Tag Archives: Mathematics

A research community at the mercy of a leaderless NSERC  

The bureaucrats of a leaderless NSERC have extended the 5-year grants of three research institutes by two years. This amounts to assigning awards exceeding $7,500,000. They have done so without peer review and against the wishes of one of their … Continue reading

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NSERC corrects a mistake, but many remain unaddressed

No, I am not talking about the sudden and probably more consequential recent change in NSERC’s leadership, but about an accounting mistake. Yes, it looks minor, but it speaks volume. As I mentioned in a previous post, I resigned last … Continue reading

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Overhauling NSERC is a long overdue national priority (I)

With an annual budget of $1.1 billion, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the agency through which the federal government funds advanced post-secondary research in science and engineering. Thousands of Canadian researchers rely on it, … Continue reading

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Fettering unfettered research funding: The NSERC ways

Last week, I resigned from a committee that is supposed to liaise between NSERC and Canada’s Mathematics and Statistics communities. The reason? An unsettling lack of transparency, shoddy consultation, and poor decision-making by NSERC’s management in handling recent government budget … Continue reading

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Interview with a mathematician: Nassif Ghoussoub

Originally posted on The Intrepid Mathematician:
Nassif Ghoussoub is the founder and current director of the Banff International Research Station, the founding director of the Pacific Institute of Mathematics, and the co-founder of MITACS NCE. On top of all that,…

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UBC’s new president is not a mathematician, but …

The last time I saw the fabulous Frances Bula, she said that she liked my tweets whenever I commented on mathematics and mathematicians. I think she really meant for me to leave the rest of the news and analysis to her … Continue reading

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An activist you are!

The letter from the president of The University of Victoria informing me about my honorary doctorate was a complete surprise. “My former graduate students and postdocs, who are now on the faculty at UVic, must have been behind this nomination,” I … Continue reading

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Artists, Philanthropists, Politicians join mathematicians in celebrating BIRS-affiliate research facility in Oaxaca

Today, I am in Oaxaca, Mexico, partying (literally) with the Director General of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT), Dr. Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, the Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, Billionaire Philanthropist Harp Helú, several senior representatives of … Continue reading

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It takes more than talent and hard work to win academic awards

Upon seeing the announcement by NSERC of its “Top Researchers,” I couldn’t help myself from tweeting, “UBC a no-show! Get off your comfortable arse and start nominating your colleagues.” I was surprised by how many non-UBCers retweeted my scream. I then remembered a … Continue reading

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“Mathematics is alive and well, but living under different names”

That was the assessment of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) back in 1996. “This comment is still apropos,” they wrote in their latest report of 2012. “Although the mathematical sciences are pervasive, they are often invoked without an explicit awareness … Continue reading

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Will BIRS bring CIFAR and the mathematical sciences together?

My inbox started filling up at an unusual speed. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) had just announced a partnership with The Banff Centre (TBC). “The two institutions are teaming up to create a physical home for CIFAR, with the … Continue reading

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Sixty already?!

For some, it is hard to believe: It is the hair! exclaimed once Shing-Tung Yau. I cannot believe it either, though for different reasons. And now that super-natural and sub-natural forces have failed to stop me from (almost) getting there, I am … Continue reading

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Obsession

“His character is full of flaws, flittering from one obsessive behaviour to another, and he does this effortlessly.”  Mathematics is back with a vengeance, taking up all of my mental space. The same obsessive behaviour that got me to write … Continue reading

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With the women of the “Laplacian”, who needs diversity tsars?

“Wherever my travels may lead, paradise is where I am.” ~Voltaire In case you have been wondering why I haven’t been blogging lately, I am presently in Rome having too much fun working, lecturing, and enjoying life with my friends … Continue reading

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In memoriam: Richard Kane, 1944 – 2010

Richard Kane passed away on October 1, 2010. He was a very dear friend, a friendship that was based on a common purpose of making Canadian Mathematics a major player on the international scene. His distinguished research career, his incredible … Continue reading

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