Mathematical Biology Summer Workshop

The Centre’s seventh Mathematical Biology Summer Workshop, entitled Mathematics of Biological Systems, was organized by Gerda de Vries and was held from May 11th to 21st, 2010.  The Workshop was funded primarily by MITACS, and PIMS provided additional funding to host foreign students.

The aim of this eleven-day workshop is to introduce senior undergraduate students to mathematical modeling and analysis applied to real biological systems.

The Workshop was advertised on the CMB, MITACS and PIMS websites, through posters sent to Departments of Mathematics at all Canadian degree-granting institutions, select universities and colleges in the USA, South America & Europe, and to colleagues working in Mathematical Biology or closely related fields.

The 2010 workshop hosted 17 participants and was taught by the five core faculty, one high-profile guest and one visiting professor.  Postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate summer students associated with the CMB provided invaluable assistance with many aspects of the program.

PIMS International Graduate Training Centre (IGTC)

The PIMS IGTC in Mathematical Biology was very successful in fulfilling its mandate.  For the 2009-10 Academic Year, 22 applications were received, seven students were accepted with fellowships and six of these were renewed for the 2010-11 Academic Year. One student switched to enrollment since she has other funding, and two students were enrolled in the program without fellowships.

Lewis is the Program Director of the IGTC; Maryna Yaskina (Alberta) was the Educational Coordinator in 2009-10. Details of the program can be found at

Journal Club

Hillen, Dawes and de Vries hosted a weekly seminar meeting at the Centre to discuss CMB student’s work in progress, to meet with visitors and to read pertinent journal papers.

Wang Research Group

Wang and his students formed the group in May 2010 and are planning to hold a weekly meeting.

Lewis Research Group

Lewis, with students and postdocs under his supervision, held a weekly lab meeting to discuss their research and to touch base on Centre activities. Visitors to the Centre were invited to participate in lab meetings held during the time of their visit.


Wang represented the Centre at an international PhD conference in Beijing in December 2009. He advertised the Centre’s graduate programs and interviewed more than 200 students from top Chinese universities. In addition, he visited Beijing Normal University to advertise graduate programs and research directions of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the Centre for Mathematical Biology.

Under the auspices of CRYSTAL-Alberta, de Vries is developing curriculum-based teaching and learning modules that address the lack of contemporary applied content in high school mathematics, with a particular emphasis on applications to biology. Undergraduate students Michael Chi, David Galavan, and Cole Zmurchok work on this project.

Many of the Centre's students and postdocs are active in volunteering with outreach through Graduates at Alberta Mathematics Etc. (GAME), the mathematics graduate student association.  They organize programs like "GAME in Schools", where students and postdocs visit schools to lead math games such as "Read In", "Math Fair", WISEST programs and "Mathematician in Residence".  During 2009-10, graduate students Hannah McKenzie,  Vishaal Rajani, and Diana White were active in these GAME initiatives.  In particular, Hannah McKenzie played a major role in organizing the WISEST Summer Program, and supervised two High School students, A. Abdullahi and C. Rygh, for six weeks during the 2009-10 summer program.