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Anthony Bonato named Massey Fellow

Mathematics professor is Ryerson’s 2017/2018 honouree for prestigious research leave
By: Will Sloan
October 26, 2017
Anthony Bonato

Photo: Anthony Bonato is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and former associate dean at the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. Photo by Clifton Li.

Ryerson external,mathematics Professor Anthony Bonato has been selected as the 2017/2018 Ryerson Fellow at external,Massey College—a prestigious honour that provides space and resources to pursue cutting-edge research.

Affiliated with (but independent from) the University of Toronto, Massey College brings together visiting scholars, distinguished professionals, and full-time graduate students from across disciplines into a stimulating intellectual community. The Massey Fellowship is the result of a partnership between Ryerson and the college, facilitating the annual appointment of a Ryerson faculty member to the college for a one-year research leave.

“It’s very exciting: it’s my first sabbatical in 13 years, and it’s a great intellectual backdrop to my work,” said Bonato. “It provides me with space and time to do my mathematical research. The Massey will give me a place to study and work. I need a lot of quiet time and contemplation to write and think. I have seven graduate students and I hope to bring them to do work on their theses. I have 70-plus collaborators around the world, and during my sabbatical I hope to make visits to collaborate with them.”

Bonato’s research interest is in graph theory, and he investigates how networks appear in nature and the technological world: “I’m very interested in developing mathematical models for how these networks evolve over time.” His upcoming book, Graph Searching Games and Probabilistic Methods, will explore the application of powerful mathematical tools to games.

Bonato has written more than 100 research articles on network science, two previous books (The Game of Cops and Robbers on Graphs and A Course on the Webb Graph), and given talks around the world, including a planned TEDxRyersonU talk. He is also the founding member of the research group external,Graphs at Ryerson; co-editor of the journal Internet Mathematics; and was the inaugural associate dean, students and programs, in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. Currently, Bonato’s research is supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (external,NSERC) and Ryerson.

“It’s really inspiring,” said Bonato of the fellowship. “Massey has that Oxbridge vibe, and there are eminent scholars there. There are Southam Journalism Fellows, and Siobhan Roberts, who writes about mathematicians in popular math books. The opportunity to chat with her or any of the fellows there is exciting, and will also inspire me.”

“I am pleased that Anthony is taking his place among the best and brightest at Massey College,” said Michael Benarroch, provost and vice-president, academic. “The fellowship is a chance for Anthony and his student researchers to exchange ideas and advance their research in a high-level academic environment. I’m also very pleased he can bring Ryerson’s spirit of innovation to Massey.”

Bonato is the sixth Ryerson professor to be named a fellow at Massey College. Previous appointees include Maria Gurevich and Frank Russo from the Department of Psychology, Michael Coutanche from the RTA School of Media, Mehrunnisa Ahmad Ali from the School of Early Childhood Studies, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra from the Department of English, and John Shields from the Department of Politics and Public Administration.

In addition, two other Ryerson professors, Catherine Ellis (History) and Bill Reynolds (external,Journalism), have been selected Massey Visiting Scholars. They will have their own set of privileges while holding this appointment.