Leni Ven, an undergraduate student who recently graduated with a degree in Data Science from the Cheriton School of Computer Science, received the Governor General’s Silver Medal.

The award recognizes a graduate student from the Faculty of Mathematics with the highest overall average.

Ven achieved the highest GPA of all students who graduated in Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Winter 2022, a stunning 97.419%, and also achieved the third highest GPA in the Faculty of Mathematics at 97.833%. His outstanding academic record saw only five course marks fall below 95% and seventeen courses fall below 100%.

She is also well known in the Faculty of Mathematics for her website with notes and guides available for other students.

Ven is interested in research on neurosymbolic systems and automated reasoning. She is set to begin a doctoral program at Stanford University this fall.

This remarkable student was initially refused entry into the computer science program but, undeterred, began more general studies at the Faculty of Mathematics and transferred to computer science after demonstrating extraordinary abilities.

“My background in IT wasn’t typical,” says Ven. “There were big challenges early on, but I knew I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way.”

In addition to courses and research in computer science, she also obtained a minor in pure mathematics and another minor in combinatorics and optimization. But it wasn’t all work for this star student.

“College is a place to explore your interests,” she continues. “So I spent time learning the violin, learning to cook, doing photography, and doing road trips around southern Ontario. »

Ven says that several computer science professors have been mentors and inspirations to achieve great things, especially some of the supervisors of different research projects, one of which led to a publication in ACM SIGMETRICS.

“I would like to thank Professors Justin Wan, Raouf Boutaba and Yizhou Zhang. They helped me a lot along the way.

As Ven prepares to undertake doctoral studies, it is also a time to enjoy his graduation and reflect on his experiences at Waterloo.

“It can sometimes be the weird things that come to mind the most,” she says. “I remember that during the analysis, Professor Laurent Marcoux said that he had been taught maths with chickens. So I will follow this path and raise roosters and hens. I would like to stay in academia and continue raising chickens.

Learn more about the Governor General’s Silver Medal on the awards homepage.