Our Mission

SIGMAS is the representative body for graduate students in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Alberta. Our main goals are to build a sense of community, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge in research and teaching and to enhance student welfare. We form teams to participate in the intramural league and we organize several social events throughout the year. SIGMAS is the main organizing body of the PIMS Young Researchers Conference in years when it is held at the University of Alberta. In the fall and winter terms, SIGMAS runs the Graduate Colloquium, a safe learning environment where graduate students can practice their research presentation skills. Last but not least, we provide outreach opportunities for the community where we engage kids of all ages in the wonders of mathematics.

Run by current graduate students, SIGMAS acts as a liaison between the student body and the faculty and administration. All graduate students are welcome to participate and/or contact SIGMAS at any time when searching for advocates or support in matters that pertain to their graduate student experience. SIGMAS will work to provide the appropriate solutions or to refer you to the right resources on or off campus. Several on-campus resources are highlighted on our resources page.

Wanna know more? Check out our constitution.


The SIGMAS in the Schools program seeks to show students from K-12 that math can be both fun and incredibly useful in a variety of areas! Graduate student volunteers travel to local schools and conduct short (~one hour) math workshops. Workshops may include mathematical puzzles and games and/or a brief presentation of why we love mathematics, especially of interest for older students considering their post-secondary options.

Additionally, we are working together with education students in putting together the Math Fair twice a year. Our workshops at the Math Fair are similar as in the SIGMAS in the Schools program, but it is all the more exciting for the kids to go on a field trip to the University of Alberta!

We are also open to hearing how you think we could get involved in your classroom! If you are interested in having SIGMAS visit your classroom, please contact us via email at mathgame@ualberta.ca

Graduate Colloquium

The Graduate Colloquium is a required component of every graduate student's tenure at the University of Alberta. Each student must attend for two terms and speak once.

To an audience of their peers – students of mathematics and statistics of various backgrounds – each student must prepare and deliver a talk. This provides a challenge distinct from preparing lectures to undergraduates as part of one's TA duties and also distinct from the highly technical and specialized talks given in discipline-specific seminars. The primary value of speaking at the Graduate Colloquium is in the opportunity to meet this challenge, one that is common to all presentations: to consider one's audience, their capacities and interests, and to deliver appropriate content in a stimulating way. This document contains guidelines to speaking at the Graduate Colloquium in more detail.

As a member of the audience, students have the chance to learn about the interests and studies of their fellow students and to assess exactly what successful speaking means to them.

Sport Activities

Besides your research, classes and TA duties, there are more things to do in graduate school – sports! Sports are a great way to take a break from your work and recharge. SIGMAS and the university offer a variety of programs for a full range of sports, even including Quidditch!

In the past, SIGMAS has organized regular meetups and events for squash, volleyball, badminton etc. Additionally, we sometimes gather a group of students to attend U of A Golden Bears / Pandas games. Finally, we organize in-department tournaments for popular sports, both team and individual.

If you are interested in sports, please contact our sports coordinator, or see the Resources page for helpful links!