University of Waterloo’s Professor Ihab Ilyas Receives 2020 ACM Fellow Title


Professor Ihab Ilyas,  of UW has been named a 2020 Association for Computing Machinery Fellow (ACM), the largest scientific computing society in the world. 

Only the top 1% of professionals in the organization are offered fellowships, making Ilyas one of 95 members being named a fellow this year. ACM strives to unite educators and professionals across the world in a variety of different fields as fellows for their contributions, and these nominations are made by peers. These fellows represent companies, research centers, and universities across the world. 

“This year our task in selecting the 2020 Fellows was a little more challenging, as we had a record number of nominations from around the world,” Gabriele Kotsis, ACM President, said. 

“I’m honoured to receive ACM’s recognition as a Fellow and thank the Cheriton School of Computer Science for supporting my nomination,” Professor Ilyas said. “This recognition would not be possible without the diligent work of my awesome graduate students over the years as well as that of my talented colleagues and collaborators. I am grateful to all of them.”

Professor Ilyas has made significant contributions to his field since the beginning of his career in database technology, including data integration, data cleaning, and query processing. He received his Ph.D. at Purdue University in 2004 where he completed this work and continued to focus on data quality in 2009.

Professor Ilyas has also led the building of multiple start-ups such as NADEEF, a data cleaning system that detects and repairs data violations, and, with the help of his graduate students, HoloClean,  a statistical inference engine that helps clean and enrich data. Professor Ilyas also co-founded two other start-ups which include Tamr, a large-scale project that focuses on data cleaning, and Inductiv which is used for Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and has become a part of Apple. 

Not only is he recognized through multiple awards, but Professor Ilyas also gained recognition through his many published articles in the leading journals of his field such as the Journal of Very Large DataBases (VLDB) and participated in a handful of conferences on databases. Professor Ilyas also held UW’s very own Cheriton Faculty Fellowship as a part of the school of Computer Science. He has been a distinguished member of ACM since 2014.