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

Department Colloquium - David Sumpter (University of Uppsala)

David Sumpter (University of Uppsala)

Friday, October 1st, 2021

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

Speaker: David Sumpter (University of Uppsala)

Title: Are there Ten Equations that rule the world? And if so, what are they?

Abstract: I describe ten key equations you need to know in order to make better decisions, understand the filter created by social media and even to be a better person. Using examples, such as ‘deciding whether your new boss is an idiot?’, 'deciding when to stop watching a Netflix series' and ‘buying new headphones’, I present some new ways of seeing some of our favourite mathematical results. I also describe these equations' role in society: in finance, gambling, social media and artificial intelligence. Surprisingly few people in the general public understand these key equations and the small group that do are becoming increasingly rich and powerful. I think there are (order) ten equations that rule the world and we have to learn how to use them and spread their usage.

David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. He is the author of Soccermatics and Outnumbered, which have been translated into ten languages, and Collective Animal Behaviour, the leading text in the academic field he helped create. He has worked with a number of the world's biggest football clubs, advising on analytics, as well as consulting on betting.

Department Colloquium - Eric Rowland (Hofstra University)

Eric Rowland (Hofstra University)

Friday, September 24th, 2021

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

Speaker: Eric Rowland (Hofstra University)

Title: Congruences for some sequences arising in combinatorics.

Abstract: Over the last 15 years there have been a number of papers studying congruence properties of sequences such as the Catalan numbers that arise in combinatorial settings. Proofs of these properties have relied on methods particular to each sequence. However, by realizing a sequence as the diagonal of a rational power series in multiple variables, we can compute congruence information modulo prime powers in a completely automatic way. This approach reduces the proofs of many known results to routine computations, establishes new theorems for well-known sequences, and allows us to resolve some conjectures about the Apery numbers.

Eric Rowland is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Hofstra University. Before joining Hofstra, he held postdoctoral positions at Tulane University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Quebec at Montreal, and the University of Liege. He got his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2009 from Rutgers University. He studies arithmetic properties of integer sequences that arise in combinatorial settings. His research involves a nice mix of number theory, combinatorics, and theoretical computer science.

Department Colloquium - Giusy Mazzone (Queen's University)

Giusy Mazzone (Queen's University)

Friday, September 10th, 2021

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

Speaker: Giusy Mazzone (Queen's University)

Title: On partially dissipative systems.

Abstract: The dynamics of a mechanical system with a finite number of degrees of freedom, despite its mathematical simplicity, may be quite rich depending on the applied forces and/or the interactions with other media (like a fluid). In this talk, I will consider three mechanical systems: a rigid body with a damper, a system of rigid bodies with a fluid-filled gap, and a harmonic oscillator in a fluid-filled pipe. The mathematical models governing the motion of these systems share a common feature: there exists an energy functional that dissipates along the trajectories while other physical variables are conserved or even excited during the motion. We will explore new mathematical ways of handling such "partial dissipation" in order to describe the stabilization properties of the systems. By "stabilization" we mean either convergence of each trajectory to an equilibrium or the existence of periodic solutions to the governing equations (thus avoiding phenomena like resonance, for example).

Giusy Mazzone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Queen's University. She was an Assistant Professor (Non-Tenure Track) of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University from 2016-2019. She has received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Universita del Salento, Lecce, Italy, in 2012 and a second Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2016. Her research interests include mathematical fluid dynamics, applications of partial differential equations in fluid mechanics, and the study of stability and asymptotic behaviour of fluid-solid systems.

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.