Individual Nominees for Board of Directors

[La version français]

Alex Aravind

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Northern British Columbia
http://web.unbc.ca/~csalex

Biographical Information

Dr. Alex Aravind is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Northern British Columbia. Alex joined UNBC in September 1999, and since then he has served in many committees within UNBC including the Senate, College Promotion and Tenure Committee, University Promotion and Tenure Committee, University Promotion and Tenure Appeal Committee, and UNBC International Advisory Committee, Teaching Excellence Evaluation Committee, Research Excellence Evaluation Committee. He has also served on the boards of Prince George Immigration Multicultural Services Society (IMSS) and Innovation Council Society (ICS).  Alex is a member of ACM, IEEE, and SCS, and served as program technical committee members for many international conferences and chaired a number of conference sessions. With vast experience in many committees within and outside UNBC, Alex is aware of the role and responsibility involved in various committees. He held grants from Sun Micrsystem, NSERC, and MITACS. Currently, he holds two NSERC and one SSHRC grants. Alex has won several awards: UNBC Teaching Excellence Award (2012); Outstanding Leadership Award (FutureTech, 2012); UNBC Research Excellence Award (2013); UNBC Mentorship Excellence Award (2015); Robert W. Tait Annual Lecture Award for Teaching Excellence (2016); Best Paper Awards (ICDEM 2010, ICPC 2012, NANOARCH 2015).

Statement of Interest

Alex's areas of research interest include concurrent and distributed programming, distributed computing, operating systems, mobile ad hoc and wireless networks, modeling and simulation of complex systems, and computing education. He has published more than 50 peer reviewed research articles in international journals and conference proceedings. One of his algorithms has been recognized as a major research result in the concurrent programming field in the last 30 years. Alex has co-authored a book on Operating Systems, published by Pearson Education. Professionally, Alex is passionate about serving local industries through industrial collaboration projects and serving the computing society through reviewing research articles and grant proposals, chairing conference sessions, and serving on committees and boards that promote computing both nationally and internationally.

University of Northern British Columbia is a small undergraduate based research university (Ranked Number 1 by Maclean's 2017 rankings in its category). I would like to represent small universities like UNBC at the CS-Can/Info-Can board to ensure that our voices are heard.


 

Darcy Benoit

Associate Professor and Director,Jodrey School of Computer Science, Acadia University
http://socs.acadiau.ca/~dbenoit

Biographical Information

Dr. Darcy Benoit is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Jodrey School of Computer Science at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Darcy is an active member of the Association of Atlantic Universities Coordination Committee on Faculty Development and has served on several University committees related to teaching, teaching technology, and faculty support. An avid supporter educational outreach, Darcy oversees the Acadia Robotics program, a province-wide outreach program that sees approximately 400 students from grades 9-18 compete in two international robot programming competitions.

Statement of Interest

Dr. Darcy Benoit has a keen interest in the education of students in the area of computer science, from public school through post-secondary. As a result, Dr. Benoit has been involved in several activities that help fulfill this interest. For the past 12 years, Dr. Benoit has been involved in Acadia Robotics, a program run out of Acadia University which is responsible for a province-wide outreach program for students from middle through high school. Each year, approximately 400 students compete in qualifying and championship competitions for both FIRST LEGO League and Robofest. The winning teams from both competitions are then invited to compete internationally in their respective leagues. The Acadia Robotics program has received strong support over the years from government organizations (provincial and federal) as well as significant industry support. Dr. Benoit's outreach work resulted in him collaborating with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development on the implementation of computer programming in the public school system from grades 7-12. Dr. Benoit is also involved in faculty development research, and is an avid promoter of teaching development, particularly as it pertains to teaching computer science.


 

Yvonne Coady

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria
http://www.cs.uvic.ca/~ycoady

Biographical Information

Master's degree from Simon Fraser University, Instructor/Department Head at Capilano College, PhD from UBC, and Faculty in Computer Science at UVic (since 2003).  Extensive work with graduate students applying research in systems/software engineering in industry through Mitacs, NSERC Engage, NSERC CRD awards.  Commitment to outreach for underrepresented groups including initiatives for women and aboriginal students. UVic's "Knowledge Mobilization" Award 2015, Chief Scientist at PurposeSocial 2016, recognized mentor in BC Business Magazine 2017.

Statement of Interest

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).


 

Stephane Durocher

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba
http://www.cs.umanitoba.ca/~durocher

Biographical Information

After completing his BSc (Toronto, 1997), MSc (British Columbia, 1999), and PhD (British Columbia, 2006), Stephane was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow (McGill, 2006-2007, and Waterloo, 2007-2008). He joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba in 2009, where he is currently an associate professor and associate head since 2014. Stephane's research is in computational geometry, data structures, and algorithms. In 2013, Stephane received the Rh award from the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation in recognition of outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary scholarship and research. Stephane is a founding member of the Geometric, Approximation, and Distributed Algorithms Laboratory.

Statement of Interest

I am interested in representing central Canadian universities on the CS-Can board, as well as providing a perspective from a middle-tier research university. I have been affiliated with multiple Canadian computer science departments, allowing me to experience a variety of departmental cultures and practices, as well as building a network of colleagues and collaborators that spans Computer Science in Canada.

I have served in various roles related to research and graduate studies, including the NSERC Computing Sciences Scholarship and Fellowship Selection Committee 2013-2016, chair of awards in my department 2011-2014, and the University of Manitoba Faculty of Graduate Studies Executive Awards Committee since 2015. In my role as associate head I have overseen my department's graduate program since 2014. Recently, I led a committee of associate heads in the Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba in reviewing graduate funding and lobbying our university administration to increase funding to an internal program that matches graduate student support from tri-council grants.  Since 2015, I have served as a member of the Research Advisory Team in the Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba.


 

Eugene Fiume

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/people/elf

Biographical Information

Eugene Fiume received his B.Math. degree from the University of Waterloo and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto. Following his postdoc at the University of Geneva, he returned to UofT, where he remained for almost 30 years working on many problems in realistic computer graphics. He has had a long collaboration with industry. He is past Chair of Computer Science at UofT, and is now Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He has graduated seventeen doctoral students and 60 master's students, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Statement of Interest

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.


 

Sathish Gopalakrishnan

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia
http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~sathish

Biographical Information

I joined UBC in 2007, and am now an Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering.  I was Associate Head for undergraduate programs and strategic priorities (2013-2016). My research broadly concerns real-time & embedded systems, with an emphasis on resource management policies. I have received best paper awards at venues such as the IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium. I served on the executive committee for the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems 2008-2012. At UBC, I have been recognized with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Service (2014) and the Margaret Fulton Award for Student Development (2017).

Statement of Interest

My interest in running for a position on the Board of Directors for CS-CAN/Info-CAN is to serve the computing research community in multiple ways. Key goals for my initial engagement in this role will be:

  • To advocate for a re-think of how fundamental research in computing is supported in Canada. The current over-emphasis on partnerships with industry is, in my opinion, misplaced, and limits research efforts that are not in the ambit of Canadian industry today. Further, as a starting point, I believe it is important that we -- as a community -- identify clear guidelines/best practices for how industry can engage with academic research without the expectation of turnkey solutions.
  • To support the development of a program that will help computing researchers understand how relevant governmental policy regarding computing is developed and to enable us to be better advocates for computing research.
  • To bridge the gap that may occasionally exist in academia when computing research spans multiple departments (e.g., Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering).
  • To foster increased access to computing education in schools and post-secondary institutions.


 

Kate Larson

Professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/~klarson

Biographical Information

Kate Larson is an Associate Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo. Her main area of research is artificial intelligence for which she has received recognition from various venues, including the Canadian Association of Computer Science/Associatation d'Informatique Outstanding Young Researcher Prize for 2015. She has also been involved in service and community building through her positions as a councilor for the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) (2011-2014),  and board member for the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (2010-2016), including serving as President (2013-2015).

Statement of Interest

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.


 

Mario Nascimento

Professor, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
https://sites.google.com/a/ualberta.ca/marionascimento

Biographical Information

Mario A. Nascimento is a Professor at the University of Alberta's Department of Computing Science, currently serving as the department's Chair.  He has also been a visiting professor at NUS's School of Computing (Singapore) and LMU's Institute for Informatics (Germany) among other schools.  According to Google Scholar his publications have been cited 3,200+ times, earning him an H-index of 28.  Besides serving in different capacities at numerous database conferences, Mario has also served as ACM SIGMOD's Information Director and ACM SIGMOD Record's Editor-In-Chief and currently serves on the CS-Can/Info-Can's Interim Board and is its representative at the CRA.

Statement of Interest

My motivation to serve in CS-Can/Info-Can's Board is to foster and advocate for diversity, equity and student representation, all broadly defined and at all levels in our community (including within CS-Can/Info-Can itself).  I also think CS-Can/Info-Can should firmly promote (a) programs related to "computational thinking" as opposed to simply "coding" at K-12, (b) data science as a truly multidisciplinary teaching and research agenda, as well as (c) the creation of specific programs for funding international collaboration.  If elected I see myself on the Board also playing the role of a facilitator, supporting those who may be better equipped to achieve the goals above.  I have served as a member on NSERC's Discovery Grant Evaluation Committee between 2010 and 2012 (co-chairing it in 2012) and am currently chairing the NSERC CS Liaison Committee.  I also currently serve on the CS-Can/Info-Can's Interim Board and as its representative at the CRA.  I believe that this, along with my academic experience, may be useful and contribute positively to CS-Can/Info-Can as it paves its own way to become a sound and solid organization.


 

Jian-Yun Nie

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, Universite de Montreal
http://rali.iro.umontreal.ca/nie/jian-yun-nie-en

Biographical Information

Jian-Yun Nie is a professor at the CS and Operations Research Department, University of Montreal. His research areas are information retrieval, natural language processing and artificial intelligence. His publications appeared at top venues in these areas such as SIGIR, AAAI, ACL, EMNLP, ACM-TOIS, etc. Jian-Yun Nie has been actively involved in the SIGIR community. He has been the general chair of SIGIR'11 conference, and PC and area chair of a number of conferences. He is serving (has served) on several NSERC grant selection committees (discovery, CREATE, RTI). He collaborates on a regular basis with researchers in Europe and China.

Statement of Interest

As a new organization, CS-CAN/Info-Can should set its priority to make it a strong organization, capable of federating all the people working in CS in Canada and making a strong voice for them in dialogs with governments and other Canadian and international organizations. To this end, the following actions should be prioritized:

  1. Polling the opinions of its members in order to know their concerns and desires and to define priorities for future actions;
  2. Working closely with the governments and funding organizations to establish CS-CAN/Info-Can as the privileged interface to discuss on all aspects of CS in Canada;
  3. Promoting CS among the population, which is particularly important for recruiting students in our programs;
  4. Creating strategic partnership with international peer organizations (e.g. the Chinese Computer Federation), which will not only help CS-CAN/Info-Can to become an important international player, but also enhance collaborations with other countries;
  5. Making CS-CAN/Info-Can a think tank for future developments in CA in Canada.

I would be happy to contribute in any of these aspects if I have the privilege to serve. In particular, I would like to contribute in forging relationships with CS societies of other countries (in particular, China).


 

Tamer Ozsu

Professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/~tozsu

Biographical Information

Tamer Özsu is Professor at University of Waterloo Cheriton School of CS. Previously he was with University of Alberta Department of CS. His research is on data management focusing on large-scale data distribution and management of non-traditional data. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of ACM, and of IEEE, an elected member of Science Academy, Turkey, and a member of Sigma Xi. He has held Cheriton Faculty Fellowship, University Research Chair position, Faculty Research Fellowship, and McCalla Research Professorship. He received SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award, SIGMOD Contributions Award, and Ohio State University College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Statement of Interest

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.


 

Jörg Sack

Professor, School of Computer Science, Carleton University
http://scs.carleton.ca/~sack

Biographical Information

Jörg-Rudiger Sack (Ph.D., McGill), is a Professor at Carleton University. His research interests span applied (GIS) to more theoretical areas (algorithms, data structures). He has been an NSERC university-industry Chair holder supported by SUN Microsystems. He served as Assoc. Dean for the Faculty of Science and on key university-wide committees. On the national level, he was a 'lead' in the NCE GEOIDE, served on the C3.ca board, NSERC's committees on Research Partnerships, Grants and Scholarships, was group chair for Computer Science, and chaired the CS Liaison Committee. Internationally, he was e.g, on the decision board of the German Excellence Initiative.

Statement of Interest

I had the pleasure and privilege to initiate and chair NSERC's Liaison Committee with outstanding, dedicated colleagues. Our vision has been to create a strong advocacy organization for CS, that brings together our entire community, creating a functioning, efficient national network, enabling effective and efficient interaction with governments and industry as a 'one-stop shop'. Through CS-Can/Info-Can, we need to capitalize on this opportunity for our community, at a vital time of tough competition for resources. Our analysis report, community consultations, two Town Hall Meetings, provide initial guidance and direction. We will need to focus our limited resources and activities. Most importantly, is to ensure that our community is well funded to carry out both fundamental and applied research. For this, we need to lobby governments and funding agency based on solid data and evidence. Long-term, we need to develop an LRP for CS. As Group Chair for CS and LC Chair I was able to provide (at times, critical) input to NSERC as well as propose a new program, ENGAGE. Furthermore, we need(!) to engage more women in CS, accelerate interest of our UGs in CS research and guide K-12 CS education. I have very encouraging discussions with highly motivated female colleagues and with CUCSC/CCEI.


 

Danny Silver

Professor, Jodrey School of Computer Science, Acadia University
http://plato.acadiau.ca/courses/comp/dsilver

Biographical Information

Dr. Silver is the Director, Acadia Institute for Data Analytics. He is a Professor in and former Director of the School of CS. His research areas are machine learning and data analytics. He has 65+ publications and has co-chaired or been part of program committee for numerous conferences and workshops. He was President of the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association from 2009-11.  He received the Science Champion Award in 2011 from the Nova Scotia Discovery Center for youth robotics and the advancement of STEM education. In 2014, he became an Honorary Colonel in the RCAF attached to the 14 Wing Greenwood.

Statement of Interest

I am interested in creating a new generation of Canadian grade school students and teachers that see the practical value to themselves and Canada by learning about mathematics, computer science and software engineering at an early age.  I am also interested in helping to shape current university computer science programs to appreciate the need for a wider variety of graduates that include more women,  interdisciplinary studies, and knowledge of one or more applied domains.


 

Julita Vassileva

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan
http://julita.usask.ca

Biographical Information

Julita Vassileva is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research addresses human issues in software applications, social computing, user modeling and personalization, persuasive technology, mechanisms for incentivising participation and facilitating trust. She has over 180 publications, serves on five editorial boards of international journals by Springer, IEEE amd PeerJ.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of AI in Education and the Advisory Board of UM Inc. She held the NSERC/Cameco Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Prairies), 2005 - 2011.

Statement of Interest

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

Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary
http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~carey

Biographical Information

Carey Williamson is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary, with research interests in computer networks. He holds a BSc (Honours) in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. He began his academic career at the University of Saskatchewan in 1991, before joining the University of Calgary as a research chair holder in 2001. He served as department head there from 2010-2016. He is a member of ACM and IEEE. Past service roles include NSERC GSC 330 (2004-2007) and SIG Chair for ACM SIGMETRICS (2007-2011).

Statement of Interest

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.