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Stephen Watt

MMath Applied Math ’81, PhD Computer Science ’86

stephen watt headshot

Stephen is a Distinguished University Professor at Western and Lead Director, Descartes Systems Group.  Stephen completed a PhD in 1986 in Computer Science  and a Masters of Math in 1981 in Applied Math at the University of Waterloo. While at Waterloo, Watt was one of the original authors of the Maple computer algebra system.

Following his studies at Waterloo, Watt served as a research staff member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre in Yorktown Heights, New York. There he worked on computer algebra systems and compilers.  

Since 1996, Watt has been a Professor, first at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France and then at the University of Western Ontario (Western University), initially appointed as Chair of the Department of Computer Science.  In 1988, Watt was a co-founder of Maplesoft, a software company based on Maple.  In 2001, he joined the board of directors of the Descartes Systems Group Inc., a software-as-a-service company, where he served as Chair of the Board  2003 to 2007 and Lead Independent Director starting in 2011.

Widely regarded as Canada’s top figure in computer algebra, Watt has received numerous awards for his work.