M A T H E M A T I C A L   A N D   S T A T I S T I C A L

                S C I E N C E S   N E W S L E T T E R


                                                                                                                        October  2001  Issue

                                                                                                                        Editor: G. Ludwig



In this issue:



·        I. Chairman’s Report

·        II. Report from the Departmental APO

·        III. Report from Graduate Studies

·        IV. Report from Undergraduate Studies

·        V. Associate Chair of Research

·        VI. News from the Applied Mathematics Institute

·        IX. Report from the Computing Analysts

·        X. Report from the Computing Facilities Committee

·        XI. Industrial Student Interns

·        XVIII. Canadian Mathematical Bulletin

·        XIX. Contributions Solicited

·        XX. Mathematics Field Trip

i. Colloquium

ii. Algebra seminar

iii. Approximation and wavelet theory seminar

iv. Differential equations and dynamical systems seminar

v. Differential geometry seminar

vi. Functional analysis seminar

vii. Graduate student seminar

viii. Mathematical biology seminar

ix. Non-linear waves/fluid mechanics seminar

x. Statistics seminar




Editor’s comments: The editor wishes to thank everyone who has had input to this and past issues of the departmental newsletter. He wishes to remind all readers that it is only they who can make the newsletter a success, by contributing news about the Department and its activities and by giving him new ideas as to what to include. (Particular thanks are due in this regard to Gerda de Vries for her many suggestions.) The amount of information received determines the number of issues per year.


This is the first of this academic year’s newsletters. Please send any correspondence for future issues to gludwig@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca, with “Newsletter” in the subject line. This and past issues may also be found on the Department’s web page: http://www.math.ualberta.ca/. (The newsletters are best viewed with the Internet Explorer on a PC.  My apologies to Mac or Unix and Netscape users.)


A note to alumnae and alumni: In case you did not receive the letter sent out to you last year requesting information as to the impact your training in mathematics and /or statistics has had on your career, we’d still love to hear from you.





            I.      CHAIRMAN’S REPORT


Tony Lau


I would like to extend my warm welcome to our new academic staff, support staff, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visitors to the Department.


This year, our graduate enrollment has jumped substantially to 115 from 80 in 2000-01.  I would like to thank Jim Muldowney and his committee for the great recruitment effort.


This is an exciting year for the Department.  Our new name, which has recently been approved by the GFC, is – Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.  Jim Muldowney is now our Site Director of PIMS and Robert Moody is the Director of the exciting Banff International Research Station (BIRS) which had its official opening on Monday, September 24th, 2001.


I would like to thank our past Chair, Akbar Rhemtulla, and Associate Chairs, Gerald Cliff and Jim Muldowney, for their important contributions to the Department.  I would also like to thank K.C. Carrière, Bruce Allison and Yau Shu Wong for agreeing to serve as Associate Chairs of Research, Undergraduate Program and Graduate Program, respectively.


Congratulations to Jim Timourian for the “Canadian Mathematical Society Distinguished Service Award”.


Herb Freedman is now Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science.


I would also like to welcome the return of Vaclav Zizler to our Department.


This year the annual summer barbecue, held on Saturday, September 8th, 2001, at Hawrelak Park was extremely successful.  It was attended by approximately 170 people.  I would like to thank Ross Stokke and Anna Robertson for coordinating the barbecue, and all the other graduate students and colleagues for their contribution to the success of this important start of this year’s social events.  The next social event of the Department will be the Christmas dinner which will be held at the Fantasyland Hotel (West Edmonton Mall) on Saturday, December 15th, 2001.


I wish you all a wonderful academic year.


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Rick Mikalonis


The last 8 months have seen some major changes in our Department, not the least of which is a brand-new name.  One of the major areas of change has been in the support staff group.  I’m trying to imagine what it will be like for Dana when she returns from maternity leave.  We have had changes in seven support staff positions since she left.  One of the first changes to occur was the receptionist position with the resignation of Charlene Josey.  The position was filled on a temporary basis for the first while, and we now have a new receptionist in Jennifer Eichelt.  Both of our current system analysts, Barkley Vowk and Scott Berard, have been hired in the last five months, replacing Marvin Wadsworth and Chris Kuethe.  Marion Benedict, who served for many years in the Graduate Office, left the Department for new challenges and Dona Guelzow, whom we had hired in November/2000 was promoted into this position.  This, of course, left her former position open and Karen Schapmann is now the administrative secretary for the Honours and Specialization programs, among other things.  The position of Executive Secretary to the Chair became open when Valerie Welch resigned in early summer, and Vera Toth was appointed to the position.  Vera had been Dana’s maternity replacement so we had to find a “replacement for the replacement”.  We have hired Kathy Proehl from Temporary Services to fill that role.  These changes have placed considerable demands on the remaining support staff, particularly Christine Fischer and Leona Guthrie, as they assisted and trained the new hirees in addition to maintaining their own responsibilities.  We are fortunate to have such able and dedicated staff.

Change has certainly been the “keyword” in our Department.  Not only are we growing in terms of academic staff and graduate students, we are also physically expanding in terms of office and lab space.  The Department has now acquired virtually the entire 4th floor of CAB except for four offices and one lab that Computing Sciences will continue to use for the next year.  This is good news because we need the space.  Unfortunately, we were not expecting to receive the space as soon as we did and we may have to wait until next year’s Facility Alteration Request (FAR) before we can develop it.  We are currently working with the Project Manager to see how far we can stretch this year’s funding.  We have already upgraded ten offices and a large lab in Phase I of the renovations and we are hoping to complete several more offices and rooms and a large computer lab to complement the ones in CAB 642 and CAB 434, in Phase II.  The former AMI offices have been renovated for the new Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology (Mark Lewis) and various other room upgrades in terms of painting and furnishings have been accomplished on the 5th and 6th floors.  It has been a very busy summer and we are not done yet!

Computing infrastructure has been problematic as aging equipment (and some not so old equipment) has not functioned as expected.  I won’t get into this area in this newsletter but perhaps I will report on this in a future one.


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Yau Shu Wong


a)      Information on graduate students:


The number of graduate students has increased to 115 this year, and 46 new students started their graduate program this fall.  We are expecting three graduate students to join us in January 2002, and two new students will begin their program in September of next year.  About 40% of the new students are Canadian or Permanent Residents, 36% are from China, and the remaining 24% from Ghana, India, Mexico, USA, Korea etc.


Twenty-one students took the Ph.D. Advisory examinations in September, of which four were in Pure Mathematics, six in Applied Mathematics, seven in Statistics and four in the Math. Finance program.


In the fall term, we offer 16 graduate courses, and seven of them have an enrollment of ten or more graduate students.  One statistics course (STAT 578) has 21 students registered.


b)      Call for nomination:


The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) gives an award to a faculty member with outstanding services in mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows.  Dr. Tony Lau was awarded the "Mentoring Award" two years ago.  We would like to invite all members to participate in the nomination for the award this year.  We are also proposing to create a database with a mentoring file for each faculty member.  Please provide us with a list of graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows whom you have mentored over the past five years.  It may not look very impressive at the moment but, over time, this will change.  However, if you consider your contribution to be exceptional or know a colleague who has made a substantial contribution already, please let us know and provide details so that we could make a nomination to FGSR.


c)      Recent graduates (added by the editor):


M. Sc. Theses (Jan-Sept. 2001):


Hawkins, Brenda (R. J. Elliott, supervisor), Jan. 5/01: “A method for assessing and predicting a Buy/Hold/Sell Policy”.


Hui, Carlson (J. F. Carrière, supervisor), Mar. 28/01: “Effectiveness of the Quasi-Monte Carlo method”.


Chen, Xuechao (R. J. Karunamuni, supervisor), May 15/01: “Some new methods on estimation and prediction of the Severest Sea State”.


Goldenberg, Mark (H. Künzle, supervisor), June 27/01: “Normed Division Domains”.


Leger, Luc (R. J. Elliott/A. Cadenillas, supervisors), June 21/01: “Valuation of American Options Using the Markov Chain Approximation Method”.


Cadeau, Coire (E. Woolgar, supervisor), July 16/01: “Black Hole Solutions of 5-Dimensional Relativity with New Horizon Topologies”.



Ph. D. Theses (Jan-Sept. 2001):


Agapov, Vladislav (M. Kovalyov, supervisor), April 6/01: “Numerical solution of the forward problem in encephalography”.


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Bruce Allison


Welcome back to classes for 2001-2002.


I am glad to report that the enrollment in our undergraduate programs is up.


Ken Andersen tells me that there are 100 students enrolled this year in our Specialization programs.  This includes 30 in Actuarial Science, 25 in Mathematics, 17 in our new Computational Science (Mathematics) program, 13 in Mathematics and Finance, 8 in Statistics and 7 in Mathematics and Economics.  This is up substantially from last year when we had 75 specialization students.


John Bowman tells me that we have 30 students in our Honours programs this year.  Broken down by year this includes 7 first year students, 14 second year students, 4 third year students, 4 fourth year students and 1 post-degree student.  This is a significant improvement over past enrollment totals.  Enrollment in our honours courses (particularly in 2nd year) is also encouraging.  Math 217 has 38 students this term.  We actually had to find a bigger room!


This fall, the Department awarded two scholarships to incoming 1st year students.  These awards are called “Department of Mathematical Sciences Academic Excellence Scholarships”.  The scholarship award winners this year were Timothy Furtak and William Martens who are both entering 1st year honours mathematics.  Congratulations to Timothy and William!


The Scholarships just mentioned are funded by donations from members of the Department.  The Faculty of Science matches these donations.  Thanks to those who made donations last year.  Gerda de Vries and the Outreach Committee are coordinating this scholarship for next year.  If faculty members are interested in making donations, this is certainly an excellent choice.


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The Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences now has a new administrative position, the Associate Chair of Resesarch.  There are two such positions in the Faculty of Science, with the other one being at the Department of Biological Sciences.  Our Department is the second largest one in the Faculty; the largest one being Biological Sciences.  It is necessary to have such a position in place to manage departments of this size efficiently.  K. C. Carrière has stepped into that role for our Department.  Her duty is to look out for funding opportunities and to oversee all research grant applications, and to seek nominations for award and prize opportunities for continuing faculty members.


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Jack Macki


During the Spring and Summer, the Institute has focused on a few key issues.  Because the Department is dealing with a critical shortage of space, the Institute gave up its office space for the short term.  Future plans are to work very closely with the PIMS office.  Tentative space plans are to locate a combined Institute and CAMQ (Canadian Applied Mathematics Quarterly) office in a long interior office space on the fourth floor, contiguous to the office space of the Bulletin of the Canadian Math. Society and across the hall from relocated PIMS offices.  The biggest need for office space is for CAMQ; the AMI can be run to a large extent as a virtual office, with strong secretarial support from Kathy in the main office.


The Director (i.e., me) attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society in Victoria, followed by the PIMS Industrial Problem Solving Workshop at the U. of Washington.  From the CAIMS meeting I obtained the mailing list of the membership, to send out an ad for CAMQ, and also solicited about 15 papers for CAMQ from the invited talks.  The meeting was a huge success, with focus on a small number of topics of intense current interest: Compression Algorithms for files on computers (i.e., JPEG, Zip, Tar, etc.), Fluid Dynamics with a strong emphasis on atmospheric and oceanic modelling, Computational Biology (mapping and extrapolation models for genomes), Math. Biology , Applied Dynamical Systems, and Neural Networks/Neural Dynamics.  Perhaps the most ‘gee-whiz’ talk of the conference was Jerry Marsden’s talk on using the unstable and stable manifolds for the classical equilibrium points in the three-body problem to provide ‘slingshots’ for very low cost space missions. His slide show (done on a Mac, of course) was stunning.  Anyone who would like to use his slide software can download it for free from his website at Caltech.  The most entertaining title was perhaps Mark Kot’s: “Do Invading Organisms do the Wave?”  This paper will appear in CAMQ.  The AMI was well represented at the meeting, with invited talks by Gerda deVries, Michael Li and Gordon Swaters, and the Department, by new staff member Mark Lewis.  In addition, we had a goodly number of graduate students participating.


The IPSW in Seattle was a fantastic affair, with problems submitted by a crystal growing (crystals the size of wine bottles) offshoot of Cominco, based in Trail, B.C., by a very prestigious financial portfolio management firm in Toronto (Black-Scholes stuff), by Alberta Energy Company (how to estimate the remaining life of an oil well), by the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (how to track down floating viruses on the web), by Microsoft -hey, we were in Seattle-(efficient use of hard disc space), and by IBM (how to design service contracts for providing web servers).


The AMI ran the previous year’s IPSW here in Edmonton, and financially supported the technical typing (thank you, Vivian) of the reports.  One of the reports from the Edmonton IPSW a year ago has been selected for publication in CAMQ--the group solved a major problem in efficiently designing a testing regime for Michelin Tire.  I am hoping that at least one of the projects from Seattle resulted in a report worthy of publication.


In addition, the AMI has invited Alan Douglas of the Communications Security Establishment to visit in October or November.  PIMS has just announced next year’s IPSW in Vancouver, and I strongly urge all mathematicians to go to the website and have a look at the problems proposed (available in February) with an eye to taking part.  It is a great experience for pure and applied mathematicians, and the industrial representatives have come to love them to the extent of fighting for their problems to be in the next one.


The AMI has been coordinating efforts to expand our Industrial Internship Program (IIP) within the Faculty of Science.  The idea is to place undergraduates in industrial positions for 8-16 months (yes, they are paid employees) as part of their program. Computing Science and Psychology have gazillions of students placed over the last few years, and the rest of us are getting up to speed.  More and more undergraduates are expressing an interest - - my thanks to the Specialization and Honours advisors who have been telling them about the program.  We have about 6 students at present who would like to be placed.  Ivan Baggs has been placing a few students each year in positions of support for web-based learning.  Professor Prasad handles the statistics students.  Jacques Carrière has been providing assistance for actuarial students.  Each student needs to provide a resumé for an interview, and the job of the AMI and the Faculty of Science is to contact firms and convince them they need our students.  The entire process is very labor intensive, to say the least.  We have one student just returned from Statistics Canada, and Professor Prasad is setting up a presentation (the student is required to give a report, as is the company).  I am hereby requesting that all lecturers in appropriate courses (you decide whether yours is appropriate) encourage their students to attend, as we will be presenting information on the IIP and even serving some food.  A student should learn about the IIP in first or second year so they can plan their program around it.  It takes six months to a year to find a position for a student because our list of industrial contacts is so small.  We hope to cooperate with the PIMS office in the development of a much stronger industrial liaison program.


The AMI has assisted in a small way (our budget is small) with several conferences, and we will be proposing to the membership to continue with this program.  Because we have no strict rules on how the money may be used, a few hundred dollars from us can have considerable impact.


Of course, our usual program of lectures continues under the able guidance of Henry van Roessel.  Two of the (many) highlights of the Fall series will be the visit of Alan Douglas mentioned above, and a visit by Frank Stenger, Professor of Computing Science at the University of Utah.  Alan has a Ph.D. in Approximation from Wisconsin from long ago, and Frank took an undergraduate degree in engineering at the U. of A. ( also long ago), then switched to math. and did a Ph.D.  After a bit of wandering he settled at Utah, where he has distinguished himself as an imaginative and prolific researcher.  His only problem is that his graduate students are in such demand by industry that he has trouble convincing them to finish their theses. I invite you all to attend our upcoming AMI talks.


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Jim Muldowney


a)      Postdoctoral Fellows


We are happy to have the following scholars in the Department.

Dr. Wen Chen works on applications of wavelet theory to signal processing and data compression.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo in 1999 and is hosted by Drs. Jia and Han.

Dr. Matthias Neufang joined us last January.  He is working with Dr. Volker Runde in functional analysis and harmonic analysis. His doctoral work was under the direction of Professor G. Wittstock in Saarbrücken.

Dr. Sumati Surya is continuing with Drs. Don Page, Kristin Schleich and Eric Woolgar.  Sumati completed her doctoral work in Physics at Syracuse University in 1997 under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Sorkin.

Dr. Roman Vershynin has come to us from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to work with Dr. Nicole Tomczak-Jaegermann.  Roman has his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Yoji Yoshii works in Lie Algebras and received his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 1999 and is here with Drs. Allison, Gannon and Pianzola.  Many will recall that Yoji completed an M.Sc. here in 1993 with Bob Moody and Arturo Pianzola.


b)      BIRS Launched


Of course, the big news for Canadian mathematicians last week, and especially for those of us in the West, was the formal announcement of the establishment of the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery.  This took place at a joint ceremony conducted by the governments of the United States and Canada that was simultaneously webcast from Banff and Washington on Monday, September 24.

The joint venture is spearheaded in Canada by PIMS and in the US by the Berkeley based Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI).  The facility will also profit from the active participation of the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems Network of Centres of Excellence (MITACS).

Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation of the United States announced an award of $1.95M, Dr. Robert Church, Chair of the Alberta Science Research Authority committed $1.7M, and Dr. Tom Brzustowski, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, announced an award of $1.5M towards the operation of BIRS from 2003 to 2005.  The station will also be supported by the British Columbia Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise through its sponsorship of PIMS.

Dr. Colwell spoke of the importance of mathematical cooperation in the development of careers and of representing the best of the human spirit in dark times.  She envisioned BIRS drawing together many branches of science based on the fundamental importance of mathematics and statistics.  She felt that the investment in Banff provides tangible proof of this importance.

Dr. Brzustowski said that Canadian mathematics was now gaining the recognition that it deserves.  He paid tribute to the partners in the endeavour and drew special attention to the enterprise and persistence of Nassif Ghoussoub in making BIRS a reality.

A mini-symposium, entitled Close Parallels: Good Neighbours and Mathematical Partners, prior to the formal inauguration and press conference was chaired by Bob Moody, the Scientific Director of BIRS.  The joint MCs for the announcement were: Nassif Ghoussoub, Director PIMS, in Banff, and David Eisenbud, Director MSRI, in Washington.

c)      PIMS Deadlines


1. Thematic programs for 2003 and 2004.  Deadline: anytime before November 15.
2. “PIMS Research, Education and Industrial Outreach Prizes”.  Deadline: anytime before October 30*.
3. PIMS distinguished chairs for 2002/03.  Deadline: should be submitted to Shirley by November 8.  Nominations are ranked by a local PIMS committee.
4. PIMS workshops in Banff for 2003.  Deadline: anytime before October 30.
5. Scientific Proposals (conferences, workshops, seminars and related activities in the Mathematical Sciences, to occur after April 1, 2002).  Deadline: anytime before October 30.

It will be helpful if you let Jim Muldowney know in advance if you intend to submit proposal(s) so we can advise PIMS of the likely workload.

*The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences is accepting nominations for the following 3 prizes sponsored by Toronto Dominion Securities.

1.      PIMS Research Prize:
Awarded for a particular outstanding contribution to the mathematical sciences that was disseminated during the five-year period prior to the award being given.  Open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and residents of Pacific Rim countries who maintain academic ties to the Canadian mathematical sciences community.

2.      PIMS Education Prize:
Awarded to a member of the PIMS community who has made a significant contribution to education in the mathematical sciences.  This prize is intended to recognize individuals from the PIMS member universities or other educational institutions in Alberta and British Columbia who have played a major role in encouraging activities which have enhanced public awareness and appreciation of mathematics, as well as to foster communication among various groups and organizations concerned with mathematical training at all levels.

3.      PIMS Industrial Outreach Prize:
Awarded to an individual who has employed mathematical analysis in the resolution of problems with direct industrial, economic or social impact.  This prize is intended for individuals from the academic, private and government sectors.  This prize will be given to individuals who at the time of nomination are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Nominees for each prize should be nominated by three sponsors.  They are to provide a cover letter explaining the nominee’s contribution, impact and relevance for the prize.  The nomination should also include a CV of the nominee, a publication list, a list of creative works or list of industrial products, and relevant samples of the nominee’s work, such as reprints, patents or educational materials.

Nominations should be sent to:

Attention: PIMS Prizes
PIMS Director’s Office
1933 West Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2

Nominations must be received by October 30, 2001.
For more information, please see the webpage


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K. C. Carrière


1. The Training Consulting Centre (TCC) now has a new location at CAB 493.  We started receiving our clients in the new office as of September 18. Currently, we have 8 consultants and 6 observers, offering statistical theory consultations to the University of Alberta researchers with their research, who come for our help from virtually every faculty on campus. If you have any books, software, or manuals that may be useful for statistical consulting, we would gladly take your donations. We plan to have an open house toward the end of the semester. If anyone is interested in being involved as consultants, observers, or mentors to our consultants, please contact Alex, the TCC coordinator at mailto:alex@stat.ualberta.ca


2. The Statistics Centre welcomes a new postdoctoral fellow, Xiaoming Wang.  Xiaoming Wang came from China to join us as of September 1, 2001.  He will be working with K. C. Carrière.  His email address is



3. Marilyn Cree, who worked with us on projects with K. C. Carrière for the last two years, has now created her own company, "Cree Research".  She will be engaged in several projects on contract with the Red Deer Health Authority as well as some projects with Alberta Health and Wellness with K. C. Carrière.  We wish her well in her new career.


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Barkley Vowk


As almost everyone knows by now, Chris has left us; he's taken up a position with CNS.  I'm sure we all wish him well in his new position; he is certainly enjoying it.  We've also brought Scott, our new systems analyst, on board.  I expect many of you have met him already. Scott is focusing on windows desktop issues and I will be tackling the unix issues.


For everyone cursing my name every time sirius1 crashes, I can happily tell you that soon we will have replacement power supplies that should clear up the stability problems.  We've made several enhancements over the summer that should improve our computing facilities quite substantially.  The first and most important addition is a pair of identical RAID5 servers. RAID5 is a technology that stores redundant information between a group of disks so that the failure of one disk in the group does not result in data loss.  This will isolate us from disk failures and the redundant servers allow us to come back online even if one server is destroyed.  This should eliminate any future data loss on department servers.


We will soon have a new lab in 430. It will feature 24 new athlon systems with 19" monitors that will also be available for use as an off-hours cluster.  If you have a project that requires a large amount of cpu time send me an e-mail for information.


A new website will be completed in the near future that will feature how-to information about the computer questions I see most often.  Scott and I will be creating the initial site, and then volunteers will be able to write and post information that they've found helpful.  With enough submissions we could have a helpful knowledge base to help everyone when Scott and I aren't available.


We will be tearing down bimodal and binomial soon.  If you depend on either of these servers please let me know.  We will also be adding Sirius 2-6 after all the current stability issues with sirius1 have been dealt with.


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Joseph So


We will be implementing some changes in the near future.


1. First and foremost, there will be a website/webpage which contains important information about our network and servers, rudiments on unix, the various commands, how to do various things etc.  People are encouraged to submit tips on doing things like duplex printing etc., and these will be kept on the website.  Questions on how to do things can also be submitted and a FAQ will be created.  This helps the exchange of information.  We will need volunteers to maintain this site, after Barkley and Scott create it.


2. Mail: We will install webmail, like the one for your gpu account (try http://webmail.ualberta.ca for a taste of that, if you haven't used it already), so that you can access your math.ualberta.ca mailbox.  Since this is done using https, there is a certain degree of security (assuming you are connecting using a browser, Netscape/Internet Explorer/Mozilla/Opera/iCAB/etc., which does 128bit encryption.  We will also phase out POP3 and IMAP and replace that by IMAP with SSL support.  The point is to try not to have password in plaintext flying over the internet, either outside the Math/Stat firewall or even inside.  Of course, pine, mail, etc. still work on sirius 1.  If you want to avoid the hassle of security, you can create a .forward file in your home directory (NOT bimodal/binomial, please) and forward all your mail to your gpu account.  As well, Barkley will run a script to make sure everybody's mail files are only readable by the owner.  This is to protect your privacy.  So if you want to change that, you will need to do chmod explicitly.  Issue the command ‘man chmod’ and you will see how to do it.  Also some people may want to use umask 077 in their .cshrc or .tcshrc file so that only the user gets all the file permissions and not anybody else.


3. We are ordering a bigger power supply for sirius 1-2 and when that comes we will be able to have all sirius 1-6 online.  Right now, because of the general instability of the machines, we only have sirius 1 online.


4. The plan is to phase out the SUN servers, bimodal/binomial.  So you should be using mail on sirius instead.  As well, we are trying to get splus and sas running on sirius 1.  Since sirius 1 is a PC running FreeBSD and can emulate Linux, we need to get the appropriate license and install media for Linux.  Splus is probably in good shape since Math/Stat has a joint license with BioSci.  As for sas, Godanna from CNS is trying to help us to get a sas site license for Linux from SAS.  We will know soon the outcome of that.  Students in the labs (in CAB as well as in Biosci) are using ftp to pull data from bimodal/binomial.  In its place, we will have an ftpd server (a sacrificial lamb, so to speak).  The lab coordinators (FSOs and others) need to talk to the system administrators long before-hand to make sure everything goes smoothly.


5. The 4th floor computer lab is almost already to go.  You will find 24 PCs working as x terminals, with 512 MB ram each and 19" monitors.  Besides working as x terminals, they can also be run (in the evenings, let's say) as a cluster.  Actually, the same is true with the 13 or so PC boxes on the 6th floor.  So, if you have a pet project that requires distributed computing, you may want to talk to Barkley/Scott about that.  There will also be a network printer in the room.


6. We are still working on getting the other required software.  For example, you saw our call for help on installing NAG.  I have tried to contact Wolfram about a Mathematica license but, somehow, they are not interested in answering my e-mail.


Okay, I guess that's enough ramblings for now.  For those who just came to the Department I would like to remind you that maybe BIG BROTHER/SISTER is watching; so behave appropriately as long as you are inside the U. of A. or Math/Stat network.


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Ivan Baggs


This is to remind you that the Department has again a full-time IIP student this year to assist you with setting up and maintaining websites for your classes.  His name is Bin Cai and he has just completed the third year of a specialization program in Computing Science.  He is in CAB 567 as is Alan Kydd who will continue to work part-time this year.  In addition to assisting with web materials for classes, Alan is also working with Dr. Eric Woolgar to develop a database for storing mathematics and statistics materials.


Bin Cai is also working on developing an online assessment system for lab quizzes.  So far, this project is focusing on Stat 151 under the direction of Dr. Henryk Kolacz.  He is working on designing a system that will give the Department the option of having students do some of their lab quizzes online.  The quizzes will be electronically graded and the results will be automatically recorded.  This work is now in its early stages of development and will be available for trial implementation by 2002-2003.


If you need documents typed for your course website, please see Laura in the General Office.  If Laura is busy and unable to type your material in a reasonable time frame, please see Leona or Ivan Baggs.  If you need funds to hire someone to help you prepare electronic materials for your classes, please talk to Ivan Baggs.


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Alan Kydd


I completed my internship at the end of August 2001.  The internship provided me with work experience that many students desperately seek: experience that companies look for when hiring.


My work was mainly concerned with presenting mathematics teaching materials on the internet.  For this task, I worked with various software packages including Power Point, TeX, and WebCT.  I also learned different methods of converting TeX files into media formats that were useful to the average student.


In addition to the ongoing work mentioned above, I was involved in side projects.  I assisted Dr. Baggs in the creation of a CD-ROM containing Power Point slides and sample exams for Math 113.  I expect that Power Point presentations in the classroom will quickly gain popularity now that there are several “smart” classrooms on campus.


I also worked on a database for peer-reviewed mathematics teaching materials under the production direction of Dr. Woolgar.  The task turned out to be more work than I expected.  I was required to set up fully operational database and web servers on my office PC.  At first, our database application was written with code from the Department of Biological Sciences database project, Bio-DiTRL (Digital Teaching Resources Library for Biology).  I eventually realized that with the number of changes I was making to their code, I might as well write my own code from scratch.  After several code revisions and a demonstration of the prototype by Dr. Woolgar at the CMS conference in Saskatoon, I produced a web application built from Java and Java Server Pages.  Expect the database to be operational for local use in the next few weeks.


I enjoyed my time as an intern, and I always encourage other students to seriously consider taking on an intern position.  I would like to thank everyone in the Department for making my time here enjoyable.


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Victor (Xing Ja) Ma and Surrey Kim


Firstly, we would like to introduce ourselves; our names are Victor (Xing Ja) Ma and Surrey Kim, both Computing Science students at the University of Alberta and both newly hired at this centre under an Industrial Internship Program.  We are very excited and very motivated to be a part of this centre and this field of Applied Mathematics (Predictions in Interacting Systems).  We started at the centre at the University of Alberta’s Department of Mathematical Sciences on the 4th of September. Almost three weeks into the term already we are, in a most positive way, overwhelmed by the volume of the new personal discoveries about the work and research we are now actively part of.


We are in the midst of settling in, of learning background mathematics, and of understanding the libraries of computer code themselves (previously worked on by David Ballantyne, Hubert Chan, Calvin Chan, and Greg Whitten).  To further improve on the speed and quality of development, we are currently working on structuring the existing library source code.


Also, we started to work on an initial project dealing with one of the corporate sponsors, Acoustic Positioning Research.  This entails modifying and improving the simulation and filtering techniques previously worked on by Hubert.  More specifically, modelling a performer on stage with parameters:

bounded x,y coordinates, forward/backwards velocity, bounded height/altitude of the performer, and the angle or orientation with respect to the front of the stage.  Observations coming from the 4 speakers situated at the corners of the stage will be the data required to track the 3-D performer, and will be modelled by an Observation Process.  Together with the estimate from the observations and the model of the signal itself we will construct an adaptation of already existing branching particle nonlinear filters (and likely a few others) to output an estimate as to where the performer will be and how the performer will be oriented.


We would like to wish everyone the best for this final quarter of the year and hope to meet you all in time.


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R. J. Karunamuni, supervisor:  I had one undergraduate student during spring and summer. His name is Tom Alberts (NSERC summer student), now a fourth year student in honours math.  He was working with me because he was awarded a summer grant by NSERC to work on one of my research projects.


Michael Li, supervisor:  Kevin Barabash (NSERC summer student).  Research Project: “Numerical Explorations of Traveling Wave Solutions to Diffusive Epidemiological Models for Infectious Diseases”.


John Bowman, supervisor:  Jason Estey (NSERC summer student), 4th year. Research Project: “Data-Dependency Optimization for Scientific Computing.”  (He is continuing to work on this on a part-time basis, with support from my grant.)


Terry Gannon, supervisor:  Remkes B. Kooistra (NSERC summer student) and I are writing a paper on quadratic theta function identities.  We use a geometric method to generate many, and probably all, degree-2 identities involving the Jacobi theta function and the Dedekind eta function, and we show how to generalize this to all Dirichlet twists of the theta function.  We do a literature search and show that we recover all known ones (e.g. Ramanujan found several such identities), as well as several new ones.  In the process Rem is learning about (Abelian) group representations, lattices, and a few basics on modular functions.  He's worked hard and I think has gotten a taste of what research is like.


Bruce Sutherland, supervisor:  Morris Flynn (NSERC summer student), now an M. Sc. student in our Department.  Research Project: “Theory and experiments for internal waves generated by an oscillating sphere”.


Akbar Rhemtulla, supervisor:  Sam Hillier (NSERC summer student).  He worked on the topic of Artin Braid Groups; in particular, he was trying to find a purely algebraic proof to show that they can be right-ordered.  He made some progress on the actual problem and in the process learned quite a bit about infinite groups.


Bruce Sutherland, supervisor: Patrick Kyba. Research Project: “Gravity current speeds with free-slip and no-slip boundary conditions”.


Erik Tavila, supervisor:  Stefanie Lee (NSERC summer student).  Research Project: “A new course on the exploratory use of Maple/Indefinite summation using Maple”.  Description:  Stefanie worked on two related projects.  The first was to write Maple worksheets for a proposed new course on the exploratory use of Maple.  Once she became proficient in Maple she tackled the problem of exact summation of series.  Some algorithms for this are known (Wilf-Zeilberger, Gosper, etc.) and are already implemented in Maple in the package SUMTOOLS.  These work on the following principle.  It is often possible to find a recurrence relation for the summand and this allows the series to be rewritten as a telescoping series, which can be explicitly summed.  A case not covered by the existing methods is when a recurrence relation leads to a differential equation for the series.  Solving this equation leads to a closed form (or integral representation) of the series.


Arturo Pianzola, supervisor:  Jeremy MacDonald (NSERC summer student), a third year honours student.  We went through the basic facts about lines and planes in projective space, finishing with Bezout's Theorem.  We met twice a week, and it was overall a very nice experience for both Jeremy and me.


Bruce Sutherland, supervisor:  Kristjan Onu (NSERC summer student).  Research Project: “Tomographic method for measuring axisymmetric internal waves”.


John Bowman, supervisor:  Malcolm Roberts (graduated June, 2001), supported by my grant. Research Project: “Vortex Scaling Laws in Two and Three-Dimensional Turbulence.”  He is continuing to work on this on a full-time basis, with support from my grant.


Gerda de Vries, supervisor:  Araya Ruangkittisakul, AHFMR undergraduate summer student (now in her fourth year of the Neuroscience program).  Research Project: “Modelling the metabolic and hormonal control of K(ATP) channel activity in pancreatic beta cells”.  This research is in collaboration with Dr. Peter Light, Department of Pharmacology.


Gerda de Vries, supervisor:  Patricia Taylor (NSERC summer student), now in her second year of the Engineering program.  Research Project: “Emergent bursting with synaptic coupling; creating a teaching module for the logistic map with MAPLE”.


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Terry Gannon


The Putnam is a mathematical competition written by undergraduates throughout North America, every December. In December 2000, a total of 2818 students from 434 universities and colleges wrote it. 


We had 11 students write it. Our best result this year was from Jeff Mottershead (4th year), who finished with an excellent 140th overall. Neal Zetter (4th year) also did well, as did 2nd year students Simon Lambert and Jeremy Macdonald, and 1st year students Richard Kublik and Andy Hammerlindl (they all finished in the range 350-550).


This year's Putnam takes place on Saturday, December 1. The students write it here, starting at 9am and finishing at 4pm, with a free lunch. Please encourage any strong undergraduates, regardless of their year, to contact Terry Gannon or Bin Han for more information.


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a.      Ninth Canadian Conference on General Relativity and Relativistic Astrophysics


Hans Künzle


On Thursday, May 24, to Saturday, May 26, the Ninth Canadian Conference on General Relativity and Relativistic Astrophysics (CCGRRA) was held on Campus, organized by H. P. Künzle, E. Woolgar and S. Morsink (from Physics).  The conference was sponsored by the new Perimeter Institute, CITA, PIMS and various University of Alberta units (conference fund, Science Faculty, Department of Physics and the Applied Mathematics Institute).  These conferences have been held every two years since 1985 and there were about the usual number of participants, 82 this year, three quarters of them from Canadian universities.  Many of them had also attended the Black Holes III conference at Kananaskis in the first part of the week and traveled to Edmonton by bus on Wednesday.


The conference started with a lecture by Shing-Tung Yau (Harvard) on the conditions of existence of black holes given by the mean curvature of boundaries.  Unfortunately, he had to leave a few hours later to another meeting in Hong Kong.  Amanda Peet (Toronto) talked about superstring/M-theory and John Baez (Riverside) on spin networks, two competing approaches to the quantization of the gravitational field.  In the afternoon, Kristin Schleich (UBC) discussed topological censorship, a topic in classical relativity theory. All these talks were highly mathematical.  On Friday and Saturday the emphasis was more on astrophysics including excellent surveys on measuring the various parameters of the universe by Dick Bond (CITA, Toronto) and by Kip Thorne (Caltech), on the status of the world-wide efforts to eventually detect gravitational radiation by laser interferometry.


There were two parallel sessions for contributed talks on Thursday and Friday afternoon and a dinner at the Happy Time Seafood Restaurant.


Instead of publishing conference proceedings, we followed a recent trend in the theoretical physics community to put all the transparencies of plenary and contributed talks on the conference website (http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~ccgrra/).  We were not yet ready to include audio, however.



b.      Wave Phenomena III


Bruce Sutherland


The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences sponsored the conference “Wave Phenomena III: Waves in fluids from the microscopic to the planetary scale”.  The conference, co-organised by Andrew Bush (in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), Bryant Moodie, Bruce Sutherland and Gordon Swaters, ran June 11-15, 2001 at the University of Alberta.  The conference was a draw for scientists from around the world, attracted, in part, by the 24 invited plenary speakers, each leaders in the fields of theoretical, computational and experimental fluid dynamics.


Participants were pleased with the smooth organization of the conference thanks largely to the diligence of PIMS secretaries Lina Wang and Lisa Haraba.  As well as their efficient administration in the PIMS office, they helped oversee the registration process, ensured that audio visual needs were met and took pictures during breaks and social events.


The organizers were pleased to receive many positive comments on the high quality of the scientific talks.  Participants left already anticipating the fourth Wave Phenomena conference, which will be held just as soon as the organizers recover, i.e. many years from now.



  1. Third Annual PIMS Fluid Dynamics Summer School


Bruce Sutherland


This year, the Third Annual PIMS Fluid Dynamics Summer School ran from May 26 to June 8, 2001.  The summer school was fully attended by nineteen participants from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, England, the Netherlands and the United States.  Invited lectures were given by Joe Fernando of Arizona State University who spoke on “Vertical Mixing in Urban Airsheds” and on “Geophysical Convection”, and by Ted Shepherd of the University of Toronto who spoke on the “Fluid Dynamics of the Middle Atmosphere”.


Each day the participants were given hands-on experience running research-level numerical codes and they performed laboratory experiments.  Both the simulations and experiments were designed to complement the lectures and so help students develop an intuition for fluid dynamics phenomena, how they are mathematically modelled, and how reliable approximate solutions can be.


The school was a great success.  Only two other institutions in the world run an annual summer school in fluid dynamics: The University of Cambridge and  the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The feedback from students who had also attended these other workshops said that the PIMS Fluid Dynamics Summer School was most interesting because of its emphasis on modern experimental and numerical methods and because of the high quality of lectures.


The PIMS Fluid Dynamics Summer School is an annual event sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, with additional support from the Institute for Geophysical Research, the Applied Mathematics Institute and the Environmental and Industrial Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.  Next year the Fourth Summer School will run between July 28 and August 9, 2002.


Summer school information is available on the web at



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        i.            Statistics Meeting


The Annual Meeting of Alberta Statisticians will be in Calgary this year. The date (a Saturday in October) has not yet been fixed.  Faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend.


      ii.            Symposium on Research in Geosciences


The Third Symposium on Research in Geosciences, organized by the Institute for Geophysical Research, will be held Tuesday, October 2, at the University of Alberta in Tory Building 3-36. Papers will be presented on all aspects of Geosciences including experimental, modelling and theoretical research on the Geosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere.


The multi-disciplinary symposium is organized by Walter Jones (Physics),  Gerhard Reuter (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), Mauricio Sacchi (Physics)  and Bruce Sutherland.  It is designed to facilitate and broaden communication among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in earth science, physics, mathematics and meteorology. All presentations will be oral and last 20 minutes.  Two invited speakers, Claire Martin (meteorologist of ITV) and Dave James (Husky Energy), will present 40 minutes overview talks.


Graduate students in Mathematics giving talks are Kathleen Dohan, speaking on “Internal wave generation from turbulence”, and Darren Griffith, speaking on “Interpolation of daily climate data onto polygons”.


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James Lewis


The editors of the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin are Arturo Pianzola and James D. Lewis of the U. of A. and Noriko Yui of Queen's University.  We accept papers in all areas (but, as a general rule, are mostly interested in mainstream mathematics).  Due to the large backlog (at present about one year), we are forced to be highly selective with those papers we can consider.  In some instances, papers are being rejected that would have normally met our quality standards in the past.


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Andy Liu


Two years ago, Akbar Rhemtulla established an entrance scholarship for high school students who enroll in our Honours and Specialization programs.  It is not based on an endowment fund but on donations by Department faculty members, and given out with matching donations from the Dean's office.  There may be one or more $1000 scholarships, depending on the amount of cash on hand.  This is a means of attracting quality students to our Department.  Faculty members are urged to contribute.


Last March, we celebrated the eightieth birthday of Murray Klamkin.  It was decided that in lieu of gifts, we would set up an endowment fund for a prize in Elementary Geometry in Murray's honour.  To date, we have received a significant amount in donations, and we are hoping to secure matching funding from the Dean's office.  However, some of us who mean to contribute may have forgotten to do so.  This is just a gentle reminder, after the long summer break, that if you still mean to contribute, please write a cheque as soon as possible, payable to the University of Alberta, and give it to Christine.


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Andy Liu


Mathematics field trip to the U. of A., sponsored by Binary Arts Corporation & Chiu Chang Mathematics Foundation.


Starting from September 18, upper elementary and junior high classes (Grades 4 to 9) can book a half-day field trip to the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Alberta, on any Tuesday or Friday afternoon.  The ideal size of a class is 24.  Fewer is not a problem, and we can probably squeeze in a few more if necessary.  The classes should arrive on university campus about 1:30 and the session will be over by 3:00.


We start with a lecture for the students on a mathematical topic at the appropriate level.  This will be followed by a hands-on session in which the students can play with mathematical games and puzzles donated by the Binary Arts Corporation and Chiu Chang Mathematics Foundation.  At the end, there will be a brief problem-solving session, and the students will be taking home puzzle sheets.  They can work on them and submit solutions to the university later.


This is offered at a first-book first-serve basis.  Please contact Andy Liu at aliu@math.ualberta.ca. The exact location will be announced after the booking is confirmed.  If a time slot other than Tuesday and Friday afternoons is desired, it may be possible to accommodate such requests.  The last available date in 2000 is November 30.  Dates for 2002 will be announced later.


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Alvin Baragar


Editor’s Note: The following is a slightly condensed version of the third and last part of an article that appeared in Folio in 1982.  The previous two parts of the present series appeared in the January 2001 and April 2001 newsletters.  The present part deals with the history of the Department during the later years of the period 1945 – 1982  and is written from a 1982 perspective.  Is there anyone willing and able to bring this history up to date?



Each of the men who led the Department into the modern era influenced its development in many ways, so it is certainly unfair to characterize their contribution by a vignette.  Nevertheless, an incident, an activity, or a special interest may shed some light on what they meant to the Department and the University.  For example, Wyman was dedicated to helping others as well as to his research.  He could be easily interrupted to resolve an administrative or academic problem, but a backward glance as you left his office revealed that he had already reimmersed himself in his research.  This ability to concentrate on a problem until it was solved, and then to leave it, was undoubtedly one of the reasons he could keep up with his research interests and resume publishing shortly after retiring as president of the University.


Leo Moser was a very colourful mathematician with an infectious, indefatigable enthusiasm for his subject.  He had collected and created over the years a supply of problems that seemed inexhaustible. Everyone in the Department was at one time or another challenged with a question from an area in which he pretended some competence.  Some of these problems were unsolved, while others required only an ingenious application of some simple mathematical principle.  He eventually recorded many of these questions in a problem book that became one of the focal points of the Department.  Many others contributed problems, and some others solutions.  Occasionally, someone would collect the prize of a few dollars offered by the poser (usually Moser or Erdös) for the solution of a problem deemed particularly difficult.  The book is still with us, but after Moser’s untimely death in 1970, its popularity and impact gradually diminished.


In addition to Moser’s mathematical interests, which were in number theory and related fields, he was an accomplished chess player.  He played simultaneous games against as many as thirty opponents, and was the Alberta chess champion in alternate years.  (He did not defend the title he won in Edmonton when the championship was held in Calgary the following year.)  He was also an excellent raconteur with many stories and poems, some good, some bad, and some risqué.  A remarkable man!


Lorch also is a remarkable man.  He is a very talented mathematician who, in the late ‘forties attempted to end racial segregation in Stuyvesant Town Development in Manhattan.  As a consequence, he was dismissed from the City College of New York, and subsequently, because he sublet his Stuyvesant Town apartment to a Negro family, was dismissed from his new position at Penn State.  Five years later, in 1955, he was dismissed from Fisk University in Nashville for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.  He was later acquitted in Federal Court of a Contempt of Congress citation that resulted from his refusal.  In 1958, Philander Smith College in Little Rock, the last American university to offer him employment, could not withstand the pressure arising from the public condemnation of the open support given by him and his wife Grace to the civil rights movement in the United States, and had to terminate his appointment.  A country-wide blacklisting forced him to leave his homeland and to settle in Canada.  During the nine years he spent here, prior to moving to York University, this courageous man was a major factor in opening the Department to the international mathematical community.


By 1966 the die had been cast.  It only remained for staff members to get on with the business of establishing themselves in their chosen area of expertise.  The Department had almost doubled in size in the modern era.   Some of the new members were senior appointments, but most were just beginning an academic career.  Some of the additions strengthened the analysis, number theory, applied mathematics, and statistics groups that had already been formed, but most were in areas of mathematics that had little previous representation, such as algebra (group theory), topology (both point set and algebraic topology), ordinary differential equations, and approximation theory.  Each of these groups developed an international reputation as it grew in size and strength.


Writing research monographs and books is another activity that tends to accompany the development of strong research groups.  Some of the areas represented are algebra control theory, graph theory and combinatorics , mathematical modelling, approximation theory and topology.  In addition, numerous undergraduate textbooks and sets of lecture notes have been published for our students when currently available material seemed inappropriate.  Steve Willard wrote one of these texts.  This was but one indication of his interest in students and his talent for teaching that won him the Faculty of Science Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1982.


There is one area somewhere between pedagogy and research that has attracted the interest of several members of the Department.  Contests have been a popular way to stimulate interest in mathematics among students.  When his exceptional talent was recognized in the late ‘forties, Eoin Whitney was encouraged to write the world-famous Putnam exam for undergraduates.  In 1947, and again in 1948, he placed among the top five students in North America, and in 1948 was awarded the first prize of a graduate scholarship to Harward.  After receiving his degree, he joined the staff of this Department.  In 1971, the team of Eleanor MacDonald, John Mallet-Paret, and Stephen Whitney (Eoin’s son) placed among the top ten teams in North America.  Mallet-Paret has since had the distinction of being invited to present a paper at the International Congress of Mathematicians.  The Department’s traditionally strong honours program continues to attract and develop top quality mathematicians.


The Department has also been involved with designing and administrating the Alberta High School Prize Exam since 1958.  Students who do well in the examination are invited to write the Canadian Mathematics Olympiad exam that is sponsored by the Canadian Mathematical Society.


Many mathematicians and their students at the University of Alberta have marvelled at the beauty of a mathematical argument in the seventy-five years since Edwards taught his first class.  The trains of thought of these men and women were influenced by the society into which they were born, and they, in turn, have reshaped the ways of that society.  It has been impossible to portray the breadth and depth of this Department’s mathematical activities over those few years, but perhaps I have conveyed some of the atmosphere I have found here.  I am sure that others would have viewed it differently than I, would have mentioned other names and recounted other episodes.  Would the picture have been different?  Ask my colleagues!


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  1. Computer Analysts:


Barkley Vowk and Scott Berard are our new Computer Analysts.  Glad to have you on board!



  1. Faculty Members:


Our new (full) Professors are Mark Lewis, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, and A. Melnikov, Math. of Finance.


Our new Assistant Professors are T. Choulli, Math. of Finance; T. Hillen, Math. Biology; A. Litvak, Functional Analysis.


Welcome to all!



  1. Graduate students:


We have a total of 115 Graduate Students. Of these 53 are new.  26 are new Ph.D. students (6 Applied + 5 Pure + 15 Statistics), 27 are new M.Sc. students ( 4 Applied + 6 Pure + 17 Statistics).


The new students are (some will be joining us in January):


Fred Ackah, Ayotunde Akinradewo, Benjamin Baird, Boyan Bejanov, Greg Belostotski, Elaine Beltaos, Dexter Cahoy, Claudia Calin, Huibin Cheng, Darren Dansereau, Suporna Das, Qiuli Duan, Morris Flynn, Jun Gao, Esteban Garro-Matamoros, Amal Helu, Thomas Holloway, Lihu Huang, Qian Jane Huang, Md Shofiqul Islam, Mark Jackson, Charlotte King, Wai Keung Lau, Yuanyuan Grace Liang, Yu Lin, Wenxiang Liu, Ling Luo, Xiaozhi Luo, Lingling Mas, Zorayr Manukyan, Aron Murphy, Christopher Palmer, Jim Peck, Derek Postnikoff, Md Abdur Rab, Yulia Romaniuk, Daniel Serban, Tingting Shu, Ronghua Gloria Sun, Faruk Uygul, Xiaojian Jennifer Xu, Xiufang Ye.


Some students are joining us from the M.Sc. program and will continue on to the Ph.D. program (some now, some in January):

Ibrahim Agyemang, Chang Ju Julie Jan, Jung Min Lee, Elsa Naser, Eunha Yang.


Welcome to all!



  1. Office Staff:


The Department also welcomes Jennifer Eichelt, Karen Schapmann, and Kathy Proehl in the General Office.



  1. PDFs/Sessionals


Some new (and not so new) pdfs and sessionals are:


V. Hrimiuc, F. Lutscher, D. McNeilly, G. Nosovskii, M. Neufang, Y. Yoshi, and H. Zaidi.


Welcome to all!


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        i.             Colloquium (Edith Gombay)


Weekly colloquia started in September with the following speakers:


a)      Hermann König of the University of Kiel, Germany, visiting Professor N. Tomczak-Jaegermann, spoke on “Spherical Design and Sections of lp-spaces”,

b)      Eric Woolgar, of the University of Alberta, spoke on “The Remarkable Geometry of Negative Mass Solitons”,

c)      Jozsef Szabados of the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, visiting Professor Ditzian, spoke on “Weighted Polynomial Approximation and Interpolation”.


October’s confirmed speakers include Professor Juliana Erlijman of the University of Regina, visiting Professor Runde, and Professor Pazman of the University of Bratislava, Slovakia, visiting Professor Mizera.


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      ii.            Algebra seminar (Mazi Shirvani)


The departmental algebra seminar is held mainly on Wednesdays 2:00-3:00 (occasionally on Mondays or Fridays, depending on the visitors' schedules.)  Visiting algebraists, postdoctoral fellows, members of the Department, and senior graduate students are encouraged(!) to give talks, either on their own work or on a survey of some topic of interest.  Concurrently with this, we also hope to run a term-long (or year-long) study seminar, where an entire book is presented in a series of weekly lectures.


The algebra speakers thus far have been professors Johannes Kellendonk (University of Cardiff, “Inverse semigroups from Delone sets”) and Karl W. Gruenberg (Queen Mary and Westfield College, “Invariants of finite groups associated with free resolutions”).  The book for the study seminar has not been chosen yet.


Please contact Mazi Shirvani or Dave McNeilly if you wish your name to be added to the mailing list for the algebra seminar.


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    iii.            Approximation and wavelet theory seminar (Bin Han)


This seminar takes place every Wednesday, 2:00 pm--3:00 pm, in CAB 269. Scope: Wavelet and its applications, approximation theory, or any related topics. Including several lectures on approximation theory, most topics will concentrate on wavelet theory and its various applications such as image/signal processing, Sampling Theory, wavelet-based methods for numerical solutions to solve ODE/PDE, computer graphics and CAGD, etc. Graduate students are welcome to join us. Everyone is warmly welcome to join us in this seminar.


The schedule of talks so far (not completed) is


Sept. 19, Wen Chen, “Sampling for non-bandlimited signal and some open problems, Part I: Regular sampling”.


Sept. 26, Wen Chen, “Sampling for non-bandlimited signal and some open problems, Part II, Irregular sampling and an open problem”.


Oct. 3, Wen Chen, “Sampling for non-bandlimited signal and some open problems, Part III, Oversampling and open problems”.


Oct. 10, Qun Mo, “Pairs of dual wavelet frames derived from refinable function vectors”.


Oct. 17, Songtao Liu, “Wavelet bases of Hermite cubic splines for numerical solutions to Dirichelet problems”.


Oct. 24, Bin Han, “An overview on cascade algorithms and subdivision schemes: a relatively unified approach”.


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    iv.            Differential equations and dynamical systems seminar (Michael Li)


The Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems seminar is up and running this Fall. The first two talks were given by Michael Li on “Global Stability Problems in Higher Dimensions.”  The schedule for the rest of the semester is as follows; please check


for updates.


09/28 Kerry Landman, University of Melbourne, “Approximate analytical solution to a drying problem with nonlinear diffusion”.

10/05 Joseph So, U of A, “Stability Criteria for Linear Differential Delay Systems”.

10/12 Horacio Gomez-Acevedo, U of A.

10/19 Todd Oliynyk, U of A.

10/26 Thomas Hillen, U of A.

11/02 Hal Smith, Arizona State University.

11/09 Joel Braun.

11/16 Gerda de Vries, U of A, “On Bursting Maps”.

1/23 Kevin Painter, Heriot-Watt University.

11/30 Mark Lewis, U of A.


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      v.            Differential geometry seminar (Peter Antonelli)


We welcome all graduate students and faculty at our geometry seminar. Please join us every Thursday 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in CAB 657.


The seminar of September 20, with a talk given by Eric Woolgar of this Department, became a colloquium (see there for details). On September 27, Professor Gleb V. Nosovskij gave a lecture entitled “Geometrical methods in the problem of moment estimation for solutions of stochastic differential equations on Riemannian manifolds and related topics in nonlinear p.d.e. theory”.


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    vi.            Functional analysis seminar (Volker Runde)


We didn't have any speakers during the summer, and the program for the current term is still somewhat fluid (we tend to handle these matters rather informally). We usually meet Wednesdays at 3 pm in CAB 657, but occasionally, e.g. if the speaker is a visitor who can't be here on Wednesday, we may also meet at some other time. A list of speakers for the current term - to the extent it is known so far - can be found on the seminar's website:




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  vii.            Graduate student seminar (Kathleen Dohan)


Last year's graduate student seminar was a series of student presentations, designed to be accessible to all Mathematics/Statistics students. The purpose was to have an informal atmosphere for graduate students to talk about their field of study, to share ideas with other students, and to be more informed on the variety of research in the department.


We hope to continue with the same success this year. All graduate students are encouraged to attend and/or give a talk. The seminar is kept exclusive to students in order to create a friendly and casual environment.


Last year, the speakers were:

- David Ballantyne, “Practical Particle-based Filters for Search and Rescue”.

- Peter Campbell, “What is representation theory and what use is it to anyone?”

- Paul Choboter, “Do sinks drain the opposite way in the Southern Hemisphere? (Hint, the Simpsons got it wrong)”.

- Kathleen Dohan, “The Transition from 2-D to 3-D Turbulence in the Laboratory”.

- Lynn Dover, “A Characterization of a Symplectic Form on an Inner Product Space”.

- Darren Griffith, “Climate on the Unit Circle”.

- Jeongyup Lee, “Discrete Point Sets and Diffraction”.

- Liping Liu, “Application of ODE Theory in Nonlinear Aeroelasticity”.

- Fiona Lusby, “Pattern Recognition for DNA Sequences”.

- Connell McCluskey, “Bendixson Conditions for Difference Equations”.

- Matt Reszka, “Why is there a Gulf Stream?”

- Matt Reszka, “Benthic Currents and Why Do We Care?”


For more information, please contact Kathleen Dohan at dohan@math.ualberta.ca or go to:



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viii.            Mathematical biology seminar (Gerda de Vries)


The Mathematical Biology Seminar Series is in full swing.  Seminars are held weekly, on Monday afternoons at 3 p.m., in CAB 657.  The schedule for the fall term is full.  Details about speakers, titles and abstracts can be found by pointing your browser to http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~devries/mathbioseminar/.

The seminar series was kicked off on Monday September 10, by Mark Lewis, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, with a presentation entitled “Wolf home ranges and prey survival”.  The seminar was very well attended, with many members of the Department of Biological Sciences making their way over to CAB.


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    ix.            Non-linear waves/fluid mechanics seminar (Bruce Sutherland)


The seminar in Nonlinear Waves/Fluid Dynamics is held weekly at 4 pm on Wednesdays in CAB265.  Talks are given by graduate students, postdocs and faculty.  Presenters and talk titles, as they become available, are posted on the web at http://taylor.math.ualberta.ca/~bruce/courses/math654.html.  People interested in attending should email Bruce Sutherland and ask to be put on the mailing list.  Recent talks include “Constraints on the spectral distribution of energy and entropy dissipation in forced two-dimensional turbulence” by postdoc Chuong Tran.


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      x.            Statistics seminar (Peter Hooper)


The Statistics Seminar meets on Fridays at 3:00 pm in CAB 657.  Since April we have had three visiting speakers:


July 20, Dr. Atanu Biswas, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta,

“Adaptive designs for normal responses with prognostic factors”.


August 17, Dr. Zhao Dong, Academia Sinica, Beijing,

“Ergodicity and invariant probability measures of degenerate linear stochastic jump diffusions”.


September 7, Dr. Benoit Laine, Universite Libre de Bruxelles,

“Depth contours as multivariate quantiles: a directional approach”.


On September 21, two of our graduate students gave talks which were followed by a welcoming party for new students in statistical sciences programs:


Mr. Cristin Buescu, “Optimal portfolio management when there are taxes and transaction costs”.


Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed Hussein, “Some parametric sequential tests”.



Anyone interested in giving a talk at the Statistics Seminar is asked to contact Peter Hooper.


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Ross Stokke


The annual barbecue was held this year in Hawrelak Park, Saturday September the 8th.  We were very lucky to receive a record turnout of approximately 175 people.  On the menu was tandoori chicken, salmon, corn, hotdogs and an impressive array of salads and desserts.  Soccer was played, marshmallows were roasted and though rain fell briefly, for the most part the weather was fine.


The advance volunteers for cooking were Volker Runde, "I've never barbecued, I don't like barbecued food, but yes I'll do it",  Matthias Neufang, "Ordinarily I wouldn't cook for my worst enemy, but yes I suppose I'll do it", and myself (I would cook for my worst enemy, but this may simply be a reflection of a harsher nature to the Canadian versus German penal system).  I am grateful to Volker and Matthias, but given their comments we were perhaps fortunate that on the day of the barbecue a number of talented cooks chose to lend a hand, (most notably Mrs. Allegretto, Peter Campbell, Gerald Cliff, Mrs. Lau, Jeongyup Lee, Anna Stokke and one or two others whose names I've unfortunately forgotten), and everyone was well fed.


Many thanks to all those who brought salads and desserts and an especially big thanks to those who volunteered their time (to name a few:  Razvan Anisca, Christine Fischer, Tony Lau, Mat Reszka, Enver Osmanigic, Mazi Shirvani, Akbar Rhemtulla, his wife, and those already mentioned above) to help make this years barbecue a success.


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PhD students Gustavo Carrero (supervisor Gerda de Vries) and Ong Chee Tiong (supervisor Sam Shen) both received an Honourable Mention for their poster presentations at the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematical Society Annual Meeting, held June 7-9, 2001, at the University of Victoria. Gustavo's poster was entitled "Assessing the influence of the membrane of the cell nucleus on the estimation of diffusion coefficients for mobile proteins". Ong Chee 's poster was entitled "Interactions of forced solitons – fKdV & fNLS".


Jim Timourian has been awarded the 2001Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Mathematical Society.



From Akbar Rhemtulla:


Congratulations to the following doctoral graduate students who were successful in the recent round of Graduate Scholarship awards:


- Mateusz Reszka ­ Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize

- Monica Ilie ­ Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship

- Todd Oliynyk ­ Dissertation Fellowship

- Mateusz Reszka ­ Dissertation Fellowship

- Shuqing Ma ­ Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship

- Ross Stokke ­ Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship.


In addition, five newly admitted master students had successful scholarship applications:

- Sheldon Campbell ­ Province of Alberta Graduate Scholarship

- Kristjan Onu ­ Province of Alberta Graduate Scholarship

- Morris Flynn ­ University of Alberta Master’s Scholarship

- Derek Postnikoff ­ University of Alberta Master’s Scholarship

- Paul Joss ­ University of Alberta Master’s Scholarship


The following four students had successful NSERC applications:

- David Ballantyne ­ NSERC PGS A

- Hubert Chan ­ NSERC PGS A

- Morris Flynn ­ NSERC PGS A

- Tullia Dymarz ­ NSERC PGS A


This year’s Sharma Awards go to:

- Melody Ghahramani

- Songtao Liu

- Andrew Roberts


The following two students received NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships:


- Paul Choboter

- Yoshii Yogi (Yoshii, an M. Sc. graduate of our program has returned as a PIMS Postdoctoral Fellow from the University of Ottawa).


My personal thanks go to:


Jim Muldowney and the Graduate Committee for a really outstanding job that has resulted in so many graduate scholarships and fellowships, and to Gerald Cliff who has given dedicated service to the undergraduate program and who was, of course, involved in the success of the NSERC  PGS A applications.


Please join me in congratulating


Walter Allegretto for winning (once again) the Engineering Faculty “Undergraduate Teaching Award for Instructors of Service Courses from Outside the Faculty",


Phoebe Elliot for winning the Leonard E. Gads Teaching Award from the Faculty of Engineering. It recognizes teaching assistants in the Faculty who have provided exemplary service.


This is great news coming on top of other teaching awards (Faculty of Science, Rutherford etc.) to our department members.


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A sample of mathematical humour found on the internet:


Three men are in a hot-air balloon.  Soon, they find themselves lost in a canyon somewhere.  One of the three men says: “I've got an idea.  We can call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry our voices far.”


So he leans over the basket and yells out, “Helllloooooo! Where are we?” (They hear the echo several times.)

15 minutes later, they hear this echoing voice: “Helllloooooo!  You're lost!!”

One of the men says, “That must have been a mathematician.”

Puzzled, one of the other men asks, “Why do you say that?”

The first man replies: “For three reasons,  (1) he took a long time to answer, (2) he was absolutely correct, and (3), his answer was absolutely useless.”




                                                Courtesy of W. Krawcewicz


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