Monday, June 16, 2008

Waterloo CS Convocation

I spent the last 4 days in Waterloo and Toronto, primarily to attend my sister's convocation. She not only got her degree in Computer Science on Friday but was also the valedictorian. This meant we got really good seats in the front row, which was great for seeing stuff and not that great for the pictures.

Things always start off with the procession, led by the guy with the sceptre.

Mike Lazaridis, the CEO of Research in Motion, is also the chancellor of the University of Waterloo and kicked things off.

Dr. Alan Kay received an honorary degree of Doctor of Mathematics. Among many other things Alan Kay was one of the inventors of Smalltalk and is considered a father of object oriented programming and a pioneer of the graphical user interface.

The valedictorian then gave rousing address.

Eric Veach was awarded the J. W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation for his work with Metropolis Light Transport and for helping Google make billions with AdWords. If you ever get a chance to read Eric's PhD dissertation (and have an interest in light transport), I would highly recommend it. Its long and addresses a challenging topic with mathematical rigor but as a dissertation its at a level that I think computer graphics PhD candidates should aspire to.

This convocation was quite short since it was only the CS degrees being awarded, as opposed to mine which was excruciatingly long with all the Math degrees.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 24-70 @ 70mm, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 1600, flash fired.
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