Mathematics Convocation ceremonies today
Today, graduating students in the Faculty of Mathematics will receive their degrees. Follow along with the Convocation livestream.
The first ceremony takes place at 10:00 a.m. today. 420 undergraduates, 100 Master's, and 14 PhDs will cross the stage. Katherine Bergman, President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Jerome’s University, will bear the mace. Michael Klein will sing the national anthem.
Efim Zelmanov will receive an Honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address Convocation. Zelmanov earned his PhD at Novosibirsk State University in 1980 under the joint supervision of Leonid Bokut and Anatoly Shirshov, is currently the Rita L. Atkinson Endowed Chair in Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego, and is a distinguished professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. Having previously held positions at Yale, Chicago, University of Wisconsin, and Novoskibirsk State University, he has applied his talents in numerous disciplines within noncommutative algebra, and, for his outstanding contributions, he received the Fields Medal in 1994.
Giancarlo Lahura will deliver the valedictory address.
David McKinnon of Pure Mathematics will receive the Distinguished Teacher Award. "As the Associate Chair for undergraduate affairs in the department of Pure Mathematics, David McKinnon has a strong rapport with his students and colleagues through his dedication, enthusiasm, and consistency," says his award citation."When it comes to his work in the classroom, students say that McKinnon goes “above and beyond,” and makes them “genuinely excited to come to class every day.” Students find his lectures thoughtfully prepared and well organized, and remark that “he readily accepts questions, and pauses during lectures to make sure that everyone understands what is being taught.” McKinnon has been a recipient of a number of teaching awards, including the Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching."
Keiran Hendrickson-Gracie will receive the Alumni Gold Medal.
Richard Cook will receive the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. Professor Cook has been a faculty member in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science since 1995. He is one of the most influential biostatisticians in the Canadian and international medical community and has been awarded many distinctions and several prestigious awards for his methodological research work.
Over his career, Professor Cook supervised 10 postdoctoral fellows, 19 doctoral and 29 master’s students. His students have successfully obtained academic positions and have established themselves as independent researchers or taken on leading scientist roles in the pharmaceutical industry or biomedical community. The quality and rigor of the research work by students under Professor Cook’s supervision sets a very high standard. His PhD students have earned many major awards including: 4 winners of the annual Statistical Society of Canada’s Pierre‐Robillard Award for the best PhD thesis; 6 winners of the annual Sprott Award for the best PhD thesis proposal in the department; 3 winners of the Distinguished Student Award from the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and the International Biometrics Society Eastern North American Region; and one winner of the Canadian Journal of Statistics Prize for the best paper of the year.
At 2:30 p.m. a second ceremony will take place. 423 undergraduates, 50 Master's, and 10 PhDs will receive their degrees. Dan Brown, Professor and Director, Undergraduate Studies, Cheriton School of Computer Science will bear the mace. Michael Klein will sing the national anthem.
Peter Forsyth will be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Forsyth obtained his PhD in applied mathematics from Western University in 1979. From there he moved to Calgary working in industry on reservoir simulation, first at the Computer Modeling Group (CMG) and then at his own start up, Dynamic Reservoir Systems. He returned to academia and to computer science at Waterloo in 1987. His research centres on scientific computation with a strong emphasis on industrial applications, with his particular research focus for the past 20 years centering on computational problems in finance.
Terry Lyons will receive an Honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address Convocation. Lyons is Wallis Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, and Founding Member & Current Director of the Oxford-Man Institute for Quantitative Finance. Previously, he was professor of mathematics at Imperial College London and before that was the youngest individual to hold the Colin Maclaurin Chair at the University of Edinburgh. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Cambridge and his DPhil (PhD) from Oxford. Recipient of numerous recognitions and honours, he received the Rollo Davidson Prize (1985), the Whitehead Prize of the London Math Society (1986), and the Polya Prize (2000), and is fellow of numerous distinguished learned societies. He received an honorary degree from the University of Toulouse in 2007, and was also awarded honorary fellowships by Aberystwyth University (2010) and the University of Cardiff in 2012.
Clarisse Schneider will deliver the valedictory address.
Vicki Iverson will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation.
Geoffrey Song will receive the Governor General's Silver Medal.
Rudi Chen will receive the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.
The Samuel Eckler Medal for Highest Standing in Actuarial Science will go to Kieran Hendrickson-Gracie.
Michael Peter Hartz will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.
Jason Shao will receive the Sandford Fleming Foundation medal for Academic Excellence and Joshua Otto will receive the Sandford Fleming Foundation medal for Co-operative Work Term Proficiency.
A record three Engineering ceremonies tomorrow
Convocation draws to a close Saturday with ceremonies featuring graduates from the Faculty of Engineering. Follow along with the Convocation livestream.
This year, there will be three separate Convocation ceremonies for the Faculty of Engineering.
The first ceremony takes place at 10:00 a.m. for students in Architectural Studies; Chemical Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Nanotechnology Engineering; and Systems Design Engineering. 522 undergraduates will cross the stage tomorrow morning. Bearing the mace will be Rick Culham, Vice Dean and Associate Dean, International. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.
Chunli Bai will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering and address Convocation. Chunli Bai graduated from the Department of Chemistry, Peking University in 1978 and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 1981 and 1985, respectively. A well-known chemist and leading scientist in the field of nanoscience, he is also currently the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the President of the World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries. For his outstanding research and academic achievement in nanoscience, he has won more than twenty prestigious awards including UNESCO Medal for Contributions to Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He holds several memberships and prestigious fellowships including: Foreign Member of the Royal Society, Foreign Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Japan and Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Ambika Opal will deliver the valedictory address.
Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering, will address the graduating class.
Daniel Davison of Electrical and Computer Engineering will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. Davison, former Associate Chair for undergraduate studies in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is highly recognized as humble, approachable, and influential. "Many speak fondly of Davison as “a strong lecturer, mentor, and teacher” who “always keeps the students attentive and encourages [them] to ask more questions.” One alumnus explained that “he was one of the reasons that [he] decided to pursue graduate studies in the field of control systems.” Another colleague commented that he achieves this exceptional record for teaching excellence “by setting the bar high and helping students reach it.” This is made evident in his support from his students, as one wrote that “he encourages [the students] to think through the material as it is taught in lectures, helping [them] build an intuitive and practical understanding of the concepts as opposed to just textbook formulae.” Davison’s past accolades for his teaching include the Sandford Fleming Foundation Teaching Excellence Award."
Xuemin Shen of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be named University Professor.
The second ceremony takes place at 2:30 p.m. and will feature Civil Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Geological Engineering; Management Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Mechatronics Engineering students. 487 undergraduates will receive their degrees tomorrow afternoon. Gordon D. Stubley, Associate Dean, Teaching will bear the mace. Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.
Sam Altman will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering and address Convocation. Altman cofounded his first startup company, Loopt, at age 19. He has since cofounded Hydrazine Capital and served as CTO of Green Dot, as acting CEO of Reddit, and as board chair of two nuclear power companies. In 2014 he was named president of Y Combinator, arguably the most prestigious startup accelerator in the world. In 2015 he cofounded OpenAI, a non-profit company dedicated to building safe artificial intelligence for the benefit of all humanity and, in the same year, was named the top investor under 30 by Forbes. Today, Sam Altman is one of Silicon Valley’s most influential figures and is helping direct the course of technology around the globe.
Jessica Mackinnon will deliver the valedictory address.
Pearl Sullivan will address the graduating class.
Sanjeev Bedi of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering will receive the Distinguished Teacher Award. "Bedi, founder of the Engineering Ideas Clinic, is well known for his energy, mentorship, and connectivity with students," says his award citation. "From undergraduates to fellow colleagues, members of the University of Waterloo community have acknowledged Bedi for his “showmanship” and “his ability to empower students to innovate.” One undergraduate student described him as “ever engaging, full of humour, good cheer and patience, and effective at conveying complex topics to a bunch of ambitious (and challenging!) young men and women.” Students at all academic levels view his teaching as exceptional. One alumnus noted that “he was a model mechatronics engineer for [them].” Faculty members also take note of “his long track record of exceptional teaching,” as one lecturer commented that he inspires his students “to go forth and make an impact on the world.” Other colleagues added that he “loves his students” and his “impact on the Faculty of Engineering is far-reaching, positively impacting the development of students, teaching assistants, and instructors, alike.” Bedi’s past accolades for his teaching include the Outstanding Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Teaching Performance Award."
Carl Haas will receive the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. Haas is currently the Canada Research Chair in Construction and Management of Sustainable Infrastructure in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Haas joined the department in 2005 after spending 14 years as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. His areas of expertise include advanced construction techniques and technologies and construction productivity. During his career he has supervised 36 doctoral and 67 master’s students and has published more than 375 papers in journals and conferences. He has carried out research with a large number of private and public sector partners and serves on numerous editorial boards and professional committees. He is also a recipient of the Faculty of Engineering Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision.
Susan Tighe will receive the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. Professor Tighe has accumulated a distinguished record of research, teaching, graduate supervision, and service to the profession. She joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2000 and has supervised/co‐supervised 19 postdoctoral researchers, 19 doctoral and 46 master’s students. Tighe has been the Norman W. McLeod Chair in Sustainable Pavement Engineering since 2011 and has inspired her graduate students to carry out impactful research. She and her students have won numerous national and international awards for best paper and best presentations and have published over 400 papers in journals and conferences. Tighe is an internationally recognized leader in her field. She is the Director of the Centre of Pavement and Transportation Technology and the President‐elect of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. She has led and been involved in numerous national and international research projects including projects in Africa, India, Chile, China, Australia, New Zealand and North America. She is also a recipient of the Faculty of Engineering Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision.
Anne Dawson will receive the Alumni Gold Medal.
The third ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. and will feature 289 Master's students and 81 PhDs. Bruce Hellinga, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies will bear the mace. Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.
Göran Andersson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering and address Convocation. Andersson is professor emeritus at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, where he was the head of the Electric Power Systems and High Voltage Technology Lab from 2000 to 2016, following 14 years as chair and professor in power systems at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. Before moving to academia, he enjoyed a successful career in high voltage DC (HVDC) transmission at ASEA in Sweden. His research has resulted in over 400 highly-cited publications, supervising hundreds of doctoral and master’s theses. He has made many significant contributions to professional societies in a leadership role, and has been given several prestigious awards and fellowships in professional and learned societies.
Piper Bernbaum will receive the Governor General's Gold Medal.
"Piper Bernbaum has received her Master of Architecture degree in Fall 2016 under the supervision of Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt," says her award citation. "The research she conducted in her Master’s program focused on Eruv – an ancient Jewish concept in which Orthodox Jews can participate in activities that are normally prohibited on the Sabbath by living within an urban area that is surrounded by a nearly invisible physical boundary. Her theses has been described as majestic, ground-breaking, and a truly novel contribution to this subject which the New Jewish Press is interested in publishing. Piper is an exceptional scholar, designer and innovator with an outstanding academic record and consequently Piper was recently awarded the Canada Council Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners for her exceptional promise in architectural design. She is described as being a leader; her supervisor has indicated that the “the same way that the Governor General’s Medal will honour her, she will also bring an unusual honour to the award”. Piper is the current Project Manager of “The Evidence Room” Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Exhibition Project Manager for Musealia Entertainment in Spain. In the Fall 2017 she will resume her role as Adjunct Professor, First Year Design Studio for the Bachelors of Architectural Studies program at Waterloo."
Colin Pavan will receive the Albert Sherwood Barber Medal For Best Overall Work Term and Academic Performance.
Claire Diffey will be awarded the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal For Outstanding Academic Achievement in Mechanical Engineering
The George Dufault Medal for Excellence in Communication will go to Jonathan Ranisau.
Bill Lin will receive the Ontario Professional Engineering Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement.
Hannah Gautreau will be awarded the Roy Duxbury Leadership Award.
Mostafa Farrokhabadi will be presented with the Amit & Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.
Hamed Shahsavan will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.