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!

Outreach Opportunity

A message on behalf of the department:

Good Day,
We are seeking a few volunteers to help with an event on June 10th from 3:30 – 9:00. The event is a panel discussion with Dr. Manjul Bhargava and it takes place at Hart House here on campus.

We are essentially looking for people to help with set up and take down of the event (including moving some banners and signs), helping with the registration desk, etc.

You don’t need to stay for the entire event (although we will need a few people to stay until 9:00) and you are invited to listen to the discussion as well (it is quite an impressive panel of speakers from academia, industry and government and will focus on mathematics). Refreshments are also available.

If you are interested and available please let Pamela Brittain ( know and they she will put you in touch with the head organizers.

CUMC Delegate Application

Are you interested in representing the University of Toronto this summer at the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference taking place July 13th-17th in Victoria, BC?

The Math Union will be funding a delegation to this year’s conference. Delegates will be required to present a 20 minute talk on a mathematical topic. If you are interested in applying for a spot, please send a writeup of your intended talk (approximately 3 pages) and a short cover letter containing your subject POSt, year of study, utoronto email, name and phone number to the math union email: (please submit documents in PDF form only).

Interested students should also fill out the CUMC Funding Release Form and submit it along with a copy of their transcript (a printout from acorn is okay) to Sonya at the main office (BA6290).

The application deadline is 11:59pm on Friday, May 20th.

For information about the CUMC, visit

2013-2014 Elections Candidates

Here is the (growing) list of candidates for the MU election! The list of candidates will be finalized by Wednesday.


Sams Seraj

My platform is based on a single idea: community. It is an unfortunate state of affairs that currently the undergraduate body of math students is detached from one another and from professors.

To instill a sense of unity, I will ensure the organization of movie nights, pub nights and socials, along with the presence of prominent academics. These are standard functions of a union, but have rarely occurred in recent times.

Over the last three years, I have researched with professors, published papers, and lectured in a handful of cities. This experience will help me to coordinate student seminars. Although I have concentrated on studies in university, I was president of a math competition club and a puzzles club in high school.

With my ties to students in several departments, math professors and the office staff, we can implement a new vision of a visible, supportive union. Vote Sams.


Michael Yu

Hello everyone, I am a second year student going into third year in Mathematics Specialist. I have been involved in Math Union in my first year as first year representative and this year as the person who put all of this on this website.

I could talk about my experiences as co-president of math club in high school. I could talk about my organizing and advertising events for the Math Union these past two year. But think what’s more important is that I tell you the following.

I will be living on residence next year and I frequent Bahen almost every day. I am online pretty much whenever I am sitting down in front of a table. If you want me to know or do something you can be certain I’ll know it in a few hours of awaking time.

I look forward to making things happen next year.


Jonathan Love

I am a math specialist going into my fourth year. I have previously been heavily involved in the math union, as president in my second year and year representative in my third year.

I will be running for Treasurer, and basing my campaign on one thing only: availability. Having seen the math union in action for two years now, there unfortunately has been a consistent problem of people with some level of financial responsibility simply disappearing. For a union to function properly, it is absolutely vital to have financial stability. I promise to ensure that financial duties, including crafting a budget based around the ideas of the rest of the executive team, ensuring that other exec team members receive the finances they need to run their events, and reimbursing their expenses, all happen in as timely a manner as I can. There’s nothing flashy about being a Treasurer – the true test is whether people can depend on you to do your job, so they can do theirs.

Academic Officer

Rachel Lo

I am Rachel Lo. I am a Math major student entering my fourth year in coming September 2014 and I am interested in running for the position of the Academics Officer. I have been the vice president of marketing for the UoftT Yoga and Fitness club, which is a club with more than 700 members, for the past 2 years. I organize events, approach different organization outside campus seeking for collaborations, and make sure members stay informed through social media platforms. So, I have been always wanted to get involved in my area of studies, hoping to build a stronger cohesion to the undergraduates community and finding new ways to provide academical assistances to the ones that need to be carried. As UofT is such a tough university, undergraduates need the help of each other to survive and make their ways to the completion of their degree. If I were given a chance to be part of the union, I will more likely to put the development of the help-center on the top of the agenda. Vote for Rachel!

Communications Officer

Ryan Downes

My name is Ryan Downes, I currently a second year student in a Math Specialist program at the University of Toronto. I am interested in running for Communications Officer for the math student union in 2014 – 2015. I am a very organized person, that is fast to respond to my email, Facebook messages, and other social media. This message will have been submitted after 3 hours of Donna Birch releasing the email about the election for the position.

I feel confident that I would be able to manage the Facebook group effectively, and would be able to make a meaningful contribution to the upkeep of the unions website. I would also feel confident that we could expand are reach to include Twitter and Google+ as ways to reach are audience.

I work for a special events company on specific weekends of the year. One of my main rolls in the company is to organize volunteers, at times I would be organizing 50 or more untrained volunteers to do things such as, operate rides, and guard exit doors. I would also organize that every person would have lunch breaks, which with so many people spaced over a huge hall is no easy task. With this as experience managing the PR-committee should be no problem for me.

Event Coordinator

Adam Artymowicz

I am a motivated 1st year student intending to pursue a pure math POSt, and I would like to strengthen the presence of the Math Union in the mathematics department. One way to do this would be by coordinating fundraising events during the academic year, which would increase public awareness of the union, as well as increase the resources available for future events.

4th Year Representative

Ian Greig

3rd Year Representative

Eric Zhao

My name is Tianchen Zhao (or just Eric); I’m a second year mathematics specialist student (going third year soon) and I’m interested in running the “year representative” position in the Mathematics Union! I will be finishing MAT257/MAT347 this semester, but for the next regular school year I will take MAT315.

2nd Year Representative (Applied Mathematics Specialist POSt representative)

Kunyi Zhong

I am a first year student who wants to do a specialist in Applied Mathematics.  I want to be a representative of second year students next year, including all students taking MAT247 and MAT257/237.

I have participated in mathematics activities from summer Putnam study session to the recent Public Probability Lecture.

2nd Year Representative (Mathematics Specialist POSt representative)

David Pechersky

Stay tuned for more!

See the election information page for the election process.


MUMS Talk January 24 – Paul Sacawa: “Computational Complexity and the Cook-Levin Theorem”

Hi everyone,

This talk already occurred. Here is the writeup. Notes from the available upon request (send me an email).

Time: 5pm – 7pm, Friday January 24
Location: BA 6183
Speaker: Paul Sacawa
Title: Computational Complexity and Cook-Levin Theorem

Abstract: An introduction to the modelling of computation, computability, connections to incompleteness in logic, time complexity of problems, completeness in the class NP, and a proof of the Cook-Levin theorem. We’ll end by discussing a modern approach to the famous P v. NP problem based in geometry if there’s time.
The whole talk will be very elementary.

MUMS Talk November 7 – Samer Seraj: “On Diffusion”

Hi everyone,

This Thursday, Samer Seraj, and undergraduate student here at UofT, will be giving a talk on his original research in cryptographic security. In his talk titled “On Diffusion”, Samer will outline the ideas of his solution to an open problem in security posed to him in an undergraduate research course. Spanning more than one year of work, Samer  prepares from his latest results, in conjunction with materials from his earlier talk in Normandy, the awaited conclusion to his research. Samer will finish his talk by proposing 3 open problems to the audience as directions for further research. This talk is accessible to math students in all years of study at UofT.


Time: 4pm – 5pm, Thursday November 7

Location: BA B024 (Basement of Bahen centre)

Speaker: Samer Seraj

Title: On Diffusion

Abstract: We first precisely define the space and structure of cryptographic information. We then proceed to compare two rival definitions of diffusive (scrambling) functions between such spaces, and produce optimal versions of each. The interesting fact is that some use the two definitions interchangeably, but they are quite different. Finally, we propose new directions of research and open problems. The material is from a paper by the speaker, under the supervision of Dr. Kumar Murty.