Two graduate students, Rick Perche and Alexey Smirnov, at the Department of Applied Mathematics have been awarded Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) in the 2022-2023 international competition for the scholarship. This is an exceptional achievement as the University of Waterloo had a quota of only five such awards across all faculties.
The OGS is a prestigious award funded by the Ontario government and participating institutions. Recipients are selected based on academic excellence, research potential, and leadership qualities. Both Rick and Alexey have stellar records in these three areas.
Rick completed his undergraduate degree at Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil, graduating top of his cohort. His knowledge was so impressive that he convinced his department to allow him to teach the differential geometry course as the sole instructor in his first year as a master’s student there. Rick has also completed the highly competitive Perimeter Scholars International master’s program at the Perimeter Institute and is now a PhD student under the supervision of Eduardo Martin-Martinez. His research potential is described by one of his scholarship referees as being “off the scale.” Indeed, two years into his PhD studies, Rick has already amassed more than ten peer-reviewed publications on black hole physics, relativistic quantum information, and particle physics in top international journals.
In terms of leadership, Rick began volunteering at an early age to teach and mentor underserved students in Brazil. He is very active in promoting scientific outreach and was instrumental in organizing a major conference in relativistic quantum information.
Alexey was admitted to the prestigious Kolmogorov Boarding School, a high school that is part of Moscow State University and trains talented students from rural and remote areas of Russia. Alexey went on to complete his undergraduate studies at Moscow State University, one of the top three universities in Russia, and obtained a perfect GPA in his course-based master’s program at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition to taking a heavy course load at UNCC, Alexey also published five peer-reviewed articles on inverse problems and imaging, including three of which he was the first author, in top journals. Alexey is now a PhD student supervised by Lilia Krivodonova.
Alexey has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to mentorship, outreach, and leadership through tutoring at summer camps for gifted children, organizing scientific events, and coaching a team of students based in different countries for a modeling competition. He has won several mathematics and science competitions and Olympiads, and is dedicated to supporting others in their intellectual endeavours.
Congratulations to Rick and Alexey on the well-deserved recognition of their outstanding achievements and potential!