Mark Giesbrecht

Professor and Director

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo, Canada |

As of July 1, 2014 I am Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. The Cheriton School is a wonderful place to be, full of wonderful faculty members (80 of them), staff (30 of them), graduate students (300 of them), and undergrads (2100 of them). See my Administration page if you want more details, and of course, contact me if you want to be a part of computer science at Waterloo!

I am also a Researcherand Teacher in computer science in various and varying amounts.

My research is in the area of Computer Algebra. For me this is the study of computational methods applied to problems in algebra, and the use of algebraic techniques in algorithms and complexity. Please see my Research page for more details. I am also involved in the computer algebra research community as an organizer, editor and referee. Right now my biggest task is as Program Chair of ISSAC 2013. Please see my Professional page for information on these activities.

As of 2013 I am an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

In Fall 2013 I taught Numerical Computation (CS370) for the first time. Lots of fun was had by all (at least in retrospect). In Winter 2011 I taught computer algebra (CS 487) and I taught two big sections of CS 136 in Winter 2012. It was fun. Please see my Teaching page for more information on my recent teaching. I have also been Director of the Undergraduate Studies at Waterloo (2002–2005), which includes curriculum design and implementation. Ouch.


  • ISSAC 2013 was a great success! Great talks by Henry Cohn, Hendrik Lenstra, and Mohab Safey El Din, along with all the contributed papers. Looking forward to ISSAC 2014 next year in Kobe, Japan (with far fewer responsibilities for me!)
  • I'm co-organizing a session on "Sparse Models, Interpolation and Polynomials", with Erich Kaltofen and Wen-shin Lee, at the SIAM Conference on Applied Algebraic Geometry (SIAM AG13) from August 1-4, 2013 at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • I'm co-organizing a session on Symbolic Matrix Algorithms with Jean-Guillaume Dumas at the International Linear Algebra Society Meeting (ILAS 2013) in Providence, RI, June 3–7, 2013. Looks like a great lineup of talks!
  • ECCAD 2013 will be held at the US Naval Academy on April 27, 2013.
  • ISSAC 2013 will be held at Northeastern University in Boston from June 26–29, 2013. I'll be PC Chair. Submit a paper by January 21!
  • ISSAC 2012 was held in the beautiful city of Grenoble, France. Congratulations to Jean-Guillaume Dumas and Joris van der Hoeven for great organization, and a fine job as PC Chair by Mark van Hoeij.. I managed to give my talk and get sick for the rest of the conference. Sheesh.
  • ACA 2012 took place in Sofia, Bulgaria in June. There was a very enjoyable session on Algebraic and Algorithmic Aspects of Differential and Integral Operators organized by Moulay Barkatou, Thomas Cluzeau, Georg Regensburger, Markus Rosenkranz.
  • The workshop Symbolic Computation and its Applications (SCA 2012) was held at RWTH Aachen May 17–20. It was a great meeting with a nice semi-focus on symbolic difference and differential equations (following up on some of the themes of DEAM2). Many thanks to the organizers Viktor Levandovskyy, Valery Romanovski, and Eva Zerz for the invitation.
  • The 19th East Coast Computer Algebra Day (ECCAD 2012) was held at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan. This was actually my 14th ECCAD, and my second invitation to speak, for which I was honoured. I think it was a lot of fun. My talk was: Sparsity, Complexity and Practicality in Algebraic Computation. Thanks and kudos to Dan Steffy for a great conference in his first year back as a professor at his alma mater.
  • At the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Boston, January 9-12, 2013, Jean-Marc Couveignes, Michael Mossinghoff, and Igor Shparlinski, organized a very nice session on Mathematics of Computation: Algebra and Number Theory.
  • The Hybrid 2011 Workshop on Symbolic-Numeric Computation took place on November 16–19, 2011 at the University of Waterloo. We saw lots of great talks on the synthesis of symbolic and numeric methods for important industrial and mathematical problems. Please see the website for more speakers, abstracts, and slides.
  • MACIS 2011 took place at Beihang University in Beijing, and I was honoured to be an invited speaker. My abstract can be found here (scroll to the bottom).
  • Fq10 (Finite Fields and their Applications) was a great meeting in beautiful Ghent, Belgium. If you are interested, my abstract is here, but there are many more interesting ones here!
  • Jason Selby successfully defended his PhD thesis on July 8. Great job. In the daytime, Jason has been rewriting the garbage collector as a kernel developer at Maplesoft.
  • ISSAC and SNC were part of FCRC (I actually went to some STOC and CC talks, for the first time in years). Their were three great tutorials by Agnes Szanto, Manuel Kauers and Peter Bürgisser (which I had the pleasure of organizing). Thanks to the speakers and all who attended. Great job Éric and Emil.
  • Dan Roche successfully defended his PhD thesis on April 11. A very impressive piece of work (take a look for yourself here). Dan will be heading off to USNA as an Assistant Professor in August. Well done, Dan!
  • ECCAD 2011 (the East Coast Computer Algebra Day) was held at the University of Waterloo on April 9, 2011. The talks and posters were great! Chris Brown (USNA), Victoria Powers (Emory), and Clément Pernet (U. Joseph Fourier) all gave talks on great new results without sacrificing accessibility. There were also some really interesting posters and lots of discussion. Thank you all for coming!
  • ISSAC 2011 accepted papers are listed. Looks like another great conference. Pay special attention (and attend!) the tutorials.
  • The DEAM2 Workshop (on Differential Equations by Algebraic Methods) took place at RISC Linz/Johannes Kepler University, from February 9-11, 2011. An excellent workshop with a diverse set of participants on a unifying theme. Thank you RISC!


Last modified on Thursday, 31 July 2014, at 16:02 hours.