MEDIA RELEASE — April 28, 2015

Canadian Mathematical Society

April 28, 2015

2015 Doctoral Prize recognizes two remarkable Ontario graduates

Yuval Filmus
(University of Toronto)
photo provided by Yuval Filmus
Hector H. Pasten Vasquez
(Queen’s University)
photo provided by Hector H. Pasten Vasquez

OTTAWA — Two outstanding mathematicians Yuval Filmus (University of Toronto) and Hector H. Pasten Vasquez (Queen’s University) have been awarded with the 2015 Doctoral Prize. Yuval’s research is predominately focused in the area of extremal combinatorics and Hector completed his doctorate focused on number theory and logic. This is the first time that the Canadian Mathematical Society has awarded the Doctoral Prize to two recipients.

“Exceptional doctoral students like Yuval and Hector reflects the excellence of the Canadian mathematical community,” said CMS President Lia Bronsard. “The CMS is pleased to celebrate their progressive research and passion for mathematics with the Doctoral Prize.”


“Hector stands at the forefront of all the graduate students I have ever seen or supervised,” said Ram Murty in his nomination letter for Pasten. “His zeal and knowledge of mathematics are extensive and deep.”

Hector completed his earlier education at the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile, specializing in logic and non-archimedean analysis. He started at Queen’s University in 2010 and worked under the direction of Ram Murty. Hector received the Governor General Academic Gold Medal in 2014 for his high academic standing and thesis, Arithmetic problems around the ABC conjecture and connections with logic.

In May 2014, Hector was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Mathematics of Academia Sinica in Taiwan, where he presented a series of lectures on his research. He joined Harvard University in July 2014 as a Benjamin Peirce Fellow and in 2015-16 will be a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Hector plans to return to Harvard to complete his Fellowship following his term at the IAS.


“Yuval is the most talented student that I have ever had the pleasure to supervise,” said Toniann Pitassi, in a nomination letter for Filmus. “He is a first rate researcher in every way: brilliant, highly motivated, interested in the big research questions and incredibly creative.”

Yuval’s supervisors noted his ability to pick up and solve research problems at an astonishing rate. They praised his curiosity, which allowed him to work with many people on a wide variety of problems.

Yuval received his BA in Computer Science from the Open University of Israel in 2000 and his M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute in 2002. In 2013 he completed his PhD at the University of Toronto for his thesis Spectral methods in extremal combinatorics. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study and is currently working at the IAS.

About the Doctoral Prize

The CMS Doctoral Prize recognizes outstanding performance by a doctoral student who graduated from a Canadian university in the preceding year (January 1 to December 31). The first award was presented in 1997.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including: scientific meetings; publications; awards; prizes; grants; camps and competitions. As the national math association, the CMS represents Canada internationally to other societies as well as organizations such as the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

For more information, please contact:

Julie Bortolotti
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
613-733-2662 ext. 728
or Stephen Kudla (University of Toronto)
Chair, CMS Research Committee
Tel: 416-978-3415