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Portrait of Dr. Tony Chan, President of KAUST, on the university campus. Photo: KAUST
Each year the University of Waterloo (UW), Canada recognizes thought leaders and influencers who are advancing society across a spectrum of disciplines. This year, Waterloo recognized KAUST President Dr. Tony Chan as one of 18 outstanding individuals who received honorary degrees and distinctions.
President and Vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, Vivek Goel said, “Every year, we confer honorary degrees on incredible individuals who have accomplished great things. We know our graduates will take inspiration from these individuals as they set out on their own paths of discovery.”
President Chan has strong ties with the University of Waterloo from his tenure as the President of Hong Kong University of Science and technology (HKUST). The HKUST-UW research program was one of his achievements. The program provided funding for 10 collaborative research projects between researchers from both institutions, three of which were in the field of mathematics — Chan’s area of expertise.
Chan is known globally as an esteemed mathematician and thought leader in computational models and algorithms for image processing. His academic and professional achievements include a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University, USA; a Research Fellowship at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA; an honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland; several fellowships in the areas of engineering, math and science; and a 2020 SIAM Prize (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) for Distinguished Service to the Profession.
During a recent visit to Waterloo, Chan presented a paper to the UW students, A Personal and Historical View of Computational Mathematics, and also spoke at convocation about his experiences in education and leadership.
"Graduates, when you go out into the world, keep in mind that you should try to be a leader and not just a follower," Chan said. "You have to spot the next trend in the world, in society."