50th Anniversary Speaker Emeritus Series

The Université de Montréal welcomes world-renowned specialists and speakers as part of the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research’s 50th anniversary, at the André-Aisenstadt and Claire-McNicoll buildings.

These not-to-be-missed lectures will address many topics and issues: deep learning, big data, women in computer science, history of computer science in Canada, integer programming and scalable software testing.

The lectures are free and open to everyone: students, professors and researchers from all institutions as well as the general public.

Next speaker

Tuesday, September 21, 3 p.m.: Yann LeCun, New York University, Facebook

Location: Jean-Coutu Building, Room S1-151
Title: Predictive learning and the future of artificial intelligence

See Yann LeCun's bio.

Upcoming speaker

Thursday, October 13 : Charles H. Bennett, IBM Research

Title: Scientific Multiculturalism in Informatics

Physicists, mathematicians and engineers, guided by what has worked well in their respective disciplines, acquire different scientific tastes, different notions of what constitutes an interesting, well-posed problem or an adequate solution. While this has led to some frustrating misunderstandings, it has invigorated the theory of communication and computation, enabling it to outgrow its brash beginnings with Turing, Shannon and von Neumann, and develop its own mature scientific taste, adopting and domesticating ideas from thermodynamics and quantum mechanics that physicists had mistakenly thought belonged solely to their field.

See Charles H. Bennett's bio.

Past speakers

June 16, 3 p.m.: Maria Klawe, Harvey Mudd College

Location: Claire-McNicoll Building, Room Z-220
Title: Getting More Women into Tech Careers and Why It Matters


Over the past decade the participation of females in the tech industry has declined rather than advanced. This is unfortunate for young women because of the incredible career opportunities, for the tech industry because of the loss of incoming talent, and for society because of the loss of diversity of perspective among tech teams.

I will talk about the reasons why women tend not major in computer technology fields and how Harvey Mudd College dramatically increased the number of females majoring in computer science, from 10% of the majors to 40% over a 4 year period. 

About Maria Klawe:
Maria Klawe became Harvey Mudd College’s 5th president in 2006 (1st woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955). Prior to joining Harvey Mudd, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University.

Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.

Klawe is a board member of Broadcom Corporation and the nonprofit Math for America, the chair of the board of the nonprofit EdReports.org, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Selection Board.

Learn more about Maria Klawe on the Harvey Mudd College's website.


April 28, 3 p.m.: George Nemhauser, Georgia Tech

Location: André-Aisenstadt Building, Room 1360
Integer Programming: the Global Impact


Integer programming is used to solve planning and operational problems in energy, finance, health, manufacturing, military, transportation, and in almost any imaginable domain where decisions are made. Currently available software are capable of solving models with thousands, and sometimes millions, of variables and constraints. 

Most Fortune 500 companies use integer programming in some aspects of their business. We will review the development of integer programming algorithms and applications and present some of our recent research as well. We’ll close by speculating on future advances in methodology and applications.

About G
eorge Nemhauser:
George Nemhauser’s principal research interests are in the area of discrete optimization. He is the author of 3 books and more than 200 papers. His current interests are in solving large-scale mixed integer programming problems and he is actively working on several real world problems, especially the application of discrete optimization in logistics and transportation. He is one of the developers of MINTO, a software system for solving mixed-integer programs.

His honors include membership in the National Academy of Engineering, several INFORMS (Institute of Operations Research and Management Science) awards: Kimball Medal for service, Lanchester Prize for best publication of the year (twice), Morse lecturer, first Khachyian Prize recipient for lifetime achievement in optimization, and the John von Neumann Prize for theoretical contributions to operations research.

Learn more about George Nemhauser on Georgia Tech's website.

May 13, 10 a.m.: Lionel Briand, University of Luxembourg

Location: Claire-McNicoll Building, Room Z-317
Scalable Software Testing and Verification Through Heuristic Search and Optimization: Experiences and Lessons Learned

Testing and verification problems in the software industry come in many different forms, due to significant differences across domains and contexts. But one common challenge is scalability, the capacity to test and verify increasingly large, complex systems. Another concern relates to practicality. Can the inputs required by a given technique be realistically provided by engineers?

This talk reports on 10 years of research tackling verification and testing as a search and optimization problem, often but not always relying on abstractions and models of the system under test. Our observation is that most of the problems we faced could be re-expressed so as to make use of appropriate search and optimization techniques to automate a specific testing or verification strategy.

About Lionel Briand:

Lionel C. Briand is professor and FNR PEARL chair in software verification and validation at the SnT centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust, University of Luxembourg. He also acts as vice-director of the Centre. Lionel started his career as a software engineer in France (CS Communications & Systems) and has conducted applied research in collaboration with industry for more than 20 years.

He has also been the software quality engineering department head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Germany, and worked as a research scientist for the Software Engineering Laboratory, a consortium of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CSC, and the University of Maryland, USA.

Learn more about Lionel Briand on the University of Luxembourg website.

PDF version of the conference

June 2, 3 p.m.: Calvin "Kelly" Gotlieb, University of Toronto

Location: Claire-McNicoll Building, Room Z-220
Title: The Beginnings of Computer Science in Canada


In this talk I will describe how the results of World War II research led to interest in developing automatic computers. I’ll also discuss early work at the University of Toronto in computer use and design, including my early involvement as a young physicist in the design and assembly of the 1st computers in Canada, such as UTEC, and the acquisition of FERUT, the 2nd electronic computer to be sold in the world.

There followed a succession of important, high profile computations such as those related to the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the Avro Arrow, and the City of Toronto traffic control system. Finally, I’ll describe the establishment of the 1st computer science department in Canada, at the U of T, 1st as a research oriented graduate department, and then as a full-scale undergraduate department.

About Calvin "Kelly" Gotlieb:
Calvin Carl "Kelly" Gotlieb, CM FRSC is a Canadian professor and computer scientist who has been called the "Father of Computing" in Canada. He is Professor Emeritus in computer science at the University of Toronto.

In 1948, he co-founded the Computation centre at the University of Toronto and was part of the 1st team in Canada to build computers and to provide computing services. In 1950, he created the 1st university course on computing in Canada and in 1951 offered the 1st graduate course. In 1964, he helped to found the 1st Canadian graduate department of computer science at the University of Toronto.

In 1958, he helped to found the Canadian Information Processing Society and was its president from 1960 to 1961. In 1994, he received the International Federation for Information Processing Isaac L. Auerbach Medal and was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

More on Calvin "Kelly" Gotlieb:

Contact information:
514 343-7090

See UdeM's Department of Computer Science and Operations Research Timeline on the 50th anniversary website! (French)