Queen’s University

Dr. Selim Akl is a worldwide expert in the fields of parallel computing and algorithm design. His 40+ years of research have focused on design and analysis of efficient solutions to computational problems with enormous processing time requirements. Such problems arise in many areas, including weather forecasting, drug development, and data analysis in ultra-large scale information banks.

Esteemed for his clarity of vision, readiness to question existing dogma, and ability to blend mathematics with diverse application areas, Dr. Akl has influenced virtually every area of the field of computing, from communications and database security to quantum and biomedical computing.

Dr. Akl has also been a trailblazer in the field of cryptography, producing one of the first papers on digital signatures in 1981. His subsequent solution for controlling access to data in a hierarchical organization remains the definitive solution today. In communication networks, where a primary concern is safeguarding information integrity, Dr. Akl’s research has resulted in a number of solutions that address the fundamental issue of cryptographic key distribution.

More recently, Dr. Akl began exploring new applications of the principles of computing in nature, focusing on the role it could play in solving a vast array of problems with human, scientific, and economic implications, such as disease prevention, green computing, and the production of clean energy, thereby helping maintain Canada as a world leader in this effort.

Visionary, innovative, creative, and unfailingly curious, Dr. Akl has produced outstanding work that continues to expand the frontiers of his chosen discipline. His contributions have made, and continue to make, an impact around the world.