Edward began his career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, after receiving his Ph.D. in computer science from Queen's University in 2001. In January 2002, he became an assistant professor at San Francisco State University in the Department of Computer Science. There he received a National Science Foundation Fellowship, the Foundation's most prestigious award that recognises and supports the early career development of researchers destined to become academic leaders.
In June 2006, he joined the Cheriton School of Computer Science. In 2011, he was promoted to Associate Professor and to Full Professor in July 2018. With his colleague Michael Terry, Ed co-founded Waterloo HCI (Canada), a university consortium of faculty and students conducting research in the area of human-computer interaction.
He has been interested in all aspects of human-computer interaction including intelligent user interfaces, mobile, multi-touch, and free-space gesture interaction, and the modeling of motion and input to interfaces.
From 2018 to 2021, Ed was a Cheriton Faculty Fellow, a prestigious recognition that supports the work of leading faculty in the School of Computer Science. He has also held an Inria International Research Chair attached to the Loki team at the Inria centre at the University of Lille.
The story between Ed, the Inria centre at the University of Lille
The story between Ed, the Inria centre at the University of Lille, and CRIStAL began in 2016 when he joined the Mjolnir team, which was to become the Loki project team, for a sabbatical year. He arrived on 16 March 2016 and this first year in Lille was followed by a second one for Charlotte and Olivia, his daughters, and Michelle, his wife: the whole family had been conquered by our region, and the chemistry had occurred between Ed and the members of Loki. A year after their return to Canada, in September 2019, the Lanks were back: both teams had obtained funding from the University of Lille for an International Associated Laboratory, RéAPP (2019-2023), and Ed had been awarded an Inria International Chair in the Loki team.
The Loki team and our centre have suddenly lost one of their closest collaborators, a colleague, and friend whom we considered as one of the founding members of the Loki team. Those who had the pleasure of meeting him appreciated his great scientific and human qualities.
Edward passed away on 21 March, our warmest thoughts are with his daughters and his wife.