Professor Mark Giesbrecht became the 12th dean of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics, a five-year appointment that began on July 1, 2020. The distinguished computer scientist has nearly 20 years of experience at Waterloo and he will leverage his abilities as an administrator, teacher and researcher to lead the Faculty of Mathematics.
“Over his years at Waterloo, Professor Giesbrecht has shown great depth in his understanding of the role and impact of the Faculty of Mathematics and dedication to the university in both academic and administrative roles,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “His considerable experience in academia and industry and his record of scholastic achievement positions him well to steward the Faculty of Mathematics.”
Professor Giesbrecht served as the Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, a position he held from July 2014 until June 2020. He was previously the Associate Director (2009–11) and Director of Undergraduate Studies (2002–05) within the Cheriton School of Computer Science. He has also been a member of the UW Senate since 2016.
Before joining Waterloo in 2001 as an Associate Professor, he worked at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Manitoba, and IBM Canada. He completed his BSc at the University of British Columbia and earned both his MSc and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.
Professor Giesbrecht is a Distinguished Scientist of the Association of Computing Machinery and serves on several conference and journal editorial boards, as well as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council committees.
“I am truly honoured and humbled to have been appointed as the next Dean of Mathematics and it is with great enthusiasm that I will take on this position,” Professor Giesbrecht said. “The synthesis of mathematics, statistics and computer science, that we do so well at Waterloo, is seeing an unprecedented moment of research advances, impact, and popularity. The unique Faculty of Mathematics at Waterloo is better poised than any academic unit worldwide to lead in these transformative areas.
“We have the opportunity to position Waterloo Math within the very top ranks of research and educational institutions worldwide, and I’m really excited to work with all members of the faculty to achieve this.”
Professor Giesbrecht is also a member of the Symbolic Computation Group at Cheriton School of Computer Science and a founding member of the Ontario Research Centre for Computer Algebra with Waterloo and Western Ontario. An active participant in the computer algebra research community, Professor Giesbrecht has served as Program Committee Chair of the International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation, the Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation, and as an editor of the Journal of Symbolic Computation.
Professor Giesbrecht succeeds Professor Stephen Watt, who served as dean of the Faculty of Mathematics until January 2020, and Professor Kevin Hare, who served as interim dean.