News and events

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics Colloquim Talk: Dr. Basil Nanayakkara

    The Department of Mathematics and Statistics invites students, faculty and staff to attend a talk given by Dr. Basil Nanayakkara on Thursday, February 16th, 2023 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm in Mackenzie Chown D-block room 303. The talk is entitled Category Theory — Yoneda’s lemma.


    We will discuss the notions of category theory (representable functors, natural transformations, functor of points, etc.) until such time that we can state Yoneda’s lemma. Then we will state and prove the lemma. In algebraic geometry, the lemma is mostly used in its contravariant form. As such, we will state and prove the contravariant form of the lemma. The lemma can be used to embed the category of schemes over a field k, in the category of functors (k-algebras) to (sets). This embedding may be a stepping stone to solve some of the open problems in algebraic geometry.

  • Tian Zhao Masters Project Presentation Wed Feb 8 at 3:00 PM

    Tian Zhao, a Master of Science candidate in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will present his Masters Research Project (MATH 5P99) titled When does the sum of 4 Fibonacci numbers equal a power? on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023 at 3 pm in TH149.


    The aim of this work is the study of Diophantine equations using linear forms in logarithms and algebraic techniques. I was  particularly interested in solving the Diophantine equation of when a sum of 4 Fibonacci numbers equal a power of an integer. I will begin my talk by establishing some preliminary results. I will show how using linear forms in logarithms and techniques from algebraic number theory to solve Fn_1 + Fn_2 + Fn_3 + Fn_4 = 6^a.

  • Katia Benseba Masters Project Presentation Tues Feb 7th at 4:00 PM

    Katia Benseba will present her Math 5P99 Masters Research Project entitled Permutation Polynomials over Finite Fields and their application to Cryptography on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 at 4:00 PM in MCG 310.


    The aim of the paper is the study of Permutation Polynomials over finite fields and their application to
    cryptography. In my talk, I will begin by a brief review of finite fields, define permutation polynomials over finite fields and their properties. I will present old results such as Hermite-Dickson’s Theorem as well as some most recent ones. After introducing cryptography, I will give a historical overview, by  explaining some cryptosystems such as RSA and ElGamal. Finally, I will present some cryptographical protocols based on Permutation Polynomials over Finite Fields.

  • Colloquium Talk on Mathematics for Public Health by Dr. Pouria Ramazi

    Dr. Pouria Ramazi of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics will be giving a talk as part of a Colloquium on Mathematics for Public Health offered by the Field’s Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. The talk will take place online on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM and is entitled Mathematical modeling of diseases spread: the dexterous use of simple machine-learning tools. 


    Two main approaches exist in modeling diseases spread. First, the interactive dynamics of all variables that are assumed to be influential in the disease spread are specified explicitly, resulting in mechanistic models, such as the well-known susceptible-infected-removed (SIR). These models have proven to be successful in predicting the short-term future and providing insight into the disease dynamics. However, they are based on our prior understanding of the world, and hence, are only as “good” as that prior understanding, and do not extend to situations where the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Second, simple to advanced machine-learning models are developed fully from data and without incorporating prior human expert knowledge. Some of these models have shown an exceptional forecasting power; however, they often provide no intuition about the dynamics — the reason why they are often questioned and even avoided by mathematicians. A natural bridging between the two approaches would be to take a mechanistic modelling approach for those compartments of the disease spread whose governing dynamics are well-understood and a machine-learning approach for those other yet not-well understood compartments, and this is what I will be discussing in this talk.

    For information on how to register for the talk as well as information on other talks offered as part of this Colloquium, please see the following link:

  • Brock Math Education Seminar Series 2021-22: Dr. Steven Floyd

    As part of this year’s Brock Math Education Seminar Series, Dr. Steven Floyd will give an online talk on Thursday, June 16, 2022 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. The talk will be entitled The Past, Present, and Future Direction of Computer Science Curriculum in K-12 Education. 


    Once implemented only in optional courses at the secondary level, CS concepts and skills are now being integrated into other subject areas such as mathematics, science, and technology and other grades including K-8. This new state of K-12 CS education is explored through an analysis of 1) related theory reflected in the literature, 2) historical secondary school CS curriculum, 3) enrolment data and important issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and 4) K-8 CS-related curriculum approaches currently being implemented in educational jurisdictions across Canada. Thematic Analysis is used to examine the goals and rationale of historical curriculum documents from Ontario and Document Analysis is used to compare various K-8 curriculum documents from across Canada. Together, the analysis provides a comprehensive look at K-12 CS education that supports educators, policy makers, and researchers in the field during a transformative time.

    Biography of Dr. Floyd:

    Steven Floyd recently completed his PhD at Western University with a focus on Curriculum Studies. Since 2003, Steven has been a high school computer science teacher, resource developer, e-learning course writer, and educational consultant. He has worked with school boards in Canada and the US in supporting computer science education in the K-12 grades, and was awarded the 2017 Computer Science Teachers Association Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science and the 2019 Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education Research Award. Steven is currently an Education Officer with Ontario’s Ministry of Education.

    For information, including how to access the Lifesize meeting where the talk will take place, please contact: Chantal Buteau: or Steven Khan:

  • Information Session on Academic Exchange

    Prof. Dr. Markus Neuhäuser from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences (Remagen, Germany) will give a session on Academic Exchanges between Brock University and the RheinAhrCampus Remagen (Koblenz University of Applied Sciences) in Germany. This session will take place on Tuesday, May 24th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in PLZ 410.  Any students or faculty who are interested in academic exchange are encouraged to attend.


    Brock University and the RheinAhrCampus Remagen (Koblenz University of Applied Sciences) in Germany are partner universities. In this talk the campus in Remagen as well as details on possible exchange programs are described. Subjects in Remagen are business and social sciences, mathematics and technology. Scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are available for Canadian students. Moreover, an academic internship is also possible in Remagen.

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Talk Dr. Markus Neuhäuser May 26th

    Faculty, staff and students are welcome to join Dr. Markus Neuhäuser (Department of Mathematics and Technology Koblenz University of Applied Sciences in Remagen, Germany) for a colloquium talk on Thursday, May 26th, 2022, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in GSB 305.  The talk is entitled Critical Issues in Recent Guidelines.

    Students in Mathematics and Statistics are encouraged to attend.


    Several medical journals published guidelines for authors regarding design and statistical analysis. Of course, this is positive development in order to increase rigor and reproducibility. However, from a statistical point of view some recommendations reduce the power or are indefensible for other (statistical) reasons. Theses issues are demonstrated this with regard to recent guidelines from Circulation Research and the British Journal of Pharmacology.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Chantal Buteau

    At the Faculty of Mathematics and Science Celebration of Excellence on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, Dr. Chantal Buteau from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics was awarded the Distinguished Research Award. Among her many contributions, Dr. Buteau has led a 5-year SSHRC-funded research project examining how post-secondary students (mathematics undergraduates) learn to use computer programming for mathematical investigation, simulation, and real-world modeling. For further information, please see this article in the Brock News. Congratulations Chantal!

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Talk Dr. Markus Neuhäuser May 19th

    Faculty, staff and students are welcome to join Dr. Markus Neuhäuser (Department of Mathematics and Technology Koblenz University of Applied Sciences in Remagen, Germany) for a colloquium talk on Thursday, May 19th, 2022, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in GSB 305.

    Students in Mathematics and Statistics are encouraged to attend.


    Both, non-normal data and heteroscedasticity, are very common in various applications. In this case, nonparametric location-scale tests and/or tests for the nonparametric Behrens-Fisher problem can be appropriate. Because the hypotheses for these two approaches differ, it is discussed which hypothesis is justified in which situation. Moreover, an overview of available tests for the two-sample problem is given. Classical nonparametric tests as well as novel and little-known methods are included. Simulation results are presented in order to compare the different tests. A special focus is given to non-continuous distributions as ties frequently occur in practices. Examples and computational issues are also mentioned.

  • Brock math students collaborate with local teachers on coding lessons

    Brock News Article

    As they work to become educators themselves, a class of Brock University students recently spent time collaborating with local teachers to add coding to their classrooms.

    With the support of a grant from Brock’s Experiential Education office and a team led by Professor Chantal Buteau of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, the initiative expanded the scope of MATH 3P41 ­— a third-year programming-based math course for future teachers — to include a final project in collaboration with the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

    Brock students partnered with Niagara Catholic teachers to design or modify and implement coding-based math activities for students in Grade 5 to 9.

    “This coding collaboration surpassed my expectations, which is a testament to the professionalism of the two Brock students with whom I was paired,” said Grade 8 teacher Angela Aston-Willett from Our Lady of Victory Catholic Elementary School.

    In total, 36 MATH 3P41 students and 25 Niagara Catholic teachers took part.

    “The goal is to expand on experiential learning components and better prepare our future math teachers on how to integrate coding in their classrooms,” said Buteau. “It builds on the long-established MICA (Math Integrated with Computers and Applications) I-II-III courses developed at Brock some 20 years ago, whereby students learn to use programming for pure and applied mathematics investigations.”

    The course’s focus on enhancing the teaching of coding skills stems from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s recently revised Grade 1 to 9 math curricula, in which coding was newly integrated as a tool for math.

    “It’s now an expected skill our teachers need to possess and need to know how to teach,” said Buteau.

    The collaborative project concluded April 18, with the MATH 3P41 students providing short oral presentations reflecting on the implementation of their math and coding activities. Niagara Catholic numeracy consultants Laura Cronshaw and Jefferey Martin attended the event to show their support as community partners in the initiative.

    Although the course has now wrapped up, Buteau said there is still work to be done.

    “My Niagara Catholic community partners and I, together with my post-doctoral fellow Dr. Laura Broley, will further reflect on this initiative and prepare a professional development webinar to present to Ontario math consultants in mid-June,” she said.  “The aim will be to share what we have learned from our experience on collaboratively preparing and implementing coding-based math activities in school classrooms.”

    Carolyn Finlayson, Experiential Education Co-ordinator for Brock’s Faculties of Social Sciences and Education, was pleased to support the initiative.

    “When we fund experiential learning projects in courses, our hope is that learning experiences for Brock students are meaningful and impactful,” she said. “Dr. Buteau’s students were able to extend this mission beyond the walls of Brock and share our commitment to high quality teaching with students at Niagara Catholic, serving as wonderful ambassadors of our institution.”

    Buteau said the collaborative project would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and involvement of Cronshaw and Martin, and through financial support from the Mathematics Knowledge Network funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education. She also highlighted the instrumental work done by Broley in assisting with the revision of the whole course in preparation for the students’ final projects.