Ottawa Student Seminar

Summer 2018


The Ottawa student seminar meets at 3pm on Tuesdays in FTX 316. Its purpose is to give mathematics students an opportunity to speak about their research. Each talk is approximately 20 minutes and there are up to two talks per week. Talks should be accessible to undergraduates.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for this seminar, or if you are an undergraduate student who would like to give a talk about your research, please contact Alistair Savage.


Date Speaker Title (click for abstract)
Jun 12 Alex McSween
Women have been historically barred from academia but have nonetheless continually made remarkable contributions all the while facing some of the harshest of circumstances. We will overview women’s role in the invention of mathematics, some particularly noteworthy mathematicians as well as some of the ways brilliant but forgotten women have contributed to mathematics indirectly.
Jun 19 Noah Bolohan
We give a brief introduction to predator-prey dynamics and discuss how to model such systems. We then consider a scenario where two predators share a common prey, and one predator exhibits a seasonally-dependent switch in predation pattern. The goal is to construct a suitable model for this system, study the dynamics of this model and observe how varying season lengths in a year affects the coexistence of the three species.
Jul 17 Alex McSween
We give a brief overview of the basics of category theory. Specifically, we will discuss monoidal categories and the simplifications that can be made using string diagrams.
Aug 7 Saima Samchuck-Schnarch
First rigorously defined by J. Peter May in 1972, operads are a lesser-known algebraic structure centred around the concept of "multicomposing" several elements together at the same time. We give an overview of the basic definitions and fundamental examples for operads, with a focus on visualization via tree diagrams.
Raj Gandhi
We give the definition of a strict monoidal category and show how we can describe the morphism space of these categories using pictures involving oriented lines, called string diagrams. Using these diagrams, we define a category, H’, and describe its relationship with the Heisenberg algebra. Many examples will be given throughout.