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Math & Stats Home

General News

Welcome to the Department of Mathematics & Statistics new website. In it you will find information on all of the many activities that the Department supports. If there is something that you would like to know about the Department but which you can't locate on our site, please send a message to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are one of the larger departments on campus, with 37 full-time faculty, 18 postdoctoral fellows, over 100 graduate students and 8 staff members. The Department has strong research groups in several areas of mathematics and statistics and we offer a number of different programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For example, we recently introduced an undergraduate programme in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics, and we offer a professional masters program in Financial Mathematics through M-Phimac.

Research seminars in Algebra & Number Theory, Analysis, Applied Mathematics, Finantial Mathematics, Geometry & Topology, Mathematical Logic and Probability & Statistics and the weekly Colloquium attract some of the world's most prominent mathematicians.  Each year the department invites a prestigious guest lecturer to deliver a series of talks, the Britton Lectures (endowed by a gift of Ronald and Helen Britton.)  The annual Evelyn Nelson Memorial Lecture commemorates our late colleague and features talks in the foundations of mathematics. For more information about the department click here.

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Faculty News


Congratulations to Dr Ian Hambleton, Britton Chair who has been appointed the Director of the Fields Institute effective July 1, 2015

A workshop on "Manifolds and Surgery"  is being held on June 26 - 27, 2015 in Hamilton Hall, Room 305.  

Please click here for more information.



Dr Megumi Harada is being featured in NSERC's "Celebration of Women in Math", along with other prominent and inspiring women in mathematics in Canada.

Nicholas Kevlahan is hosting an Open Access Colloquium on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 2:00-5:00 pm.  It will be held in the Sherman Centre, Mills Library.

This Colloquium is an opportunity for students, researchers and librarians to engage in a wide-ranging discussion of the challenges and opportunities due to the enormous changes in academic communication and in society, led by international experts on Open Access publishing and new forms of digital communication.

For more information please see attached poster.



David Earn was interviewed by CHCH News in a segment Contracting the flu may have to do with the weather, following publication of an article in the Proceeding of the Royal Society B, in which he and his collabortors establish that the spread of seasonal flu in Canada is tied to low temperature and low humidity, and travels west to east. These findings may have significant implications on measures such as the timing of vaccination programs across the country. 

Walter Craig has been appointed as Director of the Fields Institute, and Patrick Speissegger has been honoured as a Fields Institute Fellow. Congratulations Walter and Patrick!  

Matheus Grasselli speaks about his mathematical ideas as applied to economics in this videotaped interview by the Institute for New Economic Thinking

Walter Craig has been elected Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. The distinction of AMS Fellow is in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and application of mathematics.

Earlier this year, David Earn was invited to present at McMaster's TEDx 2013 lecture series.  His talk is entitled Visualizing and modelling contagion is available online (runtime 19mins).

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Department News

At the recent Statistical Society of Canada meetings in Halifax, Michael Li (MSc Statistics, supervised by Ben Bolker) was awarded the Best Poster Prize for his poster entitled "Modelling High-Resolution Animal Telemetry Data: Hidden Markov Models and Extensions".

Dr N Balakrishan 
has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Samuel Weiner Distinguished Visitor Award winner at the University of Manitoba.

to Dr Diego Ayala for receiving the CAIMS 2014 Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award. The DDA committee has met and unanimously agrees that the 2014 Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award be given to Dr. Diego Ayala for his thesis titled "Extreme Vortex States and Singularity Formation in Incompressible Flows".  The thesis contains truly novel work that uses optimal control theory and scientific computation to study extreme and singular behavior in the Navier-Stokes equations.  The results are important in a variety of applications from atmospheric science to
hematology.  The committee was impressed with the breadth of the work:the thesis bridges basic methods of analysis with scientific and high
performance computing, obtaining new insights into analytical results. Dr. Ayala received his PhD from McMaster University under the
supervision of Professor Bartosz Protas in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.  Dr. Ayala is continuing his research as a Postdoctoral
Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan

Spring/Summer Office Hours - please note that the Department Office HH218 will be closed each day from 12:30pm-1:30pm, May 4-August 28.

McMaster Shines in 75th Putnam Competition.  
McMaster competed in the 75th annual William Lowell Putnam competition.   This year saw 4520 peoople and 577 schools compete.  The McMaster team of Sam Kim, Sean Ridout and George Zhang placed 51st which is the highest placement by a team from McMaster that anyone can remember.  Congratulations to the team!

to PhD student Xiaojun Zhu who has been awarded a "Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad" from the China Scholarship Council (CSC). This award was founded by the Chinese government in 2003 with the purpose of rewarding the academic excellence of self-financed Chinese students studying overseas. Only those with outstanding performance in their PhD studies are considered by the award selection panel and no more than 500 young talents are granted the award each year all over the world.

It is with sadness that we announce that James Stewart, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, died yesterday December 3 in Toronto. Jim received his Master of Science from Stanford University and his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1967 and worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of London. His research specialty was harmonic and functional analysis. Jim was a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for many years, where he was renowned for the high quality of his teaching and was especially loved by his many students. Jim had an unusually deep understanding and appreciation of teaching and a real sympathy for his students. It was his special ability and dedication to teaching that allowed him to develop his series of calculus textbooks, which have been runaway bestsellers throughout North America for many years. Jim was perhaps Canada's bestselling author of all time! Outside of mathematics, Jim loved music and was an excellent violinist and former member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also a connoisseur of architecture and his beautiful Integral House is one of the best-known examples of private architecture in Canada in the past decade. Jim was also a philanthropist, generously supporting music and mathematics in many ways. Here at McMaster his gift catalysed the renovation of Hamilton Hall into the James Stewart Centre for Mathematics. We also benefitted from his insistence on architecture of the highest calibre: thanks to Jim's good taste the renovation by architects KPMB, has won numerous prizes, including the Governor General's Gold Medal and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award. We were lucky to have such a multi-talented and generous colleague.

We are sorry to report the passing of Professor Emeritus Norman Lane - the notice can be viewed in The Globe and Mail.

to Sarah Drohan (Honours Intergrated Science with Mathematics Concentration) and Michael Birch (Honours Mathematics and Physics) who both received The Governor General's Academic Medal at convocation on June 12, 2014.

Congratulations to Dr Narayanaswamy Balakrishnan
 has received the title Distinguished University Professor, the highest honour an academic can receive from the University. The title was confered at the Faculty of Science Convocation Ceremony on June 12th, 2014. Dr Balakrishnan has been recognised for his exceptional career as a teacher, researcher, author, editor and global citizen, he is one of the most cited statisticians of all time and the most heavily cited researcher at McMaster, Balakrishnan has authored or co-authored more than 400 research papers across many disciplines. 

Dr Megumi Harada
has been named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Equivariant Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry.

Dr Gail Wolkowicz is the recipient of the 2014 Krieger-Nelson Prize. Dr Wolkowicz will receive the prize in June at the Canadian Mathematics Society’s Summer Meeting in Winnipeg. The CMS Krieger-Nelson Prize was first awarded in 1995 to recognize female mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions in the area of mathematical research. Dr Wolkowicz is being recognised for her research in Mathematical Biology.

Congratulations to PhD student Yusuke Shimabukuro who has been awarded the MSU Teaching Assistant Merit Award

Congratulations to Chun-Kit Lai who was awarded a silver New World Mathematics Award for his PhD thesis entitled Spectral Analysis on Fractal Measures and Tiles.

Congratulations to Vladislav Bukshtynov, an alumnus of the CSE Program, for receiving the 2013 Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award. This award has been established by the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society (CAIMS) to recognize and to publicize an outstanding PhD thesis in Applied Mathematics defended at a Canadian University during the calendar year prior to the year of the award. Vladislav was invited to give a plenary lecture about his work during the 2013 CAIMS Annual Meeting in Quebec City. June 2013

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