Two outstanding students win Faculty of Science gold and silver medals

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Two graduating students recently received Faculty of Science gold and silver medals, given annually for outstanding achievements academically and beyond.

Kevin Joseph, who completed a major in statistics and a minor in computer science this year, won the gold medal for his stellar academics. The medal goes to a graduating student who has exceptionally strong grades.

Kevin Joseph

In 2018, he received an Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantship to explore content-based news recommendation, working under the supervision of Lassonde Professor Hui Jiang. Specifically, Joseph conducted experiments using Python and MySQL.

Joseph also won the George & Frances Denzel Award for Excellence in Statistics for 2017-18 from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.

Biophysics student Neil McCall in the Department of Physics & Astronomy won the silver medal, given to a graduating student who has combined outstanding academic achievement with the greatest contribution to undergraduate student life.

Neil McCall
Neil McCall

McCall received a Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantship three times, working with different researchers and on various topics. In 2018, he worked under the supervision of Professor William Pietro in the Department of Chemistry. That same year, he also won the Ruth Hill Memorial Award from the Faculty of Science and the Emeritus Professors’ Award from the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Physics Professor Patrick Hall, who nominated McCall, wrote, “His research works as an undergraduate display a maturity rivalling that of a PhD student and a breadth rarely seen even at that level.”

In addition to his academics, McCall was actively involved in public outreach through the Allan I. Carswell Observatory at York and as a leader in the Physics Society and the Astronomy Club.

Next year, he will begin his master’s degree in physics at York University.