A grad student working in Imager Lab

UBC is research-intensive, as is the UBC Department of Computer Science. Becoming a graduate student here means becoming a part of the team and gaining the opportunity to use top-notch facilities for research. Who knows -- with the help of these resources, you could be bound for our recent awards list.


The professors, instructors, and lecturers in our department come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but all are leaders in their fields. Check the complete Faculty Listing. To find out more about the research interests, projects, and sometimes information on past graduate students for the faculty members, click on a name, and then on the link to that professor's departmental webpage.


The department focuses its research in the following areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence: computer vision, decision theory/game theory, knowledge representation and reasoning, intelligent user interfaces, machine learning, natural language understanding and generation, robotics and haptics.

    The Laboratory for Computational Intelligence (LCI) has been studying the design of intelligent agents, including perception, decision making, and more since 1981. Perhaps the most famous contribution of this lab was the invention of the robotic soccer competition in 1992 (which became Robocup in 1997). For a synopsis of the research activities of our 14 faculty members, click here.

  • Computer Graphics: animation, imaging, modeling, rendering, visualization.

    The graphics group in the Imager Lab, one of the finest in the world, researches many aspects of producing effective visuals. They have particular expertise in acquiring geometry and appearance from the real-world, processing geometry in powerful and intelligent ways, automatically animating the motion of both human characters and passive phenomena like fluids and clothing, interactively visualizing abstract information in meaningful ways, rendering images quickly and accurately, new display technologies, new interfaces, and building connections to other fields like neuroscience, biomechanics, computer vision, and more.

  • Data Management and Mining: business intelligence, data integration, genomic analysis, text mining, web databases.

    The DMM group is focusing on a number of different aspects of managing data, whether it is stored in a database or elsewhere. The group is currently focused on a number of efforts, including managing business intelligence data, social network and social media data, data related to building a building, and health informatics. Look into this and more.

  • Formal Verification and Analysis of Systems: analog, digital and hybrid systems, VLSI, protocols, software.

    The Integrated Systems Design Laboratory is interested in principles, techniques, methodologies, and tools for the specification, design, implementation, and verification of protocols, circuits, control policies, and integrated hardware/software systems. Information on specific research goals is available from the group faculty.

  • Human Centered Technologies: human computer interaction (HCI), visual, haptic and multimodal interfaces, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), visual analytics.

    The Human Centered Technologies group, housed in Imager Lab together with the computer graphics and visualization groups, investigates a range of new interactive technologies, from room-sized displays that support co-located and remote collaboration, to small mobile handhelds and ubiquitous interaction. They study the human perceptual, motor, cognitive and attentional processes that are fundamental to the design of great user interfaces, and devise and use methodologies to support the design of technology that is both useful and usable.

  • Networks, Systems, and Security: high performance computing/parallel processing, networking, operating systems and virtualization, security.

    The Networks, Systems and Security Lab (NSSL) conducts research in a wide variety of topics related to operating systems and distributed systems. Much of their research targets software that is used to control and use collections of computers on fixed and wireless networks. Today computers come in all shapes and sizes and provide a wide range of services, from air-traffic control to multimedia and multi-user games, from parallel processing to electronic commerce.

  • Scientific Computing: numerical methods and software, differential equations, linear algebra, optimization.

    The Scientific Computing Laboratory works to develop fast and reliable numerical algorithms needed to accurately model the wide variety of problems that arise in science and engineering. The group's research interests encompass both the theoretical and applied aspects of scientific computing. Reliable software implementation is essential for transferring this technology to industry and to other fields of research.

  • Software Engineering and Programming Languages: development tools, foundations of computation, middleware, programming languages, software engineering.

    Research in the Software Practices Lab aims to improve software development practice by making real-world software developers more productive and by making it easier (and more fun) to build better systems. All parts of the software lifecycle are explored with particular focus on topics related to programming environments, meta programming, middleware, scalable source analysis, software evolution and programming language design and implementation.

  • Theory: algorithmics (including empirical), bioinformatics and data analysis, graph theory, algorithmic game theory.

    The Bioinformatics and Empirical and Theoretical Algorithmics Lab (ϐ-lab) provides an environment for conducting research in bioinformatics as well as in the experimental and theoretical study of algorithms. Some past projects have included research into the pre-mRNA secondary structure in gene splicing, possibly prediction or classification of genomic islands, and geometric facility location for mobile clients.

Look into how past students have made use of the available resources by checking out the online archive of UBC Computer Science theses or visit the Computer Science Reading Room on the UBC campus to thumb through the print collection of theses from 1968 to 2006.

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