Department of Mathematics and Statistics

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


Google employee breaks world record for calculating pi

Pi-Day image

March 14th, 2019

A Google employee has broken the world record for calculating pi just in time for the mind-bogglingly long number's special day.

Emma Haruka Iwao spent four months working on the project in which she calculated pi to 31.4 trillion digits.

Pi holds a special place in the realm of math. It's an irrational number that continues infinitely without repetition. You calculate it by dividing a circle's circumference by its diameter.

Iwao did her number crunching primarily from Google's office in Osaka, Japan, where she works at as a developer and advocate for Google Cloud. Fittingly, she used 25 Google Cloud virtual machines to generate the enormously long number. It's the first pi record calculated on the cloud.

Read more here: San Francisco (CNN Business)

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Queen's University Scientista present annual luncheon, Facing Forward

Queen's University Scientista present its 3rd annual discussion panel luncheon, Facing Forward

March 2nd, 2019

Queen's University Scientista is thrilled to present its 3rd annual discussion panel luncheon, FACING FORWARD. Through an invigorating discussion between five diverse panelists from different sectors of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) along with two keynote speakers, we hope to empower individuals to Face Forward with us as we look into the future of women in STEMM. 

Scientista was established with the purpose of providing women in science with the resources and support necessary to help them succeed in their current and future endeavors. With this event, we aspire to promote the advancement of undergraduate and graduate women in STEMM as well as connect them to a larger network of women in these fields.

We invite you to join us at the Delta for an afternoon of enlightening discussion, lunch buffet, a raffle draw and much more to do just that!

Early Bird Tickets are $15 and are only available until February 9th in the link as follows: https://www.facebook.com/events/331850327427705/
Regular ticket sales will commence during February 11-15 in the ARC, so keep an eye out!

For more information, please visit out Facebook event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/331850327427705/

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

As always, please follow and keep up to date with our social media links regarding further inquiries and event information.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/scientistaqueens/
INSTAGRAM: @scientista.queensu

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Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Time & Location: 6:00-6:30pm snack and social at Math Help Center, 6:30pm at Jeff 127

Alumni Speakers:

Shuming Jia: BSc in Mathematics from Queen's University; MSc in Pure Mathematics from University of Waterloo; Senior Data Scientist at Compass Digital Lab

      Expertise:  customer analytics and using data-driven strategy to help products to grow

Stuart Squires: BSc in Mathematics and Physics Specialization from Queen's University;  Software Developer in 360insights

      Expertise: solve complex software problem, designing better and more reliable products

Patrick Gravelle: BSc Honor in Statistics from Queen's University;  Master of Biostatistics at Harvard University

Lemonte Alie-Lamarche: BSc Honor in Mathematics from Queen's University; MSc in Mathematics at University of Toronto

Caleb Jonker: BSc Honor in Mathematics from Queen's University; PhD in Mathematics at University of Toronto

Professor Francesco Cellarosi
Career Service: Joshua Zettel

Images from Opening Doors Math & Stats Networking Event - Feb. 13th, 2019

Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
Opening Doors - Math & Stats Networking Event
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Open Government team of Canada, organizing its first Student Challenge

The Open Government team at the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada is organising its first Student Challenge

February 8th, 2019

Are you a current or a recent student at a Canadian post-secondary institution?

We challenge you to share your work with the global open government community!

The Open Government team at the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada is organizing its first Student Challenge! We want to showcase how students are using open data and information available on our portal at open.canada.ca. The goal is to create opportunities for current and recent students at Canadian post-secondary institutions to participate in the open government community and to demonstrate how open data/information can be used in creative ways to solve real problems.

Fill out our quick application form to be eligible to win one of our Grand Prizes. Up to four winners will be brought to Ottawa to attend the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit being held from May 29-31, 2019!

Deadline for submission is March 31, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.

For more information about the challenge, please visit our website. You’ll find more details about eligibility and prizes, as well as examples of projects.

Please share this message with your student networks. 

We look forward to receiving your application!

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2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Summer 2019 Research Opportunities

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Friday, February 1st, 2019

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has several undergraduate research assistantships, including some through the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards* program, available for the summer of 2019. These positions are open to current undergraduate students in mathematics and statistics, mathematics and engineering or related fields from Queen’s University or elsewhere. If you have a strong academic record and are interested in gaining research experience in the mathematical sciences we invite you to apply.

A list of available research projects offered by our department can be found here (PDF, 106 KB).  Successful applicants will be expected to work for 16 consecutive weeks, on a full-time basis (35 hrs/wk), between May and August.  Remuneration will be a minimum of $7840** for the entire work term for full-time assistantships.

If you are interested in being considered for a research position, please submit the following to Jennifer Read by February 1st, 2019:

  • A copy of your CV/resume.
  • The title of the project(s) for which you would like to be considered and a brief statement explaining why you are interested in and qualified for that project.  If you are interested in more than one project please rank the projects in order of preference.
  • Copies of transcripts for any studies not completed at Queen’s; the Department can access your Queen’s record.

Submission methods:  Electronically as a PDF to readj@queensu.ca or by hard copy to:

Jennifer Read
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
RM320 Jeffery Hall
Queen's University
Kingston, ON  K7L 3N6

Eligible students will be considered for the NSERC USRA program.  Students selected for an NSERC USRA will be required to complete Form 202 and provide official, up to date (with fall 2018 grades), copies of all transcripts, including for studies completed at Queen’s.

USRA recipients will be selected in accordance with the objectives of that program.  All applicants will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Academic record;
  2. Research aptitude and/or potential;
  3. Fit/qualifications for the selected project.

Successful applicants will be contacted by 28 February 2019. 

The number of positions will depend on the number of qualified applicants and the amount of funding/awards available.

*Information about the USRA program, including eligibility conditions and general application instructions can be found on the NSERC website.   Students selected for an NSERC USRA will be required to complete and submit FORM 202, Part I using the NSERC Online systemInstructions on completing this form can be found here.   You will be required to upload an official copy of transcripts for all universities attended.  Note that you should not upload a copy of the legend for Queen’s University.  Transcript legends for all other universities must be uploaded.  Part II of the application will be completed by the Department. 

**Before any applicable taxes and deductions.  This amount includes $4500 from NSERC for those selected for a USRA.

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Math and Engineering Student part of gold-medal winning QGEM Team

Math and Engineering Student part of multi-disciplinary gold-medal winning QGEM Team

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Eric Grewal is a fourth-year student in the Math and Engineering program, specializing in computing and communications. This year he put his sophisticated modelling skills to work with the Queen’s Genetically Engineered Machine team (QGEM).

QGEM is an undergraduate research and design team with a prestigious pedigree. Each year, a new team is chosen to plan and execute a project using synthetic biology to tackle real world problems in medicine, sustainability, and more. In several recent years the team has won gold at the International Genetically Engineered Machine jamboree held in Boston. This year they were the only team in Ontario to receive a gold medal.

This year, the team developed a pacifier that detects the stress hormone cortisol in babies’ saliva, and transfers the levels to a mobile device. It’s not hard to imagine how much parents would appreciate this innovation. Team leader Elisha Krauss told the Queen’s Journal that he met with members of Autism Ontario over the summer. He said parents of children with autism who are non-communicative were "blown away" by this potential tool for understanding their children’s wellbeing.

So how did Eric’s mathematical skills contribute to this ingenious device? The team comprised biologists, computer scientists, and mathematician Eric. Being able to communicate across disciplines was crucial, Eric says. "As a team we all had to understand what the problem was that we were trying to solve. I had little biology knowledge beyond high school, but had team members who were very knowledgeable in the subject. We were able to perform effectively because the team was able to teach others the relevant knowledge to their field, which allowed everyone to have a more in-depth view. For example, a biologist would explain a concept to a Biology and Computing student, who could then explain the problem to me in terms that I understood, allowing me to create a model." Specific mathematical learning that Eric applied to the problem included ordinary differential equations, Brownian motion and random walks.

More broadly, he applied the mindset that math and engineering has taught him; stepping up to solve big, open-ended problems by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable problems. Eric loves the challenge of the Math and Engineering program. He finds it equips students with skills that give them a head start in the job market. When he worked a summer job at a financial firm, he was recognized for problem solving ability way beyond what was expected from an undergraduate. The skills he has learned have a wide range of applications, from modelling complex solutions to measure babies’ hormone levels, to applying machine learning to the stock market – Eric’s undergraduate thesis project.   

For anyone interested in joining the QGEM team, Eric recommends asking for volunteer positions and being persistent – the team is competitive to get into, but very rewarding if you do.

Credit: Queen’s Journal November 9 2018.

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Statistics Canada launches new data challenge for students

Statistics Canada has launched a new data challenge for students

The Business Data Scientist Challenge is underway until March 1, 2019.

This challenge is open to graduate and senior undergraduate students in Economics, Mathematics, Statistics or Computer Science at a Canadian university. Canadian or permanent resident students studying at universities outside Canada are also eligible to apply. 

The competition guidelines can be found on Statistics Canada’s website
 
For more information on the Business Data Scientist Challenge, please email your question to: statcan.cder-cdre.statcan@canada.ca.

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3 Queen's Math profs named Fellows of Canadian Mathematical Society

Ram Murty, Greg Smith, Peter Taylor named Fellows of Canadian Mathematical Society
From left to right: Ram Murty, Greg Smith, Peter Taylor

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Congratulations to Professors Ram Murty, Greg Smith and Peter Taylor, who were named in the inaugural class of Fellows of the Canadian Mathematical Society. The Fellows Program was instituted to recognize mathematicians who have made very significant contributions to the profession and to the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS). The Fellowship recognizes CMS members who have made excellent contributions to mathematical research, teaching, or exposition; as well as having distinguished themselves in serve to Canada’s mathematical community.

The three new fellows felt honoured to have been chosen among the class of 49 inaugral fellows.

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All-female Engineering Student Team nets Top Prize

All-female Engineering Student Team nets Top Prize at Project Management Conference
From left to right: Sarah de Lazzari, Tiffanie Bankosky, Serena Corscadden,
Kathryn Instrum

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Engineering students Tiffanie Bankosky, Serena Corscadden, Sarah de Lazzari and Kathryn Instrum arrived at the 2018 International Project Management Day in Toronto ready for most things. They came to compete in a paper competition for project management professionals and students. But they weren’t quite ready for the first question they were asked on arriving at the venue…“are you sure you’re in the right place?”

By the end of the day they had answered with a resounding “yes”, beating out other students and professionals to take the 2018 prize. Their team was the youngest in the competition.

Their journey began at the Bader International Study Centre, where all 4 took a course in Global Project Management last summer. The intensive course teaches the principles of project management and challenges students to think about how engineering operates within global cultures. The 4 students – Tiffanie from Engineering Physics, Serena and Kathryn from Math and Engineering, and Sarah from Mechanical Engineering – worked as a team to examine lessons learned from the clean up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The course sparked their interest in project management, and the team submitted a paper to the project management paper competition.

At the November 1 conference in Toronto, they presented their paper to an audience of project management professionals - a somewhat daunting task. They credit preparation and open communication within the team as keys to their success. During the question period at the end of their presentation, they trusted the research they had done, and gauged the right depth of answer by watching other teams. Humour helped them connect with the audience. Asked about their recollection of the 2010 tragedy, Tiffanie pointed out that she had only been 10 when it happened!

The team’s astute analysis of the failings around the clean up, and their assured presentation style, earned them a $2,000 prize as well as valuable opportunities to meet people working in project management. The team highly recommend BISC and the global project management course to other students. While in the UK they were introduced to recruiters at prominent companies like Hatch and Goldman Sachs. They also appreciated the chance to work closely with professors in small classes.

The summer experience and the competition have been some of the highlights of these students’ experiences, along with being an orientation leader and enjoying challenging academic programs. They hope that their success will inspire girls to try engineering, where they are thriving.

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