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Message from Professor Mark Giesbrecht, Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

photo of Mark GiesbrechtWelcome to the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science! We are looking forward to another exciting year in 2019 with all of our students, faculty and staff members!

The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science is one of the world’s most prominent computer science institutions, with a legacy of leadership in computer science research and education. Our School is the home to more than 95 faculty members and 50 administrative, instructional and technical staff. We have 16 research groups and are educating more than 400 graduate students and 3,600 undergraduate students.

For more than 50 years, Computer Science at Waterloo has been a top computer science school in Canada and amongst the best internationally. Our faculty members are distinguished scholars: six Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, six recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards in Computer Science from CS-Can/Info-Can, five Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), four Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), two Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs, and 15 recipients of Ontario Early Researcher Awards!

Our research spans the field of computer science, from core work on systems, theory, AI and machine learning, database and programming languages, to human-computer interaction, information retrieval, scientific and mathematical computing, and DNA and quantum computing. Our researchers and their students have recently:

Our researchers have created many successful spin-off companies, including OpenText, Maplesoft, RapidMind, Bioinformatics Inc., and — more than 50 overall. Many research projects involve extensive collaborations with high-technology companies worldwide, including Thompson–Reuters, Google, Facebook, Huawei, RBC, CIBC, Microsoft, and HP, among several others.

Waterloo computer science students are among the best in the world. Our students have twice won the worldwide ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, an annual multi-tiered programming competition among the universities of the world. Most recently in 2018, our students swept the top four spots at the regional International Collegiate Programming Competition against 129 teams from schools that included Carnegie Mellon, the University of Michigan, and the University of Toronto. Many students come with prestigious scholarships and are medallists in the International Olympiad in Informatics and the International Mathematics Olympiad. 

Waterloo is also renowned for its co-operative education program. Thousands of Waterloo computer science students are in the technology workforce, learning and contributing to top companies and research institutions. The co-op experience is an intrinsic and valuable part of our undergraduate and graduate educational experience.

Our doctoral students go on to be professors at universities across the globe, including at MIT, Harvard, Cornell, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford, the University of Alberta and UBC. Our undergraduate alumni go on to excel in graduate programs around the world, and are highly sought after by industry tech giants, innovative startups, and SMEs. We are extremely proud of the entrepreneurs among them including the founders of and of Maluuba.

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 strong and steady increase (currently over 23%). This progress is essential since we play such a major role in training Canada’s computer science leaders. Much of our work in this area is coordinated by our Women in Computer Science committee, which also offers outreach programs in the region including 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 entrepreneurial skills.

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

Mark Giesbrecht, Professor and Director, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science