Raouf Boutaba receives Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Professor Raouf Boutaba, Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science, has received the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision, a recognition conferred annually since 2005 by Waterloo’s Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs in collaboration with the Graduate Student Association.

Nomination for the award is based on submissions from former graduate students. In addition to the honour, recipients also receive a $1,000 cash prize.

“Congratulations to Raouf on winning the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision,” said Mark Giesbrecht, Professor of Computer Science and Dean of Mathematics. “I have seen firsthand the exceptional mentorship and guidance he has provided to a generation of graduate students, many of whom have won prestigious academic awards of excellence themselves and are now leaders in industry and academia.”

photo of Professor Raouf Boutaba

Since joining Waterloo in 1999 as a professor of computer science, Raouf Boutaba has held a number of academic appointments including Associate Dean of Research from 2016 to 2019 and Associate Dean of Innovation and Entrepreneurship from 2019 to 2020, both in the Faculty of Mathematics. Since 2020 he has been the Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. His many awards include being named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and being named a University Research Chair.

Professor Boutaba is known for his pioneering contributions to automated management, which led directly to the trend toward autonomic networking, and for his groundbreaking work on network virtualization and network softwarization that are revolutionizing the way communication networks are designed, operated and managed. The papers he, his students and collaborators have published have been cited more than 36,100 times with an h-index of 77 as of March 2024 according to Google Scholar. 

Professor Boutaba is one of three faculty members at Waterloo to receive the prestigious Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2024.

Over his career at the University of Waterloo, Professor Boutaba has supervised 24 doctoral and 47 master’s students and has advised 17 postdoctoral researchers. Five of his former PhD students have received prestigious awards for their dissertations, among them three Best Dissertation Awards, two Alumni Gold Medals, the Mathematics Doctoral Prize, and the inaugural David R. Cheriton Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award. 

A refrain common in the letters submitted by Professor Boutaba’s nominators note that he is a supportive and dedicated supervisor who puts the interests of his graduate students ahead of his own, a mentor who instills upon his students the importance of diligence, technical excellence and rigour in research, and who helps them build the confidence to explore interesting ideas both independently and collaboratively.

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