South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists

Keynote Speakers

Reality of the Connected Future

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Meet the Keynote Speakers


Irwin Brown

Title: Theorising Context in Information Systems Research: A Critical Reflection on Information Systems Research in an African Context

Irwin Brown (MInfSys, PhD) is a Professor of Information Systems (IS) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He has previously held positions as Director of CITANDA (Centre for IT and National Development in Africa), Head of Department, and Deputy Dean of Research in the Commerce Faculty.

Brown has been recognised with the SAICSIT (South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists) Pioneer Award and is a member of the Academy of Science South Africa.

He maintains a broad interest in all areas of IS research, but with a specific focus on understanding and theorising IS phenomena in the contextual conditions of Africa. Brown has contributed to over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, and more than 80 peer-reviewed conference papers.

Notable outlets include the European Journal of IS (EJIS), IT for Development Journal, Electronic Journal of IS in Developing Countries, International Journal of Information Management, Telematics & Informatics, and leading AIS conferences such as ICIS and ECIS.

He has served in several journals including as Editor for the African Journal of IS [AJIS] (2011 – 2020) and IS Sub-Editor of the South African Computer Journal (2007 – 2014). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of AJIS (2021-present) and was a Guest Editor for the EJIS Special Issue on “Advancing the Development of Contextually Relevant ICT4D


Louise Leenan

Title: The neglected art of problem formulation and modelling

Louise Leenen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. Her focus areas are AI applications in cybersecurity, and problem formulation and modelling.

She joined UWC in 2018 after working as a Principal Researcher at the CSIR in the Cyber Defence Research Group. Louis completed her PhD in Constraint Programming at the University of Wollongong in Australia.
Louise is a member of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence (CAIR) and leads the research group on AI and Cybersecurity.

She regularly serves in various positions on committees of national and international bodies such as the NRF, BRICS and IFIP. She has authored or co-authored 15 peer-reviewed journal publications, five book chapters and 45 conference papers.


Bruce Watson

Title: Advances in AI for Cybersecurity

Professor Bruce Watson is co-founder and director of the FASTAR Research Group and the Centre for Decision Making and Knowledge Dynamics, both at Stellenbosch University.

In addition, he holds a visiting professorship in Computer Science at King’s College London, and is visiting scientist at IP Blox. In 1995, Watson received his first Ph.D in computing science from Eindhoven University of Technology, after studying discrete mathematics and computer science at the University of Waterloo.

He later returned to Eindhoven as chair of Software Construction. Watson’s second Ph.D, in computer science, is from the University of Pretoria in 2012. His recently co-authored book is The Correctness by Construction Approach to Programming, 2012. Parallel to his academic career, he worked as a compiler engineer at several companies (e.g. Microsoft), followed by engineering and architecture work on virtual machines and pattern matching algorithms (e.g. for Cisco).

Watson’s first dissertation contained taxonomies and new algorithms for pattern matching and regular expressions. With more than a dozen researchers, his FASTAR Research Group performs fundamental research in new algorithms and implementations for high-performance pattern matching. IP Blox develops leading