On occasion the School grants an honorary degree to a particularly
distinguished computer scientist who is invited to speak at the
graduation ceremony of the School of Computing.
William Buxton, Ll.D. (Queen's) 2009
Bill Buxton is a relentless advocate for innovation, design, and - especially - the appropriate consideration of human values, capacity, and culture in the conception, implementation, and use of new products and technologies. This is reflected in his research, teaching, talks, and writing - including his column on design and innovation for BusinessWeek.com, and his 2007 book, Sketching User Experiences. In December 2005, he was appointed Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, and prior to that, he was Principal of his own Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm, Buxton Design.
Bill began his career as a composer and performer, having done a Bachelor of Music degree at Queen's University. He then studied and taught for two years at the Institute of Sonology, Utrecht, Holland. In 1975 he started designing his own digital musical instruments. This is what led him to the University of Toronto, where he completed an MSc in Computer Science, and subsequently jointed the faculty. It is also the path that brought him into the field of human-computer interaction, which is his technical area of specialty.
From 1987-89, Bill was in Cambridge England, helping establish a new satellite of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (EuroPARC). From 1989-94 he split his time between Toronto, where he was Scientific Director of the Ontario Telepresence Project, and Palo Alto, California, where he was a consulting researcher at Xerox PARC. From 1994 until December 2002, he was Chief Scientist of Alias|Wavefront, (now part of Autodesk) and from 1995, its parent company SGI Inc. In the fall of 2004, he became a part-time instructor in the Department of Industrial Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. In 2004/05 he was also Visiting Professor at the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) at the University of Toronto. He currently splits his time between Redmond and Toronto.
In 1995, Buxton became the third recipient of the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society Award for contributions to research in computer graphics and human-computer interaction. In 2000 he was given the New Media Visionary of the Year Award at the Canadian New Media Awards. In 2001, The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the 10 most influential innovators in Hollywood. In 2002, Time Magazine named him one of the top 5 designers in Canada. Also in 2002, he was elected to the CHI Academy. In October, 2005, he and Gord Kurtenbach received the "Lasting Impact Award", from ACM UIST 2005, which was awarded for their 1991 paper, Issues in Combining Marking and Direct Manipulation Techniques.
In June, 2007, Bill was named Doctor of Design, Honoris Causa by the Ontario College of Art and Design, and in 2008 he became the 10th recipient of the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award, "for fundamental contributions to the field of Computer Human Interaction." In January 2009 Bill was elected Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), for his contributions to the field of human-computer interaction, and in June he was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, by his alma mater, Queen's University.
J.N. Patterson Hume, D.Sc. (Queen's) 2006
Prof. Emeritus J.N. Patterson ("Pat") Hume of the University of Toronto
is a scientific educator and Canadian computing pioneer whose influence
has been felt by many generations of high school and university students
in both physics and computing science, and he is one of the most widely
known and best respected academic educators in Canada.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, and educated at the University of Toronto where he
received the BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Physics in 1945, 1946 and 1949
respectively, Dr. Hume was instrumental in founding Canada's first
Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1964,
having worked since 1952 in the development of computer software. At the
University of Toronto he was the Associate Dean for Physical Sciences
from1968-72 and Chair of the Department from 1975-80. Dr. Hume is an ACM
Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Hume has been widely honoured for his groundbreaking work with Dr.
Donald Ivey in educational television and films on Physics in the late
1950's and early 1960's. These films formed the genesis of the CBC
television series "The Nature of Things" and were used by generations of
high school students as part of the PSSC Physics curriculum. Among the
many awards he has received are citations from the Scientific Institute
in Rome and the Edison Foundation in New York, a Silver Core Award from
IFIP, a Distinguished Service Citation from the American Association of
Physics Teachers, an Award of Merit from the City of Toronto and most
recently the Order of Canada in 2005.
Prof. Hume's dedication and unique talent for education continued in the
1970's when he authored "Introduction to Computer Programming Using PL/I
and SP/k" with Prof. R. C. Holt. This book, used as the primary
introductory computer science textbook in almost all Ontario high
schools as well as universities such as Queen's, York, Toronto and
Waterloo for more than five years, began a series of more than 20 books
in computer science education that he has authored or co-authored over
the past 30 years and continues with even today. Indeed, at no time in
the past 30 years have Ontario high school students been without a
computer science textbook authored or co-authored by Pat Hume, and for
much of that time Ontario universities have used his textbooks as well.
Independently of his importance as an educator, Pat's stature and
influence in the advancement of Canadian computer science over the past
fifty years cannot be overestimated. With the arrival of FERUT, the
first digital computer in Canada, at the University of Toronto in 1952,
Pat Hume and his collaborator Beatrice ("Trixie") Worsley became the first
computer programmers in this country. Together they developed some of the
earliest computer "software" in the world, including Transcode, one of
the first "compilers" (computer language translators) and a forerunner
of all modern computer programming languages. In keeping with Pat's
dedication to education, Transcode was designed to make computer
programming accessible to others at the University, and it succeeded
spectacularly in that respect, setting Canada and the University of
Toronto in particular firmly on the road to becoming world leaders in
Maria Klawe, D.Sc. (Queen's) 2004
Prof. Maria Klawe is President of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont,
California, recently former Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at
Princeton University and former President of the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's leading professional association
in computer science. From 1998 to 2003 she was Dean of Science at the
University of British Columbia, having served there as Vice-President of
Student and Academic Services from 1995 to 1998, and Head of the
Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Maria also held the
NSERC-IBM Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, one of five
regional chairs across Canada. Maria's chair was responsible for British
Columbia and the Yukon, and emphasized research and programs aimed at
increasing the participation of women in information technology careers.
Prior to joining UBC, Maria spent eight years with IBM Research in
California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her
Ph.D. (1977) and B.Sc. (1973) in Mathematics from the University of Alberta.
Maria has made significant research contributions in several areas of
mathematics and computer science including functional analysis, discrete
mathematics, theoretical computer science, and interactive-multimedia
for mathematics education. She is the founder and director of the E-GEMS
project, a collaborative project involving computer scientists,
mathematics educators, teachers, children and professional game
developers, that does research on the design and use of computer games
in enhancing mathematics education for grades 4 to 9. E-GEMS has
developed several innovative and successful prototype games, and has
done seminal work in identifying important factors in the design of
effective educational software. E-GEMS research also studies the role of
gender in technology-based learning environments and has identified
significant gender differences in how students interact with computers
and software. This research has been extended under the auspices of her
NSERC-IBM Chair to how to attract and retain female students in courses
and programs related to information technology.
Maria has also served on many boards and advisory councils, including
the Board of Trustees of the American Mathematical Society (chair
95-96), the Computing Research Association (vice-chair 93-95), the BC
Premier's Advisory Council on Science and Technology (93-present), and
the ACM Council (98-present). Maria was elected as a Fellow of the
Association of Computing Machinery in 1995, and received the Vancouver
YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Science and Technology in 1997.