Samuel Jaques awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal

Friday, June 14, 2019

Samuel Jaques will be awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal (Master) at the June 14th convocation ceremony for his outstanding academic performance.

Under the supervision of Alfred Menezes and Michele Mosca, Jaques achieved an average of 97 per cent during his Master's program while he held an NSERC Graduate Scholarship. He was also awarded the President's Graduate Scholarship and the Rai Mathematics Graduate Scholarship.

"Sam's current interests focus on problems that will play an important role in building the foundations for cryptographic security in the context of quantum computers," said Mosca. "This challenge is mathematically profound, interdisciplinary, and critically important for the future reliability and security of technologies and critical infrastructures in the face of rapidly advancing cyber attacks."

Jaques evaluated architectures and cost models for quantum algorithms and the implications for the security of isogeny-based cryptography. This work is under consideration for quantum-safe cryptographic standards under development by the U.S. government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A paper is also emerging from his Master's work, in addition to three strong papers he has already published in mathematical physics and mathematical analysis.

"Sam has developed into a very promising researcher," said Menezes. "He is quite willing to take on challenging problems, has an amazing appetite for learning new mathematics, and collaborates well with his peers."

While at Waterloo, Jaques was the acting president of Effective Altruism Waterloo and co-organized an active bi-weekly graduate seminar on post-quantum cryptography. He also gave invited talks about his work at the Université de Versailles and École Polytechnique in France.

Jaques is headed to Oxford University for his doctoral program, where he has been awarded the prestigious Clarendon scholarship.

The Governor General's Gold Medals for graduate studies are awarded each year at Spring Convocation. Students are judged based in high academic standing, evidence of creativity and originality in scholarship/research, and letters of support. Students receive a medal presented on behalf of the Governor General, along with a personalized certificate signed by the Governor General to recognize outstanding scholastic achievements.

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