2012 CMS Winter Meeting

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth (Montreal), December 7 - 10, 2012

Related Events

CMS Town Hall Meeting
Sunday, December 9, 12:30 - 13:30

The CMS Executive is inviting all CMS members and meeting participants to join them at an informal luncheon to learn what CMS has planned for 2013 and to discuss any interests or concerns that members of our community may have. Unlike the AGM that focuses on what was achieved last year, this meeting focuses on what lies ahead. There will be a short presentation followed by questions and answers. This is an opportunity for participants to get together with the CMS Executive and discuss emerging issues as well as directly voice their opinions, concerns and interests.

Mathematical Science Investigation (MSI): The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations
Friday, December 7, 16:30 - 18:00
Saturday, December 8, 20:30 - 22:00

This is an experimental work that blurs the boundaries between pure mathematics, live performance and graphic novel. Andrew Granville, mathematician and vulgarizer; Jennifer Granville, actor and screenwriter; Michael Spencer, performance designer; and Robert Schneider, musician and composer, have collaborated to present this rehearsed reading.

Thrill to mysterious murders, marvel at detectives’ deductions, and groan at the mathematical puns! Don’t miss this opportunity to be present at an unusual theatrical and mathematical event.
More details

Mathematics for the Life Sciences, Panel and Discussion
Sunday, December 9, 08:30 - 10:00

According to the report BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists, prepared by the National Research Council of the National Academies, “Biological concepts and models are becoming more quantitative, and biological research has become critically dependent on concepts and methods drawn from other scientific disciplines. The connections between the biological sciences and the physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science are rapidly becoming deeper and more extensive.” The report continues, claiming that “In contrast to biological research, undergraduate biology education has changed relatively little during the past two decades. The ways in which most future research biologists are educated are geared to the biology of the past, rather than to the biology of the present or future. […] undergraduate education must be transformed to prepare students effectively for the biology that lies ahead. Life sciences majors must acquire a much stronger foundation in […] mathematics than they now get.”

A number of Canadian universities have taken steps toward creating (or have created) mathematics and/or statistics courses appropriate for future biologists (and life scientists in general). In this session, we plan to discuss issues, challenges and successes surrounding the creation, development and teaching of math and stats courses for life sciences students (MSLS for short). For instance:

  • Curriculum for (one-semester and full-year) MSLS courses: what math (calculus, linear algebra, several variables, probability and statistics)? How much math?
  • What applications to include? How to best integrate math and applications?
  • Institutional opportunities arising from the development of MSLS courses (teaching and collaboration between departments, interdisciplinary approaches)
  • Institutional barriers to the creation and teaching MSLS courses
  • Challenges in teaching MSLS courses (large classes, assessment, etc.)
  • Moving away from the concept of service teaching; making an MSLS course attractive to all students, including math majors
  • Resources for teaching MSLS courses, including textbooks and online materials
  • Need for departmental resources (instructors, teaching assistants, etc.)

    The objectives of this session are:
    (1) To provide an opportunity for the faculty in charge of thinking about/ designing/ teaching math and stats for life sciences courses to come together and exchange ideas and experiences.
    (2) To create a network of faculty interested in teaching math for life sciences. This could be a good opportunity for faculty from departments across Canada to collaborate, in order to develop good math courses.
    (3) Decide on ways to continue this dialogue and further the collaboration between faculty at different universities.

    Launch of the Long Range Plan for the Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
    Saturday, December 8, 2012, 12:30 - 14:00
    Salon Saint Francois

    At the request of NSERC, the Canadian mathematical and statistical sciences communities have carried out a comprehensive long range planning exercise, with the aim of formulating a plan setting priorities and directions for the development of mathematical and statistical sciences in Canada over a period of five to ten years. The Long Range Plan (http://longrangeplan.ca) is the result of more than two years of work and extensive consultations. It reflects the dynamism, strength and diversity of aspirations of the different segments of the mathematical and statistical sciences communities in Canada.

    Besides NSERC, which funded the exercise and provided essential support, key partners in this process include the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS), the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society (CAIMS), the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC), the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM), the Fields Institute,the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) and the Banff International Research Station (BIRS).

    You are cordially invited to the official launch of the Long Range Plan for the Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, which will take place at the Winter Meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society, with the attendance of Suzanne Fortier, the President of NSERC, as well as the Presidents of the CMS, CAIMS, SSC and the Directors of the CRM, the Fields Institute, PIMS and BIRS.


    1. Refreshments;
    2. Welcome and introductions by Jacques Hurtubise, Past-President of the CMS;
    3. Presentation of the Plan by Nancy Reid, Chair of the LRP Committee;
    4. Address by Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC.

    Graduate Student Lecture -- Yvan Saint-Aubin, Université de Montréal
    Friday, December 7, 2012, 09:00 - 12:00
    Salon Saint Francois

    Lattice models in 2d: universality and conformal invariance

    The study of phase transitions was launched by physicists and major advances were done during the 1950s and then during the 1980s. In the last twenty years mathematicians joined in and two recent Fields Medals (Werner (2006) and Smirnov (2010)) were given for results in this domain. This field of research touches physics, of course, but also probability, complex analysis and algebra. (You do not need to be a specialist in any of these to attend!) There are still much to be done, both for the physical and mathematical descriptions of this phenomena. The talk will review briefly recent accomplishments and current efforts. Emphasis will be on ideas and methods and some open problems will be described.

  • Sponsors

    Centre de recherches mathématiques AARMS: Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences Fields Institute Institut des sciences mathématiques Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

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