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: http://cra.org/data/generation-cs/.

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: http://cra.org/data/generation-cs/.

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 (tcamp@mines.edu)


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Parvin Mousavi Pointed Priorities: Bringing IT into the Clinic

Please check out the following article at  http://www.queensu.ca/research/innovating/mousavi

Well done Parvin!

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David Skillicorn on Linguistic Clues to Fraud in Financial Reports

Professor David Skillicorn is in the news today.  The Smith School’s publication, Insight, has an article about the work he did with Lynette Purda-Heeler and Pam Murphy on fraud transmission via language:

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Welcome Dr. Farhana Zulkernine

The QSC is pleased to welcome Dr. Farhana Zulkernine who begins her appointment this month as a Tenure Track Assistant Professor in the Queen’s School of Computing.

Best wishes!

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A Festschrift for Selim G. Akl….A Message from David Rappaport

“From time to time one comes across a volume containing scholarly submissions honouring a “famous” researcher for his or her contributions to the community. The German word

Festschrift is commonly used to describe such a volume. Wikipedia translates Festschrift as a “celebration publication” or literally “party-writing”.

Some time ago colleagues of Selim Akl were invited to the “party”.  Today an impressive volume sits on my desk next to me as I write this message. It is:

A Festschrift for Selim G. Akl

Emergent Computation (Springer, Switzerland, 2017) is a book dedicated to Professor Selim G. Akl of the Queen’s School of Computing to honour his major research achievements in the field of computer science over four decades. Sixty five researchers from around the world contributed to the volume. Their articles cover a wide variety of research topics, including (among many others) algorithms for good musical rhythms, algorithms that make physical measurements, universality in computation, distributed message systems, descriptional complexity, parallel grammar systems, generalized hypercube machines, parallel sorting, cellular automata, constrained resource networks, vehicular clouds, epigenetic drug discovery, physical maze solvers, computer chess, quantum cryptography, and the structure of social networks.

selim    selim-1

The book is edited by Professor Andrew Adamatzky (Unconventional Computing Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K.) and Kai Salomaa and I wrote the foreword.”


Congratulations Selim!



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Dr. Hossam Hassanein Elevated to IEEE Fellow

The Queen’s School of Computing is pleased to announce that Dr. Hossam Hassanein of the Queen’s School of Computing has been elevated to the rank of IEEE Fellow, the highest grade of membership in the IEEE. The citation is reproduced below.

“Dear Hossam S. Hassanein:

Recognizing the achievements of its members is an important part of the mission of the IEEE. Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for elevation to IEEE Fellow. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation.

It is my great pleasure to inform you that the IEEE Board of Directors, at its November 2016 meeting, elevated you to IEEE Fellow, effective 1 January 2017, with the following citation:

for contributions to protocols, architectures and analysis of multi-hop wireless networks

Within the next two months, you will receive your IEEE Fellow pin and certificate. Both serve as visible recognition of your elevation to the highest grade of membership in the IEEE.

You bring honor to yourself and to IEEE by your achievements. Congratulations!


Barry L. Shoop
2016 IEEE President and CEO”

Congratulations Hossam on a well deserved honor!!

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Jim Cordy Featured in the Gazette for Prize for Excellence in Research

Professor Jim Cordy is in the news today on the occasion of his award of the Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research.

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