Nashid Shahriar has received the 2020 Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a doctoral program. He was a PhD student in the Systems and Networking group from May 2014 to July 2020, working under the supervision of Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science.
“Nashid has an exceptional record of graduate scholarship and research,” said Professor Boutaba. “His journal and conference papers have been cited more than 980 times. And while a PhD student at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, Nashid was the recipient of three best paper awards — the best student paper award at NetSoft 2019, the best paper award at CNSM 2019, and the best paper award at CNSM 2017.”
Nashid’s PhD research has advanced the state-of-the-art in network virtualization, a step necessary to realize the next-generation of communication networks. His dissertation focused on survivable virtual network provisioning. Virtual networks are comprised of virtual nodes and virtual links that are hosted, respectively, on physical nodes and physical paths in a shared network infrastructure. Survivable virtual networks can survive failures in the underlying physical infrastructure. In this context, Nashid addressed intellectually challenging and practically important research problems by devising novel survivability models for virtual networks that provide network operators more flexibility in handling failures while minimizing costs. His research considered a variety of failure scenarios, formulating reliable network virtualization problems mathematically and solving them optimally, as well as devising fast algorithms that scale to large problem instances.
His doctoral research demonstrated that differing quality of service guarantees can be efficiently achieved in the same virtualized network infrastructure. For instance, to minimize costs, a virtual network carrying best-effort traffic can be provisioned in such a way that only network connectivity is ensured in the event of failures, whereas a virtual network provisioned for real-time applications will have the needed bandwidth guaranteed even if failures occur. Nashid’s research has set the stage to realize the long-term vision of automated failure management, which is crucial in future highly virtualized networking environments.
In July 2020, Nashid began a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Regina. Nashid’s current research program addresses resource allocation challenges in emerging networks, including 5G mobile networks, elastic optical networks, cloud infrastructures, data centres, software-defined networks, and the Internet-of-Things. His work aims to leverage optimization techniques, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to solve networking problems.
The Office of Alumni Affairs recognizes top graduating students for academic achievement by awarding the Alumni Gold Medal at convocation. The ten carat, solid gold medal is embossed with the University of Waterloo crest on the front and the student’s name and Faculty are inscribed on the back. Nashid will be awarded the 2020 Alumni Gold Medal at fall convocation.