Number theory is one of the two most ancient areas of mathematical research (with plane geometry). Many problems in number theory are so accessible that they can be easily stated to undergraduates, yet so deep that they have withstood attempts to prove them for centuries or even millennia.
Number theorists study properties of the integers, as well as related generating functions (analytic number theory), arithmetic in generalizations of the integers (algebraic number theory), the distribution of rational and algebraic numbers within the reals (Diophantine approximation), and countless other topics.
Moreover, there are close connections between number theory and many other areas such as algebraic geometry, combinatorics, cryptography and coding theory, harmonic analysis, probability, complex analysis, and representation theory.
Together, UBC's number theory group and the number theory group at Simon Fraser University make Vancouver one of the best venues for number theory in North America. We have a vibrant number theory seminar, and we often join forces with number theorists across the border for the Pacific Northwest Number Theory Conference. We also proudly hosted the Canadian Number Theory Association IX Meeting on the UBC campus from July 9–14, 2006.