Student & Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPAC)

Keynote Speakers

This year, for the first time ever, we will host an award winner lecture series. We will be inviting a select group of the CS-Can award-winners to provide keynote presentations! Each year CS-Can gives out a number of awards to outstanding computer science researchers in 3 categories.

  1. Lifetime Achievement Awards to well-established Canadian computer science researchers who have pioneered breakthroughs that have shaped our field as it is today.
  2. Outstanding Young Researchers (10 years out of their PhDs ) who have promising careers to come.
  3. And this year will be the first to include awards for even younger researchers, the Canadian Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.

We believe that everyone could benefit from the experience of these outstanding researchers.

2019 Symposium keynote speakers

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Dr. Selim G. Akl

Dr. Selim G. Akl

Selim G. Akl is a professor at Queen’s University in the School of Computing, where he leads the Parallel and Unconventional Computation Group. His research interests are primarily in the area of algorithm design and analysis, in particular for problems in parallel computing and unconventional computation.

Dr. Akl was a winner of the Howard Staveley Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004 and 2007. He received the Queen’s University Prize for Excellence in Research in 2005 and the Queen’s University Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2012. He served as Director of the Queen’s School of Computing (2007 – 2017). In 2018, Dr. Akl was the recipient of a CS-Can/Info-Can Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science.


Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award Winner: Dr. Andrea Bunt

Dr. Andrea Bunt

Andrea Bunt is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba, where she co-directs the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba, Andrea completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo. Andrea’s research lies in the areas of human-computer interaction and intelligent interactive systems, with an emphasis on issues surrounding feature-rich software, online communities, and computing experiences in rural communities. Andrea’s research has been recognized by Best Paper awards at the ACM Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2007), the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) and Graphics Interface (GI 2017). Andrea was also awarded an NSERC Accelerator Supplement in 2015 and is a recipient of a 2018 CS-CAN | Info-Can Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award.

Canadian Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Awards: Dr. Julie Nutini


Dr. Julie Nutini

Dr. Julie Nutini was born and raised in the small ski town of Rossland, British Columbia, located in the West Kootenays. She graduated from the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) in 2010 with a BSc in General Mathematics, and in 2012 with a MSc in Mathematical Optimization. Her MSc thesis, supervised by Warren Hare, focused on derivative-free optimization methods for finite minimax problems. Her Ph.D. was supervised by Mark Schmidt at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Her research area is optimization and machine learning with a focus on coordinate descent methods. She currently works as a Research Scientist at UrtheCast, an Earth observation company located in Vancouver BC.  Julie is the recipient of the 2018 CS-CAN | Info-Can Canadian Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.

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