Selim G. Akl (Ph.D., McGill University, 1978) is a professor at Queen's University in the Queen's School of Computing, where he leads the Parallel and Unconventional Computation Group. His research interests are primarily in the area of algorithm design and analysis, in particular for problems in parallel computing and unconventional computing.
Akl is currently Director of the School of Computing at Queen's University. He is editor in chief of Parallel Processing Letters (World Scientific Publishing; 1991 -) and an editor of several major computing journals including:
- International Journal of Unconventional Computing (Old City Publishing; 2011 -)
- Computational Geometry (Elsevier; 1993 -)
- International Journal of Parallel, Emergent, and Distributed Systems (Taylor and Francis; 2004 -)
- Communications in Applied Geometry (Research India Publications; 2006 -)
Akl is the founding editorial board member of International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking (Inderscience Publishers; 2003 -), and a past editor of Journal of Cryptology (Springer-Verlag; 1988–1991), Information Processing Letters (North-Holland; 1989–1999), and Parallel Algorithms and Applications (Taylor and Francis; 1991–2004).
Recently Akl created Quantum Chess. The purpose of Quantum Chess is not to make the game more difficult; rather, by adding the unpredictability of quantum physics to chess, humans and computers are put on a level playing field, as they both face the same difficulties posed by the weirdness of the quantum. Alice Wismath, an undergraduate summer student, wrote a program implementing one of the many versions that Akl proposed in his article On the Importance of Being Quantum in September's Parallel Processing Letters article.
Akl has claimed that the notion of universality in computation is false. Akl asserts that no machine can claim universality since there will always be a larger set of problems that such a machine cannot solve.
A more detailed description of Akl's Non universality in Computation result can be found here Non-Universality in Computation: The Myth of the Universal Computer
Akl chaired the 2007 International Conference on Unconventional Computation that took place in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
- Parallel Sorting Algorithms (Academic Press, 1985)
- The Design and Analysis of Parallel Algorithms (Prentice Hall, 1989)
- Parallel Computation: Models and Methods (Prentice Hall, 1997).
He is also the co-author of Parallel Computational Geometry (Prentice Hall, 1993).