Ahmad Abdi wins the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award

Friday, June 7, 2013

The second annual Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research will be awarded to graduating student Ahmad Abdi at convocation on June 14. Ahmad is seen here with Dean Ian Goulden (right) and Associate Dean Research Robin Cohen (left).

Ian Goulden, Ahmad Abdi and Robin Cohen.
Ahmad was nominated by Professors Bertrand Guenin and Ricardo Fukasawa. He is completing a BMath degree with a double major in Combinatorics & Optimization and Pure Mathematics. Through the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization accelerated master's program, Ahmad will also complete a MMath degree in August 2013.

Ahmad was praised as an exceptionally strong student who demonstrates "mathematical maturity well beyond his years" and tremendous research skills. As a second- and third-year student, he took graduate-level courses and was known to out-perform his classmates. Ahmad's research spans multiple subfields and includes an examination of a longstanding open problem. His nominators acknowledged that he was "the driving force behind this work." Read more about Ahmad's work from the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization website.

Ahmad will present Integer flows in binary matroids at the fourth biennial Canadian Discrete and Algorithmic Mathematics (CanaDAM) Conference  next week.

Strong nominations in support of Yuntao Liu (Mathematical Finance and Actuarial Science) and Maysum Panju (Pure Mathematics, Computational Math, and Combinatorics & Optimization triple major) were also put forward.

About the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Professor Ming Li and his family have created this award in honour and memory of his late wife, Jessie Wenhui Zou.

Jessie was born August 27, 1968 in Wuhan, China. She received a PhD degree from Wuhan University in physics when she was 26 years old.  Jessie loved the field of finance and continued to pursue her studies and graduated from the University of Waterloo’s statistical finance master’s program in 2000. During this time, she also studied Computer Science (CS) at Waterloo and took a course in Java programming (CS 134). Upon graduation, she worked at the Bank of Montreal, specializing in risk control management.

With this award, the family wishes to support research activities at the undergraduate level within the Faculty of Mathematics to carry on Jessie’s passion for education.

The Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research is valued at $1,000 and presented annually to an undergraduate student enrolled in his or her final year of any program within the Faculty of Mathematics. Students must have demonstrated excellence in research and have been nominated by a faculty member who has supervised that research. The awardee is chosen by the Faculty of Mathematics Research Advisory Committee, chaired by the Associate Dean, Research.

See 2012 awardee and nominees.