Robin Wen wins Alumni Gold Medal for 2022 graduating class

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Robin WenRobin Wen, a student who recently finished a program in mathematical physics, is this year’s recipient of the Alumni Gold Medal for the Faculty of Mathematics.

The award is administered through Alumni Relations and goes to an outstanding student with top-notch grades and academic potential.

One undergraduate student from each of the university’s six faculties receives the award at spring convocation.

Wen was a recipient of the Schulich Leader Scholarship when he began his program of study in 2018. His research interests are in astrophysics and quantum information. Along with his major in mathematical physics, he completed a second major in statistics.

Wen completed his program with an overall average of 97.186%, a Faculty of Mathematics average of 97.971% and more than three-quarters of completed courses with a grade of 95% or above.

He has worked closely with Professor Achim Kempf, an applied mathematician and an affiliate of the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute.

Wen also worked with Professors James Taylor and Niayesh Afshordi, both from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, on two astrophysics projects during his undergraduate studies.

This star student is now set to begin PhD studies this fall at the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

“The two majors and all the research experience really prepared me for what I’m going to be doing,” Wen says. “Waterloo is such a unique place, and for someone like me, it opened amazing possibilities. I think the research and internship opportunities were one of the best parts of the whole experience.”

Wen credits Waterloo’s spirit of innovation and focus on technological advancement as motivations for his success.

“When you’re surrounded by so much cutting-edge research, it pushes you to innovate as well,” he continues. “The courses, the profs, just the whole environment. It has been wonderful.”

As for the next challenge, doing a PhD at Caltech is something Wen says he is ready for.

“Especially having worked with some amazing professors, I know what it means to do cutting-edge research. There is so much interesting work happening in theoretical physics and this PhD is exactly what I want to do.”

Read more about the Alumni Gold Medal on the awards homepage.