Welcome to the Department of Mathematics


Event: 56th annual meeting of the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) in Ottawa.

As in the past two years, we encouraged the undergraduates in Math 402W Operations Research Clinic to submit their projects to the CORS undergraduate student paper competition.  And, once again, they won both prizes.  This year, all 3 projects submitted were chosen as finalists, and presented their work at the meeting. (The fourth finalist was from the University of Alberta; nine entries were received.)  Congratulations go to:

Kishley Bhalla, Craig Mathews, W. Brett Robinson and Katie Sclater "Selecting Optimal Tolling Levels: A Case Study for the Fraser River in the Greater Vancouver Area"

Honourable Mention:
Nicole Mo, Alborz Namazi, Joyce Tai and Eric Yuen "Optimal Locations of Telecommunication Equipment: A Case Study for the City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada"

Kingsley Cheang, Feiqi He, Sarah Lin and Ashlie Neufelt "The Community Mailbox Location-Routing Problem"

Additionally, Second Prize in the CORS Practice Competition went to Daniel Karapetyan (SFU Math postdoc 2011-13) and Abraham Punnen, for their paper "Operational Research Models and Algorithms for Fleet Size Planning and Schedule Optimisation for the British Columbia Ferry Services Inc."  Finalists for the practice competition included teams from the University of Toronto and IBM, first prize went to UOIT.


Daily News

Upcoming Events

  • Yong Zhang, Ph.D. Thesis Defence, Mathematics Room: 5380 Surrey Campus
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    August 26, 2014
    (Sr. Supervisor: Zhaosong Lu) Title: Optimization Methods for Sparse Approximation Abstract: In the last two decades, there are numerous applications in which sparse solutions are concerned. Mathematically, all these applications can be formulated into the l0 minimization problems. In this thesis, we first propose a novel augmented Lagrangian (AL) method for solving the l1-norm relaxation problems of the original l0 minimization problems and apply it to our proposed formulation of sparse principal component analysis (PCA). We next propose penalty decomposition (PD) methods for solving the original l0 minimization problems in which a sequence of penalty subproblems are solved by a block coordinate descent (BCD) method. For the AL method, we show that under some regularity assumptions, it converges to a stationary point. Additionally, we propose two nonmonotone gradient methods for solving the AL subproblems, and establish their global and local convergence. Moreover, we apply the AL method to our proposed formulation of sparse PCA and compare our approach with several existing methods on synthetic, Pitprops, and gene expression data, respectively. The computational results demonstrate that the sparse principal components (PCs) produced by our approach substantially outperform those by other methods in terms of total explained variance, correlation of PCs, and orthogonality of loading vectors. For the PD methods, under some suitable assumptions, we establish some convergence results for both inner (the BCD method) and outer (the PD method) iterations, respectively. We test the performance of our PD methods by applying them to sparse logistic regression, sparse inverse covariance selection, and compressed sensing problems. The computational results demonstrate that when solutions of same cardinality are sought, our approach applied to the l0-based models generally has better solution quality and/or speed than the existing approaches that are applied to the corresponding l1-based models. Finally, we adapt the PD method to solve our proposed wavelet frame based image restoration problem. Some convergence analysis of the adapted PD method for this problem are provided. Numerical results show that the proposed model solved by the PD method can generate images with better quality than those obtained by either analysis based approach or balanced approach in terms of restoring sharp features as well as maintaining smoothness of the recovered images.
  • 1147 Welcome Reception
    3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    September 8, 2014
    No Description
  • 2014 West Coast Optimization Meeting (WCOM)
    8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    September 21, 2014
    Full details available at:
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