Colin Macdonald

MSc in Mathematics at SFU (2003)
PhD in Mathematics at SFU (2008)
Postdoc at UCLA

Current Position: Permanent faculty in the Mathematics department at the University of Oxford

I graduated first in 2003 with an MSc and then again in 2008 with a PhD.  I then started a postdoc at UCLA before landing a permanent job at the University of Oxford at the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SFU: I received excellent supervision (from Steve Ruuth and also Jim Verner and Bob Russell), great academic and professional development (particularly from David Muraki).  The department had good financial support and plenty of opportunities for developing teaching skills.  I was encouraged to travel and presented my work at a variety of scientific meetings.

I have noteworthy memories (not quite the same as "positive" but formative none-the-less) of the applied math problem solving sessions run by David Muraki, Adam Oberman, JF Williams and others.  The graduate "culture" was also outstanding with very supportive and friendly peers and a great lab environment (I have many fine memories of BBQs and other social activities).

I certainly didn't realize it at the time, but I believe the department's involvement with industrial applied mathematics (through MITACS and PIMS and later on the industrial math summer schools organized by JF Williams) were important factors in helping me land a great job.

Read about Colin's Richard C. DiPrima prize that he won at Oxford for his dissertation, "The Closest Point Method for Time-Dependent Processes on Surfaces."