About Me

Me in my office at school

My name is Mike Pawliuk and I am a graduate student in math at the University of Toronto, with advisors Stevo Todorcevic (Toronto) and Vladimir Pestov (Ottawa). My wife Janet is also a graduate student at the University of Toronto (in Classics) and we moved to Toronto from Winnipeg in 2009.

Me (left) and my friend Alex Leithead playing Dominion

Mathematically, I am interested in set theory and topology, with an emphasis on (large) topological groups, topological dynamics and universal spaces (like the Urysohn space). Currently, I help organize the Toronto/York Student Set Theory and Topology Seminar.  Problem solving for contests and Olympiads is also something I commit a lot of time to. Recently I was a guest lecturer at the 2014 Winter Camp for Canadian IMO students.

Garden City Collegiate Improv team that I coached in 2008. (I’m in a blue shirt second from the right.)

I really enjoy teaching and I like thinking about how to make my course the most awesome it can be. I have taught point set topology in the summer of 2013 (which was the first time a graduate student taught that course at the University of Toronto) and I taught the second half of a first year calculus course. Part of what makes me such a strong teacher is that I consider myself also a mentor; I teach math, but I also teach life.

Extra-mathematically, I juggle, cheer for the Edmonton Oilers (the Winnipeg Jets weren’t around when I started watching hockey!), coach improv and play Magic the Gathering (here’s my Kami of the Crescent Moon commander deck). I take reading, etymology and dictionaries quite seriously; I have 5 full bookshelves at home with one for each of Literature, Science Fiction, Math, Graphic Novels and Classics (these are my wife’s). My favourite place in Toronto is BMV books at which I spend altogether too much money.


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