Department of Computer Science (University of Toronto)
The Department of Computer Science (DCS) at the University of Toronto is an administrative unit within the Faculty of Arts and Science. Established on 1 July 1964, the department is currently one of the highest ranked computer science departments in the world, placing first amongst Canadian universities and tenth worldwide. The department offers undergraduate and postgraduate education. Undergraduates receive a Honours Bachelors in Science upon graduation.
The department currently has 68 faculty members. As of February 2011, 800 undergraduate students are enrolled in a University of Toronto subject POSt sponsored by the department.
The department's predecessor, The Computation Centre, was formed in 1952. Shortly after its formation, it housed FERUT, the first electronic computer in Canada. The Computation Centre was renamed to the Institute for Computer Science in 1962, before being absorbed by the newly created Department of Computer Science in 1964. The new department, with only six faculty members and four graduate students, had Canada's only computer science doctorate program at the time.
An undergraduate program was introduced in 1971.
The department became an administrative unit in the Faculty of Arts and Science in 1981.
The field of Computer Science at the University of Toronto consistently ranks among the highest in the world. In the 2008 ranking by field and by individual subject published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University the University of Toronto finished 8th in the world in the subject of Computer Science. The 2012 QS World University Rankings the University of Toronto was ranked 11th under the subject of Computer Science.
- Geoffrey Hinton is one of the world's foremost researchers in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Hinton was awarded the 2010 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.
- Mark Braverman focuses on complexity theory, the theory of real computation, machine learning, algorithms, game theory, and applications of computer science in health care and medicine. Braverman was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship on February 2011.
- Aaron Hertzmann is well known in his work of linking three separate research areas within computer science: computer graphics, machine learning and computer vision. Hertzmann was awarded the 2010 Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences.
- Charlie Rackoff is a cryptologist. His research interests are in computational complexity. Rackoff was the recipient of the 2011 RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the field of Mathematics.
- C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb was the founder of The Computation Centre and also helped in founding the Department of Computer Science in 1964. He is recipient of the Order of Canada, and Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, British Computer Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery. Gotlieb is also the founding member and former president of the Canadian Information Processing Society.
- James (Jim) Horning was a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science from 1969 to 1977. Jim's research interests were in the areas of programming language design, compilers and software engineering. Jim and one of his graduate students designed and implemented on of the first widely used LALR parser generators. He was involved in the design/implementation of a number of programming language including XPL, SUE System Language, Euclid and Modula. His work with PhD student John Guttag led to the Larch system for algebraic specification, which is still a widely-used tool. In the Computer Science Department at the University of Toronto, Jim was instrumental in establishing the software engineering program.
The department has 11 research groups:
Starting September 2011, the department began to offer a new curriculum for students interested in Computer Science. The department currently offers students a choice of a Computer Science Minor, Major or a Specialist program. Students applying for a Specialist program may choose one of the following concentrations. Participation in a concentration is optional, however, recongition will be award to the students who participated in a particular concentration. The department advises students to "treat them as advice on how to choose your courses." The new curriculum is aimed at giving students more flexibility in choosing their courses without worrying about program course restrictions. Existing students will be given the option to change to the new programs or stay with the previous curriculum. As of Spring 2013, the program requirements are still undergoing change from time to time with each update to the curriculum.
- Computer Systems
- Scientific Computing
- Theory of Computation
- Computer Vision
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Game Design
- Computational Linguistics & Natural Language Processing
- Web and Internet Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence
- Formal Languages and Logic
For students who started their undergraduate studies before September 2010, the department offered a choice of a Computer Science Major or a Specialist program. Students applying for a Specialist program may choose one of the following options:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Information Systems
- Software Engineering
- Computer Science and Economics
- Computer Science and Mathematics
- Computer Science and Physics
- Computer Science and Statistics
- Human-Computer Interaction
Undergraduate Computer Science students are represented by the Computer Science Student Union (CSSU). The CSSU organizes Pub Nights, Movie Nights, and two Game Nights per year. The CSSU also sells discounted refreshments to students in its office.
Recent Industrial Successes
- Past faculty member Songnian Zhou's Platform Computing Corporation was acquired by IBM (2011)
- Alumnus Ameet Shah's Five Mobile was picked up by Zynga (2011)
- Alumnus Shahzad Malik's CognoVision was acquired by Intel (2010)
- Current faculty member Nick Koudas and alumnus Nilesh Bansal sold their company Sysomos to Marketwire (2010)
- Alumnus Anand Agarawala's BumpTop acquired by Google (2010)
- Cloud technology company Gridcentric launched by members of the department's Systems & Networks Lab (2009)
- Academic Ranking of World Universities in Computer Science - 2010
- History of DCS
- U of T computer scientist wins Herzberg Canada Gold Medal
- Two early-career scientists awarded prestigious Sloan Fellowships
- University of Toronto Computer Scientist Awarded Steacie Prize
- DCS Professor wins 2011 RSA Conference Award
- Calvin C. (Kelly) Gotlieb
- Computer Science Community
- 2010-2011 Faculty of Arts and Science Calendar