The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science has...
- More than 100 faculty members
- More than 60 administrative, instructional and technical staff
- More than 4,000 undergraduate students
- More than 400 graduate students
- Been cited consistently as a top computer science school in Canada and among the best internationally
- Eight Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, seven Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, six Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, three Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs, and 16 Ontario Early Researcher Award winners
- Accepted Waterloo’s youngest graduate student, Erik Demaine, who was just 14 years old when he enrolled to pursue a PhD in computer science. Erik Demaine is now a professor of computer science at MIT.
- Research collaborations with institutions in China, France, Brazil, the United States, and many more
- Participated in the annual International Collegiate Programming Contest for more than 25 years — we are the only Canadian institution to ever win the International Collegiate Programming Competition, taking the prized title in 1994 and again in 1999!
Our research spans the field of computer science, from core work on systems, theory and programming languages to human-computer interaction, DNA and quantum computing to theoretical and applied machine learning, just to name a few.
Think about this...
The first computer we acquired, an IBM 610, was purchased for student use in 1960.
In 1966, we bought an IBM 360/75 for $3 million more than the cost of the entire MC building. It was the largest and most powerful computer in Canada at the time and was housed in the famous Red Room.
In the 1980s, the University of Waterloo was producing roughly one-third of Canada's computer science graduates.
The pink tie originated as one of Ralph Stanton’s eccentric habits. It is speculated that the founder of the Faculty of Mathematics merely did his laundry in the runoff from a red roof after a friend accidentally dyed his undergarments a similar colour while staying there.
Waterloo had a hand in creating both Maple Software and OpenText. Maple Software spawned from a symbolic algebra system created here and OpenText was a spin-off of the project to computerize the Oxford English Dictionary.
Some Academy Award winners are graduates of Waterloo’s Computer Graphics Lab. This is the same lab that has created a computer brush model that learns to mimic the style of its user.
Tony Lai is the youngest student to receive a graduate degree from the University of Waterloo. He was 14 years old when he entered Waterloo. He turned 18 when he successfully defended his PhD thesis, “Efficient Maintenance of Binary Search Trees,” in 1990 — the same age as the average first-year student.
Marceli Wein, adjunct professor of computer science, won an Academy Award in 1997 shared with Nestor Burtnyk for their work on computer-assisted key framing for character animation. A demonstration of this technique can be found below.