SFU Computing Science Alumnus - One of the Leading Researchers in Canada

September 29, 2009

On September 23rd, the Government of Canada awarded Simon Fraser University (SFU) Computing Science alumnus, Dr. Philip W. L. Fong, a Canada Research Chair Tier II in Software Security.

An Associate Professor in the University of Calgary's Department of Computer Science, Dr. Philip Fong's research focuses on building better software security for mutually suspicious Internet era software systems. He is also interested in designing and analyzing protection mechanisms for social networking sites such as Facebook.

Attributing his research interests to his PhD studies at Simon Fraser University and a little paranoia, Dr. Fong says, "since my SFU years, I have been interested in examining software systems from a formal perspective, and personality-wise I am paranoid; doing research in the area of software security allows me to put both into productive use."

Dr. Rob Cameron, Director of the School of Computing Science at SFU, and Dr. Fong's PhD supervisor, is proud of Dr. Fong's achievement. "Building on his doctoral work in Java Virtual Machine security employing the proof linking architecture, Philip has established himself as a rising star in computer security research with a strong emphasis on formal security and safety properties as well as the deployment and investigation of security principles in working systems."

Dr. Nimal Rajapakse, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at SFU is also enthusiastic about Dr. Fong's accomplishment. "It is with great pride that we celebrate Dr. Fong's receipt of a prestigious Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the field of Software Security.  Our faculty's commitment to leading edge research is reflected in the international calibre of Dr. Fong's scholarship and we are extremely proud to have had a formative influence on his work."
"Canada's government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy, improve Canadians' quality of life and create the jobs of tomorrow - today," said Minister of State (Science and Technology), Hon. Gary Goodyear. "The Canada Research Chairs program helps attract and retain the best researchers from the country and around the world to Canadian universities, which has direct benefits for our communities."

Excited about examining the software security problems on mathematical, computational and social levels, Fong wants to find a solution to "help mutually suspicious software components co-operate without compromising security."

Fondly remembering his time at Simon Fraser University, Dr. Fong says, "The School of Computing Science was an important nurturing ground for me in my formative years. Dr. Cameron's support and encouragement taught me to strive for elegance and clarity, to bring realism into my research, and to simply be someone who is genuinely excited about intellectual pursuits."

To learn more about Dr. Fong's research, please visit http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~pwlfong/Written By: Salima Vastani