First-Year Math & Stats in Canada




Dear FYMSiC community,

It is with our deepest sadness that we are informing you that our colleague and friend Alfonso Gracia-Saz passed from Covid-19 on Thursday, May 6th, 2021. As Veselin Jungic put it: ‘I always felt that Alfonso actually enjoyed himself at our [FYMSiC] meetings’. He regularly attended our events and always had something insightful to share. We will remember him as an active member of our community, excellent teacher and mathematician, and above all, a beautiful human being. To learn more about Alfonso, read the Canadian Mathematics Society media release and the article in the Toronto Star. He will be missed.

Nick, Alfonso’s life partner, has shared the following: University of Toronto has setup a memorial page where you can contact the family and also contribute to a scholarship in Alfonso’s honour. Details are here:


Alfonso Garcia-Saz (Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, University of Toronto) won 2021 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award. Press release:

Kseniya Garaschuk (Assistant Professor, University of Fraser Valley) has been named the recipient of 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service. Press release:

Brian Forrest (Professor, University of Waterloo), Kseniya Garaschuk (Assistant Professor, University of Fraser Valley), and Veselin Jungic (Teaching Professor, Simon Fraser University) are the newest Canadian Mathematical Society Fellows. 

Bruce Dunham (Professor of Teaching, University of British Columbia) is the recipient of the 2021 PIMS Education Prize. Press release:

Petra Menz (Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University) and Nicola Mulberry (PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University) won the 2021 BCampus Award for Excellence in Open Education. Please visit:

Zack Cramer (Lecturer, University of Waterloo) received the University of Waterloo Student Association Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. Press release:

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication
to mathematics and statistics education!


For past FYMSiC News, please visit the Past News.


FYMSiC Online Teaching Meet Ups

Online Teaching Meet Ups are a great virtual space to have a conversation about math and stats teaching and learning with students and educators. Each meet up has a specific theme such as ‘How to teach ‘em math proofs in first-year and beyond?’ or ‘What is CEGEP?’ or ‘Transitioning to university: high school teachers’ experiences and views’, which may be accompanied by a couple of presentations – but for sure, a healthy, therapeutic and cathartic dialogue is always there about teaching and learning!

Upcoming meet up …

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT=Toronto time); Zoom Link TBA, Passcode TBA

Title: A working group to address the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on students and faculty

Description: This meet up will explore the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on students and faculty. It will lead into a 2-part virtual working group session that will provide an opportunity for teaching-focused faculty at Canadian colleges and universities to work collaboratively towards developing supports to help faculty and students navigate the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on post-secondary education. The goal of the working group is to foster new connections between faculty from different institutions who have similar needs and concerns, and are interested in collaborating to build relevant supports. In the first session of the working group, participants will work together to identify common concerns and challenges at institutions across Canada (the main themes of the working group). In the second session, smaller working groups will be formed via the emergent themes from the first session. Participants will discuss and lay the initial groundwork for supports/resources that respond to these concerns and challenges. This meet up and working group session will be organized by Cindy Blois (Toronto), Fok-Shuen Leung (UBC), Vanessa Radzimski (Fraser Valley), and Pam Sargent (York). [Working group session dates/times coming soon.]

Save the date …

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT=Toronto time); Theme TBA

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT=Toronto time); Theme TBA

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT=Toronto time); Theme TBA


For past FYMSiC Online Teaching Meet Ups & Events and Resources mentioned and discussed, please visit the Meet Ups page.


To join our emailing list for FYMSiC Meet Up Information and other FYMSiC Updates, please email


Other Math & Stats Education Events

June 2-3, 2021 Connecting Women in Mathematics Across Canada [virtual]:
♦ June 7-11, 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting [virtual]:
♦ June 8-10, 2021 CheckIt Conference [virtual]:
♦ June 11-12, 2021 Mastery Grading Conference [virtual]:
♦ June 11-13, 2021 Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group [virtual]:

♦ December 3-6, 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Winter Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia [information to come]

♦ June 3-6, 2022 Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador [information to come]


University of Waterloo Mathematics Teaching Seminar

The Mathematics Teaching Seminar at the University of Waterloo is a biweekly meeting featuring discussions on undergraduate mathematics teaching. Participants in the seminar include lecturers, research faculty, and graduate students from all four of Waterloo’s mathematics departments and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, as well as faculty members and teaching enthusiasts from around the world. Those who would like to attend are encouraged to reach out to the organizers, Blake Madill ( and Zack Cramer ( 


FYMSiC Newsletter

Latest issue …

Issue 6  [February 2021]

Our seventh issue is coming out in July 2021. If you wish to contribute to our Newsletter, please visit the Newsletter page.

Please send your contributions in Microsoft Word or LaTex (source) formats to: 

For the seventh newsletter issue, the contribution deadline is Friday, June 18th, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. (PDT). 


FYMSiC Repository

The First-Year Mathematics and Statistics Courses Repository is a resource supporting an ongoing national dialogue about teaching first year mathematics and statistics at Canadian universities. This shareable dynamic online database contains extensive data collected from mathematics and statistics instructors across the country. Data includes course content, resource and technology used, learning outcomes, modes of delivery, connections with other courses, as well as informal descriptions of various practices in teaching these courses.

It is our hope that instructors (i.e., our contacts at all participating universities, or their colleagues) will keep the database up to date, as well as provide missing, and additional information.

The main purpose of the First-Year Mathematics and Statistics Courses Repository is to provide an open, organized and comprehensive resource of information about first-year mathematics and statistics courses at Canadian Universities. We hope to enrich the content as we move along. 

Slides of the presentation (containing a broader context of our First-Year Math project and information about the Repository) that Veselin Jungic gave at the meeting of Canadian Mathematics and Statistics Department chairs in Ottawa, March 2019.


To access the FYMSiC Repository, please Register (if you have not already) and Log In.


FYMSiC Teaching & Learning Resources

Latest share …

2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting Education Session: Anything but Calculus! Alternatives to teaching Calculus in year 1 [June 7 & 9, 2021]

Conrad Wolfram (Wolfram Research): Will mainstream maths education survive the AI age?
Chris Sangwin (University of Edinburgh): Product vs Process: Problem solving as a year one activity
Chris Rasmussen (San Diego State University): Dynamical Systems Instead of Calculus [Presentation Slides]
Wes Maciejewski (San Jose State University): Life After Calculus [Presentation Slides]
Peter Taylor (Queen’s University): Reinventing Calculus [Presentation Slides]
Deborah Hughes Hallet (Harvard Kennedy School): When should students learn about data? Now! [Presentation Slides]
Claus Michelsen (University of South Denmark): From a discipline-oriented year 1 to an interdisciplinary mathematical modelling course [Presentation Slides]
Marc De Benedetti (University of Toronto Mississauga): Should First-Year Calculus be Taught by Physicists? [Presentation Slides]
Information shared in discussion & Manifesto:
If you wish to add a Teaching & Learning Resource to the FYMSiC Website, please email
For previous Latest Shares, please visit the T&L Resources page.


FYMSiC Recent Publications

Burazin, A., Jungic, V., & Lovric, M. (2021). Teaching during the pandemic: an open letter to my students, University Affairs. Retrieved from:

Deza, A., Hu, H., Maisuria, V., Liut, M., Petersen, A., & Simion, B. (2020). Using Discussion Board Data to Hire Teaching Assistants. Sixth SPLICE Workshop at L@S 2020. ​

Glynn-Adey, P. (2020). 
Using a wiki to collect student work in Vector Calculus. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology.

Burazin, A., Jungic, V., & Lovric, M. (2020). Math, WiFi and no social life: The harsh realities starting university in a pandemic, The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved from:

Burazin, A., Jungic, V., & Lovric, M. (2020). Let them cheat: Why it’s tempting for college and university instructors to look the other way. CBC News. Retrieved from:

Veselin Jungic published his opinion piece “Despite the pandemic, the rules of academic integrity still apply” in University Affairs, 21 April 2020.

For previously announced Publications, please visit the T&L Resources page.


FYMSiC Related Communities

First Year in Maths is a network of over 200 mathematicians, statisticians and educators teaching in universities, colleges and schools in Australia and New Zealand.


FYMSiC Vision

We believe that only by sharing experiences, gathering data, and looking at research-based decisions and strategies, our mathematical teaching community can come up with ideas and initiatives for university faculty and instructors to restructure their programs and to respond to the demands that the realities of today’s living place on us and our students.

It is our belief that the contacts at a national level (such as the Mathematics Education Session at the CMS conference in Waterloo in December 2017, the First Year Conference in April 2018 at the Fields Institute, and the Winter CMS Session in Vancouver in December 2018) will connect, and unite Canadian teaching and research faculty in their efforts to provide the best, and most adequate, post-secondary math education possible, and will provide a forum for all involved to learn about the complexity of issues related to teaching mathematics. We see the national dialogue as an ongoing process that will keep us all connected and strengthen our community.



1. Who is the intended audience?
All interested faculty in mathematics and statistics departments in Canada, mathematics and statistics department chairs, college instructors, high school teachers (grade 12 mostly) interested in knowing what’s going on in level 1 mathematics and statistics, as well as education developers and publishers.
2. How will this information be shared?
The information is shared with approved members of the repository. Those who are interested will fill out a questionnaire. After the application information has been verified by the page administrators, and it has been determined it fits with the purpose of the repository, access (login and password) will be granted.
3. How frequently is the data updated?
This would depend on the curators at each institution. As the main purpose of the database is to provide a snapshot of teaching level 1 mathematics and statistics, it would be ideal if the curators visit their part of the database as often as possible, to correct existing data and enter missing data.
4. How do I sign up to access the Repository?
Send an email to Veselin Jungic (SFU) [] or Miroslav Lovric (McMaster) [].
5. Is this done under CMS (Canadian Mathematics Society)?
No. This is a grass roots initiative led by Miroslav Lovric and Veselin Jungic, in part supported by the Fields Institute, Simon Fraser University, McMaster University and the EDC Grants for Exchange.