Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing

Tutte Institute


From computer viruses to coronavirus

A technique developed by researchers at CSE’s Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing, originally designed to analyze malware, is now being used to answer questions about COVID-19.

The technique, called UMAP (short for Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection) was originally developed by TIMC researchers, Dr. Leland McInnes and John Healy, to help analyze different strains of computer viruses. But, realizing its potential to advance the field of data science, the TIMC released the algorithm and software to the open source community. Since then, UMAP has taken on a life of its own.

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About the TIMC

The Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC) is a government research institute focused on research in fundamental mathematics and computer science. Our members work on highly sophisticated problems and tackle advanced mathematical challenges of importance to the Government of Canada and for the benefit of the nation.


History of the TIMC

The TIMC was opened in 2011 as a special research institute that is supported and funded by the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). Located just east of downtown Ottawa, Canada, our specialized work space is housed within CSE’s world-class, LEED Gold facility.

The TIMC is named after Dr. William T. Tutte, a British-born Canadian codebreaker and mathematician, credited with breaking the Lorenz cipher used by the German High command during World War II. Dr. Tutte’s foundational work in graph theory and matroid theory is world-renowned.



The TIMC is focused on four key research areas: cryptography, cyber security, data science, and quantum computing. We draw upon many mathematical and computational fields, including Algebra, Algebraic Geometry, Combinatorics, Data Science, Topology, Number Theory, and Quantum Computing. Our researchers are leaders in their fields and work in a collaborative fashion on interesting challenges found only within the TIMC.

TIMC researchers benefit from access to some of the fastest computers in the country, as well as cutting-edge technology that is unmatched in Canada. Our work supports CSE’s mission to provide and protect information of national interest.



The TIMC offers a range of opportunities for collaboration and support of mathematics and computer science in Canada. Mathematicians, Data Scientists and Computer Scientists at Canadian universities, or those at international institutions holding Canadian citizenship, can make either short-term or long-term working visits to the TIMC.

The TIMC employs full-time mathematicians and computer scientists holding PhDs in a variety of fields. Their numbers are supplemented by long and short-term academic contractors. We count many distinguished Canadian mathematicians, from a number of Canadian universities, as our current collaborators and alumni.

Canadian academics may work at the TIMC on short-term contracts for a minimum of two weeks over the course of a year. These working visits are arranged to accommodate the visiting researcher’s schedule, and can be spread throughout the year. Visiting researchers work in a collaborative environment on challenging problems, engaging with TIMC staff, other academic contractors and members of partner research institutes. Longer term contracts are also available.


Collaboration and Partnerships

Collaboration and partnership is integral to the work of the TIMC. Our partners include universities across Canada, as well as various classified and government research institutes:

The TIMC is continually working to strengthen and develop partnerships with research institutes, governmental agencies, industry and universities.



The Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC) is a government research institute focused on research in fundamental mathematics and computer science. We recognize that you may have more specific questions about the Institute, the research and the facility.

You can learn more in our frequently asked questions page. If we haven’t answered your questions, please feel free to contact us directly at tutte.info@cse-cst.gc.ca.