Research reputation boosted by international collaborations

Posted: February 2, 2015 11:50 a.m.

Mathematics department head Douglas Farenick is working with researchers in other countries.
Mathematics department head Douglas Farenick is working with researchers in other countries. Photo: U of R Photography

University of Regina Mathematics professor Dr. Douglas Farenick has found that going to Sweden has helped develop collaborations with other specialists in his field.

Farenick was invited to the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Djursholm, Sweden, near Stockholm, in the fall of 2010. He was one of several mathematicians, physicists and theoretical computer scientists who made advances in the field of quantum information theory.

This is the area of mathematics which, at its most basic definition, deals with elements in the universe as sources for encoding and transmitting information, bringing together mathematics, physics and computer science.  

“Being in contact with theoretical physicists at the Mittag-Leffler Institute shaped a new tributary in my overall research program. I made a number of important international contacts and established a fruitful, on-going research collaboration with Vern Paulsen from the University of Houston. This has since widened to include another American mathematician and a mathematician in the United Kingdom,” he explains.

Farenick, head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Regina, says this is helping to make others more aware of his work.

“Working collaboratively with a prominent American mathematician has enhanced my reputation. The work we did together in the last few years has had an immediate impact. I have always been known for my work in noncommutative convexity theory, and interestingly enough a lot of my older work in this areas is seeing new applications in mathematics today.”

Farenick earned his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Toronto in 1990, and he has been a professor at the University of Regina since 1992.  He says the culture at the University of Regina supports his research.

“As a faculty member at a comprehensive university, the advancement of knowledge is a primary responsibility. The colleagues in my field here at the University of Regina are active researchers, and collectively we have a number of undergraduate and graduate research students, a few post-doctoral researchers, and we run a weekly research seminar. This environment sustains my mathematical work, and the positive influence it has on students and young researchers cannot be overstated,” he says.