Math Union Presents: The Importance of Being Integral

Many practical optimization problems require integer solutions. For example, it doesn’t make sense to give 8.4 dimes in change, to assign 1.3 workers to a shift, or to produce 6.71 chairs. In this talk, we will explore a recently discovered method for attacking this type of optimization problem that uses tools originally developed to understand collections of polynomials. Along the way, we will see why our usual methods for solving optimization problems do not work when integer solutions are required, exchange coins with computational algebra, and explore connections between polynomials and geometry.

Refreshments will be served in the graduate lounge on the 6th floor of Bahen before the talk, at 4:30pm!

Find the event on Facebook here.

Knots and Graphs: Better Together

We will explore the areas of knot theory and graph theory, and then show how these two theories can be combined to prove a property of Jones Polunomial. In the end, we will discuss recent discoveries about what the underlying graph structure can tell us about a knot.

Refreshments will be served at 4:30 in the mathematics graduate lounge on the 6th floor of Bahen.

CUMC Award for Excellence

A message from the department!

The next Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference ( be hosted by the University of Montréal, McGill University, Concordia University and the Université de Québec à Montréalin *Montréal*on July 19–23. The Canadian Mathematical Society’s Student Committee (CMS Studc) is inviting undergraduate math students to apply for the CUMC Award for Excellence.‬‬

‬This award is valued at $500 and is given to an outstanding student for the purpose of participating in CUMC. You can find more information and application requirements in the informational pamphlet .‬‬

The application deadline is March 31, 2017. Applications should be sent to Aaron Berk and Aram Dermenjian ( ).‬‬

*Canadian Mathematical Society Student Committee (CMS Studc)‬‬* ‬
Facebook: CMS Studc ‬
Twitter: @studcCMS ‬
Google Plus: CMS Studc
Issuu: CMS Studc

MUGS VI: How many ways to the coffee house?

Join Dr. Brendan Kelly on Friday for the Math Union’s first MUGS Talk of the semester! Refreshments, as always, will be provided.

The ability to pose good questions is critical in the problem solving process. This talk will begin with a simple question that will frame a conversation on mathematics, education, and your college experience. The mathematical enterprise of digging deeper will send us down the rabbit hole as we investigate variations of the title question. We will explore the importance of asking good questions and techniques to empower students to ask good questions. The only prerequisite for this talk is an inquisitive mind and a willingness to actively participate.

Hoodies have arrived!

For those who ordered them, hoodies are available for pick up from the undergraduate lounge Monday or Tuesday 11 am – 6 pm.

Please bring a piece of photo ID and find the Math Union representative in the room to receive your order.

MU Hoodies are back.

Do you want an “It’s trivial” hoodie? If the answer is yes, well you’re in luck because it’s back by popular demand. Bring $25 dollars (cash or a cheque made out to “U of T Mathematics Union”), a size, and a colour preference to the Undergraduate Lounge (BA6202) at one of the times listed below, and place your order with a math union representative. We will take your name, which you should have on a piece of photo ID so that you can pick up your order from us later. We have one sample, if you want to see what they look like in person.

Times: (Week of October 31-November 4)
Monday 11-1, 3-5
Tuesday 11-1, 2-4
Wednesday 10-3
Thursday 10-5
Friday 11-1

Orders are estimated to arrive near the end of November at which time pick up times will be released.

We need to make a minimum of 50 orders. They will be Gildan g185 unisex hoodies. Colour options are maroon, black or navy. The print will be white.

Design creds go to Sara Tang circa 2014.

Math Outreach!

A message from the department:

Looking to make a difference? Want to spread a love of math to
elementary and high school students?

We are looking for people to help us by volunteering for our outreach
and engagement programs right here in the Math Department.

Right now there is a growing population of people who see mathematics as
something unreachable and this starts in the elementary and high school
system. So many people have a fear, or even a hatred, of mathematics
and we are trying to change that.

We are working with local area schools and through the Math Outreach
programs already hosted by the Department to try and change this
attitude but we need your help!

You can volunteer for just one program or for a few hours each month!
The choice is yours. We are looking both for people to volunteer with
programs that take place here on campus but, more importantly, to go out
into the community.

All curriculum and training are provided and it is a great opportunity
to get involved and give back to the community around you. And, if you
volunteer for more than 10 hours, you will receive recognition on your
CCR, and it looks good on a resume!

If you’re interested please send an email to
and you can look at our website to see what kind of programs we offer:

We hope you’ll donate just a few hours of your time to help with this
ambitious, and life changing, cause!

Math Union Presents: Three CUMC Talks!

This past summer, the University of Toronto’s department of mathematics and the Math Union sent a delegation of undergraduates to the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. Our students gave some of the best talks at this year’s conference and some of them are here to reprise their talks for you. If you’re interested in seeing what math students were up to this summer or if you’re interested in potentially coming to the CUMC next year, then come listen. Show your support for your fellow undergrads and learn something along the way.

Why Some Sequences are More Special than Others
by Calder Morton-Ferguson

The Chromatic Number of the Plane and the Axiom of Choice
by Angela Wu

Sphere Packing and the Baffling Properties of the E_8 and Leech Lattices
by Zachary Karry

These are fun and accessible talks — and as always, food will be provided!

Math Union Presents: Dr. Kumar Murty on Number Theory

The Math Union will be hosting our first talk in this year’s series on Monday, September 26th from 4-6pm in BA1220! Professor Kumar Murty, the chair of the University of Toronto Math Department, will be talking about number theory and cryptography in an accessible talk aimed at undergraduates. If you’re interested in number theory, cryptography, a great lecturer, and/or free refreshments, come and see Dr. Murty’s talk!

Click here to see this event on Facebook!