Waterloo computer scientists receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Don Cowan and Emeritus Ric Holt among six nationally honoured recipients.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Don Cowan and Emeritus Ric Holt among six nationally honoured recipients.By Joe Petrik Cheriton School of Computer Science
This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Don Cowan and Professor Emeritus Richard C. “Ric” Holt have received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in Computer Science from CS-Can/Info-Can, the national organization of Canadian computer science departments, schools and faculties.
Conferred annually, these prestigious awards recognize outstanding and sustained achievement in research, teaching and service.
“It’s wonderful to see Don and Ric’s accomplishments recognized by CS-Can/Info-Can,” said Mark Giesbrecht, director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. “Congratulations to these two distinguished pioneers of computer science who have contributed immeasurably to both the field and to the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science through their years of leadership, scholarship, teaching and service.”
The 2017 awards will be presented at the annual CS-Can/Info-Can Awards Dinner, which will be held at York University in Toronto on May 7, 2018.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Don Cowan is a Canadian pioneer in computer science. Shortly after completing his PhD in 1965, Don became head of the Computer Science Division of the Mathematics Department at the University of Waterloo. In 1967, he became Chair of the Department of Applied Analysis and Computer Science, a new academic unit that launched with only four faculty members of professorial rank in computer science.
Within five years, Don expanded the department to 26 research faculty and five lecturers. Although it has been close to half a century since he served as department chair, Don set the tone that has established the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science as Canada’s largest and best-known computer science program.
Professor Emeritus Ric Holt has been a pioneer of computer science since his arrival at the University of Toronto as an assistant professor in 1970 and continuing at the University of Waterloo since 1997. He has made a number of seminal contributions in a variety of computer systems research areas, from work on operating systems and programming languages, compilers and computer science education, to software architecture modelling and software analytics.
Ric has supervised many PhD students who have themselves become leading academics. He has authored and coauthored dozens of highly cited journal and conference publications, many of which are classics in their field.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.