Vavasis received a Bachelors in Mathematics from Princeton in 1984, a Masters (i.e., Part III of the Tripos) in Mathematics from Cambridge in 1985, and PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1989. He was an assistant, then associate, then full professor of computer science at Cornell University from 1989 to 2006. Since 2006 he has been a professor in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization at University of Waterloo. He served as Associate Dean for Computing 2017-2020. He has held summer or sabbatical positions at Argonne, Sandia, Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, NASA Ames and elsewhere. He is a past winner of the Hertz Graduate Fellowship, Churchill Scholarship, Presidential Young Investigator award, and Guggenheim Fellowship.