People


Faculty

Borzoo Bonakdarpour

Borzoo Bonakdarpour is currently a research assistant professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He was as a post-doctoral researcher at the Verimag Laboratory in Grenoble, France, working on the BIP project led by the 2007 Turing Award recipient, Joseph Sifakis. The aim of the project is to develop theory, methods, and tools for building real-time and distributed systems consisting of heterogeneous components. His other research interests include runtime verification, compositional verification of embedded systems, model synthesis and, in particular, program repair. He is the main developer of the tool SYCRAFT which is capable of synthesizing fault-tolerant distributed programs of the size 10^80 reachable states and beyond. Borzoo Bonakdarpour obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University in 2009. His Ph.D. dissertation, "Automated Revision of Distributed and Real-Time Programs", studies a wide range of revision problems in closed an open systems and was nominated for the 2010 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. He completed his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering at The University of Esfahan, Iran, in 1998. His B. Sc. project on queuing theoretic analysis and implementation of voice over Ethernet won the President of Iran Khawrazmi Research Prize.

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Charles Clarke

Professor Clarke's work addresses problems in information retrieval, question answering, database systems, and software engineering. His work is primarily of an applied nature, with the results validated through implementation, experimentation, and performance measurement. His research has touched on many topics across the broad area of information retrieval: ranking, efficiency, evaluation, question answering, user behaviour, clustering, filtering, document structure and XML. His current work on focused retrieval addresses the size and scope of of results returned from IR systems. In many IR systems, the basic unit of retrieval is a document, which in practice might be a Web page, a news article, or an email message. The goal of focused retrieval is to tailor the result to fit the information need, rather than returning the same pre-defined units under all circumstances. For example, given the query "text compression" over a large collection of academic books and journals, an ideal ranked result list might include a mixture of articles, sections, pages, journals and books. A special issue of a journal might be treated as a single result. A result taken from a textbook devoted to data structures might be expressed as a range of pages, covering part of a single chapter. On the other hand, a textbook entirely devoted to the subject could be returned as a single result, but with key definitions and concepts identified and highlighted as an aid to the searcher. In addition, Professor Clarke has a longstanding interest in evaluation methodologies for information retrieval systems. Over the past several years, his efforts have been directed toward the creation of evaluation measures and test collections that are both realistic and reusable. Most recently, he has been working to develop and validate evaluation measures that account for novelty and diversity in search results. Another current area of research is the implementation of filesystem search. In contrast to many desktop search applications, filesystem search aims to make the search facilities an integral component of the operating system. All filesystem changes are tracked. As files are added, deleted and modified, these changes are immediately reflected in an inverted index, through the use of indexing components specialized to each file type.

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Major Awards

David R. Cheriton Faculty Fellowship, University of Waterloo (2008-2011); IBM CAS Fellow: Corporation Faculty Award (2007); IBM CAS Fellow: Corporation Faculty Award (2006); Professional Engineer of Ontario (2006)


Gordon Cormack

Professor Cormack's research interests are in programming languages, compilers, concurrency, and information storage and retrieval. He is particularly interested in: declarative tools for translation, like parser and attribute grammar generators; type systems and their role in programming-in-the-large; data compression and text processing; notations and architectural support for distributed systems. He is the coach of University of Waterloo's ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest team.

Personal web site

Major Awards

INFORMS 2009 Data Mining Challenge, Winner. (2009); Marsland Faculty Fellow, University of Waterloo (2007-2010); Spam Filtering Performance Award, ECML/PKDD Discovery Channel (2006); ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Champions, Coach (1999); ACSys VLC Medal (1998); Wilkes Medal, British Computer Society (1995)


Sebastian Fischmeister

Sebastian Fischmeister received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in Computer Science at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in March 2000, and his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at the University of Salzburg, Austria in December 2002. He continued working at the University of Salzburg as researcher and lecturer and was awarded the Austrian APART stipend for young, excellent researchers in 2005. He subsequently worked at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, as Post Graduate Research Associate until 2008. Sebastian Fischmeister is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Sebastian Fischmeister performs systems research at the intersection of software technology, distributed systems, and formal methods. His preferred application area is embedded real-time software for automotive systems and medical devices. Key highlights of his research include a framework for scalable location-based pervasive computing systems and state-based tree schedules for verifiable but flexible real-time communication. He is now working on the theory and application of state-based schedules for adaptive systems, a debugging/tracing framework for time-sensitive systems, and runtime verification for real-time systems. As part of the research project, Sebastian Fischmeister will investigate timing-sensitive instrumentation and tracing of soft real-time systems such as multimedia systems.

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Urs Hengartner

Professor Hengartner's research interests are in information privacy and in computer and networks security. In particular, he studies security and privacy aspects of emerging mobile and distributed computing systems, such as location-based services, mobile social networking, and electronic voting. Some sample topics that he has worked on are: Recently, social-networking applications have started to appear on mobile phones. These applications exploit the phones' positioning capabilities to facilitate interaction between people. From a privacy point of view, this trend is troublesome, because it gives the provider of a social-networking application real-time access to people's location. Prof. Hengartner and his students have designed and implemented privacy-preserving technologies for mobile social networking that do not require the continuous release of people's location to an application provider. Location-based services provide services to a person based on her location. But what if this person lies about her location to get unauthorized access? Prof. Hengartner and his students have developed technologies that allow people to prove that they are at a location, but without becoming trackable. End-to-end voter-verifiable voting systems allow voters to verify that their votes were included in the final tally, without revealing which candidate they voted for. Prof. Hengartner and his students have studied and developed several components of such voting systems, such as an efficient auditing mechanism and a publicly auditable way to generate random numbers.

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Craig Kaplan

Professor Kaplan studies the application of computer graphics in art, illustration, ornamentation, and design. This research area is rooted in computer graphics, but involves forays into art (to study historical sources) classical and computational geometry (to develop mathematical and computational models of ornament), and computer-aided design and manufacturing. His goal is to push forward the frontiers of computer graphics and geometry in order to put new tools in the hands of artists and designers. These tools should be sensitive to the artist's needs and desires---they should offer new aesthetic opportunities without usurping the artistic process. Topics explored by Professor Kaplan in the past include: the art of M.C. Escher, particularly his regular divisions of the plane; the mathematical structure and generation of Islamic geometric patterns; black-and-white line art, especially mazes and labyrinths; traditional Chinese and European papercutting; and graphic design based on calligraphy. Professor Kaplan has also conducted research and maintains interests in human-computer interaction, computational geometry (including computational aspects of tiling theory) and programming language design.

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Edward Lank

Professor Lank's research interests are in Human-Computer Interaction and Intelligent User Interfaces. Professor Lank's recent work has focused on determining user intention in computing systems. He has explored the role that measurable parameters of a user's action and the context of the user's action can play in allowing us to determine what a user is trying to accomplish. He has worked on computationally controlling mode in tablet computers, on tolerance is stylus selection gestures, and on endpoint prediction in mouse pointer motion. An overriding goal of this research area is a better understanding of the kinematics of user action using input devices like a mouse, an electronic stylus, or a finger. Professor Lank is also active in pen-computing, specifically working with tablet computers, electronic whiteboards, and handheld computers such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). His early work studied interactive diagram recognition, seeking an understanding of similarities and differences in diagram notations with the goal of developing frameworks for recognizing a broad range of diagrams. His hypothesis was that the spatial arrangement and the order in which people draw symbols can provide additional information on the meaning of the diagram they are drawing, and that using this information can improve computer recognition algorithms. More recently, Professor Lank has been active in the MathBrush project, a University of Waterloo research project designing interactive tablet-based mathematical software. Finally, Professor Lank maintains a general interest in the broad field of HCI, performing both qualitative and quantitative research studies. In collaboration with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, he has explored handheld gaming, the work practices of mathematicians, usable privacy and security, and brand perceptions in on-line search, among other topics.

Personal web site

Major Awards

Best of CHI Nominee (2008); National Science Foundation Career Award (2004)


M. Tamer Özsu

Professor Özsu's research area is data management focusing on three main areas: distributed data management, multimedia databases, and XML management. In the area of distributed data management, Professor Özsu focuses on management of massively distributed data with two broad themes. The first is the investigation of stream data management issues. A data stream is a realtime, continuous, ordered sequence of items that are used to model sensor output, Internet traffic, financial tickers and other applications that continuously produce data. There are significant differences between the type of data managed by traditional DBMSs and stream data focusing on query processing and optimization, and mining of stream data. The second theme is Web data management. Internet and the Web make it feasible to put a lot of data “online”. However, the management of this data is a real problem. He investigates how this data can be retrieved through a combination of database-like querying and information retrieval-like keyword search. In the area of XML databases, he is focusing on efficient execution of queries over XML repositories. XML is the emerging standard for storing documents as well as encoding Web data. The management of XML data requires different considerations than the formatted data that traditional database systems are good at. Professor Özsu investigates the query processing and optimization over distributed XML databases. Finally, in the area of multimedia databases, his work focuses on architectural issues in the management of multiple media types. The starting point is that one monolithic system is unlikely to provide satisfactory support for multiple data types, requiring the development of an “open” architecture that seamlessly combines multiple systems, each focused on one media type. With respect to specific research on various media, he is interested in video databases and the management of audio data.

Personal web site

Major Awards

Fellow of the IEEE (2011); Distinguished Alumnus Award, Ohio State University College of Engineering (2008); ACM Distinguished Lecturer (2007); Fellow of the ACM (2006); ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award (2006); University Research Chair, University of Waterloo (2004-2011); Faculty of Mathematics Fellow, University of Waterloo (2000-2003); McCalla Professor, University of Alberta (1993-1994)


Michael Terry

Professor Terry's work in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) employs methods from the sciences and design disciplines to develop new technologies that address real-world human needs. Together with his students, he has created a range of novel technologies, including a gesture-based presentation system built using computer vision, software license agreements that people actually read, linguistic aids for non-native speakers, and expressive new drawing tools for visual artists. Currently, his primary work examines the unique opportunities and challenges inherent in creating highly usable open source software.

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Graduate Students

Alec Azad, MMath (supervisor: Edward Lank)

Michael Chong, Undergraduate  (supervisor: Charles Clarke)

Sarah Harvey, PhD (supervisors: Urs Hengartner & Charles Clarke)

Karteek Jasti, MMath (supervisor: Charles Clarke)

Ryan King, Undergraduate (supervisor: Charles Clarke)

Matei Negulescu, MMath (supervisor: Ed Lank)

Lesley Northam, PhD (supervisor: Craig S. Kaplan)

Sarah Pidcock, MMath (supervisor: Urs Hengartner)

Gobaan Raveendran, MMath (supervisor: Charles Clarke)

Jaime Ruiz, PhD (supervisor: Ed Lank)

Kyle Spaans, Undergraduate  (supervisor: Michael Terry)

Sean Sorrell, Undergraduate  (supervisor: Michael Terry)

Luchen Tan, PhD (supervisor: Charles Clarke)

Matthew Thorne, PhD (supervisor: Craig S. Kaplan)


Campaign Waterloo

Digital Media Enabling Technologies Project
c/o Institute for Computer Research (DC 1330)
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Tel: 519-888-4530
Fax: 519-746-5036

Contact | Feedback: tamer.ozsu@uwaterloo.ca | Digital Media Enabling Technologies


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