Message from the Acting Department Head - Fall 2004

Message from the Acting Department Head - Fall 2004

Xue Dong Yang

Welcome to the Fall 2004 edition of the Computer Science Newsletter. Our department has experienced a continued renewal of faculty and significant development in the academic and research programs in the past year. I would like to welcome our newest faculty member joining Computer Science in July 2004, Dr. Terence Chan. The department now has 19 faculty members.

With approximately 256 undergraduate students and around 80 graduate students currently enrolled, our department continues to be a popular area of study for both undergraduate and graduate students. A number of new courses in several contemporary subject areas, such as digital media, animation, security and open source software have been developed and added to our curriculum at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels. Novel cross-disciplinary initiatives have unfolded into successful academic collaborations, most notable being the Undergraduate Digital Media Lab (UDML) - a joint lab between Media Production and Studies and Computer Science. At the graduate level, our traditional thesis-based M.Sc. program is complemented by two new M.Sc. program options - project and co-op. The new programs offer greater flexibility and options to a wide range of IT professionals and fresh graduates to pursue advanced knowledge. Our Ph.D. program is also steadily growing.

With the renewal of faculty in the last few years, not only the existing research areas are significantly strengthened, but we also see several new research areas under development. At the recent departmental retreat, the idea of forming research clusters among the faculty members was proposed. The motivation is to encourage both the internal and external collaborations in research and to create synergetic critical mass for pursuing significant research projects in the future. The internationally well-known rough set research group in our department will host the 10th International Conference on Rough Sets, Fuzzy Sets, Data Mining, and Granular Computing (RSFDGrC’ 2005) in Regina next year.

Finally, I invite you to attend the 2004 Basterfield Lecture sponsored by the Faculty of Science on October 25. The speaker is a former graduate of ours (B.Sc. in 1979), Dr. Larry Matthies, Supervisor of the Machine Vision Group at NASA’s JPL.

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