SYDE Grad Students receive Waterloo AI Institute Scholarships

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Waterloo AI Institute provides twelve one-time awards valued at $5,000 each. One Master’s student and one Ph.D. student from each of the University’s six faculties were chosen to receive a scholarship. This year Shivam Kalra and Milad Sikaroudi, Ph.D. students from Kimia Lab have been awarded the AI scholarship.


Shivam Kalra is a Ph.D. candidate at the Kimia Lab. He has completed his MSc at the University of Waterloo and BSc in Software Engineering at the University of Ontario Inst. of Technology. Shivam is an outstanding student and a researcher, and the holder of various national, provincial, and university-level scholarships and awards. He was selected as the finalist for the Governor’s General Gold Medal from the University of Waterloo for his excellent academic standings and research contributions. During the Ph.D., Shivam has developed a search engine for digital pathology archives called Yottixel.  The search technology for pathology archives, such as Yottixel is a pioneering step for tapping the immense potential of AI that can revolutionize biomedical research for infectious diseases and cancer. For the rest of his Ph.D., Shivam is interested to research in federated learning for computational pathology. Federated learning is a privacy-preserving machine learning paradigm that enables multi-institutional collaborations on collaborative diagnostic and treatment projects without disclosing patient data. Putting privacy at the forefront of AI has the potential to transform the way AI research is conducted in biomedical fields. 

“I am extremely honored to receive this award from Waterloo AI in recognition for my academic and research achievements. This award will provide the much-needed support and encouragement to my experience as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo.”


Milad Sikaroudi is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree with the Department of Systems Design Engineering and is a graduate research assistant at the KIMIA Lab, University of Waterloo. He has published several impactful publications in using AI for medical image analysis.

“I am honored to be part of the Waterloo AI institute community taking steps in the right direction of translational requirements for deploying AI”, says Milad.

“I truly appreciate the Waterloo AI Institute for this scholarship. This kind of recognition energizes graduate students to be more productive in the active field of AI.”