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Graduating Award Recipient: Daniel Venn 2T1

The option of a double major afforded Daniel Venn 2T1 flexibility when it came to his degree. Rather than choose between a math or physics specialist, he was able to pursue both. Four years later, Venn has achieved excellence in the two subjects and is this year’s recipient of the Prince Philip Gold Medal. The medal honours the graduate with the highest overall A standing among candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Like many students, Venn enjoyed being part of the College’s community, including his time as a resident in Upper Burwash. Even though he moved out in second year, he could still be found at Vic most days whether it was to study, meet up with friends and classmates, attend events or both: “Most of my best memories of undergrad took place with friends at Vic locations and events. From ping pong and pancakes in the Cat’s Eye, to late-night study sessions at Burwash, I could usually be found somewhere on Vic’s campus.”

“Looking back on undergrad, what I enjoyed the most were the short moments between studying and working on problem sets where I could relax for a while with friends. On some days, that's submitting a problem set at 11:55 p.m., then eating pizza on a bench as a group by 12:05 a.m. During finals, it could just be the few minutes taken walking together from Burwash to a subway station in a snowstorm. More commonly, it would just be a short break to play cards or ping pong, or maybe to walk somewhere for lunch or coffee. These sorts of things make up most of my memories of undergrad.”

In addition to finding his place within a close, tight-knit community, one of the most influential aspects of his undergraduate experience was receiving research awards after his second and third years of study. The awards offered him the opportunity to spend his 2019 summer in Toronto and work at the U of T’s Department of Physics and his 2020 summer at the same department at Simon Fraser University. Originally from Vancouver, Venn enjoyed being able to spend that summer in particular closer to home, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Along with collaborative learning experiences, Venn really enjoyed volunteering with the National Scholarship Program. “I enjoyed meeting and guiding incoming students through the program. Answering their questions and showing prospective students around campus was always a welcome break from my studies. This was always one of the highlights of my year and often occurred just as I returned from Vancouver, often after reading week, and it always felt like a nice welcome back.”

In the fall, Venn is looking forward to pursuing an applied and computational math degree at Simon Fraser University. “I chose the program partially based on my research experience there last year, my talks with various potential advisors, and my desire to stay closer to most of the people I know for the next few years.”