Canadian Mathematical Society
Canadian Mathematical Society
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(CWiMAC 2008)

December 4-5, 2008 : University of Ottawa

The CMS Committee for Women in Mathematics, with support of the CMS and Fields Institute, is organizing the 4th workshop of Connecting Women in Mathematics Across Canada (CWiMAC 2008). The purpose of the CWiMAC workshops is to support the career development of junior female academics in the Canadian mathematics community. CWiMAC 2008 will take place at the University of Ottawa on December 4 and 5, 2008. The workshop is just prior to the CMS Winter 2008 Meeting and participants are encouraged to stay in Ottawa to attend that meeting. All women in the mathematical sciences at Canadian universities are invited to apply.

Organizing Committee

  • Lucy Campbell, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University
  • Gerda de Vries (co-chair), Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta
  • Ariane Masuda, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa
  • Monica Nevins, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa
  • Ping Zhou (chair), Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, St. Francis Xavier University


There will be presentations on careers in the mathematical sciences by senior women, research presentations by junior women, a panel discussion, small group discussions, and mentor-mentee pairing discussions. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participating in the workshop are encouraged to give a presentation on their research interests, in the form of either a 20-minute talk or a poster.

Tentative Schedule

All activities except the poster session and the associated coffee break are in DMS 1140 (or DMS 1150); the poster session and that coffee break are in Terminus, 2nd floor university centre. The dinner on Thursday night will take place at The House restaurant (191 Somerset Street East, at the corner of King Edward ave). Here is the campus map.

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Time Event
4:00 - 5:00 pm.
Registration and welcome reception
    Location: DMS 1140, in the new Desmarais building on the main University of Ottawa campus (55 Laurier East)
5:00 - 6:00 pm.
Public Talk
    Speaker: Margaret-Ann Armour, University of Alberta
Title: Connecting More Women to Mathematics Through Project Catalyst
Abstract: In spite of implications in the media that women are taking over the world, we are still few in the mathematical sciences. Many studies have explored the reasons for this, and have suggested actions to bring about change. Why has this change been slow, and what can we do to catalyze it? Project Catalyst at the University of Alberta is implementing practices to increase the numbers of women faculty in math and science departments and is developing longer term strategies. Not only is this important to avoid faculty shortages but I believe that Mathematics needs women!
6:00 - 9:00 pm.
Banquet dinner and small group discussion
    Speaker: Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko, Canadian Association for Girls In Science
Friday, December 5, 2008
Time Event
8:30 - 9:00 am. Coffee & muffins
9:00 - 9:45 am.
Professional Development: Featured talk and group discussion I
    Speaker: Gerda de Vries, University of Alberta
Title: Mathematicians Must Speak: The DOs and DON'Ts of Giving Effective Mathematical Presentations.
9:50 - 10:35 am.
Professional Development: Featured talk and group discussion II
    Speaker: Malgorzata Dubiel, Simon Fraser University
    Title: Teaching and Research: Finding a Balance
    Abstract: Academic appointments usually involve both research and teaching responsibilities. Some universities and colleges even require both research and undergraduate teaching presentations as part of the interview process. How should one prepare for the interview so you send the message that you are focussed on research, but, at the same time, taking your undergraduate teaching seriously?
When you get the job you want, can you balance teaching and research and do a good job in both? How does one find out what the departmental norms and expectations are? Where should one look for help and advice? These questions are particularly important to women since most mathematics departments in Canada and US still have relatively few women. This makes the line between fitting in and being taken for granted (whatever this may mean) a very blurred one at times.
10:35 - 11:00 am. Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 pm. Poster Session
  • Amy Cameron, Maryam Haghighi, University of Ottawa
    Learning Mathematics in Public Schools: The Importance of a Hands-On Approach
  • Danielle Cox, Dalhousie University
    On Strongly Connected Reliability
  • Jing He, Carleton University
    Path Ideal and Its Properties
  • Karyn McLellan, Dalhousie University
    The Growth of Random Fibonacci Sequences
  • Maryam Namazi, University of Victoria
    The effect of the meridional barotropic shear on the equatorial Kelvin waves
  • Sarah Plosker, University of Regina
    Capacities of Completely Positive Maps
  • Nancy Soontiens, University of Waterloo
    Numerical Simulation of Supercritical Trapped Internal Waves over Topography
12:30 - 2:00 pm.
    Speaker: Wendy MacCaull, St. Francis Xavier University
    Title: New Directions in Applying for Mathematical Research Funding
    Abstract: The research environment is changing providing many new funding opportunities and initiatives. There is more support for collaborative and interdisciplinary research and partnerships with industry and non profit organizations are encouraged. The talk focuses on strategies for, and lessons and professional and personal benefits resulting from embracing this new research milieu.
2:00 - 3:30 pm.
Professional Development: Panel Discussion
    Title: The Work-Life Balance
    Moderator: Lucy Campbell, Carleton University
    Panelists: Margaret Beattie, Mt. Allison University
Lucia Moura, University of Ottawa
Mateja Sajna, University of Ottawa
Rebecca Tyson, University of British Columbia Okanagan
3:30 - 4:00 pm. Coffee break
4:00 - 4:20 pm. Parallel Session I

DMS 1140:

 Speaker: Elaine Beltaos, University of Alberta
Title: Algebra and Conformal Field Theory
Abstract: Conformal Field theory (CFT) has deeply influenced mathematics over the past 30 years. A CFT is a two-dimensional quantum field theory that is invariant under the conformal (angle-preserving) transformations; hence it is very symmetric. In this talk we will discuss what CFT's are and some of the algebra involved in studying them.

DMS 1150:

 Speaker: Rebecca Hammond, Acadia University
Title: Modeling Mites in Apple Trees
Abstract: Various species of pest mites pose significant challenges for apple growers worldwide. In Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, infestations of phytophagous mites, primarily the European red mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch), can cause serious economic losses in apple orchards. The mites damage the leaves, which results in excessive fruit drop, thus causing lower yields and poorer fruit quality. A mathematical model of the population dynamics of the European red mite can provide insight into ways to control the mites. This talk shows the development of such a mathematical model. The model results show that spraying pesticides on the mites at certain times can be counter-productive which is consistent with observations in the field.
4:30 - 4:50 pm. Parallel Session II

DMS 1140:

 Speaker: Hong Yue, Concordia University
Title: A John-Nirenberg Type Inequality
Abstract: The John-Nirenberg inequality characterizes functions in the space BMO in terms of the exponential decay of the distribution function of their oscillations over a cube. We study a John-Nirenberg type inequality for a space related to BMO.

DMS 1150:

 Speaker: Caroline Lambert, University of Montreal
Title: Classification of linear differential systems
Abstract: If we take two linear differential systems, we can ask ourselves if there exists a change of variables that links them, for example an analytic change of the form y(x)=T(x)z(x), with T(x) invertible and analytic. If so, we can say that they are equivalent and classify all the systems with this equivalence relation. I will talk about the classification of some type of linear differential systems having an irregular singularity at the origin, introducing the formal normal form and the Stokes phenomenon.
5:00 - 5:20 pm. Parallel Session III

DMS 1140:

 Speaker: Asia Matthews, Queen's University
Title: Post-secondary mathematics instruction: the change in enrollment and the lack of change in teaching methods
Abstract: Why aren’t instructors of post-secondary students required to learn how to teach, when this is required of elementary and high school teachers? In this talk I will give a historical overview of the change in learning needs of students in post-secondary mathematics courses in Canada and the United States and make an argument for reform in the teaching of these courses. The number of students enrolled in post-secondary education has increased dramatically since the 1960’s, due, in part, to the baby boom. While elementary educational methods are aimed at the average student, traditional post-secondary instruction has focused on the “better” student. I will argue that this approach fails to properly educate a large number of university students today. Specifically, I will discuss the gender gap in enrollment in the natural sciences, and in particular in Mathematics, and possible reasons for this disparity.

DMS 1150:

 Speaker: Zahra Montazeri, University of Ottawa
Title: Statistical Identification of Regulatory Relationships Between Genes
Abstract: Discovering causal relationships between genes on the basis of observed data is often of interest. The researcher has a number of gene expression measurements over time and wishes to predict which genes regulate genes of interest. For this task, I constructed a statistical model that can predict the regulating gene that dominates the expression dynamics of each regulated gene of interest. I will present a number of regression models and prior distribution used to infer the model parameters representing gene-gene influences. These models are modified to deal with missing data case that commonly occurs in microarray studies. The proposed methods are applied to a set of data from plant cell cultures and also to yeast data.
5:30 - 5:45 pm. Closing

Participant List

Participant Affiliation
Armour, Margaret-Ann     University of Alberta
Beattie, Margaret     Mount Allison University
Beltaos, Elaine     University of Alberta
Benkart, Georgia     University of Wisconsin-Madison and AWM
Brimacombe, Bridget     Carleton University
Burgess, Andrea     University of Ottawa
Cameron, Amy     University of Ottawa
Campbell, Lucy     Carleton University
Campbell, Sue Ann     University of Waterloo
Cates, Stephanie     Carleton University
Cox, Danielle     Dalhousie University
de Vries, Gerda     University of Alberta
Dubiel, Malgorzata     Simon Fraser University
Haghighi, Maryam     University of Ottawa
Hammond, Rebecca     Acadia University
He, Jing     Carleton University
Lambert, Caroline     University of Montreal
MacCaull, Wendy     St. Francis Xavier University
Masuda, Ariane     University of Ottawa
Matthews, Asia     Queen's University
McLellan, Karyn     Dalhousie University
Montazeri, Zahra     University of Ottawa
Moura, Lucia     University of Ottawa
Mwangangi, Sadia     University of Regina
Namazi, Maryam     University of Victoria
Nevins, Monica     University of Ottawa
Nikitina, Lidia     Carleton University
Plosker, Sarah     University of Regina
Sajna, Mateja     University of Ottawa
Soontiens, Nancy     University of Waterloo
Tyson, Rebecca     University of British Columbia (Okanagan)
Vingilis-Jaremko, Larissa     Canadian Association for Girls In Science
Yue, Hong     Concordia University
Zhou, Ping     St. Francis Xavier University


Online registration is now closed, but you can still participate in CWiMAC 2008. You can register on-site in Ottawa for $75. The registration and welcome reception begins at 4pm on December 4th in DMS 1140, in the new Desmarais building on the main University of Ottawa campus (55 Laurier East). It's in the northwest corner of the campus (view map).

Financial Support

The deadline for application for funding has passed. The committee will consider all further applications for funds on a case-by-case basis until November 25th, or until the remaining funds have been exhausted.

Previous Events

  • CWiMAC2006, December 7-8, 2006, Fields Institute, Toronto, Ontario
  • CWiMAC2005, July 21-23, 2005, Banff International Research Station, Alberta
  • CWiMAC2003, June 12-13, 2003, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Contact the Organizers

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