2009 PIMS Industrial Problem Solving Workshop and Graduate Industrial Mathematics Modelling Camp

  • Start Date: 05/19/2009
  • End Date: 05/29/2009

University of Calgary


Graduate Industrial Mathematics Modelling Camp - GIMMC - May 19-23, 2009

Industrial Problem Solving Workshop - IPSW - May 25-29, 2009


This two week intensive learning experience is designed to give graduate students in the Mathematical Sciences an opportunity to learn industrial mathematical modelling techniques under the guidance of renowned industrial researchers.

Graduate Industrial Mathematics Modelling Camp (GIMMC)

During the first week of this two week event, mentors present challenging industrial problems and quide participants through the resolution process using a range of different mathematical modelling techniques. The Camp is a preparation for the Industrial Problem Solving Workshop that follows. In order to ensure that participants receive the highest quality learning experience, PIMS encourages students to apply for participation in both the GIMMC and IPSW.



Industrial Problem  Solving Workshop (IPSW)


The Workshop provides a unique opportunity to work on real-world problems relevant to industry and with a focus on achieving viable mathematical results. Workshop problems are provided by industrial partners who will also provide feedback on student results. Students will work closely with our team of mentors and industry partners.



GIMMC - Academic Participants Selection Criteria

Deadline - April 9th, 2009


Outstanding graduate students at both the Masters and PhD level in the fields of mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and computer science, or related disciplines are invited to apply. (Please note: international students are responsible for fulfilling Canadian visa requirements).


Selection criteria will be based on academic background, a personal statement of interest and a letter of reference from applicant's academic supervisor.


The 2009 GIMMC/IPSW Application form can be downloaded from this web page and emailed to pims@ucalgary.ca by the deadline. For an application to be considered complete the supervisor's reference letter should be emailed to the same address by the applicant's supervisor. Applications received after the deadline will be considered but space maybe limited.


A maximum of 30 students will be accepted. Successful applicants will be notified after April 15th and will be eligible for on-campus accommodation during the camp and workshop, and travel assistance.


IPSW - Academic Participant Selection Criteria

Deadline - April 9th


Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty studying in the areas  of applied and industrial mathematics, statistics, optimization and computational mathematics are encouraged to apply. In addition people working in mathematical aspects of economics, physics, biology, and finance may find the workshop highly rewarding.


Selection criteria will be based on academic background, a personal statement of interest and a letter of reference from applicant's academic supervisor (if applicable).


The 20009 GIMMC/IPSW Application Form is available for download on this webpage and should be emailed to pims@ucalgary.ca by the deadline. On-campus accommodation and travel assistance may be available to participants of the IPSW, however, preference will be given to applicants attending the GIMMC and IPSW.


Questions regarding any of the information on this web page may be emailed to pims@ucalgary.ca.




GIMMC - May 19-23, 2009

Day 1:Mentors present challenging industrial problems to students.

Day 2-4: Mentors guide groups of participants, through the application of modelling techniques in the search for solutions. 

Day 5:  Groups present their final solutions to mentors and camp participants.


IPSW - May 25-29, 2009

Day 1: Presentation of industrial problems. Brainstorming begins.

Day 2-4: Problem solving discussion, modelling analysis, computation.

Day 5: Presentation of progress made.


After the workshop a high quality report will be published as part of the workshop proceedings.



Amir Amiraslani, University of Calgary

Clifton Cunningham, University of Calgary

Shaun Fallat, University of Regina

John Stockie, Simon Fraser University

J.F. Williams, Simon Fraser University




Brian Alspach has published approximately 100 research papers in graph theory and combinatorics since 1967. In addition, he has written about 200 magazine articles on the mathematics of poker. He has served or is serving on the editorial boards of Ars Combinatoria, Australian Journal of Combinatorics, Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Canadian Mathematical Bulletin, Discrete Mathematics, and the Journal of Graph Theory. The three issues of Volume 299 (2005) of Discrete Mathematics were entitled "The Graph Theory of Brian Alspach" and devoted to papers dealing with his work.
He was the project leader of a MITACS (Canada) project with an annual budget of $150,000. The project dealt with network security. He also held NSERC grants for the period 1967 - 2008. He has many years of experience doing industrial consulting specializing in scheduling problems and the gaming industry.

Brian Alspach


Mikelis Bickis received a BSc degree from the McGill University, and a MSc from the University of Alberta. He worked for fifteen years as a statistician with the federal government, in the areas of agricultural research and health protection. He received his PhD from Carleton University and for the last 23 years has been on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Bickis teaches courses in biostatistics, experimental design, and regression analysis, as well as in probability and statistical theory. He is currently supervising two graduate students. Under his supervision, seven masters and two doctoral students have already earned their degrees.
Often consulted about problems in statistical analysis or design (mostly in life science applications), Dr. Bickis is currently engaged in collaborative research in bioinformatics, specifically in the distribution of oligopeptides in proteomes, having implications in immunology and vaccine design. He is also doing theoretical research, focusing on problems of multiplicity in statistical inference.
In both his teaching and research, Dr. Bickis capitalizes on geometrical connections to statistical concepts. He has worked on interactive computer graphics to help with the visualization of statistical information.

Mikelis Bickis


Neville Fowkes completed his Ph.D. at the University of Queensland in Australia specializing in applied mathematics (asymptotics) and then worked at the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics at Harvard University. It was there that he became interested in modelling. And later took up a position at the University of Western Australia.
Dr. Fowkes is a mathematical modeller who works mainly on continuum problems arising out of industrial, scientific and biological areas. He has participated in more than 30 Maths in Industry Study Groups (MISGs) held in many different countries. Companies he has worked with include Uncle Toby's, BHP, Hardie, CRA, ICI, DuPont, British Steel, BrewTech, Mouldflow, Age Developments, Unilever, LNEC, Petronas, SAB. Dr. Fowkes has helped initiate (and facilitate) MISG's in Indonesia, S. Africa, and has assisted in the development of industrial mathematics graduate and undergraduate programs in Portugal, China, Indonesia, Laos and Thailand. He has authored a text on mathematical modelling based largely on problems arising out of my industrial mathematics experiences and has been used in industrial mathematics courses in Australia, the UK and Europe.

Dr. Fowkes


Paul McNicholas is an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Paul was educated at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, where he read mathematics (B.A., M.A.), high-performance computing (M.Sc.) and statistics (Ph.D.). His research group at the University of Guelph currently consists of six graduate students and a number of research assistants.
The main focus of Paul’s research is model-based clustering, although work is also being carried out in other areas of application of mixture models and in data mining. Following the development of new techniques for model-based clustering, these techniques are implemented efficiently in parallel. To date, two new model-based clustering techniques have been developed: one specifically designed for longitudinal data and one more generally applicable technique that can be viewed as an extension of the mixtures of factor analyzers model. Areas of application include bioinformatics and food authenticity. Other recent work has focused on the estimation of cure rates in survival analysis and on developing new measures of the interestingness of an association rule.

Paul McNicholas


Sévérien Nkurunziza has a Ph. D in Statistics since 2005. His research interests are in the areas of mathematical statistics, mathematical modeling, applied probability and inference in stochastic processes with their applications to biological/ecological systems, and quantitative finance. In particular, Dr. Nkurunziza is interested in statistical inference and modeling of ecological systems such as predator-prey species. He also works on stochastic modeling of the term structure of interest rates and on inference for the drift parameters of diffusion processes. Further, his current research includes inference for stochastic processes with regime-switching, asymptotic properties of estimators and large-sample inference, shrinkage and pretest strategies, and generalized inference

Dr. Nkurunziza


Michael Slawinski’s research focus is quantitative formulation of properties describing seismic phenomena. He is a professor of seismology at Memorial University and an adjunct professor of mathematics at the University of Calgary. Presently, he is a visiting professor at Princeton University. Recent editions of his two books, which are available online and a selection of papers that are representative of both his research and the proposed problem are listed below.
Slawinski, M.A. (2007) Waves and rays in elastic continua. Samizdat Press: http://samizdat.mines.edu/wavesandrays/ 470 pages
Bóna, A., Slawinski, M.A. (2007) Ray theory: Characteristics and asymptotics. Samizdat Press: http://samizdat.mines.edu/characteristics/ 199 pages
Kochetov, M., Slawinski, M.A. (2008) On obtaining effective transversely isotropic elasticity tensors. Journal of Elasticity 94(1), 1–13
Bóna, A., Bucataru, I., Slawinski, M.A. (2007) Coordinate-free characterization of elasticity tensor. Journal of Elasticity 87(2-3), 109–132
Bóna, A., Bucataru, I., Slawinski, M.A. (2004) Material symmetries of elasticity tensor. The Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Math-ematics 57(4), 583–598

Dr. Slawinski’s


Yuriy Zinchenko received his PhD in Operations Research from Cornell University in 2005. Since then he held a post-doctoral position at the Advanced Optimization Lab, McMaster University. In 2006 Yuriy also joined the Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, as a post-doctoral researcher, and received 2007 MITACS Best Technology Transfer award for his work in optimal radiotherapy design. In August 2008 Dr. Zinchenko joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary. His research interests include: mathematical programming with applications to computational geometry, operations research, optimization algorithms and software, scientific parallel computing and high-performance linear algebra, applications to medicine and healthcare, and optimal radiation therapy design for cancer treatment.

Yuriy Zinchenko
Other Information: 


Successful GIMMC/IPSW applicants will be provided with accommodation on the University of Calgary campus at Cascade and Olympus Halls. The accommodations are two bedroom apartments including two or four single beds, washroom, kitchen and sitting area. Basic housekeeping is provided and linens are changed every three days. Cutlery, plates, cooking utensils, televisions and phone may be rented from the Front Desk at Cascade Hall.


Travel Assistance:

Confirmation of travel assistance awards will be sent with the offer to participate in the camp and workshop after April 15th, 2009.


Successful GIMMC/IPSW applicants are eligible for travel assistance as per the following schedule and some conditions apply:



Travel within Alberta - up to $250.

Travel from Saskatchewan and British Columbia - up to $500.

Travel from central, northern or eastern Canada - up to $750.

Travel from an international destination - up to $750.


Claims for travel assistance will be accepted after the workshop has concluded.

Only reasonable travel costs (economy airfare) will be considered.

Original receipts and invoices must be provided.

Boarding passes for Calgary and return flight destination must be provided.

Claims for assistance must be received no later than two months after the workshop (July 29, 2009)

Payment can be expected 4-6 weeks after complete documentation has been received by the PIMS-UC site office.