Math & Stats to play host to Atlantic summer school and public lecture

Jun 27th, 2012

Kelly Foss

Alberto Elduque
Math & Stats to play host to Atlantic summer school and public lecture

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics will soon play host to the 11th annual Summer School of the Atlantic Association for Research in Mathematical Sciences (AARMS).

The summer school is intended for graduate students and promising undergraduate students from Canada and around the world. It takes place every summer in one of universities of Atlantic Canada, this year at St. John’s Campus of Memorial University, on July 16 – August 10. Four courses are being offered, with each participant normally expected to register for two.

“I think this will be the biggest year ever if all the students who have expressed an interest in attending actually show up,” said school’s co-organizer, Dr. Mikhail Kotchetov, an associate professor in the department. “At the moment the people signed up for the summer school are primarily from outside of Memorial University and I’m still trying to attract more local students.”

The four courses being offered this year focus on algebra and combinatorics and are all at the graduate level. Organizers are working with the registrar’s office to ensure that at least local students will get full credit for doing them. Dr. Kotchetov says that, in addition to math students, the summer school would also be of interest to physics and computer science students at Memorial.

The courses are Combinatorial Designs and Graph Decompositions presented by Darryn Bryant, University of Queensland; The Probabilistic Method and Random Graphs by Pawel Pralat, Ryerson University; Hopf Algebras and Applications by Nicolas Andruskiewitsch, Univeristy of Cordoba and Leandro Vendramin, University of Buenos Aries and Lie Theory by Alberto Elduque, University of Zaragoza.

“There will be an hour and a half of instruction every day per course, and with most students doing two courses that’s three hours of instruction every day,” said Dr. Kotchetov. “It’s a great opportunity to speak with world class researchers and find out what opportunities there are abroad, as well as an opportunity to showcase Memorial.”

Complementary to the AARMS summer school, the organizers have also scheduled a public lecture midway through the four-week school.

Alberto Elduque will speak on Conway’s rational tangles, which applies basic mathematic principles to tangling and untangling ropes. John Conway noticed that one could assign a common fraction like 3/4 (or infinity) in a unique way to each rational tangle. During the lecture Professor Elduque will play with rational tangles and devise an algorithm to unknot any given tangle, or to get the rational tangle corresponding to any given common fraction.

Professor Elduque’s research focuses on Nonassociative Algebras, with a stress on composition algebras and their interactions with Lie algebras and superalgebras. He has authored and coauthored more than one hundred papers and is an editor of Communications in Algebra and of Journal of Algebra.

His lecture will take place Thursday, July 26th at 7:30 p.m. in Innovation Hall, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, with a reception to follow.

It’s not too late for local students to register for the summer school. To express an interest in doing so, contact one of the co-organizers, Mikhail Kotchetov at or David Pike at More information can also be found at the AARMS website at



Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000