York University’s math program among top 10 in Canada thanks to growing momentum in programs and research

In October 2019, Maclean’s magazine ranked York University for the first time ever among Canada’s top 10 schools for mathematics programs. York U’s ninth place ranking was a stark improvement to just two years ago when it placed 17th nationally. For the second year in a row, York University was also ranked in the top five provincially.

“Mathematics at York is gathering great momentum. The rise in ranking reflects strengths in our departmental programs and faculty research reputations,” said Professor Paul Szeptycki, Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics in the Faculty of Science.

Maclean’s bases its program rankings on program reputation, research reputation, fractional publications, fractional citations and field weighted citation impact. York University saw an increase in its math program ranking in all categories but fractional citations (which remained the same) over two years, with the largest increase in field weighted citation impact.

“The rise we’ve seen in program reputation can be linked to the increasing rank of our Actuarial Science program. We have also augmented our programs with more internship and outreach experiences and put more time and energy into our first- and second-year programming and streamlining our degrees. With an Academic Innovation Fund grant, Professor Amenda Chow also created an Experimental Mathematics Space at York,” said Szeptycki.

Szeptycki attributes York University’s rise in mathematics research reputation, publications and citations to a few things. For instance, the Centre for Disease Modelling, led by Professor Huaiping Zhu, is second in Canada for publications in its field. York recently ranked second in North America and fifth in the world for the cumulative number of papers published in leading actuarial and insurance risk journals for a non-business school.  There have been several York faculty in leadership roles at the Fields Institute, including the current deputy director, Tom Salisbury, as well as past deputy directors, Professors Juris Steprans and Huaxiong Huang.

“In pure math, we also have individuals at the top of their fields, such as Professor Ilijas Farah and Distinguished Research Professor Nantel Bergeron, who also attract top students and postdocs.”

In addition, researchers in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics have received several significant grants in the last few years, including the $2.6-million NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair in Vaccine Mathematics, Modelling and Manufacturing, awarded to York University Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu. The Department also has a few NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements (Professors Jane Heffernan and Xin Gao) and numerous MITACS and NSERC grants with industry.

“The energetic and innovative new faculty members that we are recruiting year after year will only elevate our math programs.”

To review the Maclean’s ranking for math programs, see https://www.macleans.ca/education/canadas-best-university-mathematics-programs-2020-rankings/.