Community engagement and outreach

A group of students participate in a Hackathon

The University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics is active in outreach and enrichment programs to promote mathematics and computer science on campus, in our communities, and in elementary and secondary schools in Canada and around the world.

Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC)

Students at an outreach workshop

With origins dating back to the 1960s, the CEMC was founded in 1995 with the aim of increasing enjoyment, confidence and ability in mathematics and computer science among students and teachers in Canada and internationally. Through contests, face-to-face workshops, online resources, and publications, the CEMC provides curricular and enrichment support to elementary and secondary schools. The CEMC also offers workshops, school visits, and online resources for teachers.

Learn more and access resources through the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing.

Equity in STEM

As a mathematics and computer science powerhouse and Canada’s most innovative university, Waterloo is uniquely positioned to break down barriers for women and under-represented gender identities in STEM.

Women in Mathematics (WiM)

The Women in Mathematics (WiM) committee exists to encourage and advocate for under-represented gender identities, to promote interest in studying mathematics and careers in mathematics. The committee engages with cultural and institutional reasons for under-representation, and strives for all genders to be well-represented in mathematics.

Women in Computer Science (WiCS)

Women in Computer Science (WiCS) is dedicated to promoting under-represented gender identities in the field of computer science. Specifically, the mandate of the committee is:

  • To build an environment in the School of Computer Science where women, and those whose gender identity is neither male nor female, including gender-fluid, non-binary, agender and more are supported in their work and studies.
  • To ensure that these young people see computer science as an option as they enter university.
  • To connect to outside organizations and events for under-represented genders in computer science.

Waterloo Women's Impact Network (WWIN)

Make an investment with lasting results. The Waterloo Women’s Impact Network (WWIN) combines the strength of generous, savvy and accomplished women and allies who are dedicated to making a difference for the next generation

Mathematics Endowment Fund

Ian Goulden with the funding council cutting the cake.

The Mathematics Endowment Fund (MEF) reached a huge milestone in Fall 2011, breaking the million dollar mark in terms of funding distributed since inception in 1994. Each term, MEF collects ten ‘pi’ (π) dollars from each math student (which is rounded to $31.42) and has accumulated over four million dollars within the fund. 

MEF has provided funding towards many projects within the Faculty of Mathematics, including computer updates and student conference travel.

New project proposals to MEF are accepted during the third month of every term. For them to be approved by the funding council, they must serve and benefit the education of undergraduate mathematics students (and be legal to complete). The funding council is made up of two undergraduate students per department, a faculty representative from each department, and two alumni who are recommended by the Dean. This way, they can ensure that optimal funding goes to where it needs to be.

Society of Descartes Medallists

The Society of Descartes Medallists was founded in 1968 by the Rene Descartes Foundation for the Advancement of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. This Society has met annually since 1968 for the express purpose of paying tribute to mathematics teachers of Ontario who are identified as being worthy of special recognition. Each year the Foundation admits new members, chosen for their contribution to the noble cause of mathematics education, to life membership in the Society of Descartes Medallists.

Bridges Lecture Series

Bridges logo

The Bridges Lecture Series aims to rediscover points of affinity among academic disciplines.

The metaphor of the bridge captures the spirit of our endeavor: to bring these fields back into productive dialogue; to raise questions that are essential to scholars in Arts, Science, and Mathematics; and to provide specialists and non-specialists alike with compelling and enriching information that uncovers the possibilities and opportunities that exist on the bridge between disciplines. Our guiding goal is to coax audiences out of their intellectual comfort zones, and to transcend narrow discipline-specific avenues of academic inquiry.

In past seasons, the Bridges Lecture Series has hosted scholars of Architecture, English, Fine Arts, History, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Religious Studies, and Sociology in addition to Mathematicians. Last season we added scientists to the roster, and several of our upcoming lectures will feature teams of Arts- and Science-based speakers.

Lectures are open to all, and take place on scheduled Friday evenings at the St. Jerome’s University Academic Centre in the 300-seat Vanstone Lecture Hall, with live streaming available on YouTube for those who cannot attend in person.

2019/2020 Lecture Series dates and information.

Research seminars

An extensive program of research seminars runs continuously in the Faculty of Mathematics. These talks range from theoretical to applied and often feature visiting researchers from other universities and industry. You can see upcoming seminars on our Department's websites.