Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Dr. Cowan’s current interest in software engineering focuses on design and implementation of Web-based and mobile software systems, particularly in reducing the number of abstractions required to produce and validate such software. Reducing the number of abstractions will lower the technological barriers for individuals and organizations to build and maintain such software.
This research has produced the Web Informatics Development Environment (WIDE) technologies and toolkit that have been used to create over 80 operational web-based and mobile software systems for many different partner organizations in areas such as volunteerism, environment, socioeconomic development, tourism, population health, aboriginal affairs, arts and culture, and built heritage. The partners with whom Dr. Cowan works very closely in requirements, design, implementation, deployment and maintenance, range from local NGOs, businesses, universities and research centres, to all levels and types of government including First Nations groups and the United Nations.
Professor Cowan is a member of the Water Institute and the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, both at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Cowan is also active in the CHEC initiative at the University of Waterloo developing software systems for City of Stratford in built heritage, volunteerism, economic development and community indicators.
(last updated September 13,, 2016)
Dr. Cowan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Director of the Computer Systems Group at the University of Waterloo. He holds appointments at the University of Waterloo in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science and the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability.
Doctor of Science, honoris causa, University of Guelph, 2011
ACM Distinguished Scientist 2010
Waterloo Award 2009 - the City of Waterloo's highest civic honour for outstanding contributions to the Waterloo community
Grand Cross of Scientific Merit, Brazilian National Order of Scientific Merit, - Brazil’s Highest Civilian Scientific Honour (2007)
Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision – University of Waterloo (2006)
Distinguished Professor Emeritus - University of Waterloo (1999)
50 year founding member IEEE (2012)
Innovator, 1957 Society, University of Waterloo (2007)
Canadian Pioneer in Computing, IBM Center for Advanced Studies (2005)
IBM Innovation Award (2003)
Information Management Excellence in the Public Sector - Silver Medal (1999)
Compaq Award for Scientific Production (best scientific publication in 1995)
Founding Fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications (1989)
Brazil-Canada Scientific Exchange Award (1970)
Brazil-Canada Scientific Exchange Award (1969)
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