Dean's Message - March 2017

Did you know that 1,219 PhD, 4,956 Master’s and 38,597 undergraduate degrees have been conferred by the University of Waterloo to students in the Faculty of Mathematics? That’s quite an accomplishment in just 50 years.

With the change in seasons comes changes in leadership to announce. These administrative appointments are effective July 1, unless noted otherwise:

  1. Associate Dean Admissions and Outreach: Serge D’Alessio (continuing)
  2. Associate Dean Computing: Steve Vavasis (replacing Marek Stastna)
  3. Associate Dean Cooperative Education: Lori Case (replacing Barry Ferguson)
  4. Associate Dean Graduate Studies: Christiane Lemieux (replacing Srinivasan Keshav)
  5. Associate Dean Undergraduate Studies: Francis Poulin (replacing Steve Furino)
    • Assistant Dean Online Instruction: Steve Furino (new role)
    • Assistant Dean Students: David Harmsworth (continuing)
  6. Associate Dean Research: Raouf Boutaba (continuing)
  7. Acting Director, CEMC: JP Pretti (1 year – Ian VanderBurgh on leave)

The heads of Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics and Optimization, Computer Science, Pure Mathematics and Statistics and Actuarial Science continue in their current appointments. Kevin Hare and Ilham Akhundov will be continuing as directors of Computational Mathematics and the Mathematics and Business Programs respectively.

In addition, we have the following changes:

  1. Alexandra Lippert, joining Math as Senior Development Officer
  2. Christine Ko, joining as Administrative Manager while Christina McDougall on leave
  3. Tammy MacFarlane, replacing Tata Pyatigorsky-Ruffle in the Dean’s office.

Please address E-mail for the Dean’s Administrative Assistant to

Congratulations to these colleagues:

Also, congratulations to these students:

  • Thomas Bury and Ty Ghaswala, Faculty of Mathematics finalists in the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Come out and cheer them on at the University 3MT final on March 23rd.
  • Stanley Yao Xiao, winner of the Murray Martin Prize for best research paper by a Mathematics Faculty graduate student. Stanley defended his thesis in August 2016 and is currently a postdoc at Oxford. He was also a 3MT finalist in 2014.

I’ve been asked to share these opportunities with you:

  • The Faculty Association is pleased to offer four tenure and promotion workshops to help faculty through key transitions in their academic career. Options for both tenure-track and tenured faculty members are available.
  • HeForShe is funding eight Gender Equity Research Grants to support research that investigates and addresses gender equity, with preference given to projects that advance the University’s IMPACT 10x10x10 commitments. Each grant is $10,000 for one year.

Also, these upcoming lectures:

  • March 8thBridges Lecture “The Platonic solids as Tiffany lamps, art objects, and stepping-stones to higher dimensions” by Hans Schepker and Carlo Sequin
  • March 23rdComputer Science Distinguished Lecture “The Laplacian Matrices of Graphs: Algorithms and Applications” by Daniel Alan Spielman.