PIMS Young Researchers Conference in Mathematics

  • Start Date: 05/02/2011
  • End Date: 05/05/2011

Stephen Boyd, Stanford University

Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University


University of British Columbia


The PIMS YRC is a unique and important opportunity for young graduate students in mathematics and statistics from PIMS universities to meet their peers and discover the wide range of research currently undertaken in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Participants will have opportunities to build and strengthen personal and professional relationships, develop and improve communication skills, and gain valuable experience in the environment of a scientific conference. This is also an important year for the PIMS YRC itself, as this will be its first edition held outside of Alberta.


This conference has grown from the collaboration between the universities of Alberta and Calgary into a truly inter-PIMS universities project. To that effect, the graduate students of the University of British Columbia are proud to host the PIMS YRC for its first edition in this updated format. The PIMS YRC 2011 will offer:


An overview of current mathematical research at PIMS universities,

An opportunity to present a short talk in a professional context,

Workshops that encourage collaborative and cross-disciplinary research,

A chance for graduate students to start building their scientific network, and

Plenary talks by leading mathematical experts in their fields.

Abstracts / Downloads / Reports: 

This conference is a common project of the PIMS Graduate Students
Association which encompass all graduate students from PIMS
universities. The representatives at each university are:


Cody Holder, University of Alberta, holder@math.ualberta.ca

Jason Wilkes, University of Alberta, jaswilkes@math.ualberta.ca

Cameron Christou, University of British Columbia, cnchrist@math.ubc.ca

David Kohler, University of British Columbia, david.kohler@math.ubc.ca

Karin Arikushi, University of Calgary, karikush@ucalgary.ca

Colin Weir, University of Calgary, cjweir@ucalgary.ca

Bahman Ahmadi, University of Regina, bahman.ahmadi@gmail.com

Kseniya Garaschuk, University of Victoria, kgarasch@gmail.com

Andrew Crites, University of Washington, andrew.crites@gmail.com

Joshua Tokle, Unversity of Washington, jtokle@u.washington.edu

Other Information: 

For further information, please visit the official webpage at





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A Message from David Kohler <david.kohler@math.ubc.ca>:


In his latest opinion [1], Doron Zeilberger points out at a core problem in mathematics today: "Since it is a sad fact of life that mathematics has gotten so specialized and the vast majority of the people are unwilling (and often unable) to understand talks outside their own narrow specialty, and most speakers, even when they try hard, are unable to talk to a general audience [...]"


He believes the solution lies into shifting to Experimental Mathematics (see his opinion for more on this and yes, it does include all mathematics) to unify all mathematics back under one (God/religion) subject.


My own belief is that we can also create a change at the level of graduate students by pushing them to keep mathematics as one unified subject and this can be done easily: keep an open mind to mathematics, maintain a decent broad level of knowledge in the discipline and make a genuine effort to learn how to communicate your research with the rest of the community.


That's why I suggest to put this into action through our incoming conference for young researchers in mathematics this May (the PIMS YRC [2]).


- if you are a faculty member: require all your grad students to attend the conference, give a solid talk that will introduce your research area to the rest of the mathematical community of young researchers and ask them to brief you on all the exciting mathematics they discovered there.


- if you are a grad student: register to the conference (now, not tomorrow) and take the courage to give an honest talk that will introduce your exciting research area to other grad students. At the conference, open to the possibility of expanding your mathematical horizon and meet other researchers and their field of study. Who knows what this will bring you 3, 5, 10 or 20 years down the road!


- for all: if you're suspicious about all this, ready your arguments, Doron will be with us here at UBC for the conference this May, you can discuss all this with him directly!




[1] http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion113.html


[2] http://www.math.ubc.ca/~YRC/