Gerald Ratzer

      To contact me live on line click here:

Here is the link to the McGill School of Computer Science

Here is the link to the McGill University main page


Born in England, educated in Scotland at Kelvinside Academy and Glasgow University. First degree in Honours Physics. Started graduate studies at the Maths Lab at Cambridge University, England. This included programming EDSAC 2 in machine language, using paper tape!

Awarded an IBM Fellowship and came to McGill University in Montreal, as the first graduate student in Computer Science, in 1964. Founding member of the School of Computer Science at McGill in 1970.

Current Activities

Teach "Computers in Engineering" (COMP-208A/B) to most incoming McGill Engineering students (about 300/year).
The third edition of the course textbook "Fortran, C and Algorithms" published by Kendal/Hunt in 2002 is now co-authored by Gerald Ratzer and Joseph Vybihal.  It runs to 660 pages.

Teach "Microcomputers" (COMP-573A) to senior undergraduates and graduates. Students enjoy this course, as they have an opportunity to develop a computer application of their own choosing - but this turns out to be more work than expected!   The students have to give a standup presentation in class, as well as a demonstration of the software they have developed and a final written report.

Research interests include modelling and simulation as used in real time applications, such as air traffic control simulators. Software derived from this research is running in 34 countries.  Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) for several different fields ranging from high school to university level courses, both in Canada and overseas. This work is reflected in the course material that has created on the web at the links above and below.  Other research work involves  assistance to a team of McGill colleagues working on the processing by computer of scripted based calligraphic languages.

Committee work includes being a member of the Undergraduate and M.Sc. Committees.

Consulting assignments include assistance with Software Engineering, Process Engineering and Corporate Planning for companies in the computer and telecommunications fields.  One current assignment has included helping a company achieve ISO9001:2000 certification. Another has involved the design and implementation of collaboration software that includes desktop sharing.

Recent Awards

Other Interests

Policy Issues currently of concern to Prof. Ratzer and under discussion at McGill are:


Here is a link to the OLD Computers in Engineering COMP-208 course web site. Use WebCT for the current version!

Here is the link to the McGill School of Computer Science

Here is the link to the McGill University main page

Office: McConnell Engineering Building , Room 330
Office Phone:  (514) 398-7082
Office FAX:    (514) 398-3883

Last Modified: 30/5/2004 Copyright © McGill University, 2004