Wendy Powley and David Skillicorn Receive Teaching and Learning Enhancement Grants

Wendy Powley and David Skillicorn

2019 Teaching and Learning Enhancement Grant Recipients: Wendy Powley and David Skillicorn

Read the full article in the Gazette

Introductory Computer Science Mentorship Program

Wendy Powley, School of Computing
Learning to program can be challenging and intimidating, especially for young women who feel they don’t belong in a male-dominated field. Creative Computing (CISC 110) is a course designed to entice women to try computing for the first time. In the class, 60 per cent of students are female. Although inspired by the course, many do not continue to take further courses. The goal of this peer-mentoring project is to provide students with individualized assistance in the form of active learning, code walk-throughs, detailed written feedback, and personal support to solidify their knowledge and boost their confidence. The mentorship program will also foster leadership and further the School of Computing’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. The goal is to increase the number of students (particularly women) who continue in Computer Science after taking CISC 110 and to train students to educate and mentor in an inclusive and sensitive manner.

Simulations, Role-Play and Long-form Scenarios: An emerging experiential learning opportunity to teach through complex issues

Kathryn Fizzell, Experiential Learning Hub; David Skillicorn, School of Computing
Simulation-based exercises are a way to bring real-world scenarios into the classroom, creating unique hands-on learning opportunities for students. This project explores simulations that involve presenting students with a specific situation and problem, and assigning them roles that require them to work together to develop tactics and strategies for responding in positive ways. To support faculty and project coordinators in using this form of experiential learning, the EL Hub, in partnership with the School of Computing, will conduct background research on pedagogical strategies related to simulation, role-play, and long form scenarios to create practical resources and materials for supporting their design and delivery. These materials will be piloted through a long-form scenario table-top cybersecurity training exercise being delivered by the School of Computing to students in the new NSERC CREATE Cybersecurity Graduate Training Program and promoted to other faculty and project coordinators through the EL Hub website and workshop presentations.

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2nd Annual Computing Student Research Conference

During Friday evening and Saturday, students gathered from around Ontario to participate in the second Computing Student Research Conference (CSearch). Students attended keynote talks provided by Dr. Amber Simpson (Queen’s University), Dr. James Wu (CEO, InnerSpace Technology Inc), and Wes Garland (CTO, Kings Distributed Systems). Workshops were provided by Karim Jahed (Queen’s University) and Gustavo Olivia (Queen’s University). Students also participated in both oral and poster presentations. Congratulations to the winners Lama Moukahal (oral presentation) and Dhruv Patel (poster presentation). We loved seeing all the great work being done by students and can’t wait to see what is in store for next year.

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James Cordy, Thomas Dean, Andrew Malton, and Kevin Schneider receive the Most Influential Paper award

James Cordy, Thomas Dean,  Andrew Malton, and Kevin Schneider receive the Most Influential Paper award

Congratulations to School of Computing Professor Emeritus James Cordy, cross-appointed ECE Professor Thomas Dean, former Professor Dr. Andrew Malton of Blackberry, and former PhD graduate Prof. Kevin Schneider of the University of Saskatchewan, on receiving the Most Influential Paper award at the 19th International Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation in Cleveland, Ohio today. Their 2001 paper, “Software Engineering by Source Transformation – Experience with TXL” was specially recognized as one of the two most influential papers from the more than 350 published in the first two decades of the conference.

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Farhana Zulkernine Awarded Research Infrastructure Funding

A total of $930,000 in new provincial investments in local research projects was announced on Monday. Attending the event were, from left: Farhana Zulkernine (Computing); Michael Rainbow (Mechanical and Materials Engineering); Bhavin Shastri (Physics); Kingston and Thousand Islands MPP Ian Arthur; Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane; Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark; Interim Vice-Principal (Research) Kimberly Woodhouse; Laura Wells (Chemical Engineering); and Sheela Abraham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences). (University Communications)

A total of $930,000 in new provincial investments in local research projects was announced on Monday. Attending the event were, from left: Farhana Zulkernine (Computing); Michael Rainbow (Mechanical and Materials Engineering); Bhavin Shastri (Physics); Kingston and Thousand Islands MPP Ian Arthur; Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane; Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark; Interim Vice-Principal (Research) Kimberly Woodhouse; Laura Wells (Chemical Engineering); and Sheela Abraham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences).

Congratulations Dr. Farhana Zulkernine for her Infrastructure grant on ‘Building a smart framework to address real-time processing and storage of multi-modal big data’.

Read the full article in the Gazette at Funding on the cutting edge

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Two More Tenure-Track Positions at Queen’s School of Computing

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 Human-Computer Interaction. Candidates with specialization in all areas of Human-Computer Interaction are encouraged to apply, including: interaction design, accessibility, playful interaction, user interface engineering, and novel interaction techniques including augmented and virtual reality, wearables, and bodily interaction.

The School of Computing in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University also invites applications for a Tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with specialization in Cybersecurity.

The preferred starting date of both positions is July 1, 2020, and applications are due October 31, 2019. In the instance that an exceptional candidate is identified, a tenured appointment at the rank of Associate Professor may be considered.

This is in addition to the teaching-focused tenure-track position, and the software engineering tenure-track position already announced.

For details on all of these positions, including how to apply, please visit their respective postings:

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Tenure Track Position in Software Engineering at Queen’s School of Computing

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 or Associate Professor in Software Engineering with a preferred starting date of July 1, 2020.  In the case of an exceptional candidate, a tenured appointment at the rank of Associate Professor would be considered. All areas of Software Engineering are welcome. The following areas are of particular interest: Software Engineering with and for AI and Machine Learning, DevOps, Performance Engineering, Program Analysis, Testing and Software Quality.

For more information see the full job post.

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A Weekend to Remember – Celebrating 50 Years

Last weekend marked the beginning of our 50th year in the School of Computing. The festivities welcomed back our alumni, our previous department heads, and our retired faculty and staff. Together with many of our current faculty, staff, and students, we acknowledged and celebrated this community for how it has shaped the School into what we are today. Over 100 attendees from ages as young as 2 months, Countries as far as Australia and Kuwait, and alumni since 1978, joined the celebration.

The diversity of this community led to a weekend of storytelling. The events were filled with hums of conversations, sharing stories of our times at Queen’s School of Computing, where our lives led us after we graduated to today, and how computing set the pathway for these journeys.

Our Opening Reception at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre included live music from our very own David Rappaport and featured special guests Barbara Crow, Dean of Arts and Science and Fahim Quadir, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

The Campus Tour provided our alumni with stories about all the initiatives at Queen’s over the previous 20 years. Many who had not visited the School in over 25 years could not believe the change as they explored new buildings such as Mitchell Hall, the Recreation Centre, Stauffer Library, and Goodes Hall. The favourite was exploring our home base Goodwin Hall and reminiscing on our times of the past.

Our 50th Banquet at Four Points by Sheraton featured guest speakers Bob Crawford, Mike Jenkins, Selim Akl, Tom Bradshaw, and Liz Hache who shared their stories about the history, people, and technology of our School from 1969 to present day. Wendy Powley was our MC for the evening.

At the event, Hossam Hassanein, Director of Queen’s School of Computing, announced two new Scholarships funded by the School that will help support our current and future students. You can contribute to these new Scholarships in memory of someone at https://www.givetoqueens.ca/computing50th

The Karilee Whiteway Scholarship for Women in Computing

This annual scholarship of $1500 will support female QSC students to attend the annual Canadian Celebration of Women Conference founded by the Women in the School of Computing group in 2010.

Queen’s School of Computing 50th Anniversary Commemorative Scholarship

Established in 2019 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Queen’s School of Computing (QSC), and in memory of all members who have served the School, this scholarship is awarded in September of each year to a QSC student registered in their third year of study. The recipient, selected by the QSC, is a student who has achieved distinction both academically and in service to the community.

Hassanein acknowledged all our past Department Heads and those in attendance received plaques to commemorate their contributions to the School. Thank you to our Department Heads:

  • Cecil Law, 1968 – 1969
  • Stuart Baxter, 1969 – 1972
  • Michael Levison, 1972 – 1973, 1990 – 1997
  • Donald Jardine, 1973 – 1979
  • Michael Jenkins, 1979 – 1982
  • Glenn MacEwen, 1982 – 1987
  • David Barnard, 1987 – 1990
  • Janice Glasgow, 1997 – 2002
  • James Cordy, 2002 – 2004, 2005 -2007
  • Patrick Martin, 2004 – 2005
  • Selim Akl, 2007 – 2017

Lastly, he recognized two past and current staff members for their outstanding service to the School:

  • Tom Bradshaw for 40 Years of Excellence at QSC
  • Irene LaFleche for being the Heart of the QSC family

Thank you to all who attended and made the start of our 50th year one that we will remember and cherish. We are excited to welcome more of our community to our 50th Homecoming Reception on Friday, October 18th.

Register for our Homecoming Reception to commemorate our 50th year.

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School of Computing set to celebrate 50th anniversary

Register now at School of Computing – 50th Anniversary Weekend

More info at School of Computing 50th Anniversary Celebration

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette Editor, Original Source Queen’s Gazette

The School of Computing is marking 50 years at Queen’s University with a series of events, starting with the 50thanniversary celebration Aug. 16-18.

In preparing for the events, organizing committee members Wendy Powley and Sara Perosa sifted through the school’s photo archives. Often they found familiar faces looking back at them, many who still work here, teaching, doing research or keeping the school running. This continuity is a stark contrast to the world of computing which has seen massive changes over the past five decades – from machines that filled entire rooms to the ubiquity of handheld devices.

The result of that stability, however, has been a sense of community within the school, explains Powley, an assistant professor at the School of Computing.

“There are a lot of people who have spent their entire careers here in the School of Computing. That speaks to what a great environment we have in the school. It helps that Kingston is a great place to live as well,” she says. “Our sense of community is something we foster with our students. Queen’s, in general, has a great sense of community, but within the school we are family.”

For Perosa, a School of Computing alumna and recent arrival as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, exploring the history of the school and its people was a welcome exercise.

It was really good to see the sense of community here,” she says. “Everybody looked comfortable, like they were amongst friends.”

On Aug. 16-18, alumni, university administrators, current students and faculty and staff from the past and present are taking part in the 50th anniversary festivities to celebrate not only the past but to welcome the many new faculty and staff to the school as it embarks on what is certain to be an exciting second half-century.

The golden celebration begins on Friday, kicked off by a reception at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and a euchre tournament.  Friday afternoon euchre at the Grad Club has been a long-standing tradition at the school.

Saturday features a full day of events including brunch, a mix-and-mingle at the Grad Club, and the 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception and Banquet at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, starting at 6 pm.

Sunday is open for attendees to explore the university and Kingston.

Already there are more than 100 registrations and there is room for more. To register go to the Queen’s Alumni website.

Several events are planned for the academic year, including a speaker series. The first event features Eli Blevis, the School of Computing’s first PhD student who is now Professor of Informatics in Human-Computer Interaction Design at Indiana University. Plans are also in the works for Homecoming while the anniversary will be incorporated into orientation for this year’s incoming students.

Find out more about the School of Computing.

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Welcome to our new faculty members

A warm welcome to our three new faculty members Dr. Steven Ding, Dr. Amber Simpson, and Dr. Sameh Sorour who joined the School of Computing this month.


Dr. Steven Ding

Dr. Ding received his PhD from McGill University in 2019, and he was awarded the FRQNT Doctoral Research Scholarship of Quebec and the Dean’s Graduate Award at McGill University. He leads the L1NNA Artificial Intelligence and Security Lab which is supported in part by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

As a faculty member in the School of Computing, Dr. Steven Ding’s expertise will bridge the domain of machine learning, data mining, and cybersecurity to promote our Canadian defense excellence and secure the future of AI systems.

Research Interests

Data Mining, Machine Learning, Security.


Dr. Amber Simpson

Dr. Simpson received her PhD in Computer Science from Queen’s University in 2010. After graduating, she worked at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville as a Research Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering. Following this, Simpson transferred to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She is an American Association of Cancer Research award winner and the holder of multiple National Institutes of Health grants.

As a faculty member in the School of Computing and Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Dr. Amber Simpson’s expertise will contribute to the Queen’s cancer clinical trials. By examining the biomedical data and using machine learning, Simpson will continue to develop new biomarkers that improve patient care.

Research Interests

Machine learning, Medical image analysis, Computer aided surgery.


Dr. Sameh Sorour

Dr. Sourour received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2011. After graduating, he held a MITACS industrial postdoctoral fellowship with Siradel Canada and the University of Toronto. Following this, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and two assistant professor positions at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and University of Idaho.

As a faculty member in the School of Computing, Dr. Sameh Sorour’s expertise will contribute to government agencies and industrial partners to help build intelligent and automated cyber-physical systems for smart cities, and develop new technologies to perform collaborative computing and data analytics on mobile edge devices such as smartphones, laptops, drones, and vehicles.

Research Interests

Mobile Edge Learning, IoT, Edge Computing and Networking, Cyber-Physical and Autonomous Systems, Intelligent Vehicles and Transportation Systems, Network Coding.

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David Skillicorn Awarded $1.65 Million in Federal Funding

The federal government of Canada awarded professor Dr. David Skillicorn and his research team $1.65 million in funding. This funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), was used towards the School of Computing’s new cybersecurity CREATE program. The cybersecurity graduate program will provide students with cybersecurity skills that are in critical demand for defending Canada’s government, critical infrastructure, businesses, and citizens.

The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs.[1] Today, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Science and Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of $29.6 million through the CREATE program of NSERC. This support will allow 18 research teams of students and post-doctoral fellows to pursue and apply new knowledge in collaborative settings and develop the skills they need to help them in their future careers.[2]

This cybersecurity graduate program in the School of Computing begins this September. The program is a specialization of the existing graduate degree programs at Queen’s or RMC. The cybersecurity CREATE program offers an enriched experience in cybersecurity, including specialized courses in cybersecurity, and professional development, a range of technical courses, a social science course, an internship, and a red team/blue team exercise. Graduates of this program will have the technical skills to make a contribution to improving Canada’s digital and online safety, with a deeper understanding of how cybersecurity fits into the larger world of organizational and government priorities.

Read the article in the Gazette: Research for a safer Canada

Learn more about this program at cyber.cs.queensu.ca.


[1] http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/Grants-Subs/CREATE-FONCER_eng.asp
[2] http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1084

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