Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Department News & Events

Department News & Events

Prof. Troy Day - Using math to chart the course of COVID-19

Troy Day

June 14th, 2021

When a new variant of COVID-19 recently appeared, with the ability to spread much faster than the original virus, many people were taken by surprise. 

But not Troy Day.

Dr. Day is an applied mathematician at Queen’s University who for years has been studying the evolution of microbes that cause infectious diseases, and he knows how quickly these can mutate into new versions. His expertise has now made him a key member of the Ontario COVID-19 Modelling Consensus Table, a group of experts trying to forecast where the virus is headed next...

Read more on the Queen's Alumni Review...


Congratulations to Math & Stats award recipient Damara Gagnier

Congratulations to Math & Stats graduate award winner Damara Gagnier
Damara Gagnier

June 14th, 2021

Congratulations to Damara on completing her degree and winning the Medal in Mathematics & Statistics and the Irene MacRae Prize.

Medal in Mathematics and Statistics
A medal is awarded annually by the University to the graduating candidate who has demonstrated academic excellence in an honours degree who is deemed by a Department to have achieved the highest standing in a Plan offered by that Department. Departments within the Faculty of Arts and Science will consider students in a major, medial or specialization Plan offered by that Department. Normally, a Department may nominate only one candidate for a medal.

The Irene MacRae Prize in Mathematics and Statistics
Established by Margaret Crain in memory of Irene MacAllister MacRae, Arts '14, who was vice-president of the Mathematical Club while at Queen's. Awarded at graduation to the departmental medalist in the Faculty of Arts and Science.


Congratulations 2020-21 Graduates of Math & Stats and Math & Eng

June 9th, 2021

Congratulations on achieving this impressive milestone. We are sorry to see you leave but glad that you are ready for the journey ahead. We hope you will carry with you many good memories of your years at Queen’s. One set of memories you will certainly have belong to the past year with its new set of challenges, but also new ways for us all to grow and learn. It is unfortunate that we are unable to gather with you and your classmates in Grant Hall to celebrate your success. But we hope you will have a chance to do that in different ways, perhaps at Queen’s during one of your reunions. Please come back sometime and tell us what you are up to. Good luck to you all.

Congratulations 2021 Graduates of Mathematics and Engineering


Department Colloquium - Michael Perlman (Queen's University)

Michael Perlman (Queen's University)

Friday, April 16th, 2021

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Online (via Zoom)

Speaker: Michael Perlman (Queen's University)

Title: Measuring hypersurface singularities via differential operators and Hodge theory.

Abstract: Given a polynomial with complex coefficients, its set of zeros is a geometric object known as an algebraic hypersurface. We will discuss two invariants defined via differential operators that can detect and measure singularities of these hypersurfaces: the Bernstein-Sato polynomial and the Hodge ideals. Via the example of the hypersurface defined by the n x n determinant, we will illustrate that these invariants are two sides of the same coin: the mixed Hodge structure.

Michael Perlman is Coleman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen's University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mathematics in May 2020 from the University of Notre Dame. His research is in Algebraic Geometry, Commutative Algebra, and their interactions with Representation Theory.

Department Colloquium - Qiyang Han (Rutgers University)

Qiyang Han (Rutgers University)

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Online (via Zoom)

Speaker: Qiyang Han (Rutgers University)

Title: Multiple isotonic regression: limit distribution theory and confidence intervals.

Abstract: In the first part of the talk, we study limit distributions for the tuning-free max-min block estimators in multiple isotonic regression under both fixed lattice design and random design settings. We show that at a fixed interior point in the design space, the estimation error of the max-min block estimator converges in distribution to a non-Gaussian limit at certain rate depending on the number of vanishing derivatives and certain effective dimension and sample size that drive the asymptotic theory. The limiting distribution can be viewed as a generalization of the well-known Chernoff distribution in univariate problems. The convergence rate is optimal in a local asymptotic minimax sense. In the second part of the talk, we demonstrate how to use this limiting distribution to construct tuning-free pointwise nonparametric confidence intervals in this model, despite the existence of an infinite-dimensional nuisance parameter in the limit distribution that involves multiple unknown partial derivatives of the true regression function. We show that this difficult nuisance parameter can be effectively eliminated by taking advantage of information beyond point estimates in the block max-min and min-max estimators through random weighting. Notably, the construction of the confidence intervals, even new in the univariate setting, requires no more efforts than performing an isotonic regression for once using the block max-min and min-max estimators, and can be easily adapted to other common monotone models. This talk is based on joint work with Hang Deng and Cun-Hui Zhang.

Qiyang Han is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from University of Washington in 2018. He is broadly interested in mathematical statistics and high dimensional probability. His current research is concentrated on abstract empirical process theory and its applications to nonparametric function estimation, Bayes nonparametrics, and high dimensional statistics.

Queen’s University Scientista - 4th annual conference

Queen’s University Scientista present's our 4th annual conference

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Queen’s University Scientista is thrilled to present our 4th annual conference, Empower! We invite you to join us on Sunday, March 21st, 2021, from 11am-4pm for an invigorating day consisting of a discussion panel, keynote speeches, and interactive workshops featuring speakers across different sectors of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine. We aspire to provide engaging and thought-provoking conversations to ensure self-identifying women, gender non-conforming individuals, and allies in STEMM feel confident and empowered on their paths to success.

Register as a delegate for $8 here...


Department Colloquium - Mike Hill (UCLA)

Mike Hill (University of California, Los Angeles)

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Online (via Zoom)

Speaker: Mike Hill (UCLA)

Title: Counting exotic spheres.

Abstract: The circle, surfaces, and three manifolds have essentially one smooth structure on them: there is a unique way to "do calculus" on these. For dimensions at least 5, ordinary Euclidean space does too. In 1956, Milnor shocked the mathematical community by showing that this is not the case for spheres: the 7-sphere has "exotic" smooth structures! In this talk, I will discuss the question "how many distinct smooth structures are there on a given sphere?'' In particular, I will describe some work addressing when the only smooth structure on a sphere is the usual one.

Mike Hill is a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focus is in algebraic topology. Prof. Hill completed his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. Prior to joining UCLA in 2015, he was a faculty member at the University of Virginia. He is an editor for Mathematische Zeitschrift, Documenta Mathematica and the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society.

Department Colloquium - Boris Hasselblatt (Tufts University)

Boris Hasselblatt (Tufts University)

Friday, March 12th, 2021

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Online (via Zoom)

Speaker: Boris Hasselblatt (Tufts University)

Title: Symmetries of dynamical systems.

Abstract: Examples of dynamical systems with symmetries are not particularly rare, but it is often clear that perturbations can break such symmetry. Thus, it is natural to expect that the presence of symmetries is exceptional. We describe some results about continuous, discrete, and trivial symmetry groups of flows (continuous-time dynamical systems) in the categories of smooth flows and of continuous flows.

Boris Hasselblatt is a professor of mathematics as well as former department chair and Associate Provost at Tufts University. He obtained his PhD from Caltech, before moving to Tufts in 1989. His research centers on smooth, geometrically motivated, and topological dynamical systems with hyperbolic behavior. He has coauthored the book Introduction to the Modern Theory of Dynamical Systems, which is the reference in dynamics, and one of the top 100 most cited books in mathematics. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, held the Chaire Jean Morlet at CIRM in Marseille, as well as many visiting positions, including at the ETH Z\"{u}rich, the University of Tokyo and the IHES. He cofounded the Journal of Modern Dynamics, Electronic Research Announcements - Mathematical Sciences, and Mathematics Research Reports, and he currently serves as the eleventh Secretary of the American Mathematical Society.