University of Toronto Department of Mathematics


Department of Mathematics,
University of Toronto
Bahen Front View.jpg
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, home to the Department of Mathematics
TypeAcademic department
Established1843 (1843)
Parent institution
Faculty of Arts and Science
University of Toronto
40 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto Department of Mathematics is an academic department within the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. It is located at the University's main campus at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology.

The University of Toronto was ranked first in Canada for Mathematics in 2018 by the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Maclean's University Rankings.[1][2][3]


For most of the second half of the 19th century, the University of Toronto was the only English-language university in Canada to offer programs with specializations, one being in mathematics and natural philosophy. The University launched its mathematics program in 1877, which became a model for the rest of Canada during the first half of the 20th century.[4] The Mathematical and Physical Society was founded in 1882 as a mathematics student society.[5]: 83 

University College, home of the Mathematics Department from 1859 to 1958[5]

In the early 20th century, the Department became the first in North American to explore the field of actuarial science. At the same time, the University of Toronto's mathematics department increasingly took the lead on mathematical research in Canada. Faculty member John Charles Fields, appointed professor in 1902, was perhaps the most important in developing research at Toronto.[6] Fields organized the 1924 International Congress of Mathematicians held in Toronto, and would later found the Fields Medal.[4]

Fields's student, Samuel Beatty, was the first mathematics Ph.D. in Canada, obtaining his degree in 1915 (Beatty would later serve as head of the mathematics department and first president of the Canadian Mathematical Society in 1945). In the next twenty years, Toronto was to produce eight doctorates in mathematics, two of them women.[7]

The Department's competitive mathematics team, consisting of Irving Kaplansky, Nathan Mendelsohn and John Coleman, won first place in the first year of the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition in 1938.[5]: 94  While competition rules prevented the University of Toronto from entering a team the following year, the team in won again in 1940, 1942 and 1946.[4]

Sidney Smith Hall, home of the Mathematics Department from 1961 to 2006

Meanwhile, the first Canadian mathematics journal, Canadian Journal of Mathematics, began publication by the University of Toronto Press in 1949, with faculty members Harold Coxeter and Gilbert de Beauregard Robinson as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor, respectively.[6]

The Department moved from University College to Baldwin House in 1958, and then to Sidney Smith Hall upon its completion in 1961. The statistics sub-department, first established in 1947, became a separate department in 1978.[5]: 87 

The Department was one of the founders of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences in 1991. Initially based at the University of Waterloo, the Institute is now located at the University of Toronto. In 2006, the Department of Mathematics moved to the sixth floor of the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, located directly behind the Fields Institute.[8]


Awards and medals

Of the 120 current Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada in the discipline of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, 21 (or 18%) are members of the University of Toronto's Department of Mathematics.[9]

A number of individuals affiliated with the Department have won international prizes for their research in mathematics, including the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize, the Steele Prize, the Cole Prize, the Clay Research Award, and the Sloan Fellowship.[10][11][12][13][14]


In the 2018 QS World University Rankings, the University of Toronto was ranked nineteenth in the world in the subject of Mathematics.[1] The University was ranked first in Canada for Mathematics in 2018 by the Maclean's University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the QS World University Rankings.[3][2]

Notable members


Notable alumni of the Department include Arthur Dempster, Clifford Dowker, Donald Fraser, Irving Kaplansky, Walter Kohn,[15] J. Carson Mark (Ph.D. 1938),[16] Nathan Mendelsohn, John Mighton (Ph.D. 2000),[17] Robert Moody (Ph.D. 1966), Cathleen Morawetz, Gordon Slade, Robert Steinberg (Ph.D. 1948), James Stewart (Ph.D. 1967),[18] and Albert Tucker.

Current members

Former members

See also


  1. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018: Mathematics". QS World University Rankings. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Best universities for physics, chemistry and maths degrees 2018". Times Higher Education. 27 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Best mathematics universities in Canada: 2018 rankings". Maclean's. 30 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Charbonneau, Louis; Langlands, Robert P.; Klamkin, Murray (7 February 2006). "Mathematics". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada.
  5. ^ a b c d Robinson, Gilbert de Beauregard (1979). The Mathematics Department in the University of Toronto, 1827–1978. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-7727-1600-2.
  6. ^ a b Archibald, Tom (2016). "Mathematics in Canada: An Institutional Portrait (1900–1980)". Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences. 66 (176): 101–117. doi:10.1484/J.ARIHS.5.112882. ISSN 0003-9810.
  7. ^ Archibald, Thomas; Charbonneau, Louis (2005). "Mathematics in Canada before 1945: A Preliminary Survey". In Van Brummelen, Glen; Kinyon, Michael (eds.). Mathematics and the Historian's Craft: The Kenneth O. May Lectures. CMS Books in Mathematics. New York: Springer. pp. 141–182. doi:10.1007/0-387-28272-6_7. ISBN 978-0387-25284-1. LCCN 2005923503.
  8. ^ Ellers, Erich W.; Elliott, George A., eds. (February 2005). "Open House in the New Space" (PDF). Department of Mathematics. Mathematics Newsletter. Toronto: University of Toronto. p. 2. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Fellows". The Royal Society of Canada. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b "2014 Fields Medal recipients hold strong ties to Canadian mathematical community". Canadian Mathematical Society. Ottawa. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  11. ^ "James G. Arthur to Receive the 2017 AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement". Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto. 23 November 2016.
  12. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F. (May 2000), "Richard Dagobert Brauer", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews
  13. ^ "2015 Clay Research Award". Clay Mathematics Institute. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  14. ^ "James Colliander". Banff International Research Station for Innovation and Discovery. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  15. ^ Hohenberg, Pierre C.; Langer, James S. (2016). "Walter Kohn". Physics Today. 69 (8): 64–65. Bibcode:2016PhT....69h..64H. doi:10.1063/PT.3.3274.
  16. ^ Petschek, Albert G.; Bell, George I.; Bethe, Hans A. (October 1997). "Obituary: J. Carson Mark". Physics Today. 50 (10): 124–126. Bibcode:1997PhT....50j.124P. doi:10.1063/1.881942. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12.
  17. ^ "John Mighton". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Passing of James Stewart, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics". Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McMaster University. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  19. ^ "The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences Announces James Colliander as Director". Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  20. ^ "H. S. M. Coxeter". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  21. ^ Guth, Larry. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  22. ^ Riehm, E.; Hoffman, F. (2011). Turbulent times in Mathematics. American Mathematical Society. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8218-6914-7.
  23. ^ Zworski, Maciej. "CV" (PDF). Retrieved 25 October 2018.