Welcome to Combinatorics and Optimization

The C&O department has 33 faculty members and 60 graduate students. We are intensely research oriented and hold a strong international reputation in each of our six major areas:

Read more about the department's research to learn of our contributions to the world of mathematics!



  1. June 13, 2022Karen Yeats awarded renewed Canada Research Chair
    Karen Yeats

    Karen Yeats, an associate professor in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, has recently been named among the latest cohort of Canada Research Chairs.

  2. May 30, 2022Simone Hu wins coveted Governor General’s Gold Medal
    Simone Hu

    A recent graduate of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization has been awarded this year’s Governor General’s Gold Medal at the master’s level.

    The award is among the most prestigious for students, with only one at the master’s level and one at the PhD level for the entire university.

    Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs administers the annual award, with each faculty allowed to nominate a single PhD and a single master’s candidate.

  3. May 26, 2022Walaa Moursi wins Early Researcher Award
    Walaa Moursi

    Walaa Moursi, an assistant professor in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, was named among this year’s winners of the Early Researcher Award. 

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  1. Dec. 9, 2022Tutte Colloquium - Vijay Bhattiprolu

    Titile: Global geometric reductions for some bottleneck questions in hardness of approximation

    Speaker: Vijay Bhattiprolu
    Affiliation: University of Waterloo
    Location: MC 5501 or contact Eva Lee for Zoom link

    Abstract: I will describe the classical "local gadget reduction" paradigm for proving hardness of approximation results and then list some important optimization problems that resist all such attacks. With a focus on problems that can be cast as quadratic maximization over convex sets, I will describe some successes in bypassing the aforementioned bottleneck using ideas from geometry. Time permitting I will also describe some compelling new frontiers where answering some questions in convex geometry could be the path forward.

  2. Dec. 16, 2022Tutte Colloquium - Daniel Panario

    Title: Probabilistic root finding in code-based cryptography

    Speaker: Daniel Panario
    Affiliation: School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University
    Location: MC 5501 or contact Eva Lee for Zoom link

    Abstract: Factorization of polynomials over finite fields, and the particular subproblem of finding roots of polynomials, have many applications in diverse areas such as computer algebra, cryptography and coding theory, among many others. In practice, fast factorization algorithms are probabilistic.

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