Top graduate students awarded prestigious honours

Friday, October 16, 2020

Congratulations to Nashid Shahriar who received the 2020 Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a doctoral program and Ishan Bansal was named a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal for a Master’s program.

The Office of Alumni Affairs recognizes top graduating students for academic achievement by awarding the Alumni Gold Medal and University Finalists at convocation. Shahriar is one of two medalists at Waterloo and Bansal is one of five outstanding students from various faculties who represent our exceptionally gifted community of graduate scholars who are creating knowledge and generating transformative research for the betterment of society.

Nashid Shahriar
“Congratulations to Nashid and Ishan upon their graduation and these honours,” said Mark Giesbrecht, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics. “We’re extremely proud of the advancements in research that these two scholars accomplished in their time at Waterloo and we wish them the best as they continue their research.”

Shahriar was a PhD student in the Systems and Networking group working under the supervision of Raouf Boutaba, professor and director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. His research advanced the state-of-the-art in network virtualization, a step necessary to realize the next-generation of communication networks. Shahriar considered a variety of failure scenarios, formulating reliable network virtualization problems mathematically and solving them optimally, as well as devising fast algorithms that scale to large problem instances. Since July 2020, Shahriar has been working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Regina.

Ishan Bansal
Bansal completed his Master’s under the supervision of Professors Chaitanya Swamy and Jochen Koenemann in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization. His research focused on combinatorial optimization (or discrete optimization, approximation algorithms and network design. Working on the capacitated survivable network design problem, Bansal managed to improve the approximation factor of current algorithms by a doubly exponential factor. He’s now continuing his studies in the prestigious PhD program at Cornell’s School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering.