Student Awards

MCS student wins Rose Sheinin Award.

Dariya Darvin, a Math major, Geographical Information Systems minor and Biology minor and a June 2020 graduate at MCS, wins Rose Sheinin Award, a U of T-wide award given to an outstanding female student in a Science program. Read this article on Dariya in UTM News. Congratulations Dariya!


Two MCS students win the 2020 UTM Principal's Involvement Award.

Congratulations go out to Anna Nicolaou (MAT major, STA specialist) and Misha Ali (STA major, CSC major) for being among the 25 UTM students recognized for their significant efforts to enhance the quality of student life at UTM. Please read more here.


Two MCS students become the recipients of the 2020 University of Toronto Student Leadership Awards. 03-09-2020.

Congratulations go out to Dariya Darvin (Math Major) and Nikki Sigurdson (Math Specialist and CS Minor) for being among the 18 UTM students receiving this distinguished award which recognizes outstanding student leadership. Please read more here.


Mahika Phutane, 4th year CS & CCIT major, wins a prestigious Dennis Washington Graduate Leadership Scholarship. 02-27-2020

Congratulations to Mahika Phutane for winning this prestigious scholarship and for being the first Canadian to win this award, provided by the Horatio Alger Association of DIstinguished Americans. Please read more here & here.


2019 MCS Awards Reception. 10-22-2019

On Tuesday, October 22nd, the Department held the MCS Awards Reception again. We had over 50 students, parents, donors, and staff, join us in celebrating and recognizing students and faculty for their achievements. Here is the list of the 2018-19 academic year award winners.


Congratulations to our two graduating students who win top UTM Undergraduate Student Awards 2018-19. May 2019

  • Jarvis Kennedy (Math major) wins the Founders Gold Medal awarded to an outstanding graduating student, whose personal qualities are considered along with excellence in academic achievement. Jarvis was nominated by Professor Yael Karshon and is also the recipient of the Peter Fantham Memorial Scholarship in 2018 and Elizabeth and William Star Award in 2017. 
  • Christopher Chianelli (Computer Science major) is recognized for top outstanding program performance in 2018-19, by the UTM Office of Vice-Principal Academic and Dean.

More information can be found here:


Sadia Sharmin, Professors Daniel Zingaro, and Lisa Zhang receive Program Chair's  Award at CompEd 2019. 05-24-2019

This award is given to the best conference paper where the first author is a student. This work investigates the effect of using open-ended, exploratory assignments in an introductory computer science course. The paper is available here:


Assistant Professor Florian Shkurti's student to receive a 2019 University of Toronto Excellence Award in Natural Sciences and Engineering (UTEA-NSE). 04-17-2019

Congratulations to Yuchen Wu, a student of Professor Florian Shkurti's, on winning a well-deserved 2019 University of Toronto Excellence Award in Natural Sciences and Engineering. This award allows undergraduate students to develop an appreciation for the investigative methodology in areas of particular interest, and to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in research. More information on the award can be found here.


Assistant Professor Furkan Alaca's students to tie first place in CyberSCI-Toronto cybersecurity challenge. 01-19-2019

A tight race between the Seneca College teams and the two MCS teams represented at the CyberSCI-Toronto cybersecurity challenge on January 19, 2019 ended in a first place tie between team "Blue Canary" (MCS UTM) and "Bash Daddies" from Seneca College. Congratulations to our CS students on this great achievement! Find out more at:


2018 MCS Awards Reception. 10-18-2018

On Thursday, October 18th, the Department held the MCS Awards Reception again. We had over 45 students, parents, donors, and staff, join us in celebrating and recognizing students and faculty for their achievements. Here is the list of the 2017-18 academic year award winners.


Information Security Students won First Place at the 2018 Toronto Cyber Security Challenge.  04-27-2018

Darren Hobin, Nimesha Jayawardena, Darshan Mehta, and Rajdeep Nanua, winners of the 2018 Toronto Cyber Security Challenge: Prizes for first place included a trophy, security training, gift cards and first crack at internships at Bell, CIBC, EY, Secure Sense, and Security Compass.

Congratulations are due to our UTM Information Security Students and their supervisor Arnold Rosenbloom!


Abdulwasay Mehar and Vaishvik Maisuria won the 1st-place prize for the "Best Use of Blockchain" in UofTHack V. 01-20-2018

MCS undergraduate students Abdulwasay Mehar and Vaishvik Maisuria won the 1st-place prize for the "Best Use of Blockchain" in the fifth annual UofTHacks on January 20th, 2018. Their project, named Single Truth, applies the ethereum blockchain technology to the insurance industry and creates an organized system for transferring information among brokers, insurance companies, and the reinsurers. The 1st-place prize of 1-ETH (a cryptocurrency unit worth about $1300 CAD) was awarded by ChainSafe Systems.


Geneva Liwag won the Dean's Excellence Award in Writing. 01-06-2018

MCS student Geneva Liwag won the Dean's Excellence Award in the category of Writing, University of Toronto Mississauga, for her essay " Mathematics and Medicine: not as disjoint as you might think" that she wrote in MAT392H5 ("Ideas of Mathematics" ) in the winter of 2018. Her essay can be found here.

Geneva Liwag was nominated by Professor Yael Karson.


2017 MCS Awards Reception. 10-19-2017

On Thursday, October 19th, the department held the MCS Awards Reception, celebrating and recognizing students and faculty for their achievements. We were delighted to have two of our donors, Olga Fraser and Doris Geddes, join us in congratulating the award winners. Here is a link to the photos:


Charlene Chu won the Best Poster Presentation at UTM Graduate Research Colloquium 2016 Event. 06-05-2016

Math graduate student Charlene Chu won the first prize for Best Poster Presentation for her presentation on “Polygons on a Lattice” on Monday, May 2, 2016 at the UTM second annual Graduate Research Colloquium.


MCSS (Mathematical & Computational Sciences Society) won the Student Organizations' Awards 02-05-2016

MCSS was one of 6 student organizations to win the 2015-2016 Student Life "Program of the Year" Award for our Hackathon in October 2015.

More information can be found here.


Peggy Cao won the Principal's Involvement Award  02-05-2016

Pegg Cao,  MCSS 2015-2016 President, was one of 25 students to win the 2015-2016 Student Life "Principal's Involvement Award" for her involvements in MCSS, Residence, and other activities.


2015 MCS Awards Reception. 10-20-2015

On Tuesday, October 20th, the department held its first ever MCS Awards Reception, celebrating and recognizing students and faculty for their achievements. Some of the awards received were Governor General's Medal and Founders Gold Medal for graduating students, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award and Dean's Excellence Award,  Anne Holden Scholarship, Doris Geddes Scholarship, Elizabeth and William Star Award, June Scott Award, Olga Fraser Award and Peter Fantham Scholarship for current students, as well as Excellence in Teaching awards for faculty. We are so proud to have such students and faculty in our department!

Here is a link to the photos:


Razvan Andrei Moraru, Andrew Meyers and Michael Ang won the Dean's Excellence Award in Creative Activity  26-05-2015

MCS students Razvan Andrei Moraru, Andrew Meyers and Michael Ang won the Dean's Excellence Award in the category of Creative Activity, University of Toronto Mississauga.  The Committee was impressed with this group project, "Persistence of Vision Globe". The Committee elaborated, "the ingenuity and attention to detail that went into the making of this project, and the simple but dazzling result made it a clear winner in this category."

This group of three students was nominated by Professor Daniel Wigdor.


Anqi Lu has been awarded the Governor General's Medal and the Rose Sheinin Award  04-06-2014

MCS Statistics student Anqi Lu took home the prestigious Governors General’s Medal for undergraduate academic excellence.  She also won the Rose Sheinin Award as the outstanding female student graduating in a science program.

Anqi Lu, a statistics graduate, was presented with the university’s top awards at convocation ceremonies on June 5, 2014. Anqi also captured four awards that were presented during a ceremony on May 27:

  • Best Student – Honours B.Sc.
  • Award for Outstanding Performance – Mathematical & Computational Sciences
  • The Founders Gold Medal
  • The E.A. Robinson Medal - Sciences

Thanks to Professor Alison Weir for nominatingAnqi for the Founders Gold Medal and the Governor Generals Medal.


Robbie Nohra won the Dean's Excellence Award in Research Excellence  20-05-2014

MCS student Robbie Nohra won the Dean's Excellence Award in the category of Research Excellence, University of Toronto Mississauga.  The Committee was impressed with his paper entitled, "Smirnov's Theorem Simplified: Crossing Probability on a Hexagonal Lattice". The Committee regarded his report as very well written, with clear explanations and a clear structure. Well done, Robbie!

Robbie Nohra was nominated by Professor Ilia Binder.


UTM Team Placed 6th at International Capture the Flag (ICTF) 2013 13-12-2013

International Capture the Flag (ICTF) is a distributed, competitive computer security competition. During the contest, teams of students from across the world attempt to keep their own network services running while exploiting security holes in the services of other teams.

This year, the UTM team placed 6th of 122 teams (and 2nd in North America). Full standings are here:

The UTM team was composed of seven current and former students:

       Lance Blais (alumni)

       Michael Bennett (alumni)

       Cristian Poll (alumni)

       Yuliya Cherenkova

       Mark Dobrowolski

       James Lahey

       Christopher Primerano


Nicolay Doytchev won the Dean's Excellence Award in Experiential Learning  04-06-2013

MCS student Nicolay Doytchev won the Dean's Excellence Award in the category of Experiential Learning, University of Toronto Mississauga, for his Award for work performed at RIM while on PEY. The Committee was impressed with Nicolay Doytchev's report on his PEY Internship and commented, "This student looks like a superstar programmer." The Committee regarded his performance at RIM as excellent. Well done, Nicolay!

Nicolay Doytchev was nominated by Professor Arnold Rosenbloom.


Sabin Sadeh, Mark Zaky and Andrew Kim won first place at the 2013 Young Entrepreneurs Challenge (YEC) 01-2013

MCS Fourth-year students Sabin Sadeh, Mark Zaky and Andrew Kim presented a virtual jukebox app called eJuked at the competition held on campus in January. They won first place — and a prize of $2,500 — at the 2013 Young Entrepreneurs Challenge (YEC), where students pitched business ideas to a panel of corporate executives, Dragons’ Den style. Here's a link to an article with more details about it:

The winning project was one of the project done through CSC490H5 course in the Fall semester of 2012.

Congratulations Sabin, Mark and Andrew and their supervisor Professor Arnold Rosenbloom!


Mariya Boyko won the Dean's Excellence Award in Writing 2011

MCS student Mariya Boyko won the Dean's Excellence Award in the category of Writing, University of Toronto Mississauga, for her essay " Mobius Transformations" that she wrote in MAT392H5 ("Ideas of Mathematics" ) in the fall of 2010-2011. The award Committee was impressed with essay and commented on the quality of the writing and how Mariya Boyko was able to advance a mathematical idea within the context of a very well written essay. 


David Farahany won the Dean's Excellence Award in Research 2012

MCS student David Farahany won the Dean's Excellence Award in Research, University of Toronto Mississauga, for his project "Change of variable formula and the Brouwer fixed point theorem", which he did under Professor Yael Karshon's supervision in the summer of 2011.


Abdul Rahman Ayoub Wins TAPA Award 16-07-2012

MCS Student Abdul Rahman Ayoub has won this year's Teaching Assistants' Training Program (TATP) Teaching Excellence Award!

TATP received 433 nominations on behalf of 197 Teaching Assistants. Abdul was one of only four winners this year.   It is quite a remarkable achievement for him and MCS.

Congratulations Abdul!! 


Putnam Competition 2010, 66 out of 442 teams

The Putnam Competition is an annual mathematics competition for undergraduate students of the United States and Canada, awarding scholarships and cash prizes ranging from $250 to $2,500 for the top students and $5,000 to $25,000 for the top schools. It is being held every year, in December. The competition was founded in 1927 by Elizabeth Lowell Putnam in memory of her husband William Lowell Putnam, who, while alive was an advocate of intercollegiate intellectual competition.

The first UTM team was formed in 2008, and since then, a small group of interested students are writing the Putnam every year.

In 2010, the UTM team achieved a remarkable result. Huo Junwei, Garkusha Roman and Vitaly Kuznetsov were the UTM team members for the 2010 competition. The team rank achieved is 66 (out of 442 teams from all of the United States and Canada), which is a very high rank.

Huo Junwei, who was a second year economics and statistics student (at that time), scored 39 (out of 120). This is an extremely high score!  Most students who write the contest score 0 (ZERO!), and even getting a score of 20 is a big achievement.  As a result, Junwei appears on the list of students who ranked between 198 and 470 (out of 4296 students who wrote the Putnam last year).

Our chair, Professor Konstantin Khanin, has decided to award Junwei a cash prize of $500 for his outstanding result.


MCS Student wins Dean's Essay Prize 19-03-2008
Simon Elliott received the award for his essay written for CSC290H5.

Simon Elliott is a somewhat unlikely winner of this year’s Dean’s Essay Prize. The computer science major has written only one major essay all semester and his focus of study is, let’s face it, hardly a hotbed of literary activity.

“I was very surprised to find out I had won,” Elliott said. “I was up against English majors and others who write essays all the time.” The annual prize, which recognizes excellence in writing, is presented to undergraduate students from any discipline or program at U of T Mississauga (although fourth-year thesis papers are ineligible). Essays are nominated by faculty members; winners receive $1,000 and a meal with the dean.

Elliott’s “Reading Between the Lines: An Analysis of Beauty in the Code and its Role in the Computer Science Curriculum,” was written for the Communication Skills for Computer Scientists (CSC290) course taught by Professor G. Scott Graham. In it, Elliott took what he calls a “relativist approach” in arguing that beauty is a perspective that should not be taught.

Dean Gage Averill, one of the five judges, praised the essay highly. “It looked at a classic theme in philosophy with a philosopher’s eye…and applied it to computer science, but with an anthropological take, looking at how different communities of computer scientists think about code. Elliott touched on three major divisions of the university: the arts and humanities, the social sciences and the sciences, and crafted a stunning piece of work that transcended any given discipline.”

The multidisciplinary nature of Elliott’s essay stems from his varied academic interests and extra-curricular pursuits. After taking some engineering courses and founding an IT consulting company, Elliott completed a degree in police foundations at Seneca College. With a career goal of law enforcement, specifically in forensic computing, he then enrolled at U of T Mississauga with its top-notch computer science and forensics programs.

To round out his education, Elliott has also taken philosophy courses, including one that covered Friedrich Nietzsche, whose theory on aesthetics, or beauty, provided fodder for his winning essay. In his spare time, he enjoys creative writing, “mostly science fiction and a bit of fantasy and horror,” he says.

Elliott’s excellent writing style was another aspect that impressed Averill and the other members of the judging panel – Professors Richard Greene of the Department of English and Drama; Kirk Blankstein of psychology; and David Wolfe of political science; as well as Cleo Boyd, director of the Bob Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. For his proficiency as a communicator, Elliott thanks his grandfather. “He was an English teacher and very strict about how we spoke. I was taught to appreciate good language skills.”

Elliott still hasn’t told his grandfather of his win, but is planning to break the news this coming Easter long weekend when he will join his family in celebrating his grandfather’s 90th birthday. “My grandfather,” says Elliott, “is going to be pleasantly surprised.”

SOURCE: University of Toronto News Release


MCS Student Wins National Award 23-09-07

Ramya Thinniyam awarded 2007 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Student Scholarship Award

The second annual McGraw-Hill Ryerson Student Scholarship Awards were presented to twenty college and university students who displayed Integrity, Classroom Engagement, and Initiative. Students were nominated by their professors for their contributions to the teaching and learning environment and received a $1000 award and certificate signed by the President of the Higher Education Division.

Ramya Thinniyam is a 2007 graduate of MCS of the University of Toronto Mississauga and began graduate studies in statistics at the University of Toronto in September 2007. She was nominated for this award by Dr. Alison Weir of MCS.


Marian Awad won the Inaugural Dean's Essay Prize 2006

MCS student Marian Awad won the 2006 Inaugural Dean's Essay Prize at the University of Toronto Mississauga for her essay "Representation Theory of Finite Groups: from Frobenius to Bauer". The award Committee was impressed with the essay and found the essay to be an "outstandingly clear, complete and insightful exposition of a complex topic."