Mathematics

BCData 2018 Career Panel

Speaker: 
Bernard Chan
Speaker: 
Soyean Kim
Speaker: 
Michael Reid
Speaker: 
Parin Shah
Speaker: 
Aanchan Mohan
Date: 
Wed, Jun 6, 2018
Location: 
KPMG, Vancouver
Conference: 
BCData 2018
Abstract: 

Moderated Questions

  1. What was the first job you had after graduation and how did you get it?
  2. What do you like most/least about your current work?
  3. If you could go back in time and change one thing about your career choices what would you do?
  4. What advice do you have for the students in the audience looking for their first job?

 

Speaker Bios

Bernard Chan is currently a data scientist at BuildDirect.com (BD), an e-commerce platform in flooring, tiles and other home improvement products. At BD, Bernard is part of the analytics team and he specializes in logistics related data problems such as freight rate and route planning. Prior to working at BD, Bernard was a applied mathematics researcher in dynamical systems and bifurcation theory.

 

Soyean Kim is a professional statistician (P.STAT) who is passionate about ethical use of data and algorithms to contribute to the betterment of society. She currently leads a team of data scientists at Technical Safety BC, a safety regulator in Canada. Her key contribution includes advancing ethics roadmap in predictive system and deployment of AI and machine learning to help safety inspection process. Her previous leadership roles include her tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fortis as a rate design manager. She is an advocate for “Data for Good” and a speaker on the topic of real world applications of AI. Her latest speaking engagement includes PAPIs in London, UK which is a series of international AI conferences, and BC Tech Summit in Vancouver.

 

Michael Reid received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from UMBC before starting work as junior web developer for a US federal government consulting agency. After moving to Vancouver, he’s worked in software engineering at companies ranging from small consulting firms to Amazon Web Services. He recently co-founded Nautilus Technologies, a machine learning and data privacy startup in Vancouver.

 

Parin Shah is a Data Scientist at KPMG focused on solving machine learning and data engineering problems in the space of mining, gaming, insurance and social media. Previously, he spent 2.5 years helping develop the digital analytics practice for an e-commerce firm, Natural Wellbeing, where he worked on setting up data infrastructure, building consumer analytics models and website experimentation. Parin was a fellow at a UBC machine learning workshop and has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a coursework concentrated in economics with statistics and computer science electives.

 

Dr. Aanchan Mohan is a machine learning scientist and software engineer at Synaptitude Brain Health. He is currently working on software and machine learning methods to encourage circadian regulation with the goal of improving an individual’s brain health. His current research interests include problems in natural language processing. Dr. Mohan has worked on Bayesian and deep learning methods applied to time series signals across multiple domains. He holds a PhD from McGill University where he focused on transfer learning and parameter sharing in acoustic models for speech recognition. He supervises students and actively publishes in the area of speech processing. He is a named co-inventor on two issued patents in the area of speech processing, and one filed patent in the area of wearable devices. He is a co-organizer of the AI in Production, and Natural Language Processing meetups in Vancouver.

Quantifying Gerrymandering: A mathematician goes to court

Speaker: 
Jonathan Christopher Mattingly
Date: 
Mon, May 28, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
2018 Niven Lecture
Abstract: 
Abstract: In October 2017, I found myself testifying for hours in a Federal court. I had not been arrested. Rather I was attempting to quantify gerrymandering using analysis which grew from asking if a surprising 2012 election was in fact surprising. It hinged on probing the geopolitical structure of North Carolina using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. I will start at the beginning and describe the mathematical ideas involved in our analysis. And then explain some of the conclusions we have reached. The talk will be accessible to undergraduates. In fact, this project began as a sequence of undergraduate research projects and undergraduates continue to be involved to this day. About the Niven Lecture: Ivan Niven was a famous number theorist and expositor; his textbooks have won numerous awards and have been translated into many languages. They are widely used to this day. Niven was born in Vancouver in 1915, earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at UBC in 1934 and 1936 and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1938. He was a faculty member at the University of Oregon since 1947 until his retirement in 1982. The annual Niven Lecture, held at UBC since 2005, is funded in part through a generous bequest from Ivan and Betty Niven to the UBC Mathematics Department.

Repulsive-attractive models in collective behavior and applications

Speaker: 
José A. Carrillo
Date: 
Fri, Apr 6, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, Simon Fraser University
Conference: 
PIMS/CSC Distinguished Speaker
Abstract: 
We will discuss properties of solutions to aggregation-diffusion models appearing in many biological models such as cell adhesion, organogenesis and pattern formation. We will concentrate on typical behaviours encountered in systems of these equations assuming different interactions between species under a global volume constraint. BIO José A. Carrillo currently holds a Chair in Applied and Numerical Analysis at Imperial College London appointed in October 2012. He was formerly ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona during the period 2003-2012. He was a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin 1998-2000. He held assistant and associate professor positions at the Universidad de Granada 1992-1998 and 2000-2003, where he also did his PhD. He served as chair of the Applied Mathematics Committee of the European Mathematical Society 2014-2017. His research field is Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). The modelling based on PDEs, their mathematical analysis, the numerical schemes, and their simulation in applications are his general topics of research. His expertise comprises long-time asymptotics, qualitative properties and numerical schemes for nonlinear diffusion, hydrodynamic, and kinetic equations in the modelling of collective behaviour of many-body systems such as rarefied gases, granular media, charge particle transport in semiconductors, or cell movement by chemotaxis. He was recognised with the SEMA prize (2003) and the GAMM Richard Von-Mises prize (2006) for young researchers. He was a recipient of a Wolfson Research Merit Award by the Royal Society 2012-2017.
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The Mathematics of Social Evolution

Speaker: 
Troy Day
Speaker: 
Dave McLeod
Date: 
Thu, Mar 22, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
How social traits evolve remains an open question in evolutionary biology. Two traits of particular interest are altruism (where an individual incurs a cost to help others) and spite (where an individual incurs a cost to harm others). Both traits should be evolutionarily disadvantageous because any benefits arising from these behaviours are also available to “cheaters” who do not pay the cost of displaying altruism or spite themselves. In this talk I will show how stochasticity can sometimes reverse the direction of evolution and drive the emergence of these behaviours. I will start with an individual-based evolutionary model and then approximate it using a system of stochastic differential equations (SDEs). These SDEs are then be reduced to a single SDE on a “slow manifold” governing the evolutionary dynamics. A rather complete analysis of this SDE is then possible, showing exactly when and how stochasticity can drive the evolution of altruism and spite. Biography: Tryo Day is a Professor and former CRC in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s University. His research interests involve evolutionary theory, including the evolution of pathogen virulence, drug resistance, social traits, and epigenetic inheritance. Dr. Day is coauthor (with James Stewart) of the textbooks “Biocalculus: Calculus, Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences”, and (with Sarah P. Otto) “A Biologist’s Guide to Mathematical Modeling”. He is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the AAAS, and is the recipient of a Killam Research Fellowship, a Steacie Fellowship, the CAIMS Research Prize, and the Steacie Prize.

Philosophy of Mathematics as a Design Science

Speaker: 
Jeremy Avigad
Date: 
Thu, Mar 15, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Calgary
Conference: 
The Calgary Mathematics & Philosophy Lectures
Abstract: 
n the history of philosophy, much has been made of the disagreements between W. V. O. Quine and Rudolf Carnap on the nature of mathematical and scientific knowledge. But when the dust settles, the points of agreement are more substantial: mathematical and scientific reasoning are shaped by the rules of our language, and these rules are, in turn, adopted for pragmatic scientific reasons. In this talk, I will take this perspective seriously, and regard mathematics as a system of conventions and norms that is designed to help us make sense of the world and reason efficiently. Like any designed system, it can perform well or poorly, and the philosophy of mathematics has a role to play in helping us understand the general principles by which it serves its purposes well. To that end, I will consider models of mathematical language currently implemented in interactive theorem provers, which support the formalization and verification of mathematical theorems. Using these models, as well as reflection on ordinary mathematical practice, I will try to extract some insights as to how mathematical language works, and what makes it so effective.

Models for the Spread of Cholera

Speaker: 
Pauline van den Driessche
Date: 
Thu, Jan 18, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
There have been several recent outbreaks of cholera (for example, in Haiti and Yemen), which is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It can be transmitted to humans directly by person-to-person contact or indirectly via contaminated water. Random mixing cholera models from the literature are first formulated and briefly analyzed. Heterogeneities in person-to-person contact are introduced, by means of a multigroup model, and then by means of a contact network model. Utilizing an interplay of analysis and linear algebra, various control strategies for cholera are suggested by these models. Pauline van den Driessche is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on aspects of stability in biological models and matrix analysis. Current research projects include disease transmission models that are appropriate for influenza, cholera and Zika. Most models include control strategies (e.g., vaccination for influenza) and aim to address questions relevant for public health. Sign pattern matrices occur in these models, and the possible inertias of such patterns is a current interest.

Some specialization problems in Geometry and Number Theory

Speaker: 
Umberto Zannier
Date: 
Fri, Mar 2, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
PIMS-UBC Math Distinguished Colloquium
Abstract: 
We shall survey over the general issue of `specializations which preserve a property', for a parametrized family of algebraic varieties. We shall limit ourselves to a few examples. We shall start by recalling typical contexts like Bertini and Hilbert Irreducibility theorems, illustrating some new result. Then we shall jump to much more recent instances, related to algebraic families of abelian varieties. ** Please note, this video was recorded using an older in room system and has substantially diminished video quality.**

Reconfiguration of Triangulations of a Planar Point Set

Speaker: 
Anna Lubiw
Date: 
Thu, Feb 15, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
In a reconfiguration problem, the goal is to change an initial configuration of some structure to a final configuration using some limited set of moves. Examples include: sorting a list by swapping pairs of adjacent elements; finding the edit distance between two strings; or solving a Rubik’s cube in a minimum number of moves. Central questions are: Is reconfiguration possible? How many moves are required? In this talk I will survey some reconfiguration problems, and then discuss the case of triangulations of a point set in the plane. A move in this case is a flip that replaces one edge by the opposite edge of its surrounding quadrilateral when that quadrilateral is convex. In joint work with Zuzana Masárová and Uli Wagner we characterize when one edge-labelled triangulation can be reconfigured to another via flips. The proof involves combinatorics, geometry, and topology. Anna Lubiw is a professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo. She has a PhD from the University of Toronto (1986) and a Master of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo (1983). Her research is in the areas of Computational Geometry, Graph Drawing and Graph Algorithms. She was named the Ross and Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellow in 2014, received the University of Waterloo outstanding performance award in 2012 and was named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery in 2009. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computational Geometry and the Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications.

Math Outreach: Many Needs, Many Ways

Speaker: 
Melania Alvarez
Date: 
Thu, Oct 26, 2017
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
Math Outreach: Many Needs, Many Ways I will present a wide range of math educational outreach activities involving elementary, middle and secondary level students. By expecting children to succeed, introducing new and exciting ways to teach mathematics, and promoting role models, the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) is making a significant difference in the way students view science and technology and their own mathematical ability. These activities are designed to transform the way students look at mathematics and empower them to see themselves as fully capable of succeeding at math. I will describe PIMS outreach programs specifically designed for First Nations schools in British Columbia. We have also developed a variety of programs to support teachers, in particular I will describe our must recent one: a 4-week Summer School for Elementary School Teachers. At this camp, teachers work with mathematicians, educators and math specialists to increase their mathematical knowledge and capability and boost their confidence, as well as foster a positive attitude towards learning mathematics. WORKSHOPS: 1) Bar Model Workshop (Friday, October 27, 1:00 - 2:15 pm) The main purpose of this workshop is to show how the Bar Model method can be used not only as a problem solving technique, but also to develop in students a deeper understanding of fundamental concepts in mathematics. 2) Kindergarten to Grade 2: An important foundation for success (Friday, October 27, 2:30 - 3:45 pm) What students learn during these early years will make a significant difference in how they approach mathematics later on. Research is showing that mathematics knowledge and skills are the most important predictors not only for later math achievement but also for achievement in other content areas (Claessens A. and Engel M., 2013). This workshop presents connection of various concepts and ideas, teaching sequencing, and hands-on fun activities for retention.

Depth Functions in Multivariate & Other Data Settings: Concepts, Perspectives, Tools, & Applications

Speaker: 
Robert Serfling
Date: 
Thu, Sep 28, 2017
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
Depth functions were developed to extend the univariate notions of median, quantiles, ranks, signs, and order statistics to the setting of multivariate data. Whereas a probability density function measures local probability weight, a depth function measures centrality. The contours of a multivariate depth function induce closely associated multivariate outlyingness, quantile, sign, and rank functions. Together, these functions comprise a powerful methodology for nonparametric multivariate data description, outlier detection, data analysis, and inference, including for example location and scatter estimation, tests of symmetry, and multivariate boxplots. Due to the lack of a natural order in dimension higher than 1, notions such as median and quantile are not uniquely defined, however, posing a challenging conceptual arena. How to define the middle? The middle half? Interesting competing formulations of depth functions in the multivariate setting have evolved, and extensions to functional data in Hilbert space have been developed and more recently, to multivariate functional data. A key question is how generally a notion of depth function can be productively defined. This talk provides a perspective on depth, outlyingness, quantile, and rank functions, through an overview coherently treating concepts, roles, key properties, interrelations, data settings, applications, open issues, and new potentials.
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