Having completed his MSc at the University of Manitoba, Mike Newman came to Waterloo in 2003 for PhD studies. His thesis "Independent Sets and Eigenspaces" under the supervision of Chris Godsil was a tour de force, forming the basis for four publications, and was justifiably awarded the Canadian Math Society's Doctoral Prize for 2006. The citation for the prize included the following description of Mike's thesis: "[it] presents extensions and applications of the Delsarte-Hoffman bound on the size of independent sets in graphs. The thesis interweaves the solutions of three intriguing yet ostensibly unrelated problems into a unified tapestry by virtue of their common methodological treatment. The results obtained are important and the exposition first-rate." Mike's work led to the concept of a "quantum chromatic number", an idea which is still being developed.
Mike was awarded an Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postdoctoral fellowship, which he held at Queen Mary College, London. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Victoria University of Wellington, where he developed an interest and expertise in matroid theory. A recent result of his suggests that the set of excluded minors for the class of real-representable matroids is at least as complicated as the class of real-representable matroids itself. After the postdoctoral fellowship in New Zealand, Mike took up a position as assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa, where he lectures in both official languages.
In 2012 he coached the Putnam team at the University of Ottawa.
Mike is a keen cyclist, an accomplished amateur musician, and has been singing in choirs for many years.