Dean Zvi Galil Awarded Waterloo Honorary Degree


June 17, 2012

Zvi Galil, John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Waterloo at the mathematics portion of its 104th Convocation ceremony, held Friday, June 15, in Waterloo, Ontario.

Galil, who has served as dean of the College of Computing since July 2010, was awarded the Waterloo honorary degree in mathematics, along with John Dennis Jr., a longtime professor in computational and applied mathematics at Rice University.

“The University [of Waterloo] has been home of famous scientists,” Galil said in his acceptance address. “It produced WatFor, one of the first world’s compilers, and it has minted some very successful [Ph.D. holders] who are now teaching in some of the best universities, including my own, Georgia Tech. I am humbled by this great honor and it gives me great pleasure to share it with John Dennis, who was my teacher at Cornell almost 40 years ago.”

Galil's research areas have been the design and analysis of algorithms, complexity, cryptography and experimental design. From 1983-1987 he served as chairman of Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) SIGACT, or Special Interest Group of Algorithms and Computation Theory. He has written more than 200 scientific papers, edited five books, and has given more than 150 lectures in 20 countries.

Galil has served as editor-in-chief of two journals and as the chief U.S. computer science adviser to the Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the ACM and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2009 the Columbia University Society of Graduates awarded him the Great Teacher Award.

The University of Waterloo honors its graduates in a convocation ceremony that stretches out over several days. Video is available at the Waterloo website; Galil received his honorary degree during the afternoon session on June 15.