Ameerali Madani’s lofty plan was implemented three years ago.
Although he had not yet started at Brock, he spent time on the university’s website, doing all the research to learn about the Governor General’s Gold Medal, which is awarded annually to the graduating student with the highest academic average at the spring convocation. The prize to be awarded was
The 24-year-old international student from Iran reviewed the averages of past winners, saw they ranged from 96 to 98 percent, and told himself, “I’ll reach that goal.”
And he reached it.
On Friday, June 17, during the spring convocation of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Madani not only received his master’s degree in computer science, but also received the coveted gold medal he had instituted years ago.
“Focusing on my academic goals helped me overcome the toughest challenges,” said Madani, who completed her degree with an overall average of 97 percent.
He remembers arriving in Canada in August 2019 and standing in front of a class in early September, where he spoke in English to Canadian audiences for the first time.
“It was tough going through my degree during COVID-19, largely isolated from my peers and away from home,” Madani said.
He hasn’t returned to Iran in more than three years, but is expected to be reunited with his family soon.
“I called my mother to tell me the news of the award and she basically started crying,” she said, adding that her family has faced many challenges. “The future is brighter now.”
Madani, currently pursuing a PhD in computer science at Carleton University, admitted that he found himself distracted during Brock studies, but refused to give up along the way.
He hopes the message will resonate with fellow students.
“If it helps others to know that you can achieve great things even in tough times, maybe even a student who listens to my story will keep moving forward,” he said.
Madani said Brock has a real sense of family, especially within the Computer Science Working Group, with whom he became close.
“I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, Department Chair Brian Ross and my computer science colleagues for their support,” he said.
“Amirali’s determination, self-motivation and ambition were evident from the day I first met her,” Ombuki-Berman said. “I can confidently say that he is a brilliant young researcher who will continue to make significant innovative contributions to research and technology for years to come.”
Madani hopes to find a job in computer science doing research and development, which she has prepared for the broad challenges of creating new and innovative products and designs.
Ejaz Ahmed, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, said, “Amirli’s story is about sticking to one’s goals despite the challenges in life.” “We are proud of his determination and exceptional performance, and are pleased to call him an FMS graduate.”