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Student profiles

Interested in learning what it's like to be a graduate student in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization? We asked some of our current graduate students to share a snapshot of every day life on campus.

Sara Ahmadian​Sara Ahmadian

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I was always passionate about Math/Theoretical Computer Science, and it always has been one of my strongest suits. I enjoy learning Math, and I enjoy it even more when I utilize my knowledge to solve a Math problem. I chose University of Waterloo to pursue my Master’s because of its high reputation and large number of well-published faculties. During my Master’s, I realized that the professors in Waterloo are actually very considerate and they truly care about their students. My relationship with my supervisor and his constant support, persuade me to stay in Waterloo for my PhD as well.   

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Linda FarczadiLinda Farczadi

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I chose the University of Waterloo because of the Combinatorics and Optimization department. I believe this is a truly unique department that fits my research interests perfectly. I was also motivated by the department’s reputation as one of the best in the world and the fact that many of the faculty members are recognized as leaders in their fields.

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Nishad KothariNishad Kothari

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I was very fascinated by discrete mathematics (combinatorics) and theoretical computer science. To the best of my knowledge, the C&O department at the University of Waterloo is the only one of its kind on planet Earth. The C&O department at Waterloo was on the top of my list. Most importantly, I was interested in the work of at least 4 to 5 faculty members of this department.

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Katherine Naismith Katherine Naismith

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I started my undergraduate career as a music major, taking some math courses as electives. I soon discovered that I have an aptitude for (and just really enjoy) math – as long as there aren’t any numbers involved! As a result, I switched my major to mathematics, and fell in love with graph theory.

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Luis Ruiz-Lopez Luis Ruiz

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

The Faculty of Mathematics has a great reputation and history. Moreover, cryptography is a very active area at the University of Waterloo. I always wanted to take a class and talk to those people whose books I once read.

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Hanmeng (Harmony) ZhanHarmony Zhan

Why did you choose to study in the Faculty of Mathematics? Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

Like many other graduate students here, I chose the University of Waterloo for its strong reputation and active research groups. During my master’s studies, I was deeply impressed by the relaxed atmosphere of the Faculty of Mathematics. This is a big plus and made me decide to stay and continue to do a PhD. 

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