David R. Cheriton Chairs in Software Systems

The David R. Cheriton Chair in Software Systems welcomes prominent senior researchers or very promising researchers still early in their careers to the transformational research environment provided by the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.

The Cheriton Chair in Software Systems will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with research and industry partners in innovative ways that push boundaries. The Cheriton Chair is supported by the David R. Cheriton Endowment for Excellence in Computer Science, which was established in 2005 to support faculty, fellowships, and graduate scholarships. 

Current Cheriton Chairs in Software Systems

N. Asokan

portrait of N AsokanN. Asokan has joined the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science as a Professor and Cheriton Chair, effective September 2019.

Asokan has been a Professor of Computer Science at Aalto University since 2013. He was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki from 2012 to 2017. Between 1995 and 2012, he worked in industrial research laboratories, designing and building secure systems, first at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory as a Research Staff Member and then at Nokia Research Center, most recently as Distinguished Researcher. 

Asokan’s primary research theme is systems security broadly, including topics like the development and use of novel platform security features, applying cryptographic techniques to design secure protocols for distributed systems, applying machine learning techniques to security and privacy problems, and understanding and addressing the security and privacy of machine learning applications themselves. 

Asokan received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, an MS in Computer and Information Science from Syracuse University, and a BTech (Honours) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur. He became an ACM Fellow in 2018, an IEEE Fellow in 2017 and an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2015.

Jimmy Lin

photo of Jimmy LinJimmy Lin joined the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo in August 2015 as a professor and David R. Cheriton Chair in Software Systems.

Before his appointment at the University of Waterloo, Lin was an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. From 2010-2012, Lin spent an extended sabbatical at Twitter, where he worked on infrastructure for data analytics and data science. The systems that he helped build manage tens of petabytes of data across tens of thousands of servers in multiple data centres. In addition, Lin contributed to many consumer-facing products that are used by hundreds of millions of users around the world.

Lin’s research aims to build tools that help users make sense of large amounts of data. His work lies at the intersection of information retrieval and natural language processing, with a focus on large-scale distributed algorithms and infrastructure. He is considered one of the world’s experts on big data and has written a widely-used textbook on MapReduce algorithm design. A unique combination of academic and industrial experience guides Lin’s research in building useful applications that solve real-world user problems while addressing fundamental challenges in computer and information science.

Lin’s arrival at Waterloo was the catalyst for merging the Information Retrieval and Database research groups into the new Data Systems Group, of which he is a member. 

Previous Cheriton Chairs in Software Systems

Cheriton Chairs in Software Systems Year
Frank Tip  2012-2014