Ruodu Wang and Aukosh Jagannath named Canada Research Chairs

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Two professors from the Faculty of Mathematics have been named NSERC Canada Research Chairs. Ruodu Wang, professor of actuarial science and quantitative finance, has been named a Tier 1 NSERC CRC in Quantitative Risk Management, and Aukosh Jagannath, assistant professor of statistics and actuarial science, has been named a Tier 2 NSERC CRC in Mathematical Foundations of Data Science.

The Canada Research Chair program “directly supports emerging and established researchers across health, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities disciplines, and enhances research excellence in Canada.” Established in 2000, the program currently has more than 2,000 Chairs across 35 Canadian institutions.

Wang joined the University of Waterloo in 2012, shortly after completing his PhD in Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is one of the world’s leading researchers in the relatively new field of quantitative risk management, which “lies at the intersection of statistics, mathematics, actuarial science, operations research, and economics.”

He studies several topics, including the recently developed theory of “e-values” in statistical testing, as well as modeling and assessing uncertainty. “I plan to work with financial institutions, regulators and scientists in other fields to help to design risk management tools and statistical procedures,” he says.

Headshot of Ruodu Wang

Ruodu Wang

He has received numerous awards and honours recognizing his groundbreaking work, including a Faculty of Mathematics Golden Jubilee Research Excellence Award (2017), a University Research Chair (2018), and being made a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (2022).

He is thankful to numerous people for their support in helping him achieve this award, including his “family, mentors, co-authors, colleagues, and students, both at Waterloo and globally.” Wang is especially grateful to his mentor Paul Embrechts at ETH Zurich.

“I am extremely happy and honoured about receiving the CRC,” Wang says. “With the support, resources and recognition, I hope that Waterloo will be the top place in the world for research in Quantitative Risk Management, and that I will develop reliable and responsible – both socially and scientifically – theory and methodology, which address the current challenges to better serve society.”

Aukosh Jagannath

Aukosh Jagganath

Aukosh Jagannath has been a professor at the University of Waterloo since 2019. Prior to joining the Faculty of Mathematics he earned a PhD in mathematics at New York University, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and Harvard University. His research concerns the fundamental problems at the heart of data science: especially applications of probability theory.

“This research line is only just at its infancy,” he says. “With the CRC I hope to be able to rapidly build on the successes we’ve had so far in this direction.”

Jagannath’s research at the University of Waterloo has already received significant recognition: in 2022 alone he received a Golden Jubilee Research Excellence Award (2022) and an Outstanding Paper Award from NeurIPS.

His success is especially impressive considering that the Covid-19 pandemic began shortly after his arrival at Waterloo. “[The pandemic] made it a bit difficult to meet and get to know other colleagues in the university and to recruit students,” he says. Nevertheless, “I’ve been fortunate at Waterloo. The colleagues here are very supportive and helpful.” He is especially grateful to his faculty mentor, Paul Marriot (professor of statistics and actuarial science) “for his support and for encouraging me to apply for the position.”

You can read more about the Canada Research Chairs on the CRC website.