C&O PhD student Hanmeng (Harmony) Zhan has won first place in the inaugural Mathematics Doctoral Prize competition at the University of Waterloo. This new prize will be awarded annually to recognize the achievement of graduating doctoral students in the Faculty of Mathematics. Harmony will receive a $1500 award and a medal at the June 2019 convocation. Harmony was also named University Finalist for the Governor General's Gold Medal at the doctoral level.
Harmony's PhD thesis, entitled Discrete Quantum Walks on Graphs and Digraphs, was completed under the supervision of Professor Chris Godsil. A major contribution of Harmony's thesis was the introduction of a new model of quantum walk, called a vertex-face walk, based on orientable embeddings of graphs, and the development of tools from different areas of mathematics to study the properties of the model. "I view Harmony's thesis as a major and creative piece of work, which will need to be cited in any future publications in the area", said Professor Godsil.
Harmony is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre de Recherches Mathématique at the Université de Montréal.