Homepage of John Irving

Last updated January 10, 2020

Who Am I?

I am an Associate Professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I am currently Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computing Science. My primary research interest is algebraic combinatorics, particularly enumerative problems underlying questions in geometry and representation theory.

Contact Information

office MN 123
phone (902) 420-5792
email name.surname at smu.ca

mail Dept. of Mathematics & Computing Science
Saint Mary's University
Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 3C3

Office Hours

Tuesday 1:00–3:00
Wednesday 10:00–2:00
Thursday 12:30–2:30

Send me an e-mail if you wish to set up an appointment to see me outside of office hours, or drop by the office and see if I'm available.


I am currently (Winter 2020) teaching Math 4427: Combinatorial Methods in Graph Theory.


My main research interest is enumerative combinatorics (ie. counting), particularly as it relates to problems in algebra and geometry.   To date I have mostly focused on problems involving factorizations in the symmetric group; that is, counting the number of ways a given permutation can be decomposed as an ordered product of other permutations with various conditions imposed on these factors (such as cycle type, minimality, transitivity).  Questions of this type are intimately linked with the representation theory of the symmetric group (equivalently, the study of its group algebra), and also the geometry of branched coverings. 

Preprints of my papers can be downloaded below.  My graduate work was completed under the supervision of David Jackson at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada).  Both my Master's and Ph.D. theses are available upon request. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like further information.