“Amir is at the forefront of the next generation of academic leaders. He is exceptionally skilled at building consensus and strengthening faculty partnerships. He is also committed to finding new pathways to improve the student experience and head the development of new curriculum,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs.
“During his career, whether as a researcher or as an academic leader, Amir has adopted an open and collaborative approach that has formed positive relationships among both students and faculty. At York he was vice-chair of Senate, and soon to be chair. That speaks to the respect he had garnered from the entire community,” says Provost Bacon.
Asif holds a PhD and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His research specifically focuses on distributed detection in sensor networks, robust detection and imaging with special emphasis on bioimaging and cancer visualization by time reversal, signal processing on graphs and analytics for Big Data, and transcoding framework for high-definition video transcoding for multimedia communications.
He has served as chair of York University’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for the past seven years, building it from a classic computer science department into the large multidisciplinary unit and the very core of the Lassonde School of Engineering that it is today.
In addition to his long chairship, Asif’s leadership record includes holding the position of engineering program director, founding principal investigator of a large research centre and chair of several university committees.
While chair of York’s Senate Committee on Academic Standards, Curriculum and Pedagogy, he was responsible for university-wide policy on academic standards, regulations, curriculum and research-informed pedagogy. His many accomplishments also extend to securing the accreditation of York’s computer engineering program from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.
While at York, Asif spearheaded and led a $12.3 million Ontario-funded and multi-institutional research project titled Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data Driven Design that successfully enlisted the collaboration of more than 20 private sector partners, including IBM, MDA, The Globe and Mail and Side Effect. He helped secure more than $17 million in research funding throughout his career.
“What attracted me to Concordia was its commitment to relevant and cutting-edge research, and its focus on providing exceptional and transformative student experiences by emphasizing the importance and value of experiential learning,” says Asif.
“Concordia has earned a stellar reputation as one of the best engineering and computer science faculties in the country by virtue of preparing graduates to succeed through a perfect balance of professionalism, innovation, creativity and determination. I want to be a part of that,” he says. “I want to contribute to the faculty’s mission of training future leaders in the rapidly evolving disciplines of engineering and computer science.”
Asif has received several awards for excellence in teaching including the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award, the highest teaching award at York University. At York, he was also granted the university’s Merit Award for exceptional performance in teaching, research and service every year of his tenure.
He has also served on many editorial boards that include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Signal Processing (2013-present) and IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2009-13 and 2002-06) and as an advisory member, committee member and reviewer on more than a dozen committees, conference boards and granting agencies.
Provost Bacon extended his sincere appreciation to the members of the search committee for identifying Asif’s exceptional leadership abilities and seamless fit with Concordia’s culture of excellence, innovation and community engagement. Committee members included Zineb Bencheikh, Kristina Kefalas, Ferhat Khendek, Osama Moselhi, Michael Novak, Ted Obuchowicz, Yousef Shayan, Shahin Vakilinia and Radu Zmeureanu.