Science & Technology

Concordia celebrates 50 years of computer science teaching and research

Software engineering joins up

Since then, things have evolved at breakneck speed.

In 1998, the faculty introduced Quebec’s first program in software engineering as part of the computer science department. The program went on to be accredited by Engineers Canada’s Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board in 2002. This prompted the department to choose a representative name, and it officially became today’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering in 2004.

Come 2009, both the software engineering and computer science programs passed the accreditation process of the Canadian Information Processing Society.

As the department grew, it occupied many homes along the way.

“We first started in the Hall Building and then moved to the 10th floor of the Library Building when it was built,” says Lata Narayanan, current department chair.

“When the faculty occupied the EV Building, we joined them on the third floor. Now, for the past year, we have called the ER Building our home, where we occupy almost four entire floors — from the ninth to the 12th.”

Looking to the future

Narayanan is supported by two associate chairs, Weiyi Shang, associate professor, and Juergen Rilling, professor. Together, they lead a department that boasts more than 50 faculty, including:

  • Yann-Gaël Guéhéneuc, professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Empirical Software Engineering for the Internet of Things
  • Tristan Glatard, associate professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Big Data Infrastructures for Neuroinformatics, co-director of the Concordia University Applied AI Institute
  • Marta Kersten-Oertel, associate professor, head of Applied Perception Lab and scientific director of the Biomedical Science and Engineering Research Hub in Concordia’s School of Health
  • Emad Shihab, associate professor, Concordia University Research Chair in Data Analytics for Software Systems, and associate dean of research and innovation

“The department recently started two new multidisciplinary programs in health and life sciences and in data sciences. We have welcomed new faculty to work in key strategic areas such as machine learning, computer networks and human computer interaction,” Narayanan shares.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we continue to build momentum within our research and community. I am very optimistic about the future.”


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