Committee Membership

Jörg-Rüdiger Sack (Chair), Carleton University 

Dr. Sack received an M.C.S. degree (Diplom) from the University of Bonn, Germany, in 1979 and a Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal, in 1984. He has held an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Applied Parallel Computing and currently holds an HPCVL-Sun Microsystems of Canada Chair in the same discipline. His research interests include algorithms, data structures, distributed and parallel computing, computer graphics, geographic information systems and foremost computational geometry. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications and the Journal of Spatial Information Science and editor of the Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation. He served on NSERC’s Advisory Committee for University-Industry Grants, Committee on Research Partnerships, and Committee on Grants and Scholarships. He also served as Group Chair for Mathematics, Statistics, and Computing and Information, as well as a committee member on the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding. He is also a member of the Joint Commission for the German government’s Excellence Initiative.

Mark Giesbrecht, University of Waterloo 

Dr. Mark Giesbrecht is Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo.  He received a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 1986, and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1993.  He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and former Chair of ACM SIGSAM (Special Interest Group on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation) and the International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation (ISSAC) Steering Committees, as well as serving as ISSAC Program Committee Chair.  His research interests are in symbolic computation and computer algebra, as well in computational linear algebra and algorithms for finite fields.  He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Symbolic Computation.

Parvin Mousavi, Queen’s University 

Dr. Parvin Mousavi is an Associate Professor at the School of Computing, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. Her research interests are in computer-assisted interventions and diagnosis, and include machine learning approaches in medical imaging, image-guided interventions, and systems biology. She is the recipient of the Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario and the Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Prize from the Canadian Association of Computer Science. Prior to her appointment at Queen’s, she was a Scientist with Molecular Mining Corp., a biotechnology company specializing in developing predictive solutions for the life sciences. Dr. Mousavi has received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and her MSc and DIC degrees from the Imperial College of Science, Engineering and Medicine, London, England. Dr. Mousavi serves regularly on the program committees of Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI), Information Processing in Computer Assisted Interventions (IPCAI), Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), and SPIE Medical Imaging, and will be the Program Chair for IPCAI 2015. She has previously served as a member and Chair of NSERC’s Computer Science Evaluation Group.

Mario Nascimento, University of Alberta 

Dr. Mario A. Nascimento is a Professor at the Department of Computing Science of the University of Alberta, and as of July 1, 2014, he will serve as the Department’s Chair. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the Department’s Associate Chair. Before joining the University of Alberta, Dr. Nascimento was a researcher with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (1989-1999) and also an adjunct faculty member with the Institute of Computing of the University of Campinas (1997-1999). In addition, he has been a visiting Professor at Germany’s LMU Munich (2013-2014), Denmark’s Aalborg University (Winter 2006) and the National University of Singapore (Fall 2005). Currently, Dr. Nascimento is also an Adjunct Professor at the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. Besides often serving as a program committee member for the main database conferences, and as (co)chair of several workshops and symposia, he also served as ACM SIGMOD’s Information Director (2002-2005) and ACM SIGMOD Record’s Editor-In-Chief (2005-2007), as well as on NSERC’s Computer Science Evaluation Group (2010-2012), serving as co-Chair in his last year. He is currently a member of The VLDB Journal’s Editorial Board and the SSTD Endowment’s Board of Directors. He is also a founding member of ABBY-Net, a research consortium between Universities in Alberta (Canada) and Bavaria (Germany). Finally, Dr. Nascimento’s main research interests lie in the areas of Spatio-Temporal Data Management and Data Management for Wireless Sensor Networks.

Industrial Members

Atefeh Farzindar, NLP Technologies Inc. 

Dr. Atefeh Farzindar is the cofounder and CEO of NLP Technologies Inc., a Canadian company established in 2005 that specializes in natural language processing and automatic summarization of documents such as legal decisions, machine translation and social media monitoring. She earned her B.Sc. degree from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) (1998), Master’s and doctorate degrees (thèse en cotutelle) in Languages, Computer and Cognition from Université Paris-Sorbonne (2005) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Natural Language Processing from Université de Montréal (2005). She is adjunct professor at the department of Computer Science (DIRO) at the Université de Montréal, General co-Chair of AI/GI/CRV 2013 and 2014 Conference (Artificial Intelligence, Graphics Interface, and Computer and Robot Vision), Industry Liaison of the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association (CAIAC), Vice President of the Canadian Language Technologies Research Centre (LTRC), and member of the Canadian Advisory Committee for International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In addition, she has been Chair of the technology sector of the Language Industry Association Canada (AILIA) since 2009. She organized several conferences in Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with CAIAC, as well as workshops with the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) in Social Media (EACL 2012, NAACL 2013 and EACL 2014). She co-edited two special issues on social media analysis for the International Journal of Computational Intelligence (CI) and Journal TAL, an international journal on natural language processing. In 2013, Dr. Farzindar won Femmessor-Montréal’s contest, Réussir en équilibre (Succeeding with a balanced lifestyle), in the Innovative Technology and Information and Communications Technology categories because of her involvement in the arts.

Stephen Perelgut, IBM Canada 

Stephen Perelgut received his M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1984.  Subsequent to that, he helped start a company developing and selling the Turing Programming language before joining IBM – first in the COBOL/400 compiler group and then in the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies.  Currently, he is the IBM Canada Senior Manager for Academic Partnerships. He has been instrumental in establishing a broad range of collaborations, from funding high school students on a summer Shad Valley experience through large scale collaborations such as the Consortium for Analytics Research, Education and Training in Nova Scotia and the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform investing over $250M in partnership with 15 Ontario institutions.  Most recently, he has been involved in numerous grant proposals and has been working with entrepreneurs and start-up ventures that are moving university research into innovative solutions.

Ex Officio Members

Doina Precup, McGill University 
NSERC Group Chair for Computer Science

Dr. Doina Precup is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science of McGill University, where she has served as undergraduate program Director since 2005. She earned her B.Sc. degree from the Technical University Cluj-Napoca, Romania (1994) and her M.Sc. (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was a Fulbright fellow. She has served as member and Section Chair of NSERC’s Computer Science Evaluation Group (2010-2013) and will be chairing this Evaluation Group from 2013 to 2016. She is currently editor of Computational Intelligence, and she has co-organized three major machine learning conferences (ICML, COLT and UAI) in Montreal in 2009. Her research interests lie in the area of machine learning, with an emphasis on reinforcement learning and time series data, as well as applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence to activity recognition, medicine, electronic commerce and robotics.

NSERC’S Representatives

Sarah Overington

Dr. Sarah Overington is the Team Leader, overseeing the Computer Science and Physics portfolio within the Mathematical, Environmental and Physical Sciences Division of NSERC’s Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate.

Andrea Benoit

Andrea Benoit is the Deputy Director of Research Partnerships, Manufacturing, Communications and Technologies Division, of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Elizabeth Boston                      

Elizabeth Boston is the Director of NSERC’s Mathematical, Environmental and Physical Division within the Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate.

NSERC’S Computer Science Liaison Committee Terms of Reference

In 2011, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) established a Computer Science Liaison Committee. The purview of the Liaison Committee includes, but is not limited to:

  • discussion of opportunities the Canadian computer science research community could seize or build on, and challenges it may face, in its quest to be at the forefront of research at the international level;
  • discussion of emerging trends/needs for capacity building, innovative R&D thrusts, and current and potential scientific initiatives within the Canadian computer science research community which might relate to NSERC;
  • provision and discussion of suggestions that the Canadian computer science research community may have regarding NSERC’s programs;
  • discussion of matters that may help to inform the Group Chair about his/her participation in the Committee on Grants and Scholarships (COGS).

Unless otherwise indicated, information that is produced for, and discussed within, the Liaison Committee can be shared with the broader research community.

The Liaison Committee will be composed of an appropriate number of highly regarded members of the Canadian computer science research community, with broad scientific expertise that covers the main sub-disciplines reviewed by NSERC’s Computer Science Evaluation Group (EG 1507). The Liaison Committee will include one representative for each of the following overarching areas:

  • Computer Applications
  • Computer Methodologies
  • Computer Systems
  • Theoretical Computer Science

The Committee will be chaired by a senior member of the research community with an extensive knowledge of the Canadian and international computer science research environments.

The Chair and members will serve a three-year, non-renewable term. In order to ensure continuity and establish an appropriate rotation pattern in the early years of the Liaison Committee, a few members will be asked to serve for a longer duration. It is important that the members act as conduit of the greater research community and bring matters of common/broad interest to the Committee’s attention, as opposed to anecdotal/personal ones.

Moreover, the Liaison Committee’s membership will include NSERC’s Research Grants’ Team Leader and Director overseeing the Computer Science portfolio. Other NSERC staff may participate in the Committee’s meetings on occasion.

The Liaison Committee will also include NSERC’s current Computer Science Group Chair as an ex officio member. In this capacity, the Group Chair will only be an observer and a resource for the other members. When a Group Chair completes his/her term at NSERC, he/she may serve for an additional year on the Liaison Committee as an ex officio member (observer and resource), besides the new Group Chair, to ensure an orderly transition.

In addition, the Liaison Committee will also include at least one member from the private sector as an ex officio member (observer and resource). The number of members from the private sector cannot exceed two.

The Liaison Committee will hold at least two meetings per year, preferably in advance of COGS’ fall and spring meetings. The meetings will be held via teleconference. Face-to-face meetings and additional ad hoc meetings could be held, if necessary.

When holding a meeting of the Liaison Committee, it is necessary that a majority of members representing the Canadian computer science research community, excluding the ex officio members, attend in order for decisions to be made on behalf of the Committee.

The Chair of the Liaison Committee will participate in the annual meeting of the Heads and Chairs of computer science departments, either by teleconference or in person.