Math-Science Career Fair

en français

BIRS is proud to host the inaugural Math-Science Career Fair as part of the Career & Innovation Hub. This three-day virtual event (March 18 – 20, 2021) will bring the upcoming math-science workforce together with employers in emerging fields. Students will have the opportunity to network with math science employers and hear from industry leaders in a series of keynote speeches and panel discussions. This event will take place online using the Whova virtual conference platform.

The main events will take place between 11:00AM – 2:00PM (MST) on each of the three days. Students can register using the link below. The registration fee is $12.50 CAD. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns via the contact page.

“Cut to the Chase” Video Contest

Students are invited to compete in our “Cut to the Chase” video contest. Students will submit 2 – 2.5 minute video presentations that introduce themselves and their work. Submissions are open to all undergraduate and graduate students who specialize in the mathematical sciences. It is not necessary to register for the Career Fair in order to enter the contest.

Videos will be judged by an expert panel and winners will be announced at the end of March. The top 3 contestants will receive electronic gift cards for their work.

For more information download our call for submissions!


The Math-Science Career Fair is an excellent opportunity for employers to reach today’s brightest math science job candidates. BIRS has worked with a broad network of educators and career advisors to attract an intelligent and engaged pool of candidates with specialties in mathematics, statistics, computer science, and other related disciplines. Many of these candidates have gained exposure to the current math science job landscape with BIRS ongoing Career & Innovation Hub (CIH). As employers and prospective employees continue to adapt to current circumstances, the Math Science Career fair will allow companies to continue reaching and recruiting the best and brightest STEM candidates. 

If your company is interested in being part of this career fair please send an e-mail to and let us know how you may be able to contribute. Some examples of company participation are: virtual booths, presentations, job postings. There is no fee for company participation.


Students seeking employment in a math science role will learn about today’s job landscape from industry-leading companies and interact with recruiters. The event will host a slate of employers that range in size and scope: start-ups and established corporations; private companies and public institutions; from drug developers (Pfizer) to leaders in AI and data science (Google, AWS). Quantitative skills are valuable to companies of all shapes and sizes and the Math Science Career fair will help students appreciate the value of their skills to employers while discovering potential internship and job placements. 

The event will take place virtually using the Whova conference platform. Student registration costs $12.15 (CAD). Some registrations are reserved for students facing financial difficulties. If this circumstance applies to you please use the contact form to briefly explain your situation and a fee waiver may be granted (subject to availability).

Event Poster:

Keynote Speakers

Alejandro Adem – President NSERC

A highly accomplished researcher in the field of mathematics, Professor Alejandro Adem is president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Mathematical Sciences: Changing the Way We Work

The age of Big Data and AI is revealing incredible insights about our world and presenting industries and researchers with unimaginable amounts of valuable information. As a result, mathematical scientists have become a must-have asset for small companies that are looking to gain an edge and large companies looking to innovate. 

Learn from NSERC President, Alejandro Adem, about how NSERC training programs have connected thousands of young math students to career opportunities in fields as diverse as finance, automotive design, the energy sector and professional sports. Those pursuing careers in research are collaborating with teams to locate game-changing trends and patterns in fields like ecology, technology development, health and social sciences; others continue to probe the fundamentals of mathematics, exploring the problems and enigmas of areas of pureand appliedmathematics, astrophysics and quantum computing. 

Mathematics is mobilizing the new workforce, and with such a diversity of opportunities, mathematical sciences graduates are playing an essential role in advancing our industries, societies and well-being.

Richard Allen – Senior Scientist Pfizer

Since joining Pfizer April 2012, Richard has provided systems modeling and simulation support for multiple disease areas including Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. More recently, Richard has been working on a model of the immune response to COVID-19. Richard earned a PhD in Applied Mathematics from University College London and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What is like to be a Mathematician in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Mathematical approaches are a valued component of the drug discovery and development process. Statistics, computational biology, and modeling all play vital roles in bringing medicines to patients. In this talk I will focus on my experience as a mathematician moving into industry, what working in industry is like, and how mechanistic models of physiology can help bring medicines to patients.  

Shohini Ghose

Professor Wilfrid Laurier University

Shohini Ghose wanted to be an explorer like Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to go to space. She hasn’t made it to space yet, but she did become an explorer of the quantum world as a physics Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. She is an internationally recognized researcher in quantum computing and communication. Shohini aims to create a vibrant and inclusive physics community as the Director of the Laurier Centre for Women in Science and as the President (2019-2020) of the Canadian Association of Physicists.  She is the recipient of several honours including a TED Senior Fellowship and selection to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. In 2019, she was among 25 women scientists worldwide featured in a UNESCO exhibit in Paris. She currently holds the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in Ontario. 

Quantum Journey

The quantum world of atoms and photons is a wonderland full of mysteries and uncertainty. This is the story of my journey through this strange, invisible landscape and the surprising lessons I learned about science and about being a scientist.

Women in Science & Industry Panel

On Friday March 19th (12:45 – 2:00PM MST) join host Rheia Khalaf and our strong cohort of female STEM panelists for a discussion on the unique journeys, demands and challenges that women in STEM face.


Jennifer Bodnarchuk – City of Winnipeg

Jen is the Senior Data Scientist for the City of Winnipeg and was the second data scientist hired at the City, in 2019. Prior to working at the City, she spent 12 years working as a statistical analyst and senior planning analyst at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. She earned a PhD from the Department of Psychology at the U of M in 2005 and a Master of Data Science from Northwestern University in Chicago in 2016.

Laura Cowen – University of Victoria

I am an ecological statistician studying animal demography, in particular through capture-recapture methods and applications. I have worked on human, fishery, aquaculture, and seabird populations estimating population parameters such as survival and abundances and developing statistical methods to provide these estimates. I also collaborate with other scientists (such as ecologists, fisheries scientists, microbiologists, seabird biologists) to work on ecological problems in the broader sense.  Finally, I collaborate with sociologists and anthropologists looking at aspects of injection drug user populations and modeling lemur populations.

Kimberley HallDalhousie University

Kimberley Hall is a Professor of Physics at Dalhousie University and director of the Dalhousie Ultrafast Quantum Control Group.  She received an undergraduate physics degree from the University of Western Ontario, a Ph. D. in physics from the University of Toronto, and carried out postdoctoral work at the University of Iowa prior to joining Dalhousie University in 2004.  Prof. Hall’s research concerns the study and control of electrons on very short time scales (on the order of 100 femtoseconds) in semiconductors using specialized lasers that produce very short pulses.    This work aims to develop applications in quantum technology, a rapidly growing field in which Canada is leading the world. Prof. Hall held the Canada Research Chair in Ultrafast Science from 2007-2017 and is a pioneer in spintronic device innovation.  Her research has led to seminal advances in the development of quantum control techniques for solid-state quantum information and electronic and photonic devices.

Dr. Lilan Wong – Amazon Web Services

Dr Lilian Wong is Senior Applied Scientist with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Her recent work relates to the applications of deep learning to forecasting and anomaly detection, especially in the renewable energy domain. In her previous role in AWS, she has built the forecasting model that powers Predictive Scaling for EC2, which uses deep learning to help customers scale their computing fleets according to their workloads. 

Dr. Wong holds a PhD in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, specializing in analysis and mathematical physics. Like many theorists, she did not have any coding or machine learning experience until she decided to apply for a job in the industry.


Rheia KhalafFin-ML

Rheia Khalaf is Director, Collaborative Research and Partnerships for Fin-ML, an academic member of IVADO. Her role is to develop a leading scientific network and bring together industry professionals, academic researchers and students to develop cutting-edge expertise in the application of numerical intelligence in the field of finance and business analytics. This is done through academic scholarship programs, customized training, and collaborative research projects. Rheia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics / Minor in Business Studies from Concordia University and a Master’s degree in Financial Engineering from the University of Zurich / Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. She has approximately 15 years of industry experience – primarily as an actuarial and risk management consultant at a leading professional services firm and as an investment analyst at a major asset management firm in Canada.

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