Top graduating doctoral students awarded Faculty of Mathematics Doctoral Prize

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Recent PhD graduates, Tom Kelly (Combinatorics and Optimization) and Priyank Jaini (Computer Science), have been awarded the Faculty of Mathematics Doctoral Prize. Now in its second year, these prizes are awarded annually to recognize the achievements of top graduating doctoral students in the Faculty of Mathematics.

As the gold recipient, Kelly will receive $1,500 and is nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His thesis, Cliques, Degrees, and Coloring: Expanding the \(\omega, \Delta, \chi\) paradigm, made significant contributions to long-standing open problems, including the launch of two major paradigms in graph coloring – a research area for more than 100 years.

“I believe the results of Tom’s thesis are of the highest caliber and that they will leave a lasting impact on the field,” said Postle. “He is an excellent mathematician with an eye for good problems, more than that for field-changing paradigms.”

Jaini’s thesis, Likelihood-based Density Estimation using Deep Architectures, provided a principled study of parametric density estimation methods using mixture models and triangular maps for neural density estimation.

“Dr. Jaini’s thesis is remarkable in the sense that it makes impactful contributions in terms of both theory and practice,” commented one of his co-supervisors Pascal Poupart. “His work on sum-of-square polynomial flows represents a foundational contribution that unifies and advances the development of probabilistic neural networks.”

Learn more about Kelly and Jaini in their individual profile stories.