Cheriton School of Computer Science faculty members Byron Weber Becker, Eric Blais, Raouf Boutaba, Lori Case, Ihab Ilyas, Anna Lubiw and Pascal Poupart have each received a 2020 Outstanding Performance Award.
Established in 2005, these awards recognize University of Waterloo faculty members for their outstanding contributions to teaching, scholarship and service.
“I am very pleased to announce the Outstanding Performance Award recipients for 2020 and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo,” wrote James Rush, vice-president, academic & provost.
About the 2020 Outstanding Performance Award recipients
Byron Weber Becker is the longest-serving lecturer at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. He is course coordinator for CS135, the School of Computer Science’s largest introductory computer science course, and he has directed its pivot to online learning. He is also the author of OAT — Online Academic Tools — a suite of tools used by about 400 faculty members and staff at the University of Waterloo to smooth many administrative and student-oriented tasks.
Eric Blais is an Associate Professor in the algorithms and complexity group at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. His research interests span theoretical computer science with special focus on sublinear-time algorithms, randomness in computation, and complexity theory. Recently, he and coauthor Shalev Ben-David received a prestigious best paper award at FOCS 2020, the 61st Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, for their work that extends Yao’s minimax theorem.
Raouf Boutaba is the Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. In addition to the many accolades he has received from Waterloo, he is also a nationally and internationally recognized computer scientist. He has received many best paper awards at leading international conferences and he has been awarded prestigious chairs and fellowships, among them being named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, an appointment as an INRIA International Chair, and most recently being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Lori Case is the Associate Dean for Co-operative Education in the Faculty of Mathematics. As part of this role, she has worked with other faculties at the University of Waterloo and with Co-operative and Experiential Education in the development of the flexible pathways to assist co-op students during the COVID-19 crisis. She is also a continuing lecturer in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, primarily teaching and helping to develop the School’s on-campus first-year curriculum for non-CS students. Lori is also a past co-chair of the Women in Computer Science Committee, and she continues to promote gender equity for those who are interested in studying computer science and who pursue careers in computing.
Ihab Ilyas’s research focuses on big data and database systems, with special interest in data quality and integration, managing uncertain data, machine learning for data curation, and information extraction.
His accomplishments have been recognized with many prestigious awards. He won a Government of Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2008, was named an IBM CAS Fellow from 2006–10, held a Cheriton Faculty Fellowship from 2013–16, received the Google Faculty Award in 2014, and was named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2014. Since 2018, he has held the Thomson Reuters-NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Data Cleaning. Most recently, he was named a 2020 ACM Fellow for his contributions to data cleaning and data integration. Professor Ilyas has also co-founded two companies — Inductiv, a Waterloo-based start-up, now part of Apple, that uses AI for structured data cleaning, and Tamr, a start-up focusing on large-scale data integration and cleaning.
Anna Lubiw is a Professor in the algorithms and complexity group at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. Her research interests centre on computational geometry, graph drawing, and graph algorithms. She was named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2009 and held a Ross and Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellowship at the School of Computer Science from 2014 to 2017.
Pascal Poupart’s research focuses on the development of algorithms for machine learning with application to natural language processing, health informatics, computational finance, telecommunication networks, and sports analytics. He is best known for his contributions to the development of reinforcement learning algorithms.
His accomplishments have been recognized with many prestigious awards. He received a Canada CIFAR AI Chair (2018–23), a Cheriton Faculty Fellowship (2015–18), a best student paper honourable mention (SAT-2017), a silver medal at the SAT-2017 competition, a top reviewer award (ICML-2016), a gold medal at the SAT-2016 competition, a best reviewer award (NIPS-2015), an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (2008), two Google research awards (2007–08), a best paper award runner up (UAI-2008), and the IAPR best paper award (ICVS-2007).