Welcome from Raouf Boutaba, Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science

On behalf of the faculty and staff at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, I am pleased to welcome our new and returning students.

Director Raouf Boutaba at CS undergrad welcome

You may have heard that last fall Maclean’s magazine ranked the Cheriton School of Computer Science as number one in Canada — for the third year in a row — based on its program and research reputation. And then this spring, the 2023 Quacquarelli Symonds worldwide university rankings confirmed once again that computer science is the brightest jewel in the University of Waterloo’s crown. According to QS, CS is the university’s top-ranked subject and Waterloo is 22nd internationally for computer science.

The Cheriton School of Computer Science’s reputation likely attracted you to study here but — equally important — the excellence of our students is the very reason we have this reputation. Quite simply, you are the best and the brightest, visionaries who expand boundaries.

Waterloo is the only Canadian university to have won the International Collegiate Programming Contest, the largest and most prestigious university-level algorithmic programming contest in the world, not just once but twice. In fact, just this June, Cheriton students topped the competition at the 2023 ICPC North America Championship, qualifying our team to compete at the ICPC World Finals this fall.

What sets the Cheriton School of Computer Science apart is not just our commitment to excellence in education and research but also our commitment to facilitate collaboration with industry. The co-op program that blends academics with work experience is a crucial ingredient, but another factor in making computer science a success at Waterloo is that we encourage entrepreneurship. These interactions provide students the opportunity to address real-world problems and to work with a wide variety of companies, from leading start-ups to established tech giants, during their studies. 

We also play an important role in training the next generation of women computer scientists and leaders, critically important work promoted by our Women in Computer Science committee. We are equally proud of the efforts of our committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which advocates for equity across marginalized and underrepresented groups, fosters an inclusive environment, and works towards recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, staff, and students.

The Cheriton School of Computer Science is the proud home to nine Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, eight Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, and seven Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. We have many winners of awards and honours from other prestigious national and international research societies and associations. Institutionally, our faculty have been recognized for teaching excellence through awards from the Faculty of Mathematics and the University of Waterloo.

Over the decades, our undergrad and graduate students have transformed the world since computer science was established at Waterloo in 1967. I look forward to seeing what our new and returning students will achieve in the year ahead.

Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director
Cheriton School of Computer Science