Ninth Annual School of Computing Awards

On May 14, 2017, School Director Selim Akl hosted the Ninth Annual Queen’s School of Computing Awards ceremony. The awards were created to recognize excellence in various forms of endeavour, an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of those in the school who distinguished themselves through their exceptional work, and as an opportunity to say thank you to those who made a difference in School life.

This year’s awards also recognized the lifetime service of retiring Undergraduate Program Assistant, Irene Lafleche, and 10-year outgoing Director of the School, Selim Akl. This year’s other recipients were:

  • Howard Staveley Teaching Award in Recognition of Teaching Excellence: Wendy Powley (with honourable mention to Robin Dawes)
  • Excellence in Teaching Assistance Award: Matthew Rodgers
  • Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award: Chris Keeler
  • Ph.D. Research Achievement Award: Matthew Holden and Peter Chen
  • Graduate Student Distinguished Service Award: Eric Rapos
  • Ian Macleod Graduate Student Award: Eric Rapos
  • Distinguished Graduate Supervision Award: James Cordy
  • Research Award: Cor-Paul Bezemer
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to School Life: Zach Baum and Vinyas Harish
  • Distinguished Lifetime Service Award: Irene LaFleche and Selim Akl


Photos by Doug Martin

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Queen’s Graduate Computing Society Conference (QGCSC) 2017

Congratulations to the QSC graduate students on their successful edition of the Eighth Annual Queen’s Graduate Computing Society Conference. The event was superbly organized and professionally executed. It included research presentations, a poster session, and invited keynote speaker, Dr Ron Smith from the Royal Military College.

Thanks to the organizing committee, Emese Somogyvari, Si Jia Li, and Eric Rapos. Thanks, too, to all volunteers, participants, and attendees on an excellent QGCSC 2017!



Photos by Doug Martin

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2017 ECOO and QSC East Regional High School Programming Contest

The School of Computing played host for the fourth time to the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s East Regional High School Programming Contest on April 29th. Nineteen teams of up to four student programmers each participated, attempting to solve four challenging programming problems in the span of three hours. The top five teams from Saturday’s contest are eligible to enter the final in the ECOO programming contest series next month in Toronto. Thanks to all the teams and their coaches for participating.

Congratulations to the winning team from Colonel By Secondary Team 1. Honorable mention to second place Nepean High School, third place St. Patrick’s Catholic High School, fourth place Canterbury High School, and fifth place Colonel By Secondary Team 2. Thanks to School of Computing organizer, Richard Linley, to ECOO’s Chris Kulenkamp who acted as principal score-keeper, to School of Computing Manager, Tom Bradshaw, and to the School’s Karen Knight and Doug Martin.


Photos by Doug Martin

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Congratulations to Queen’s School of Computing Professor, Dr. Gabor Fichtinger, and to Dr. C. J. Engel (Surgery)

Congratulations to Queen’s School of Computing Professor, Dr. Gabor Fichtinger, and to Dr. C. J. Engel (Surgery), as well as to their team of researchers, on their successful application to the CIHR Collaborative Health Research Projects (NSERC Partnered) for the project “Real-time Breast Cancer Surgery Navigation”.

The team will work towards eliminating positive margins in breast cancer surgery through biomedical computing research and development.

Well done!

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Creative Computing 2017

Hundreds of interested faculty, students, and staff gathered at the Biosciences Complex on Thursday April 6th for the Queen’s School of Computing’s annual Creative Computing Showcase. The event highlighted the work of the School’s undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on demos, presentations, and posters from a selection of our courses, with topics including Game Design and Game Technology, Computing and the Creative Arts, 4th year projects, and more. Congratulations and thanks to the organizers and participants.

Photos by Doug Martin and Dave Dove

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2017 Invitational High School Programming Contest

Congratulations to Team 1 from St. Theresa Catholic High School, and coach Mr. Daniel Tie Ten Quee for the team’s win in this year’s School of Computing Invitational High School Programming Contest. It was a nail-biting finish as the team slipped into the lead at the very last minute. Thanks to Mr. Tie, and to coaches Mr. Jon Swaine (Sydenham High School), Mr. Matt Smith (Brockville Collegiate Institute), Mr. Jeff Wills (Frontenac Secondary School), and Mr. Robert Chatelain (Leahurst College) for bringing teams to compete in this year’s very successful contest in which 32 students in 8 teams tried to solve four programming problems in three hours. The top teams from the April 3 contest will compete in the Educational Computing Organization Of Ontario’s East Regional Contest, which is also being hosted by the School of Computing, at Queen’s on April 29. Thanks and well done to contest organizer, Richard Linley, to Lynda Moulton, Aaron Visser, Doug Martin, and to School of Computing Manager, Tom Bradshaw.

Photos by Doug Martin

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Congratulations to Two of our Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers!!!

Congratulations to two of our outstanding undergraduate researchers: Rachael House and Anna Ilina. Both students are the recipients of Ontario-Baden-Württemberg Summer Research Program scholarships. Ms. House will be based at the German Cancer Research Center and Ms. Ilina will be based in the Medical Faculty Mannheim.

Both Rachael and Anna are former recipients of the Selim Akl Scholarship in Computing (2013 and 2014, respectively).

Best wishes for a fruitful and enjoyable summer in Heidelberg!

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New Tenure-track Faculty Position Announced

The School of Computing in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University invites applications for a Tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with specialization in Foundations of Computer Science including Theory of Computation, Computer Systems, Database and Big Data, and Programming Languages. Exceptional candidates in other areas may be considered. The preferred starting date is July 1, 2017.

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or a related discipline completed at the start date of the appointment. The main criteria for selection are academic and teaching excellence. The successful candidate is expected to play a major role in the delivery of undergraduate and graduate programs at the School of Computing. The successful candidate will provide evidence of high quality scholarly output that demonstrates potential for independent research leading to peer-assessed publications in one of the foundational areas of Computer Science. A commitment to secure external research funding, as well as strong potential for outstanding teaching contributions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and an ongoing dedication to academic and pedagogical excellence in support of the School’s programs are requirements for this position. Candidates must provide evidence of an ability to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary and student-centred environment. The successful candidate will be required to make substantive contributions through service to the School, the Faculty, the University, and/or the broader community. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For more information, please see the full announcement here.

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CRA Releases Report on Surge in Computer Science Enrollments

Generation CS: Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments Surge Since 2006

Across the United States and Canada, universities and colleges are facing a significant increase in enrollment in both undergraduate computer science (CS) courses and programs. The current enrollment surge has exceeded previous CS booms, and there is a general sense that the current growth in enrollment is substantially different than that of the mid-1980s and late 1990s. To investigate the current situation, the Computing Research Association (CRA) produced an enrollment survey to measure, assess, and better understand enrollment trends and their impact on computer science units, diversity, and more. The survey was administered in parallel with CRA’s annual Taulbee Survey of doctoral-granting units and ACM’s annual NDC Study of non-doctoral granting units in computing. Analysis of the survey is presented in a new report, “Generation CS: CS Enrollments Surge Since 2006,” available for download and online at:

The Generation CS report analyzes the survey results with respect to majors, nonmajors, diversity, impact on academic units, and units’ actions in response to the surge.

  • There has been phenomenal growth of computer science majors in the United States and Canada since 2006 (e.g., the number of CS majors enrolled at doctoral-granting units has more than tripled since 2006); furthermore, the data indicates that continued growth is likely.
  • Units are seeing remarkable growth of nonmajors taking computer science courses and an increase in computer science minors.
  • The impact of the current student enrollment surge on diversity is a concern of many members of the computer science community. While more data is needed, there appears to be some good news regarding both the numbers and percentages of women and underrepresented minority students involved in computer science as majors and as students in CS courses; unfortunately not every unit that responded to the survey is experiencing this growth.
  • The report covers the impact of the current enrollment surge on the unit (e.g., challenges with space and instructional staff), as well as how units are responding to the current surge (e.g., increasing section sizes or number of sections taught).
  • A section on degree completions in computer science from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data is included, which helps advance understanding of the data collected in the CRA Enrollment Survey and provides more information about the current surge in computer science at non-doctoral granting units.

The enrollment growth in the mid-1980s is sometimes referred to as the “PC boom” and the enrollment growth in the late 1990s is sometimes referred to as the “dot-com boom.” CRA Conference at Snowbird attendees suggested that we are currently in “Generation CS”, where CS enrollment across the nation is surging due to the pervasiveness of computing in today’s society. Computing plays a significant role in daily life, and students with interests in a variety of fields are beginning to understand that training in computer science is vital.

To encourage a conversation about the content of the report, we have enabled a comments section located at the bottom of the main report webpage at:

CRA Enrollment Committee

In early 2015, CRA created a committee to investigate increasing enrollments. As part of this effort, an institutional subgroup of this committee developed a CRA Enrollment Survey and produced this report. The subgroup includes:

  • Tracy Camp, Chair, Colorado School of Mines
  • W. Richards Adrion, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • Betsy Bizot, Computing Research Association
  • Susan Davidson, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mary Hall, University of Utah
  • Susanne Hambrusch, Purdue University
  • Ellen Walker, Hiram College
  • Stuart Zweben, The Ohio State University

Main Contact: Tracy Camp, Colorado School of Mines (


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Dr. Parvin Mousavi in the News!

Queen’s School of Computing Professor, Dr. Parvin Mousavi, is in the news today for her work in biomedical computing.

See also

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