Do the math (and win yourself a prestigious research prize)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Remember on Lost, how that freaky string of numbers kept popping up in unexpected places? Boy, that one kept the Headway staff up at night. Now we think we get it: Everything is math.

Case in point: Two McGill researchers received prestigious prizes from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada this week. Their areas of expertise couldn’t be more different—one studies ways to forecast mine planning and production, the other looks at the physics of really cold temperatures. What do they have in common? Math. Go figure. (In related news: Headway is willing to put up maybe five bucks worth of returnable bottles to anyone willing to conduct research into the mathematics of why we’re slaves to terrible puns.)

Roussos Dimitrakopoulos (Department of Mining and Materials Engineering) is the recipient of a 2011 Synergy Award for Innovation in university-industry collaboration. Dimitrakopoulous has developed new mathematical modeling techniques for forecasting mine planning and production that take into account uncertainty in the supply of minerals and in meeting market demands. His techniques have helped mining companies generate a much higher return on investment as well as increased metal production from the same asset.

Robert Seiringer (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) has won a 2011 Steacie Memorial Fellowships. Seiringer’s research involves using modern mathematical techniques to learn about physics, and in particular about the nature of solids, fluids and gases. His current research has added to the understanding of matter at extremely cold temperatures – at absolute zero or -273.15° Celsius.

You can read more about these impressive achievements here.

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