News and events

  • Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock: Dr. Abolfazl Rafiepour

    Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock

    Season 2017- 2018

    Revisiting the Role of Common Sense in
    Mathematical Word Problem Solving

    Dr. Abolfazl Rafiepour

    Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman (Iran)
    Visiting Professor at Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Brock University)

    29 January @ 10:00 in TA403

    Dr. Abolfazl Rafiepour is an associate professor of mathematics education, in faculty of
    mathematics and computer, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran. He is a visiting scholar
    professor at Brock University. His special research interest is about modelling and application in
    domain of mathematics education. He taught several mathematics and mathematics education
    courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and has supervised more than 20 master students
    and one PhD student in the domain of mathematics education. He published more than 20 research
    papers. He also presents several papers in national and international conferences.

    Abstract: In this lecture, the role of mathematical word problem will be recognized in
    mathematics education and school mathematics textbooks. Then relation between mathematical
    word problem and modelling activities will be explained. Afterward “suspending of common
    sense in solving mathematical word problem” as a strange phenomenon will be described through
    several mathematical word problems as example. Finally, results of several research studies in this
    topic (which focused in different aspect such as students, teachers, math textbook) from different
    countries will be presented. Through these results, roots of “suspending common sense in solving
    mathematical word problem” will be identified in mathematics textbooks, mathematics teacher
    education and social norm of mathematics classrooms.

    All undergraduate(including teacher candidates) students, graduate students , and faculty, from Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Faculty of Education are welcome!


    For information, contact: Chantal Buteau: or Joyce Mgombelo:

  • Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock

    Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock

    Season 2017- 2018
    Mark your calendar!

    15 January @ 10:00 in TA403
    Dr. Chantal Buteau, Dr. Eric Muller
    Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Brock University)
    & Dr. Joyce Mgombelo
    Faculty of Education (Brock University)

    ‘Coding’ and mathematics: the students’ learning experience

    Seminar Poster

    29 January @ 10:00 in TA403
    Dr. Abolfazl Rafiepour
    Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman (Iran)
    Visiting Professor at Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Brock University)

    Revisiting the role of common sense in mathematical word problem solving

    12 February @ 10:00 in TA403
    Dr. Mina Sedaghatjou,
    Faculty of Education (Brock University)

    Finger counting in the Era of touchscreen-based technology

    19 March @ 10:00 in TA403
    Dr. Joyce Mgombelo
    Faculty of Education (Brock University)

    Title TBA

    Contact information and print version of the seminar list

  • Brock U research studies integrating computer programming into mathematics education

    When it’s raining outside and you want to stay as dry as possible, is it better to walk in the rain, or run?

    It’s a question that wouldn’t be tackled in traditional ‘paper and pencil’ undergraduate mathematics courses, but educators at Brock University are teaching their students how to tap into the power of computers to model, simulate, visualize and choose the best alternatives in calculations.

    “It’s using computer programming as an instrument to engage in mathematics investigations,” says Chantal Buteau, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

    “It’s taking a scientific, experimental approach to mathematics: asking questions, conjecturing, testing math problems or applications with programming and seeing the outcomes through computer simulations, then further tweaking the problem or model to continue the math work,” she says.

    Buteau and fellow mathematicians Bill Ralph and Henryk Fuks are adapting the

    European Mathematical Society’s view that, beyond theory and experimentation, “a third pillar of scientific inquiry of complex systems has emerged in the form of a combination of modelling, simulation, optimization and visualization.”

    “Few post-secondary mathematics programs address this 21st century need by adapting the curricula to combine mathematics and computer programming,” says Buteau.

    Brock is the exception.

    For more details, please see the story in the Brock News

  • Congratulations to Dr. Ke Zhao

    Our former Statistics MSc student Ke Zhao, Ph.D. has been promoted to a position as a Portfolio Analyst, Portfolio Management, Accountability and Operations, Advanced Education for the Government of Alberta, Canada. Congratulations to Dr. Ke Zhao!”

  • Math kits made by Brock students for young learners

    Brock students are working to make math equal fun by adding a dash of creativity.

    Students in a third-year math course, Mathematics at the Junior/Intermediate/Senior Level, have been working to create kits to help make math more accessible to young learners.

    Coinciding with National STEM Day, the first of three presentations related to the kits took place Nov. 8 and offered faculty, students and Let’s Talk Science Outreach at Brock volunteers a sneak peek into the hands-on, interactive math-based activities.

    The project, a new addition to the long-running Math 3P91 course, provides the class of future math educators an opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts they learn in class.

    For more details, please see the story in the Brock News.

  • Professor Buteau’s keynote presentation at 2017 APTICA research colloquium

    Professor Chantal Buteau will be giving the keynote presentation at the research colloquium of the  APTICA (L’Association pour l’avancement pédagogique des technologies de l’information et de la communication en Atlantique) 2017 annual congress taking place at University of Moncton on October 30 to November 4, 2017. Professor Buteau’s presentation is titled “Pensée informatique et mathématiques”. See

  • Congratulations to Sarah Bax

    The Department of Mathematics and Statistics would like to congratulate our graduating MSc student, Sarah Bax, for being recognized with the Brock University Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Medal at convocation. For more details, please see the story in the Brock News. Congratulations Sarah!

  • Symposium: Computational Thinking in Mathematics Education

    Professor Buteau is organizing a 3-day symposium, titled Computational Thinking in Mathematics Education, on October 13-15, 2017. The event, funded by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, will be hosted at UOIT and is organized together with Dr Namukasa (UWO), Dr. Gadanidis (UWO), Dr. Kotsopoulos (Huron College), and Dr. Hughes (UOIT). A ‘Maker Day‘ workshop for prospective and in-service teachers will be hosted during the day on October 13, 2017 prior to the symposium. See the poster or for more details or contact Professor Buteau.

    Symposium Poster

    UOIT Maker Day

    Live Streaming of Keynote speeches at CT in Math Ed Symposium, UOIT, Oshawa, October 12- 15, 2017.

    1. Live Streaming of Lyn English’s Keynote.
    Keynote Speaker Lyn English
    Learning Innovation in STEM Education
    10/13/2017 7:00:00 PM
    2. Live Streaming of Michelle Wilkerson’s  keynote
    Keynote Speaker Michelle Wilkerson
    Computational Integration to Support Expression, Refinement, and Collective Knowledge in Classroom Communities
    10/14/2017 4:00:00 PM
  • Seminar: Prof. Andries Engelbrecht

    When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – 11:00am – 12:00pm

    Brock University Computer Science Department Seminar Series


    Prof. Andries Engelbrecht

    University of Pretoria

    Pretoria, South Africa

    Heterogeneous Particle Swarm Optimizers: Scalability,
    Self-Adaptive Behaviors, and Dynamic Environments

    Abstract: Particles in the standard particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm, and most of its modifications, follow the same behaviours. That is, particles implement the same velocity and position update rules. This means that particles exhibit the same search characteristics. Heterogeneous PSO (HPSO), on the other hand, allow particles to follow different search behaviours selected from a behaviour pool, thereby efficiently addressing the exploration–exploitation trade-off problem.

    This talk will provide an overview of very simple HPSO algorithms, and will provide empirical results to show that they are more efficient than the homogeneous PSO algorithms making up the behaviour pool of the HPSO algorithm. The talk will also discuss the HPSO scalability properties, and will present approaches to self-adaptive behaviour selection. The talk will end with an illustration of the performance of simple HPSO algorithms in dynamic environments.

    Professor Andries Engelbrecht is the South African Research Chair of Artificial Intelligence in the Computer Science Department, University of Pretoria

    Location of your event: H313
    Cost: $0.00

    Categories: Events

  • Mahsa Daneshmandmehrabani thesis defense

    When: July 17, 2017 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

    Ms. Mahsa Daneshmandmehrabani will defend her M.Sc. on Monday July 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM in Mackenzie Chown C206.

    Abstract: We develop a recommendation algorithm for a local entertainment and ticket pro-vider company. The recommender system predicts the score of items, i.e. event, for each user. The special feature of these events, which makes them very differ-ent from similar settings, is that they are perishable: each event has a relatively short and specific lifespan. Therefore there is no explicit feedback available for a future event. Moreover, there is a very short description provided for each event and thus the keywords play a more than usual important role in categorizing each event. Moreover, we provide a hybrid algorithm that utilizes content-based and col-laborative filtering recommendations. We also present an axiomatic analysis of our model. These axioms are mostly derived from social choice theory.

    Location of your event: MCC206
    Cost: $0.00

    Categories: Events