Welcome from Raouf Boutaba, Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science

On behalf of the faculty and staff at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, I offer a warm welcome to our new and returning students. We look forward to meeting you and exploring computer science together.

With more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students, we are the largest school of computer science in Canada, yet we are also a tightly knit and highly collaborative community of researchers, scholars and learners.

photo of Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

The Cheriton School of Computer Science has been the top computer science school in Canada and among the best internationally for many years. We are ranked number one in Canada for the second year in a row based on program and research reputation according to the Maclean’s 2022 university rankings. And computer science remains Waterloo’s top-rated subject internationally, coming in at 25th among more than 1,100 universities according to the 2022 Quacquarelli Symonds worldwide university subject rankings.

Our professorial, emeritus and lecturer faculty members, who number more than 100, are nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Their research spans all fields within computer science — from foundational work on the theory of computation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, to data systems, systems and networking, and programming languages, to cryptography, security and privacy, human-computer interaction, software engineering, symbolic computation, and much more. 

The Cheriton School of Computer Science is home to eight Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, seven Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, and seven Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. We also have many winners of awards and honours from prestigious national and international research societies and associations, and our faculty have been recognized for excellence in teaching through awards from the Faculty of Mathematics and the University of Waterloo.

Our students are among the best in the world. We are the only Canadian university to win the International Collegiate Programming Contest, the largest and most prestigious university-level algorithmic programming contest in the world. In June 2022, Cheriton students placed second in the east division and fourth overall at the 2022 International Collegiate Programming Contest’s North America Championship round, qualifying the team to compete at the ICPC World Finals in 2023. 

We play a major role in training the next generation of women computer science students and leaders, critically important work promoted by our Women in Computer Science committee. We are also proud of the efforts of our new committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which advocates for equity across marginalized and underrepresented groups, fosters an inclusive environment, and works towards recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, staff, and students.

What sets the Cheriton School of Computer Science apart is our commitment to excellence in education and research. Quite simply, across our students, staff and faculty we attract the best and brightest, which creates a virtuous circle that reinforces itself. Co-op education that mixes academics with work experience is one well-known ingredient, but another factor in making computer science a success at Waterloo is that we encourage entrepreneurship and facilitate collaboration with industry. These interactions provide students and faculty the opportunity to address real-world problems and work with a wide variety of companies, from ambitious start-ups to tech giants. 

Our students, staff and faculty have accomplished much since computer science was established at Waterloo in 1967. We look forward to what the next 55 years will bring.

Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director
Cheriton School of Computer Science