Canadian Team Win Medals in 2019 IMO

The Canadian Math Team placed well at the The 60th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).  The six team members all won medals with more than 600 high school student competing all across the world.

One of our faculty members, Jacob Tsimerman, is the Chair of the IMO committee and is “incredibly proud of our team’s brilliant performance.” Tsimerman added: “The IMO is the apex of competitive mathematics at the high school level, and our students have represented our country incredibly well.”

The team results are as follows:

  • Victor Rong [Toronto], Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON – Gold medal
  • Howard Halim [Toronto], University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON – Silver medal
  • Thomas Guo [Markham], Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH, USA – Bronze medal
  • David Tang [Toronto], University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON – Bronze medal
  • Sebastian Jeon [New Jersey], Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ, USA – Bronze medal
  • William Zhao [Richmond Hill], Richmond Hill High School, Richmond Hill, ON – Bronze medal

The full press release can be found here:

Catherine Sulem is the 2019 recipient of the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture prize

Catherine Sulem is the 2019 recipient of the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture prize.

The joint AWM-SIAM prize was established in 2002 and it is awarded to a female researcher in the scientific or engineering community whose work highlights the achievements of women in applied and computational mathematics.

Sulem will present her prize lecture at the 9th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2019).

More on the story can be found here.

Alumni, Michael Chow, wins Nathan Mendelsohn Prize

Congratulations to Michael Chow on winning the Nathan Mendelsohn prize for the highest ranking student at a Canadian university in the Putnam Mathematics Competition for 2017.

Chow has participated in the department’s Undergraduate Mathematics Competition, placing first 2016, 2017, and 2018.  He was also part of the Putnam team representing UofT which came in 4th place in 2017!

Chow graduated with High Distinction from the Honours Bachelor of Science program this June 2018.  We are proud of his achievements!

The ArtSci Effect Article

This past Spring (2016) Planet ArtSci sat down with the Chair of the Department, Professor Kumar Murty, to record a podcast about mathematics and how to approach mathematics, conquer the fear of it, and appreciate its creative aspects.

Recently the ArtSci Effect wrote an article based on this podcast.

The article can be found here:

James G. Arthur to Receive the 2017 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement


photo credit: Diana Tyszko

The Department is proud to announce that Professor James Arthur has been awarded the 2017 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

The official AMS Press Release follows:


Providence, RI—James Grieg Arthur will receive the 2017 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement “for his fundamental contributions to number theory and harmonic analysis, and in particular for his proof of the Arthur-Selberg trace formula.” Arthur is a University Professor and holds the Ted Mossman Chair in Mathematics at the University of Toronto.

James G. Arthur has made deep and lasting contributions to mathematics. The pinnacle of his work is the Arthur-Selberg trace formula, which elucidates profound connections between properties of numbers on the one hand, and geometric shapes on the other. Building on the pioneering work of Atle Selberg from the 1950s, Arthur created a whole mathematical framework and introduced many major tools. The Arthur-Selberg trace formula is developed in 16 long and difficult research papers that Arthur published between 1974 and 1988. His work on the trace formula, which continues to this day, stands at the center of a highly active research area to which many mathematicians the world over are contributing.

This work fits into a larger effort known as the Langlands Program, which Arthur’s doctoral advisor, Robert P. Langlands, inaugurated in the late 1960s and expanded in the 1970s. The Langlands Program posits a series of deep and far-reaching connections among several parts of mathematics that seem, at first glance, to be unrelated. The program has inspired an enormous amount of mathematical research, in which James G. Arthur has been one of the central figures. His work has had and will continue to have an enormous impact on several branches of mathematics.

Today, at the age of 72, Arthur continues to produce research at the highest level. Because his area of research is often considered to be among the most technically forbidding in mathematics, Arthur has worked hard to make the area more accessible by producing high-quality expository works, which have in turn stimulated more interest and new work. An example is his article “Harmonic Analysis and Group Representations,” which appeared in the January 2000 issue of the Notices of the AMS.

Arthur has a strong commitment to education. This can be seen, for example, in remarks he presented as AMS president, on the occasion of the awarding of the 2005 Abel Prize to mathematician Peter D. Lax. In his remarks, Arthur noted the stimulation such prizes provide to research at the highest levels. The prize “is of enormous benefit for other reasons as well,” he said. “The effective teaching of mathematics is essential for the future well-being of society. Talented students need to be encouraged to pursue the subject. It is equally important that young men and women see the teaching of mathematics as an honourable calling. Public recognition [of Abel Laureates] resonates the world over [and] becomes a source of pride and inspiration for students and teachers alike.” The full text of his remarks appeared in the August 2005 issue of the Notices of the AMS.

Over the course of his career, Arthur has received many honors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the AMS. He received the Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering in 1999, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa in 2002, and the Wolf Prize in Mathematics in 2015. He has given several addresses at International Congresses of Mathematicians, including a Plenary Lecture at the 2014 Congress and a Plenary Lecture at the first Mathematical Congress of the Americas in 2013.

Arthur’s dedication to cultivating and supporting scholarship and research has led to his appointment to several senior administrative roles internationally. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Mathematics Union (1991-1998) and the Academic Trustee for Mathematics on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study (1997-2007). He also served as president of the AMS from 2005-2007. One of his lasting legacies as AMS president is the establishment of the AMS Einstein Public Lecture in Mathematics, delivered annually by an outstanding mathematician with a flair for communicating with the general public.

Presented annually, the AMS Steele Prize is one of the highest distinctions in mathematics. The prize will be awarded Thursday, January 5, 2017, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta.

Find out more about AMS prizes and awards.

A photograph of Arthur is available upon request to

Mike Breen and Annette Emerson
Public Awareness Officers
American Mathematical Society
201 Charles Street
Providence, RI 02904

* * * *

Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.

ArtSci News Profiles Professor Jacob Tsimerman

Photo Credit: Diana Tyszko (photo from Arts & Science News)

Photo Credit: Diana Tyszko (photo from Arts & Science News)

The Faculty of Arts and Science recently did a profile on Professor Jacob Tsimerman who is currently the Math Department’s youngest faculty member.

Professor Tsimerman was recently awarded the prestigious SASTRA Ramanujan Prize.

His most recent breakthrough was proving the Andre-Oort conjecture, which he compares to “a line of wooden Russian nesting dolls with potentially infinite numbers of dolls within.”

The article discusses Professor Tsimerman’s research and also his love of comic books, Judo, playing guitar and wishing he “had Spider-Man’s powers”.

The full article can be found here:

2016 and Beyond…

The Faculty of Arts and Science recently sat down with the Chairs of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics to discuss the future of their fields and what lies in store for us in 2016 and beyond.  The big answer: Big Data

Departmental Chair, Professor V. Kumar Murty spoke about the future of the department and its focus on “Blurring of the line between pure and applied mathematics” and “Solving centuries-old problems“.  He also spoke on a new course on training in computation techniques at the undergraduate and graduate levels and our first graduate course in computational techniques, instructed by Professor Dror Bar-Natan.

The full article can be found here: