UBC Computer Science’s 50th Anniversary celebrations will highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of department members, alumni and distinguished guests, and engage the broader community in thinking critically about the opportunities and challenges that computing presents in the next 50 years. The celebration will take place on May 11 and 12, 2018 with panels on AI and the future of computer science, as well as more technically focused state-of-the art research symposia.

The two-day event will culminate with a dinner and awards ceremony, with special guests including: Professor Santa J. Ono, UBC's President and Vice-Chancellor; UBC alumnus Dr. David Cheriton; and Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and Cheriton Family Chair in UBC Computer Science, Dr. Margo Seltzer.

Computer Science 50th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, May 11, 2018

Data Science Research Mini-Symposium

Location: Hugh Dempster Pavilion - Room 310, UBC (map)
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cost: Free
More Details >

Opening Ceremony, Networking, & Cocktail Reception

Keynote Speaker and Expert Panel on “AI Changes Everything”

Keynote Speaker: Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Managing Director, Microsoft Research

Moderator: Alan Mackworth, Computer Science, UBC

  • Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
  • Gail Murphy, UBC VP Research and Innovation
  • Kevin Murphy, Research Scientist, Google
  • Kirsten Sutton, Managing Director, SAP Vancouver
  • Mark Schmidt, Computer Science, UBC

Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, East Meeting Room (map | location info)
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • 5:00 pm Check-in
  • 5:30 pm Start of Formal Program
  • 7:20 pm Networking and Cocktail Reception
Cost: $25
More Details >

Saturday, May 12, 2018

State-of-the-Art Symposia

Three parallel sessions with 4-6 speakers each
Location: Hugh Dempster Pavilion, UBC (map)
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: Free

Exhibitor Hall

Location: Earth Sciences Building Atrium, UBC (map)
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Cost: Free

Networking Lunch

Location: Earth Sciences Building Atrium, UBC (map)
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cost: $15
Current UBC CS Faculty, Staff, and Students: Free

Computer Science++: Toward the Next 50!

Special Remarks by David Cheriton & Margo Seltzer

Moderator: Simon Peacock, Dean of Science, UBC

  • Ghislaine Chan, Broadridge Financial
  • David Cheriton, Stanford University
  • Yvonne Coady, University of Victoria
  • Dr. James Colliander, PIMS
  • Ana Crisan, UBC (PhD student)
  • Mik Kersten, TaskTop
  • Margo Seltzer, Harvard University/UBC
  • Chris Thachuk, Caltech
  • Ryan Wong, Visier

Location: Earth Sciences Building 1013, UBC (map)
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost: Free
More Details >

Computer Science 50th Anniversary Dinner & Awards

Location: Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, UBC (map)
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

  • 5:30 pm Cocktail Reception
  • 6:30 pm Dinner & Awards
Cost: $60

Registration is now open!

Register for Events!

We're excited to celebrate our 50-year milestone! It comes at a time of great opportunity for our department. Our strong commitment to excellence and inclusion has been central to our identity, and will continue to guide us in the exciting times ahead.

Professor Chen Greif, Head of Department of Computer Science

Join Us in Celebrating One of Canada’s Strongest CS Departments

Margo Seltzer

This is an exciting time for UBC Computer Science, especially in light of recent growth, new program development, significant opportunities in the field, and deepening connections with the mathematical, biological, health and social sciences. Our department is also excited to welcome Professor Margo Seltzer, a leading computer systems researcher from Harvard University, who will join UBC in September 2018 as the Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems and the Cheriton Family Chair in Computer Science.

Our 50th anniversary presents a unique opportunity to celebrate our successes, and strengthen connections with our alumni, partner educational institutions, and the local tech community. It’s also a key opportunity to better position the department for the opportunities and challenges that computer science will bring in the next 50 years. Celebrations for the 50th will continue for the next year through a series of branded alumni, industry and student events.


Opening Ceremony, Networking, & Cocktail Reception More details >

Eric Horvitz

Keynote Speaker: Eric Horvitz

Technical Fellow and Managing Director, Microsoft Research

Talk: AI Advances and Aspirations

AI Changes Everything Panel More details >

Moderator: Alan Mackworth, Computer Science, UBC


Eric Horvitz

Microsoft Research

Gail Murphy PhD'96

UBC VP Research and Innovation

Kevin Murphy

Research Scientist, Google

Mark Schmidt UBC CS PhD'10

Computer Science, UBC

Kirsten Sutton

Managing Director, SAP Vancouver

Data Science Research Mini-Symposium More Details >

Raj Chari BSc'01, BSc'04, PhD'10

Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research

Talk: Emerging opportunities for large scale data analysis in eukaryotic genome engineering
more >

Heidi Lam BSc'93, PhD'08


Talk: Building tools to support analysis
more >

Sohrab Shah BSc'01, MSc'05, PhD'09

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre

Talk: Genomics, computing and the route to predictive and personalized cancer treatment
more >

Computer Graphics Symposium More Details >

Christopher Batty PhD'10

Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo

Felix Heide PhD'16

PDF Stanford

Doug James MSc'97 PhD'01

Professor, Stanford University

Paul Kry MSc'00 PhD'05

Associate Professor, McGill University

Gene Lee PhD'01

Senior Software Engineer, Walt Disney Animation Studios

David Levin PhD'12

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Kevin Loken MSc'07

Electronic Arts

KangKang Yin PhD'07

Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University

Computer Systems Symposium More details >

David Cheriton BSc'73

Stanford University

Steve Gribble BSc'95


Monica Lam BSc'80

Stanford University

Talk: Almond: Keeping the Internet Open with an Open-Source Virtual Assistant
more >

Margo Seltzer

Harvard University, incoming Canada 150 Research Chair and Cheriton Family Chair in UBC Computer Science

Peter Smith PhD'98


Talk: Thanks for the Research. Can We Use It Sooner?
more >

Human Computer Interaction Symposium More details >

Leah Findlater MSc'04, PhD'09

University of Washington

Brian Gleeson PDF'13


Kori Inkpen PhD'97

Microsoft Research

Rock Leung PhD'11


Barry Po MSc'02, PhD'05


Brad Swerdfeger MSc'10


Melanie Tory BSc'99, PDF'06

Tableau Research

Computer Science++: Toward the Next 50! More details >

Special Remarks by David Cheriton & Margo Seltzer

Moderator: Simon Peacock, Dean of Science, UBC


Ghislaine Chan BSc'00

Broadridge Financial

David Cheriton BSc'73

Stanford University

Yvonne Coady PhD'03

University of Victoria

James Colliander PhD'97


Ana Crisan

UBC (PhD Student)

Mik Kersten BSc'99, PhD'07


Margo Seltzer

Harvard University/UBC

Chris Thachuk PhD'13


Ryan Wong BSc'94



2018: Honouring Our Legacy and Our Founders

As a highlight of the celebrations, Professor Charlotte Froese Fischer will receive the UBC Computer Science Founders Award for her enduring contributions to the department. With two UBC degrees and a PhD from Cambridge University, Froese Fischer served on the UBC Mathematics faculty from 1957 until 1968, when she introduced numerical analysis courses into the curriculum and was instrumental in the formation of the Department of Computer Science. Her many honours include the first Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and induction as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She returned to UBC Computer Science in 2016 as an affiliate professor, and continues her research in computational atomic physics.

Dr. Charlotte Froese Fischer, 1963
Dr. Charlotte Froese Fischer, 2016

Thank you to our sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

Bronze Sponsors

Best Buy
UBC - Data Science Institute
UBC - Designing for People

50th Anniversary Dinner Sponsor

Traction on Demand

Cocktail Receptions Sponsor


Wine Sponsor


If interested in learning more about sponsorship please contact:
Sandra Hunt
sandra.hunt @ ubc.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have signed up for an event and need to cancel. Who do I contact?
    Please send an email to cs-fifty@cs.ubc.ca to cancel your registration.
  2. Do I get a refund of my registration if I cancel?
    If you need to cancel your registration please contact cs-fifty@cs.ubc.ca. There is a no-refund policy.
  3. I plan to bring a guest to these events, what should I do?
    For logistical purposes, we require everyone to register on the webpage, including any guests.
  4. What options do I have for on campus accommodation?
  5. What options do I have for travelling to UBC?
    • Translink Bus services: Check information on arriving on campus by transit and getting transit tickets on the transit website.
    • Taxis: Local Taxis are available by phone; Yellow Cab can be reached at 604-861-1111.
  6. Where can I get directions?
    There are various directional stations on campus. Maps are available online.
  7. What is the local weather like?
    Check current conditions.
  8. What options for I have for food outlets and their hours of operation:
    On-campus: See the Food Services website "Places to Eat".
    Off-campus such as UBC Village, Point Grey Village, and Wesbrook village offer an array of restaurants and food outlets.
  9. On Campus Activities:
    UBC Recreation and UBC's top attractions.