Students and postdoctoral fellows

Current students and postdoctoral fellows

Former students and postdoctoral fellows

Prospective students and postdoctoral fellows

There are many opportunities for undergraduate students to gain experience in mathematical research. Applicants wishing to work with me should have a background in linear algebra (MAT 1341, 2141) and group theory (MAT 2143). Some examples of potential projects can be found here. Projects can be completed in the context of URSA awards, UROP, or Undergraduate Research Projects (see below for details). Although most projects are completed in the summer, it is also possible to do them during the fall or winter terms. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about these possibilities.

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)

Each summer, I often have an opening for an undergraduate student as part of the NSERC USRA program. Students interested in a project to take place in the summer should contact me in December or early January. The application deadline is typically in February or March each year. See here for internal deadlines and information.

Undergraduate Science Research Opportunity Program (USRO)

Selected students devote, during one academic year, at least 75 hours to a research project supervised by a faculty member.

Undergraduate Research Project

Qualified undergraduate students can work on a one-semester project under the supervision of one or more faculty members in the department. At the end of the semester, the student writes a report and/or gives a seminar talk on some aspect of the research. This counts as a course (MAT4900) and is worth 3 credits.

I am currently accepting graduate students. There are many intriguing problems in geometric, combinatorial, and categorical representation theory accessible at the MSc and PhD level. Students interested in working in this area should have completed courses in abstract algebra (uOttawa courses MAT3141 and MAT3143 or their equivalents). Descriptions of these uOttawa courses can be found here.

For information on available financial support and scholarships, please visit the website on funding and financing.

I welcome applications from undergraduate or graduate students at other institutions who would like to spend some time working under my supervision at the University of Ottawa. Such students must typically have their own funding (e.g. from their home institution) and would have the status of visiting student researcher while here at the University of Ottawa. More information on this program can be found here. For graduate students, there is also the possibility of such visits leading to co-supervision of the graduate degree. Interested students should contact me by email.

I often have an opening for a postdoctoral fellow. Applicants should be recent PhDs (or those expecting to receive their PhD before the start of the appointment) working in a field closely related to my research areas. Those interested should submit an application to the department as well as contact me personally by email.

Research areas

Below are some examples of areas in which students under my supervision can work (as well as areas connected to the ones listed below). If you are interested in learning more about possible projects, please send me an email.

Abstract algebra is a very broad area of mathematics that includes linear algebra, group theory, ring theory, the theory of modules, representation theory, and much more. Most projects completed under my supervision (including those in the areas listed below) involve some field of abstract algebra. They often also involve other topics, such as geometry, topology, combinatorics, or category theory.

Lie groups and Lie algebras are indispensable tools in modern mathematics and mathematical physics. Lie groups are mathematical objects that have both geometric and algebraic structure. In particular, they are simultaneously differentiable manifolds and groups. They are a mathematically precise way of studying the continuous symmetry of mathematical and physical structures. For example, in quantum physics, particles correspond to representations of Lie groups. There are many potential projects in Lie theory for undergraduate and graduate students in both classical Lie theory as well as connections between Lie theory and other subjects (see below).

Category theory is a mathematical formalism that allows one to organize and study in an abstract way structure that is common to many different subjects. For instance, one can study properties of maps between objects and prove results that apply to maps between sets or groups. The advantage is that one does not need to reprove the results in each setting (in this case, for sets and for groups) because one has proven them in the more general setting of categories.

Recently, there has been considerable interest in using categories in a different way. This involves a process called categorification. Seeing as this field is relatively young, there are many good projects at the undergraduate and graduate level. These projects can involve connections to geometry, algebra, topology, and knot theory.

In general terms, geometric representation theory involves reformulating often classical results in algebra in new geometric terms. For example, one realizes a representation of a group or Lie algebra (this is a vector space on which a group or Lie algebra acts – think of a group of rotations of a plane or 3-dimensional space) as the homology of some topological space. Such realizations can yield new insight because they allow one to use geometric tools in the study of representation theory as well as representation theoretic tools in the study of geometry and topology.

Jobs in mathematics

Are you interested in mathematics and wondering what type of career opportunities there are for mathematics majors and those with advanced degrees (MSc and PhD) in mathematics? Take a look at the following websites to learn about the many opportunities available to mathematicians.