University of Szeged bestows highest honour on York math professor

University of Szeged rector Gábor Szabó presents the honorary degree to Professor Jianhong Wu
University of Szeged rector Gábor Szabó presents the honorary degree to Professor Jianhong Wu

University Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science, received a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Szeged in Hungary. He was honoured Nov. 12 for his leadership and contributions to disease modelling and big data analytics. Wu joins the list of other prestigious honorary doctorates from the University of Szeged, including Nobel Prize recipient Eric Francis Wieschaus and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

“I am pleased to see Jianhong being recognized on the international stage for his ground-breaking achievements in math modelling,” said Ray Jayawardhana, dean of the Faculty of Science at York. “His work is informing our understanding of infectious diseases and public health policies. Congratulations to him for this special honour.”

Wu is the Canada Research Chair in Industrial and Applied Mathematics (Tier 1). He is a global expert in the development of cutting-edge mathematical models to help predict and control infectious disease outbreaks.  He has modelled and analyzed many types of infections, including SARS, drug-resistant bacteria and the flu virus. He established the Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2001 and co-founded the Centre for Disease Modelling at York University during the SARS outbreak in 2004.

In addition, Wu spearheads national and international networks of scientists from other institutions and government agencies to tackle various disease management challenges. For instance, his collaboration with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention led to major policy changes and government investments in HIV/AIDS epidemic control.

Last year Wu was profiled in the Toronto Star as one of 15 professionals who demonstrate that Canada is succeeding in reversing the country’s “brain drain” and retaining top scientific talent.