Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Department News & Events

Department News & Events

All Girls Math Team Shines on the International Stage

EGMO Team Canada 2019

EGMO Team Canada 2019

May 8th, 2019

The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce that its second team to compete in the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) has returned from Ukraine, medals in hand. The Canadian EGMO Team earned two Bronze Medals and two Honourable Mentions.

The EGMO competition got started in 2012 when it was first written in Cambridge, UK and has since grown to include more than 50 countries. Participation in the EGMO is by invitation only. Each student competes individually to solve six questions in a competition lasting two days, four and a half hours each day. The Girls Math Team Canada was selected largely based on the results of the 2018 Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) written in November, as well as a Team Selection Test that was sent to the top 15 girls from the 2018 COMC.

Read full story: Canadian Mathematical Society

Math PhD student Stefanie Knebel wins Art of Research photo contest

Stephanie Knebel wins Art of Research photo contest

Community Collaborations – Women in Mathematics

April 22nd, 2019

Congratulations to Stefanie, who was awarded the prize in the Community Collaborations category.

Here is Stefanie’s commentary:  Mathematical thinking is about finding patterns and structure. As a woman in the mathematics PhD program, I hope to inspire young women to follow their passion and find beauty in mathematics. At Queen’s we offer the MathQuest camp for high school girls. As captured in the photo, I am brainstorming ways to teach game theory and linear algebra. This is also a part of my research with Dr. Peter Taylor, where we work with teachers across Ontario looking for innovative ways to incorporate mathematical thinking in education. We hope to change the math curriculum by making it a more engaging, positive and memorable experience.

The 2019 Art of Research photo contest received more than 100 submissions from Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni, who took up the challenge of capturing their research programs in engaging and thought-provoking ways.

See all of the winning images at: The Queen's Gazette

The woman behind the first black hole image

The woman behind the first black hole image

April 11th, 2019

A 29-year-old computer scientist has earned plaudits worldwide for helping develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole.

Katie Bouman led development of a computer program that made the breakthrough image possible.

The remarkable photo, showing a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth, was released on Wednesday.

Source: The BBC


Bahman Gharesifard awarded the CAIMS-PIMS Early Career Award

April 1st, 2019

Bahman Gharesifard has been awarded the CAIMS-PIMS Early Career Award, jointly awarded by the Canadian Applied & Industrial Math Society and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences . This award comes with an invitation to speak at the CAIMS Annual Meeting, to be held in Whistler BC June 9-13 2019.

Congratulations Bahman!


First annual Canadian Undergrad Conference on AI

First annual Canadian Undergraduate Conference on Artificial Intelligence

March 31st, 2019

The first annual Canadian Undergraduate Conference on Artificial Intelligence took place on March 9th, 2019. Backed by QMIND (whose members include Mathematics and Engineering students) and a strong Queen’s community, the event marked its debut on the national stage with delegations from Queen’s University, McGill University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and University of Manitoba. In total, over 200 student delegates, industry leaders, and sponsor representatives came together for the day to discuss the state of Canadian AI.

A written summary of the conference can be viewed here:


Math Quest Director to speak at Fields Institute

March 30th, 2019

Time: 10:50-11:10 a.m.  Place: Fields Institute, Room 230

Speaker: Siobhain Broekhoven, (Queen’s University)

Title: Sex, math and games: Transitioning students to the next level with recreational math.

Abstract: Successful transitions enrich the student experience whether the transition is from elementary to secondary school, secondary to tertiary education, or tertiary to the work force or academia. Why is it that females (which studies show have equal ability to males) are not transitioning into STEM fields at similar rates? This CMS speciality program at Queen’s University is designed to motivate and engage this underrepresented demographic. This talk looks at the design of sessions that are low floor high ceiling, experiential, more collaborative (and less competitive) that lead to a growth mindset; relieving math anxiety; and connecting mathematics to current careers, the arts and real world applications —all the while building community.

Siobhain Broekhoven is an Intermediate-Senior math, physics and Special Education Specialist with Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, currently working with youth at risk. She is also the developer and director of Math Quest, Queen’s Math Camp for Girls, a summer program of the Department of Math and Stats at Queen’s University, sponsored by the Canadian Math Society. The program runs for a week in August each summer. Her interests lie in helping students to build resilience and develop a growth mindset.

Source:  The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences


Machine learning lands Canadian Researchers $1M Turing Award

Machine Learning

March 27th, 2019

Three researchers, two of them Canadian, have won the world's top award in computer science for developing the ability of computers to learn like humans, by imitating the human brain and how it functions using networks of "neurons." 

That allows computers to acquire new skills by looking at lots of examples and finding and recognizing patterns, as humans do.

Machine learning — based on "deep learning" and "neural networks" —  has led to the development of artificial intelligence that now powers everyday web and smartphone applications from voice, image and facial recognition to language translation. It's increasingly being used in more complicated tasks like generating art, creating text and diagnosing cancer from images.

Read more here...

Source:  The CBC


Your Academic Success (YAS) survey

Students in Classroom

March 25th, 2019

The ‘Your Academic Success (YAS)’ survey is part of a longitudinal cohort study being conducted by the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University that aims to look at how undergraduate students are thriving academically. The findings of the study will help inform the design and delivery of key academic support services.

The survey will be open until March 25, 2019, takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and all answers are confidential.  Students who fill out the survey can choose to enter a draw to win one of 30 $30 Campus Bookstore gift cards.

Start the Your Academic Success survey here


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)


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:
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:

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.

INSTAGRAM: @scientista.queensu