CS 2019-2020 Academic Year in Review

September 30, 2020

The School of Computing Science at SFU is comprised of world-class researchers, talented instructors and a motivated group of staff, all dedicated to the success of its students and advancing cutting-edge research in computer science. This past year was especially successful in terms of faculty and student awards, as well as welcoming top researchers to our school.

Here is the 2019-2020 academic year in review for the School of Computing Science. 
*All content is taken from between September 2019 and August 2020

Table of contents: 

Major Faculty Awards

Sheelagh Carpendale 

  • Induction into Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Visualization Academy (2019)

Parmit Chilana 

Eugene Fiume (2020)

  • Induction into ACM SIGGRAPH Academy

Ke Wang

  • NSERC DAS (2019)

Tianzheng Wang 

  • IEEE TCSC Award for Excellence in Scalable Computing (Early Career Researchers) (2019)

Hao (Richard) Zhang


Test of Time Awards

Yasu Furukawa

  • PAMI Longuet-Higgins prize at CVPR 2020, recognizing CVPR papers from ten years ago with significant impact on computer vision research. 


Best paper awards: 

Student News

CS Research Day hosted on October 1st

On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, SFU School of Computing Science graduate students presented their research at CS Research Day. The event was filled with networking, faculty lectures, poster presentations and more.

Software Systems students use their education for good to improve healthcare in Uganda

SFU software systems students are working with health-care workers in Uganda, and academic researchers in London, to develop new technology that will identify pregnancy complications among women in rural communities.

SFU to train next generation of cybersecurity specialists  

Cybercrime damages are expected to rise to $6 trillion annually by next year, when 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions across the globe are expected. SFU’s School of Computing Science is gearing up to address this severe talent shortage in the cybersecurity field by launching a new cybersecurity specialization as part of the Professional Master's Program in Computer Science. 

Three Professional Master’s Program groups win Innovation Prize for project presentations  

After presenting their projects to advisors, three teams in the Professional Master’s Program have received Innovation Prizes for their work. Two groups from the Big Data concentration were selected, as well as one group from Visual Computing.

Biomedical computing students use their skills to research                COVID-19

Undergrad students in Professor Ghassan Hamarneh’s Biomedical Computing course were encouraged to research the COVID-19 pandemic for their final class project.

SFU graduate combines Software Systems and Music for her degree

Software systems and music are not often seen as a common pairing. For SFU graduand Kat Siu, however, combining these two degrees has prepared her to work in the gaming industry.

Computing science graduate researches online hate speech to prevent real-world hate crimes

Hoping to make a real-world impact with her research, computing science graduand Bdour Al-Zeer focused her master's thesis on the topic of hate speech. 

PhD student wins best paper award at CVPR

First-year PhD student Zhiqin Chen, his supervisor professor Richard Zhang, together with computing science alumnus Andrea Tagliasacchi (a senior research scientist at Google) won the Best Student Paper Award.

SFU Invent the Future program reaches more students than ever before

For the third consecutive year, SFU’s School of Computing Science hosted the Invent the Future: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Scholars Program.


New Faculty Hires

Yagiz Aksoy (Assistant Professor)

  • Computer graphics, computational photography. 
  • PhD, ETH, 2019. 

Alaa Alameldeen (Associate Professor)

  • Computer architecture, memory systems. 
  • Last at Intel Labs. 
  • PhD, Wisconsin, 2006. 

Saba Alimadadi (Assistant Professor)

  • Software engineering, program analysis. 
  • Postdoc, Northeastern. PhD, UBC, 2017. 

Angel Chang (Assistant Professor, CIFAR AI Chair)

  • Natural language processing, computer graphics. 
  • Postdoc, Princeton. PhD, Stanford, 2015. 

Steven Ko (Associate Professor)

  • Distributed systems, networking. 
  • Last at University of Buffalo. 
  • PhD, UIUC, 2009. 

Ke Li (Assistant Professor)

  • Machine learning, computer vision. 
  • Last at Google and member of IAS, Princeton. 
  • PhD, Berkeley, 2019. 

Hang Ma (Assistant Professor)

  • AI, robotics, machine learning. 
  • PhD, USC, 2019. 

Tao Wang (Assistant Professor)

  • Computer security and privacy, machine learning. 
  • Last at HKUST. 
  • PhD, Waterloo 2015. 

CS @ SFU by the Numbers:

  • 68 faculty members 
  • 3 Royal Society of Canada Fellows 
  • 1 ACM Fellow, 2 IEEE Fellows, and 1 SIAM Fellow 
  • 2 Canadian Academy of Engineering fellows 
  • 1 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy member, 1 ACM CHI Academy member, and 1 IEEE Visualization Academy Member 
  • 2 NSERC E. W. R. Steacie Fellowship recipients 
  • 12 NSERC DAS Award recipients 
  • 6 Google Faculty Research Awards 
  • 5 Test of Time Awards from top venues: CVPR, ICCV, ICDE, INFOCOMM, and SIGKDD 
  • *411 PhD and MSc Students 
  • *2,545 undergraduate students 

*Numbers are as of June 2020 from IRP