Professor of Mathematics, University of British Columbia

Linked to this page you will find my publications, career and honours

Teaching, 2018W

I am on sabbatical.

Research Interests

My area of expertise is algebraic combinatorics. Initially I concentrated on descent algebras of Coxeter groups with a particular focus on their multiplicative structure, and the establishment of their basic algebraic structure and representation theory over fields of finite characteristic. 

Subsequently, I worked on Pieri operators on posets that link the diverse areas of Schubert calculus, combinatorics of polytopes, and P-partitions, amongst others. One particular discovery was the duality between peak functions and the cd-index. This led to studying ribbon Schur function equality, generalising this study to skew Schur function equality and applying the knowledge gleaned to the study of Schur positivity.

Most recently, I have been studying a natural quasisymmetric refinement of Schur functions that reflect many of the properties displayed by Schur functions, such as Pieri rules, a Littlewood-Richardson rule, and their role in the representation theory of the 0-Hecke algebra. I have also become interested in a generalization of the chromatic polynomial, known as the chromatic symmetric function.

Keywords and phrases chromatic symmetric function, Coxeter group, representation theory, graded poset, quasisymmetric and noncommutative symmetric function, skew Schur function, quasisymmetric Schur function, Macdonald polynomial.

Students in algebraic combinatorics

Those mentored in other subjects are not listed here.

Undergrad research: Kristin Shaw (2003, 2004, 2005), Chris Ryan (2005), Josh Fiddler (2006), Andrew Brown (2007), Farzin Barekat (2008), Jesseca Eng (2015), Ian Mak (2015), Foster Tom (2016), Adrian She (2017, 2018).

MSc: Matt Morin (2003-05), Vasu Tewari (2009-11), Caleb Cheek (2010-12), Foster Tom (2016-18).

PhD: Matt Morin (2005-2010), Vasu Tewari (2011-2015), Brian Chan (2016- ).

Postdoc (joint): Kevin Purbhoo (2006-07),  Eric Fusy (2008-09),  Kurt Luoto (2009-11),  Mahdad Khatirinejad (2010-11), Ed Richmond (2011-14), Julian Courtiel (2015-16), Samantha Dahlberg (2016-18), Orit Raz (2017-).

Current Conference Organisation

In the past I have also co-organized FPSAC 2004 and a CRM special semester, BIRS 2- and 5-Day Workshops plus FRGs and RITs,  plus CMS and AMS special sessions. I have organized both Algebraic Combinatorixx and Algebraic Combinatorixx 2 at BIRS to facilitate both research and mentorship for women in algebraic combinatorics. At a departmental level I am currently the Associate Head for Research.

Contact Information

Email:steph (at math splotch ubc followed by another splotch ca)
Phone:+1 604 822-2630
Fax:+1 604 822-6074

Paper mail:

Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, 1984 Mathematics Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada. 


My husband is the medieval historian Niall Christie.
Stephanie van Willigenburg May 2018