Skip to content Skip to footer

Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award

This award was established by the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society (CAIMS) to recognize and to publicize an outstanding PhD thesis in Applied Mathematics accepted at a Canadian University during the calendar year prior to the year of the award. This award is named after Cecil Graham, who was a founding member of the society and served as secretary-treasurer/secretary for eight years. Cecil was a great mentor and took a particular interest in encouraging young people to become involved with the society.

The award consists of a prize of $1000 and a commemorative plaque that will be presented at the CAIMS*SCMAI Annual Meeting. The recipient will be invited to give a lecture at the Annual Meeting in the year of the award. A travel allowance will be provided.

Nominations shall consist of:
  1. a cover letter from the thesis supervisor indicating why the thesis is being nominated. This letter should summarize the research problem, techniques, results, significance, and potential impact
  2. a letter (from the supervisor or other appropriate person familiar with the thesis and the research area) placing the thesis within the context of the current field and identifying potential applications of the work
  3. a letter from the Graduate Chair (or Faculty of Graduate Studies, University library, etc.) providing proof of the official date the thesis was accepted
  4. an electronic copy of the thesis

To submit an application for this award, go to Open Nominations page.

CAIMS Cecil Graham Dissertation Award Evaluation Rubric

Score 10 to 5 4 to 1 0
Quality of Thesis Results The results of the thesis are of exceptional quality. They have immediate impact to the field. The thesis contains some interesting results which might become relevant in the future. The results are incremental with little impact.
Innovation The thesis contains one or a few highly innovative ideas. The thesis contains some original ideas. The methods follow directly from established techniques.
Writing and Style Engaging writing style, text flows well, fun to read. Text is clear and easy to read. The thesis is tiresome to read. Logical flow is interrupted. It contains grammatical or spelling errors.
TOTAL: 0-30

2023 Prize Winner: Saifuddin Syed

Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award:  Saifuddin Syed (PhD, University of British Columbia)

By analyzing the broadly applied optimization method Parallel Tempering, Dr. Syed developed new optimization algorithms and proved that they are expected to perform better than the original. The impact of Dr. Syed’s work was beautifully illustrated in the application of his new methods to producing a high-resolution image of a black hole using data from the Event Horizon Telescope, among other applications.

Awards Winners

Saifuddin Syed

Award Year: 2023

Ali Devran Kara

Award Year: 2022

Nadia Shardt

Award Year: 2020

Amir Maleki

Award Year: 2019

David McLeod

Award Year: 2018

Chai Molina

Award Year: 2017

Wilten Nicola

Award Year: 2016

Eric Foxall

Award Year: 2016

Diego Ayala

Award Year: 2015

Frances Mackay

Award Year: 2013

Vladislav Buksthynov

Award Year: 2012

Brendan Pass

Award Year: 2011

Elsa Hansen

Award Year: 2010

David Titley-Peloquin

Award Year: 2010

Gerardo Berbeglia

Award Year: 2009

Raluca Eftimie

Award Year: 2008

Colin Macdonald

Award Year: 2008

Alysson M. Costa

Award Year: 2007

Richard Pancer

Award Year: 2006

Miguel Angel Moyers González

Award Year: 2005

Isabelle Déchène

Award Year: 2005

C. Lindsay Anderson

Award Year: 2004

Ovidiu Voitcu

Award Year: 2004

Ramadan Akila

Award Year: 2003

Connell McCluskey

Award Year: 2002

Petter Wiberg

Award Year: 2002

David Iron

Award Year: 2001

Stephen J. Gustafson

Award Year: 1999

Troy Day

Award Year: 1998

Jon-Paul Voroney

Award Year: 1998

John Stockie

Award Year: 1997
Image of Steven Ruuth

Steve Ruuth

Award Year: 1996

H. Ye

Award Year: 1995

Qiang Lan

Award Year: 1994

Kenzu Abdella

Award Year: 1993

Yuanping He

Award Year: 1993

Yu Qin

Award Year: 1992

Rodolfo Bermejo

Award Year: 1990

Peter J. S. Young

Award Year: 1989

Deming Zhuang

Award Year: 1988

Zi-Cai Li

Award Year: 1986

Wendy Seward

Award Year: 1985

Paul Muir

Award Year: 1984

Michael Foreman

Award Year: 1984
About CAIMS

The Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society, which dates from 1979, has a growing presence in industrial, mathematical, scientific and technological circles within and outside of Canada.

Contact CAIMS

Please direct all inquiries about the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society (CAIMS) to: