Spring Convocation 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Congratulations to today's graduates and honorees!

From the University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin:

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.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.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.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 PierreRobillard 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.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.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.

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