mike newman

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa.

Je suis professeur agrégé au Département de mathématiques et de statistique à l'Université d'Ottawa.

| research | teaching | etc | schedule | contact |



I will be coaching the Putnam participants at University of Ottawa this year. Email me if you are interested.

Paul Lockhart's argument for scrapping the mathematics curriculum. It's worth all 25 pages of reading.


Combinatorics, broadly speaking. This includes graph theory, algebraic graph theory, association schemes, and matroids.

Some interesting reading (in random order).

Some discrete resources (in random order).

Some online seminars (in you-know-what order).

A link to some interesting (to me) conferences.

Links to some interesting (to you) conferences can be found courtesy of (in random order) .



The classic count the passes video. If you've seen it try the shell game. The latest version is a public service announcement.

Cool picture of human migration from here.

"Wash your hands!" says Ignaz Semmelweis.

A sober timeline of the myth that vaccines cause autism (spoiler: they don't).

A piece from 2017 about Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica.

A recent piece in the Washington Post about how the CIA and BND have been selling rigged encryption around the world for decades.

The Case for Professors of Stupidity.

A study of twitter reveals that falsehoods outrun truth.

♫ If I had a million dollars ♫ … I'd sign this!

An in-depth (!) look at the dawn of mining the ocean floor (naturally enough, it's published in The Atlantic!).

Bar chart races: city populations, annual CO2 emissions, cumulative CO2 emissions, (you may need to click to make it start). See also xkcd (scroll down, way down…).

vaccines, tropical diseases, and texas.

nuclear testing

Brian Bilston's poem about refugees (note: make sure you read up after you read down!)


Apparently wine tasting is junk science. Can you tell red from white?

Synchronous messaging versus asynchronous messaging: was email a mistake? Curious factoid: unix had real-time instant messaging at least as far back as the 1980's, roughly the same age as email.

I would never have believed that an article about New Coke would be worth reading.

A nice article on laws about driving in the USA.

And the greatest invention of them all is… (click)

I am always on the lookout for exciting and innovative culinary techniques. “Perhaps soon, sooner than you think, we will all bow to the Egg Master.”

A provocative article on why facts don't change our minds.

A nice commentary on helmet laws for cyclists. And a short CBC piece on New York's Vision Zero approach to cycling (and pedestrian) safety.

From the Pew Research Center: projections of religions and population growth.

An article in the Atlantic about the 9.9%.

Marian Rejewski should be better known than he is for his pivotal role in breaking Enigma, and his colleagues Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki. Students in mat2143 might note that some of Rejewski's methods used permutation groups.

Map of wildfires in BC.

A letter from the FBI to MLK, and a New York Times Magazine article about it.

An old (2006!) post by Bruce Schneier on online privacy. It's still highly relevant a couple later (which is what you might expect from him). On an interesting historical side-note, count the number of trolls, unrelated rants, and politcal shills in the comment section.

arctic sea ice

contemporary politics

Economics, and politics and climate change. Written from an Australian point of view, but applies more widely.

Canadian elections: popular vote and the parliamentary seat counts that resulted.

Using Sperner's Lemma to split the rent

Do you want to argue something? Please consult this guide first. And this one second.

A video summary of 1945–1998. Check out the cafe or the turtle. A recent episode of radiolab looks at those on both ends of nuclear weapons.

A musical discussion of transit fares and some background.

A nice discussion of PowerPoint. True, I don't personally launch space shuttles but the argument is more widely applicable. Don't miss out on the analysis of the powerpoint slides a little way down.

A flood.

A site dedicated to Canadian election forecasting

Some interesting graphs about Canadian debt and deficits, and a more up-to-date version.

Theorem of the Day

Earthquake of the Day and also Christchurch quake

Visit the museum

Incomplete List Of Books: chosen by some non-linear combination of good read, recent, deeply meaningful, funny, and "other".

The Bach Choir in Wellington, the Canonbury Chamber Choir in London and the KW Philharmonic Choir in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The Princess in KW.

Some sailboats in Wellington.

Or read some news:
Amnesty International CBC.ca The Onion truthout.org VHEMT White Ribbon Campaign

You shouldn't stare at the sun. Read Tom Lehrer's poignant letter home.

The High Priestess.

Farewell, Wayne.


Contact me for office hours during reading week.

8 april 12
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16:00 math club 16:00
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contact details

I live and work here.

office: STM-631 (150 Louis Pasteur)
tel: 613.562.5800 x3592

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5

“Exposed flesh freezes in under thirty seconds.”