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Message from Professor Dan Brown, Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

photo of Dan Brown, professor and Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer ScienceAs a new academic year begins, I warmly welcome our incoming computer science students and welcome back our returning students. I hope your summer was enjoyable and productive. 

The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science is home to more than 90 faculty members and 50 administrative, instructional and technical staff. We currently train more than 3,600 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. We are cited consistently as a top computer science school in Canada and are counted among the best internationally. Our faculty members are distinguished scholars — six have been named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, five are Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, three are Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, two hold Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs, and 15 have received Ontario Early Researcher Awards.

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. Our researchers improve the realism of computer animations, improve privacy and security on the Internet, show how the structure of social networks influences voting behaviour, and elucidate through mathematical models why veins are blue — and that’s just a sampling of our recent discoveries and scientific contributions.

Our students are among the best in the world. Many come in with prestigious scholarships, including as medalists in the International Olympiad in Informatics and the International Mathematics Olympiad. Our students have twice won the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, an annual multi-tiered programming competition among the universities of the world — a contest in which Cheriton students often rank in the top 10 internationally.

Our undergraduate alumni go on to excel in international graduate programs. Many of our doctoral students find tenure-track appointments at universities across the globe, including the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, Cornell, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. Our graduates are also highly sought after by industry, with many alumni employed at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple, among other tech giants. Our alumni also form the backbone of the local tech economy here in Waterloo Region, and we are extremely proud of the entrepreneurs among them, including the founders of and of Maluuba, a deep-learning and AI–technology start-up that was sold to Microsoft.

At a time when the technology industry is struggling with gender equity in its workforce, the number of female students in our school is showing a steady increase. We believe this progress is essential, particularly since we play a strong role in training Canada’s computer science leaders. Much of our work in this area is co-ordinated by our Women in Computer Science committee, which also offers outreach programs in the region, including establishing a Waterloo chapter of Technovation, an international program that provides teams of girls and young women an opportunity develop programming talent while building their marketing and business skills.

Welcome to the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. I invite you to explore these pages and find out more about us.

Dan Brown's signature

Dan Brown, Professor and Director, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science