2011 Computational Math Day

The Mathematics Department at Simon Fraser University was pleased to present Computational Math Day 2011 (CMD 2011), which was held on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at the IRMACS Centre, SFU Burnaby Campus. This annual event showcased the computational expertise of our Department and of other invited speakers.  


The program included invited talks and a Poster Session which will cover diverse topics in mathematics with an emphasis on computation. All participants are encouraged to contribute a poster to the Poster Session.

Prizes for the best undergraduate and graduate posters were awarded.


Registration closed as of Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting to SFU and the IRMACS Centre

Get directions to SFU and the IRMACS Centre.


Sponsorship from the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics (CECM), the Center for Scientific Computing (CSC), the Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Centre (IRMACS), the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), and the SFU Department of Mathematics is gratefully acknowledged. Learn more about our sponsors.

2011 Program

The CMD 2011 Program is a showcase of research in computational mathematics at SFU, UBC, and UVic.

Program Schedule

Date: Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 Location: IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University 

TimeEvent or Speaker
Title of Talk
9:00amRegistration and Welcome Coffee

9:30amAdam Oberman (SFU)
Discrete geometric game interpretations of nonlinear elliptic partial differential equations
10:15amWendy Myrvold (UVic)
Searching for a maximum set of mutually orthogonal Latin squares of order 10
11:00amMorning Coffee and Poster Setup
11:15amPoster Session & Judging 
12:15pmBuffet Lunch
1:15pmJessica Conway (UBC)
Viral load in treated HIV+ individuals modeled using branching processes
2:00pmCedric Chauve (SFU)
Looking for lost genomes
2:45pmAfternoon Coffee
3:00pmMatt DeVos (SFU)Homomorphisms to Clebsch, proof by computer
3:45pmPoster Awards

3:55pmPoster Presentations by Award Winners

4:15pmClosing Remarks 

2011 Abstracts

Looking for lost genomes

Cedric Chauve, SFU

Paleogenomics aims at reconstructing the genomes of extinct species, whose DNA can not be sequenced due to molecular decay. Hence the only possible approach is the study of current genomes (i.e. descendants of these extinct species) to detect conserved features that might indicate ancestral genomic characters and then to assemble these characters into ancestral genomes. Although the initial question is clearly biological, it can only be answered through an inference process that relies on both a mathematical model for ancient genomes and computational methods within this model. In this talk, I will present recent results on this problem, that rely on relatively old combinatorial notions such as the Consecutive Ones Property of binary matrices and PQ-trees.

Viral load in treated HIV+ individuals modeled using branching processes

Jessica Conway, UBC

I will discuss a stochastic model of within-host HIV viral dynamics. The modeling is motivated by observations of viral load in HIV+ patients on anti-retroviral treatment: though the treatment very effectively inhibits viral replication, a treated HIV+ individual's viral load remains non-zero. Further, blood tests show occasional "viral blips," short periods of increased viral load. We adopt the hypothesis that this low viral load can be attributed to activation of cells latently infected by HIV before treatment initiation. Blips would then represent small-probability deviations from the mean. Modeling this system as a branching process, we compute probability distributions for viral load using a novel numerical approach. These distributions yield blip amplitudes consistent with patient data. We then compute probability distributions on duration of these blips through direct numerical simulation. Our stochastic model of latent cell activation reproduces features of treated HIV infection, and can be used to provide insight into variability of treatment outcomes for HIV+ individuals not available in deterministic models.

Homomorphisms to Clebsch, proof by computer

Matt DeVos, SFU

Computer proofs are nothing new in graph theory... after all our most famous theorem, the Four Colour Theorem, was proved by a computer 35 years ago. I will discuss this and other computer proofs in graph theory, then detail a recent contribution of this type due to Robert Samal and myself. We give a computer proof that every cubic graph of girth at least 17 has a homomorphism to the Clebsch Graph.

Searching for a maximum set of mutually orthogonal Latin squares of order 10

Wendy Myrvold, UVic

A Latin square of order n is a n×n array of n symbols such that each symbol appears exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column. Two Latin squares of order n are orthogonal if, when superimposed, each ordered pair of symbols occurs exactly once. One of the big unsolved problems in design theory is to determine if it is possible to find three or more pairwise orthogonal Latin squares of order 10. This talk describes both theoretical and computational attempts at resolving this question. The talk will conclude with some suggestions for promising areas for continued search.

The research presented in this talk was done in collaboration with Russell Campbell, Erin Delisle, Mark Ellingham, Leah Howard, Nikolay Korovaiko, Brendan McKay, Alison Meynert, and Ian Wanless.

Discrete geometric game interpretations of nonlinear elliptic partial differential equations

Adam Oberman, SFU

In this mostly nontechnical talk, I will present discrete geometric games, which in simple cases you will be able to solve on a blackboard. Starting with familiar games, such as random walks, we will add new twists (choosing biased diffusions, exit strategies, random turns).

These games lead to interpretations and effective solution methods for nonlinear partial differential equations which appear in areas such as: Differential Geometry, Stochastic Control, Mathematical Finance, and Homogenization. Typical examples include: Hamilton-Jacobi equations, the Monge-Ampere equation, and the equation for the Convex Envelope.

2011 Poster Session

Poster Information

The SFU Mathematics Department invites undergraduate and graduate research students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members to participate in the Computational Math Day 2011 Poster Session.

The only requirement is that the poster has mathematics in it. It may be applied, pure, computational or experimental mathematics. If you have already prepared a poster for a presentation at another scientific meeting this year, and you would like to present it to members of the Department, this is an appropriate venue. If you wish to present a computer demo this is also possible.


There will be one prize of $200 (winner) and one prize of $100 (runner-up) for the best undergraduate poster, and one prize of $200 (winner) and one prize of $100 (runner-up) for the best graduate poster. Judging will be based on both content and presentation.

Submission Details

Poster titles must be submitted via the online registration form by Thursday, August 4, 2011. Presenters are responsible for printing their own poster.

Display Details

The posters will be displayed in the IRMACS atrium. Poster presenters can set up their posters as early as 9:00am on August 9, 2011. The poster and demo session will take place from 11:15am to 1:15pm. Awards will be made at 4:30pm, followed by a presentation of the winning undergraduate and winning graduate poster.

Posters and People

(25 results)
Poster Title (if applicable)sort descendingAffiliationName
A CLAWPACK Implementation for a Model of 2-Class Traffic FlowSimon Fraser UniversityReanne Bowlby
A Generating Tree Approach to k-nonnesting PartitionsSimon Fraser UniversitySophie Burrill
A New Polynomial Data Structure in MapleSimon Fraser UniversityRoman Pearce
A Numerical Approach to the Beltrami EquationSimon Fraser UniversityLee Safranek
A Sieving Approach to S-Unit EquationsSimon Fraser UniversityRichard Lei
A Stochastic Model of Linguistic Category DynamicsSimon Fraser UniversityStephanie Langille
Algorithms for Computations in Finite GroupsCECM, Simon Fraser UniversityShraddha Ramesh
Asymptotic analysis of lattice walks with small steps, restricted to the quarter plane.Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser UniversitySamuel Johnson
Computation of Moving Meshes on SurfacesSimon Fraser UniversityBenjamin Crestel
Computational analysis of paleogenomics binary matrices through the C1PCECM, Simon Fraser UniversityBrad Jones
Discrete spectrum of the rotating shallow water eigenproblemSimon Fraser University Dept. of MathematicsKevin Mitchell
Faster Arithmetic over Multiple Extension FieldsCECM, Simon Fraser UniversityCory Ahn
Generating Functions of Walks in the Quarter PlaneSimon Fraser UniversityStephen Melczer
Hamiltonian Embeddings of HypercubesUSRARichard Leyland
Inference of Ancestral Protein-Protein Interactions using methods from Algebraic StatisticsDepartment of Mathematics, Simon Fraser UniversityAshok Rajaraman
Infinite Hamilton cycles in line graphsSimon Fraser UniversityDaryl Funk
Kinematic Wave Traffic Model with Discontinuous Piecewise Linear FluxSimon Fraser UniversityJeffrey Wiens
Modeling and Numerical Solution of Fractional Diffusion OperatorsZhejiang UniversityHangjie Ji
Modelling the Cathode Catalyst Layer in the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellPacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, Department of Mathematics Duruo (Eric) Cai
Modelling with State-Dependent Diffusion in Random Lorentz GasDepartment of Mathematics, Simon Fraser UniversityXin Yang


2011 Location

Location: Talks will be held in the IRMACS Centre's Presentation Studio. The poster session will be held in the IRMACS Centre's Atrium.

Getting to and around the IRMACS Centre at Simon Fraser University

IRMACS is located on the second floor of the Applied Sciences building, SFU Burnaby Campus. Following are links to web pages to help you navigate your way around SFU, Vancouver and BC.

2011 Sponsors

Thank you to our Sponsors

CECM's mandate is to explore and promote the interplay of conventional mathematics with modern computation and communication in the mathematical sciences. The Centre provides a sophisticated but easy to use computational environment for research and collaboration in the mathematical sciences.
The IRMACS Centre is a unique, interdisciplinary research facility that enables collaborative interaction - intellectually, physically and virtually. IRMACS focuses on facilitating the human interactions that are critical in interdisciplinary research by providing the technologies and technical support to promote effective interactions (computational, networking, human-computer interaction, remote collaboration, and visualization). By removing the traditional boundaries between scientific disciplines and physical boundaries due to distance, IRMACS creates a synergistic environment on an international scale.
PIMS promotes research in and applications of the mathematical sciences, facilitates the training of highly qualified personnel, enriches public awareness of and education in the mathematical sciences, and creates mathematical partnerships with similar organizations in other countries.
Motivated by the expanding role of scientific computation and mathematical modeling in science and engineering, the Centre for Scientific Computing was formed to bring together interdisciplinary research teams from various Simon Fraser University faculties. The major purpose of the Centre is to provide Simon Fraser University with a visible focus for computational research both on campus and in the wider Pacific Rim research community. Specifically, the Centre's goals are to facilitate discussion between scientific computing research groups (through seminars, workshops, conferences) to provide advanced instruction in computational techniques and applications (through graduate and post-doctoral programs), and to actively pursue joint research ventures with industry, government and laboratories.
The Department of Mathematics currently numbers 39 faculty. In a typical semester the ranks of regular faculty are augmented with up to 20 post-doctoral fellows and Visiting Professors. At present the Department has a graduate enrolment around 80. The Department has earned a national and international reputation as one of the most forward-looking and broad-based mathematical sciences departments in Canada. Undergraduate and graduate students thrive in the highly interactive and personalized environment which characterizes the Department and is typical of the unique character of Simon Fraser University. We offer a broad program of training in contemporary Mathematics, but also specialize in various areas for which we are internationally recognized.

2011 Registration

If you would like to register for the 2011 Computational Math Day, please fill out the following form.