On behalf of our faculty and staff, welcome back. And for those undergraduate and graduate students newly joining us, welcome to the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.
We look forward to exploring computer science together whether you are attending in person, remotely or a blend of the two. Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to offering safe on-campus experiences for our students while providing excellent instruction and training in person and online.
For decades, the Cheriton School of Computer Science has been the top computer science school in Canada and among the best internationally. We are ranked first for computer science nationally based on our program and research reputation according to the Maclean’s 2021 university rankings. And computer science remains Waterloo’s top-rated subject internationally, coming in at 23 among the world’s top 1,100 universities according to the 2021 Quacquarelli Symonds worldwide university subject rankings.
Our faculty members, more than 90 strong, are nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Their research spans the broad field of computer science — from foundational work on the theory of computation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, to data systems, systems and networking, and programming languages to human-computer interaction, software engineering, symbolic computation, and more. Our faculty have launched more than 50 successful companies and start-ups, among them Axelar, OpenText, Maplesoft, RapidMind, Rapid Novor, Inductiv, and RSVP.ai. Many researchers also collaborate extensively with companies internationally, including Thomson–Reuters, Google, Facebook, Huawei, RBC, CIBC, Microsoft, and HP.
Cheriton School of Computer Science students are among the best in the world. We remain the only Canadian university to win the International Collegiate Programming Contest — the oldest, largest and most prestigious university-level algorithmic programming contest in the world. Just this August, our students topped the competition at the 2021 International Collegiate Programming Contest North America Championship, beating teams from more than 45 universities across the continent, and securing a place at the 45th ICPC World Finals.
Our undergraduate alumni excel in graduate programs around the world, and they are sought by tech giants, innovative start-ups, and small and medium enterprises. We are proud of the entrepreneurs among them such as the founders of Wish and Maluuba. Our doctoral students have become professors at universities across the globe, including at MIT, Harvard, Cornell, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford, the University of Alberta and UBC.
We also play a major role in training the next generation of female computer scientists and leaders. Much of this important work is coordinated by our Director of Women in Computer Science and by WiCS — the Women in Computer Science committee. I invite you to explore the new WiCS website and take advantage of the many initiatives and events WiCS offers that nurture community, foster empowerment and provide mentorship.
Over the past year, Cheriton School of Computer Science faculty members and students have:
- Created new systems that increase the correctness and reliability of health-related Internet searches
- Investigated why people often leave sensitive data on their devices when they sell or donate them
- Explored whether the perceived race and ethnicity of a developer affects how the developer’s contributions to open source software projects are evaluated
- Secured $1.5 million USD for Themelio, a start-up founded by Yuhao Dong, a current Cheriton School of Computer Science PhD student
- Examined whether humorous teachable virtual agents enhance learning and outcomes
- Employed machine learning to develop personalized cancer vaccines
- Used smartphone sensors to calculate how much carbon a forest sequesters
- Employed machine learning to optimize operating room efficiency
- Used comic strips to teach coding
- Created a Nifty solution to a common but catastrophic network fault
- Raised $3.75 million USD, then $25 million in Series A funding, for Axelar, a blockchain start-up founded by Cheriton faculty member Sergey Gorbunov
- Provided a plausible explanation of how brains operate at the local neuronal level
- Developed a smartphone locking and loss-prevention system
Please explore our web site and check our news feed to learn more about what we do. If you are new to the area, please see About Waterloo, Waterloo and Waterloo for information about the region, city and university.
Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science