Computing Science graduate student receives Clark Wilson Scholarship

July 12, 2022

By: Jasmeen Sidhu

SFU computing science PhD candidate Kasra Jamshidi recently received the Clark Wilson Scholarship for his research. His work involves creating efficient systems with advanced algorithms that can handle larger workloads and keep up with the size of graphs in data science.

During his undergraduate studies, Kasra worked with SFU computing science professor Keval Vora. Kasra says that he was fascinated by Vora’s brand of research and found it immensely satisfying. Vora’s research connects theory and practice and perfectly matched Kasra’s interests in graph algorithms and big data processing.

“SFU is a world-class research institution, home to several renowned researchers in data mining and systems, so I felt confident that my experience here would be a good one,” says Kasra.

In order to facilitate big data analysis, Kasra often organizes data into graphs: social networks connecting people with friends and acquaintances, transaction graphs connecting payers and payees, and even biological networks connecting different proteins in a cell together. Researchers try to mine insights from graphs for various critical use cases, like fraud detection, synthesizing new drugs, and cyber security, but standard algorithms cannot keep up with the size of the graphs in term of data sciences. For this reason, Kasra developed Peregrine, a software “which performs sophisticated analysis of user inputs to aggressively optimize graph mining workloads.”

One of Kasra’s highlights at SFU was receiving the Best Poster Award at the 2020 CS Research Day for his poster titled Peregrine: A Pattern-Aware Graph Mining System. Kasra also has an interest in robotics and often tries to explore his academic interests in classes. The combination of math, programming, and distribution systems fascinates Kasra.

“There is a particular joy in watching your code interact with the physical world,” he says.

Kasra says that receiving the Clark Wilson Scholarship has helped relieve his financial pressure and motivated him to better focus on his research. He is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Clark Wilson LLP for putting together this scholarship.