation) and served on the ACM SIG Board.  I have also been an attendee at CRA Snowbird meetings for many years.  CRA and ACM are very effective organizations, and should be drawn upon as models and partners, while forging a uniquely Canadian organization to address our needs.  In CS-Can/Info-Can we have a great opportunity to represent computer science in Canada, and to foster a cross-country community to serve all academic computer science educators and researchers.


Stan Matwin

Professor, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University

Biographical Information

Stan Matwin is a Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, where he created and directs the Institute for Big Data Analytics. His research interests are in data mining, text analytics, and  data privacy. Author and co-author of more than 300 research papers and articles (h-index = 34), supervisor of more than 80 completed graduate students, Stan is a former President of CAIAC (Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association), a CAIAC Fellow, and  Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee on Artificial Intelligence. Stan, couramment bilingue, est aussi Professeur Éminent (Émérite) à l'Université d'Ottawa.

Statement of Interest

If elected, 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.


Houari Sahraoui

Professor, Department of Computer Science, Université de Montréal

Biographical Information

Houari Sahraoui is a professor and chair of the department of Computer Science and OR at the Université de Montréal. His research interests include software engineering automation and model-driven engineering. He has served as General Chair of IEEE/ACM ASE and IEEE VISSOFT, PC cochair of VISSOFT, PC member in several IEEE and ACM conferences, and organization member of many conferences (ECOOP, ASE, MODELS, etc.). He is serving on the NSERC-discovery grant selection committee. He was the Quebec representative on the board of the Canadian Association of Computer Science, and member of the steering committee in charge of the creation of CS-Can/Info-Can.

Statement of Interest

Canada needs a strong association to represent the research and education CS community. There are many challenges facing our community, and the future board should be able to prioritize the actions that address the most pressing ones:

  • Promote the teaching of computer science as a core subject in pre-university education. In addition to expose students to the discipline early, it allows to have ambassadors, CS professors, to help recruiting the best students in our programs, to meet the needs of our society and our economy in terms of talented IT professionals.
  • Play a leadership role in promoting world-class research, and become a privileged partner to help shaping the governments and granting agencies policies for our discipline.
  • Support graduate students and young professors to start their career on solid foundations and compete on an equal footing with other science disciplines for scholarships and high-level awards.
  • Have a concerted action to finally provide effective responses to the challenge of attracting and retaining women and minorities as students and professors.
  • Build an active community from coast to coast with good representation of the different regions and university types