My name is Mike Pawliuk and as of January 2017 I am a Post Doc at the University of Calgary, with advisors Claude Laflamme (Calgary) and Robert Woodrow (Calgary). I completed my PhD in math at the University of Toronto, with advisors Stevo Todorcevic (Toronto) and Vladimir Pestov (Ottawa) in July 2015.
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). My thesis checks the amenability and unique ergodicity of the automorphism groups of the directed graphs on Cherlin’s list. Problem solving for contests and Olympiads is also something I commit a lot of time to. Recently I was a lecturer at the 2016 Winter Camp for Canadian IMO students; I lead this session about generating functions.
I really enjoy teaching and I like thinking about how to make my course as awesome as it can be. I taught point set topology in the summers of 2013 and 2014 (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 a mentor as well; I teach math, but I also teach life. I have written two guides to succeeding in first year calculus and curated a collection of 35 mathematical summer projects.
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.