2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards in Computer Science

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Janusz (John) Brzozowski and Professor J. Ian Munro have each won a 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science.

Conferred by the Canadian Association of Computer Science, these prestigious awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in research, teaching and service over a distinguished academic career.

The awards will be presented during the banquet at the annual Computer Science chairs meeting.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus John Brzozowski

Dr. Brzozowski is a pioneer in theoretical computer science, making fundamental and significant contributions that have defined and shaped the field. A teacher of computer science for 44 years, he introduced courses in digital circuit design and theory of computing at the University of Waterloo in 1967. He has taught many courses at the University of Waterloo, from introductory computer science to upper-year and graduate courses.

Over a research career that spans more than half a century, Dr. Brzozowski served as a mentor and supervisor to four postdoctoral fellows, 15 PhD theses candidates, 16 master’s theses candidates and 12 master’s project candidates — many of whom now hold important positions in academia and industry. He has authored or coauthored more than 180 research papers. 

Dr. Brzozowski was chair of the Department of Computer Science at Waterloo for seven years (1978–83 and 1987–89), during which he oversaw its expansion to 40 faculty members, attracting qualified faculty at a time of heightened demand for computer science courses and intense competition for recent PhD graduates from industry. In 2005 he was named Canadian Pioneer in Computing by IBM Canada. In 2015 his accomplishments were recognized by the University of Waterloo during an international conference, titled “The Role of Theory in Computer Science,” in honour of his 80th birthday.

University Professor J. Ian Munro

Dr. Munro is an international leader in algorithms and data structures as well as Canada’s authority on data structures, a field in which he has made fundamental contributions. He has changed views on the practice and theory of data structures and algorithms and has helped shape algorithm design by creating two areas — succinct data structures and implicit data structures.

His research achievements have been recognized frequently by his peers. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2003 and as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2008. In 2006 he was promoted to university professor at the University of Waterloo, and in 2001 was appointed as the Canada Research Chair in Algorithm Design and is currently serving his third seven-year term as its chairholder.

Dr. Munro has published more than 80 journal papers and 130 conference papers, many of which are references in the field. He has helped attract top students to computer science through programming contests nationally and internationally and has led the Canadian team at the International Olympiad in Informatics, an annual programming competition for secondary school students.

After completing his PhD at the University of Toronto, he joined the University of Waterloo, where he has been a faculty member for 44 years. During this time, he supervised 22 PhD and 44 master’s graduates.

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