Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers are listed in order of appearance at the conference.

Dr. Charles Starling,



Institution: Carleton University

About: Dr. Charles Starling  is an assistant professor at Carleton University. He is originally from BC and completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Victoria. He received him PhD from the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Thierry Giordano and did postdocs in Florianopolis, Brazil and at uOttawa. During his postdoc at uOttawa he won the “Junior Excellence in Teaching Award”, awarded to “an exceptional teacher from among all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows”.







Title: The Mathematics of Aperiodic Patterns

Abstract: There exist many patterns which can cover the plane in an aperiodic manner. Some, like the Penrose tilings, are both aesthetically pleasing and mathematically rich. In this talk I discuss constructions of such patterns, and touch on their connections to topological dynamics, operator algebras, logic, and crystallography.


Dr. Kelly Burkett

Institution: University of Ottawa

kellyAbout: Dr. Kelly Burkett is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa.She received her Masters in statistics from Simon Fraser University in 2002, where she also received her PhD in 2011. Her research interests are in statistical genetics, and draw on the fields of statistics and population genetics. Her recent work includes the development and dissemination of methods for inferring the unknown relationships between individuals in a population using observed genetic data, with the aim of using the inferred relationships to aid in the discovery of genetic risk factors for human disease. She is a co-developer and maintainer of three freely-available software packages for genetic data analysis, including two R packages.


Title: Statistical Approaches for Human Disease Gene Mapping

Abstract: There is a great interest in identifying genetic factors that influence our risk of disease. Although we might expect that such discoveries are primarily made in the lab, it turns out that statistical approaches are also important tools for discovering such factors. In this talk, I present an introduction to the field of statistical genetics as applied to human genetic data analysis. I first give some background on the human genome and the collection of genetic data from human populations. I then describe how probabilistic genetic processes – like recombination – motivate statistical techniques for correlating genetic variation with variation in human traits. Finally, I will describe some projects from my own research as examples of the type of questions that can be addressed by statistical geneticists.

Dr. Mateja Šajna

Institution: The University of Ottawa


AboutDr. Mateja Šajna received her BSc in applied mathematics from the University of Ljubljana in her native Slovenia. Her MSc and PhD are from Simon Fraser University, where she was mentored by Brian Alspach, one of the most prominent Canadian graph theorists of the last few decades. In her PhD thesis, she completed the proof of a long-outstanding conjecture on cycle decompositions of complete graphs, and was awarded a 2003 Kirkman Medal by the Institute of Combinatorics and Its Applications. While cycle decompositions of graphs remains her central research area, she is also interested in graph symmetry, applications of graphs to the life sciences, and most recently, in extending graph–theoretic results to hypergraphs. Dr. Šajna joined the University of Ottawa’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2002, as a recipient of the NSERC University Faculty Award.


Title: From Oberwolfach, with Love

Abstract: Click here to view abstract.