Across the Cut title



Antoine Remond-Tiedrez

Teaching Award

Mathematical Sciences Ph.D. graduate Antoine Remond-Tiedrez received the 2020 Hugh Young Graduate Student Teaching Award.

“When I assigned TAs to various courses, I knew that I could assign Antoine anywhere, knowing that he would be an asset to any instructor,” wrote Deborah Brandon, associate teaching professor of mathematical sciences, in supporting his nomination for the award.

As testament to this fact, Remond-Tiedrez has been a teaching assistant for seven semesters for nine different courses.

When he became the instructor for Concepts of Mathematics, he designed the course himself using only the syllabus and the textbook, carefully planning lectures, quizzes, homework assignments, midterms and exams to provide repeated opportunities for students to develop their mathematics skills.

“Antoine did well in breaking down complicated problems and directing us to find an approach to each step,” wrote student Joanna Yao. “His teaching style gave me many chances to improve my mathematical thinking.”


Surya Aggarwal

Graduate Student Service Award

Biological Sciences Ph.D. graduate Surya Aggarwal received Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate Student Service Award for advancing the interests of fellow graduate students and improving their quality of life on campus.

Aggarwal was a passionate supporter of his fellow graduate students as president of CMU’s Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) from 2018-2019. Under his leadership, GSA partnered with university stakeholders to launch an on-campus legal consultation program for graduate and undergraduate students. He was involved with numerous other GSA initiatives, including assessing the mentorship climate and providing childcare support for graduate students.

During his Ph.D. program, Aggarwal also advocated for graduate students at a national level as the chair of the Advocacy Board and as the international student concerns advocate for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. As part of the association, Aggarwal co-led the national campaign to advocate against the provision of the federal tax bill that proposed to tax graduate student tuition waivers.


Christopher Cox

Graduate Student Research Award

Mathematical Sciences Ph.D. graduate Christopher Cox received the 2020 Guy C. Berry Graduate Research Award.

“He is one of two or three best graduate students in discrete mathematics that I have seen in the department in my nearly eight years here,” wrote Boris Bukh, associate professor of mathematical sciences and Cox’s major professor, in nominating him for the award.

Describing him as driven and independent, Bukh highlighted the fact that Cox has written five papers as a graduate student, compared to the average of one to three that a mathematical sciences student produces on their way to getting a Ph.D.

“My research focuses on the interplay between algebraic, geometric and probabilistic tools in extremal combinatorics,” Cox said.

Specifically, Cox has studied problems relating to information theory and coding theory, fields which focus on solutions to efficiently communicating information across noisy channels.

“He is one of two or three best graduate students in Discrete Mathematics that I have seen in the department in my nearly eight years here.” — Boris Bukh