Students from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics win CASE Awards including Best Dissertation

Authored on April 22 2024 by Justin Wisby.

FIU Students Michael Iylin, Giancarlo Sanchez, and Diego Castro Estrada, among the award winners.

On April 16th, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education recognized outstanding students at the annual Student Academic Achievement and Service Award Ceremony. This event highlights students who worked hard all year and stood out amongst their peers. In order to be eligible to win an award, students must be nominated by at least one professor. This year, our Department of Mathematics and Statistics proudly saw five of its students receive accolades: four undergraduates and one graduate student.

In the School of Integrated Science and Humanity (SISH), our undergraduate students claimed four of the fifteen "Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards" given. Additionally, our graduate student, Giancarlo Sanchez, was one of the two recipients of the "Best Dissertation Award" for students in SISH.

The students recognized at the award ceremony are as follows.
  • Diego Castro Estrada, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
  • Michael Ilyin, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
  • Sebin Nichlet, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
  • Giancarlo Sanchez, Best Dissertation
  • Aurora Surber, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
We wish to highlight a few of the students below.

Giancarlo Sanchez, recent graduate with a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences, was awarded the "Best Dissertation" for students in SISH. Giancarlo's dissertation is focused about machine learning and algorithmic trading. "I was an early adopter of machine learning as I found it so fascinating," Giancarlo mentioned, "it was a happy coincidence that it became so popular". Before graduating, Giancarlo had been a prominent member of the FIU math community as he helped out greatly at the FIU summer math REU, Applied Mathematics Research Program for Undergraduates. Giancarlo was honored internally in 2022, with the title of being "Best Graduate Student" under the department for the work he did with Professors Yotov and Wang, separately. Giancarlo concluded with "I am really grateful to have graduated from FIU. The math department supported in nearly every possible way. I am always happy to rep my FIU degree because of the amazing faculty that helped me get to where I am today. " On his award, he mentioned, "I am glad people liked what I had to say." After graduating, Giancarlo did a short stint as a post doc here at FIU before becoming a researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses where he is continuing his research in machine learning. We are proud of the accomplishments Giancarlo Sanchez has achieved and are excited to see his progress in the future.

Michael Ilyin, one of the undergraduates awarded, is a graduating senior. Michael was one of the students at the 2023 Applied Mathematics Research Program for Undergraduates (AMRPU) here at FIU. Michael has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his degree and conducted novel research in the area of number theory with Professor Yanqiu Guo. "I'm very grateful for my professors' role in my academic career at FIU," Michael shared. "My academic success would not have been possible without them." Michael's work with professor Guo was submitted recently for publication. Michael has also helped the department as a learning assistant for the past couple years. Michael will be continuing his studies of mathematics and plans on attending graduate school in the fall. "I'm honored to have received the award," Michael added, "I'm also eternally thankful for the tremendous support that I've received, during my studies, from my mom". We are proud of Michael's support of our department and math community at FIU and wish him the best in future studies.

Diego Castro Estrada, a graduating senior, also received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, in part due to his work towards a second degree in computer science. Diego shared that he is " both surprised and delighted to receive this award. It is an honor to learn that my peers and my mentors think so highly of me". Diego attended his second REU at the 2023 AMRPU where he worked with Professor Cem Sayar. "I've always believed that hard work and perseverance are the principal components to success, and I sincerely hope that this belief has been reflected in my disposition." Diego finished his comments with "I would like to thank professors Mark Finlayson, John Zweibel and Svetlana Roudenko for their mentorship." Diego is heading to graduate school in this upcoming fall and we wish him the best.

While we highlight these individuals, we also commend all our mathematics students who are reaching the significant milestone of graduation. Achieving a degree in this challenging field is no small feat, and we value your contributions to the FIU mathematical community. Congratulations to all our Panthers on your achievements and best wishes for your future endeavors.