Articles tagged with: Mathematics & Statistics

  • FMS Prof presented invited plenary lecture

    Professor Hichem Ben-El-Mechaiekh (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) presented an invited plenary lecture at the international conference OTHA 2018: Modern Methods, Problems and Applications of Operator Theory and Harmonic Analysis – VIII, 22-27 April 2018, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

    The title of his talk was “Generalized Variational Inequalities Without Convexity”.

    OTHA is one of the largest first-class international analysis conferences in Russia. It is sponsored by the Southern Federal University, the Don State Technical University, the Russian Foundation of Basic Research, and the International Society for Analysis, Its Applications and Computation. This was its 8th edition.

    LINK to website

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  • Brock community mourns Math employee Darrell Short

    Brock University is mourning the loss of long-time employee Darrell Short, who spent nearly four decades working with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

    Short died Tuesday, April 17 at the age of 61.

    He held many roles with the University over the years, including teaching assistant, instructor and course co-ordinator, and was known for helping and inspiring countless students in a multitude of courses.

    “His contributions to the Department were immeasurable, touching the lives of students, faculty and staff members alike,” said a tribute on the Department’s website. “He will be missed very much by all of us. It simply won’t be the same place now that he has passed.”

    For more information, please see Short’s obituary.

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  • FMS students receive President’s Surgite Awards

    They’re student leaders who have made significant contributions to Brock University or the wider community, and on Monday they were honoured with the President’s Surgite Awards.

    Ten Brock students from across the University’s seven Faculties were given the awards in recognition for the work they’ve done during their time studying here.

    “Students at Brock are supported and encouraged to develop their leadership, academic, student life and community engagement skills and contributions,” said President Gervan Fearon. “The students receiving these awards have excelled at these activities and exemplify the values of being outstanding students at the University and across the broader community.”


    Tom Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic, said the awards are meant to be an extra achievement students can use as they head out into the workforce.

    “We recognize in that doing what you’ve done, it’s good for your resumés, but you’ve also improved the lives of our students and life at Brock, and in some cases, within the broader community. We recognize your contribution to making everyone proud of Brock locally, nationally and beyond.”

    2017-18 President’s Surgite Award winners:

    • Allison Flynn-Bowman, Community Health
    • Aniqah Zowmi, Social Justice and Equity Studies
    • Evans Boadi, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Sarah Mohammed, Child Health
    • Nicholas Lepore, Accounting
    • Michael Tolentino, Biomedical Sciences
    • Aynsley Maves, Concurrent Education
    • Christine Saleeb, Medical Sciences
    • Vanessa Cservid, Medical Sciences
    • Matthew McGarr, Medical Sciences

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  • FMS grad to cook up storm on MasterChef Canada

    The Brock community may recognize a familiar face when tuning into the Season 5 premiere of MasterChef Canada next week.

    Alumnus Michael Griffiths (BSc ’16, BEd ’16) has used his culinary prowess to secure a spot as one of 21 finalists in the televised national cooking competition, which kicks off Tuesday, April 3 on CTV.

    While Griffiths’ focus was on Mathematics and Concurrent Education during his time at Brock, the 24-year-old Richmond Hill native has always had a passion for food. As a child, he was frequently found in the kitchen helping his mother prepare the family’s meals, and later on in his university years, he often impressed his roommates with his culinary skills.

    It was during his time on campus that Griffiths learned to balance the many interests — math and food among them — that contended for his time. “I was always very engaged. I played rugby, worked as a senior supervisor at the recreation services desk and worked with a number of mathematics and outreach programs,” he said. “Brock was the kickstarter for a lot of my different adventures.”

    With a wide variety of interests still on his plate, Griffiths decided to pursue his dream of being on MasterChef, all while simultaneously working to earn his Master of Mathematics at the University of Guelph.

    At first glance, there may seem to be little overlap between mathematics and culinary arts, but Griffiths said that is not the case. He believes his math background gives him an edge in the kitchen. “I know how to think critically. I know how to think logistically,” he said. “If I’m having a party for 50 people, I know how to work out what I need to do in order to put forward an amazing dish that everyone can enjoy.”



    He is thankful for the encouragement he has received from the Brock community, which has “hit home in such an incredible way.”

    “This is another example of the outstanding support the Brock community has always provided for me.”

    Griffiths hopes to inspire his fellow Badgers to continue to work hard and follow their passions, even if it takes them down an unconventional path. “Follow your heart and realize that what you’re working hard on may not be your end goal passion, but I guarantee there’s a connection to your future there,” he said.

    MasterChef Canada premieres Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. on CTV.

    Read the full story here

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  • FMS celebrates best in teaching, research and experiential learning

    Faculty and staff members who have set positive examples for their colleagues were honoured by the Faculty of Mathematics and Science during Wednesday’s Celebration of Excellence. The fourth annual event, held Jan. 24 in Pond Inlet, saw awards of distinction presented for research, teaching, student experience and experiential learning.

    “This awards ceremony provides us with an opportunity to gather together and acknowledge the accomplishments of our faculty and staff in front of their Math and Science family, as well as our larger Brock family,” Dean Ejaz Ahmed told the group during his remarks at the Jan. 24 event in Pond Inlet.

    “Once again, we have much to celebrate and recognize. From research excellence and distinguished teachers and scholars to those who provide our students with exceptional experiential learning opportunities that further the Faculty’s mission, vision and values. I am proud of your dedication and commitment and I look forward to continuing to celebrate your accomplishments at this great event.”

    Following remarks from Gary Comerford, Board of Trustees Chair, and Thomas Dunk, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, the awards portion of the event began with Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies Cheryl McCormick serving as Master of Ceremonies.

    Department of Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Atkinson received this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award – Faculty for his long and successful record of supervising students, mentoring high school seniors through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program, his involvement in the design and implementation of Brock’s first PhD program in Biotechnology as well as his outreach teaching activities through BioTalent Canada.

    “During his career at Brock, Dr. Atkinson has earned a reputation for being one of our most gifted teachers,” said McCormick. “His teaching evaluations are outstanding and he routinely receives comments from students calling him an excellent professor, the best professor they’ve ever had and more equally enthusiastic and complimentary praise.”

    Atkinson’s dedication to his students and their education has helped create an environment of teaching excellence within the Faculty, she said.

    The Distinguished Teaching Award for Staff was captured by full-time instructor Paul Zelisko, also from the Department of Chemistry. Zelisko was recognized for his untiring dedication to education and graduate student recruitment.

    McCormick noted that Zelisko has been a consistent representative of the Faculty, organizing Brock representation every year for a number of events including the McMaster University Graduate Fair, undergraduate trips to the east coast and, most notably, last year’s Graduate Studies Open House. This event, created for undergraduate students at Brock thinking of transitioning to graduate research, helped increase student engagement and was well received.

    This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Faculty was awarded to professor Jon Radue from the Department of Computer Science, who has earned a reputation for caring deeply about many aspects of teaching and education.

    A true innovator, he incorporated technology such as clickers into the classroom to further student engagement long before it was commonplace. He has been actively involved with the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation as a faculty associate and member of the Teaching Council and his work on academic integrity extends beyond the department and throughout the University.

    “In the Department of Computer Science, Radue spearheaded the development of the Applied Computing minor along with many of its courses. His knowledge and dedication made him an easy choice for teaching large first-year context courses taken by a wide variety of students from all disciplines,” said McCormick.

    “His passion for education, combined with his knowledge and dedication have become part of his legacy at Brock.”

    The Distinguished Research Award for Faculty was presented to Henryk Fuks from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for his excellent record of accomplishment in research, focused in the areas of mathematical modelling, complex networks as well as the history of mathematics and numismatics, the study of currency.

    Along with serving on editorial boards for several prestigious journals and on scientific program committees for international conferences, Fuks also regularly receives international recognition for his research. Last August, the Royal Canadian Numismatic Society honoured him with the Guy Potter Literary Award, recognizing two of his articles which popularized the history of mathematics in the area of numismatics.

    Gaynor Spencer from the Department of Biological Sciences also received the Distinguished Research Award for Faculty. Promoted to Full Professor in July, she is currently supervising three graduate students and two undergraduate thesis students in her lab.

    “Gaynor has maintained high quality research productivity while providing great service to the University and research community,” said McCormick. Her longstanding history of research excellence is evidenced in part by her strong record of NSERC Discovery Grant funding, an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award as well as quality, peer-reviewed publications; 38 papers, five invited reviews and four book chapters.

    Additional awards distributed at the Jan. 24 celebration included:

    •  Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Award — Faculty awarded to Mei-Ling Huang (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Fereidoon Razavi (Department of Physics) for their contributions to research, teaching and service.
    •  Distinguished Staff Award won by Jacinta Dano (Department of Biological Sciences) for the creation and implementation of the highly successful LabSkills+ program, which recognizes the importance of experiential learning and provides students with the laboratory skills they need to market themselves in an increasingly competitive industry.
    •  Earth Sciences Professor Frank Fueten received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Faculty. For more than 20 years, he has devoted countless hours to high school students through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program. Fueten has also been particularly active in experiential learning both in the classroom and in the field, lending his experience and expertise to hundreds of geology students.
    •  Daniel Lonergan received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Staff. During his time as the Experiential Education Co-ordinator for the Faculty, he played a significant role in enhancing the student experience through experiential education. He also represented the Faculty at several key events including the Ontario University Fair, Open House and Fall Preview Day.
    •  The new Experiential Education Leadership Award was given to Earth Sciences Professor Uwe Brand, who received the Distinguished Research Award last year. For nearly 30 years, Brand has provided students with unique, high-quality, hands-on learning experiences. His approach to experiential education links in-class learning with practical applications designed to help prepare students for the real world.

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  • Jan 15: Math Ed Seminar Series

    Math Ed Seminar Series

    Dr. Chantal Buteau
    Dr. Eric Muller
    Department of Mathematics & Statistics
    Brock University

    Dr. Joyce Mgombelo
    Faculty of Education
    Brock University

    DATE: Monday, Jan. 15

    TIME: 10am


    Math Ed Seminar Series – Jan 15

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  • President honours outstanding staff and faculty

    Stephen Renda didn’t expect to hear his name called at the President’s Holiday Celebration.

    “When the President said the recipient designs and builds equipment, I knew it was someone from Tech Services,” he said. “I thought it was another guy in our shop.”

    Renda is a machinist who designs and builds teaching and research equipment for Brock’s Faculty of Mathematics and Science. He also services lab equipment like sterilizers, bench top centrifuges, vacuum pumps and liquid nitrogen stations.

    He was one of four people honoured with the President’s Distinguished Staff Service Awards.

    His nominator, Steve Crumb, boasted in the nomination application that Renda is one of the department’s most valued assets. “Whatever he designs, you know that great thought went into it and it is truly a work of art. He is the person I tell students to see,” Crumb wrote.

    “It’s not lost on me that I’m ‘the guy,’” Renda said. “I like being helpful. I don’t do it for bragging rights or any other reason. That’s why I’m here. At the end of the day, it’s gratifying to know that these people come to me to help them.”

    Renda was one of 35 faculty and staff who were honoured at the annual holiday event, which saw a record attendance of nearly 350 people.

    Quarter Century Club

    Several faculty and staff were recognized for their long-standing commitment to Brock University. This year, 22 employees were inducted into the Quarter Century Club, joining 215 others who have worked for Brock for 25 years, including:

    • Fiona Hunter, Biological Sciences
    • Brian Ross, Computer Science

    35 years of long-standing service

    Eight people were recognized for 35 years of service, including:

    • Dave McCarthy, Computer Science
    • Jan Vrbik, Mathematics

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  • Brock integrating computer programming into mathematics education

    As Chantal Buteau, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics notes, “Few post-secondary mathematics programs address the 21st century need by adapting the curricula to combine mathematics and computer programming.”

    Brock is the exception.

    Educators at Brock University are working outside the traditional ‘paper and pencil’ box and 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 Buteau. “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.”

    Buteau teaches in the sequence of Brock’s Mathematics Integrated with Computers and Applications (MICA) undergraduate courses. Created in 2000 under the leadership of fellow mathematician, Bill Ralph, this sequence of MICA courses is the only one of its kind in Canada.

    “It’s really outstanding that Bill Ralph and the Department of Mathematics had that vision ahead of their time,” she says, adding it’s only recently that integration of coding in school curricula around the world has started to increase.

    Buteau is heading a research team, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), to study how MICA students learn to use computer coding for their mathematical investigations.

    The issue is not just academic. She notes that a number of mathematicians are already taking this approach and that “it seems natural to expose our students with this cutting-edge way of doing mathematics.”

    Read the full story here

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  • Math kits made by Brock students for young learners

    Students in the fourth-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. The idea for this experiential component emerged last year when Dan Lonergan, Experiential Education Co-ordinator in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, and Anna Hudlin, Let’s Talk Science Outreach at Brock Site Co-ordinator, discussed a potential partnership.

    In 2016, Brock became a new site for Let’s Talk Science, a national organization that offers science education and programs for all ages from preschool to high school using ready-made science, technology, engineering and math-related kits. Recognizing the need for more math-based kits, Hudlin approached Lonergan about creating the experiential opportunity.

    Following feedback and final tweaks, the students’ work may become part of available Let’s Talk Science kits used in classrooms by volunteers at Brock and beyond.


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  • Brock spirit alive in FMS student leader

    Sarah Bax has exemplified what it means to be a student leader — both inside and outside of the classroom. Together with Michelle Balge, she was honoured for her efforts during the Fall Convocation ceremony — Balge in the morning and Bax in the afternoon — and recognized with Brock’s Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Medal.

    The award is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student who best exemplify the spirit of the school’s namesake, Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock and show traits such as courage, innovation, leadership, inspiration and community involvement.


    It wasn’t until her second year of University that Sarah Bax, who received her master’s degree in mathematics, realized the importance of getting involved, both on campus and in the community. The 24-year-old Paris, Ontario native honed her leadership skills as a teaching assistant and became a favourite among Brock’s Math Camp instructors. Read her full story here


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