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October 12, 2000

FOUR CANADIANS HONOURED FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS


The winner of the Canadian Mathematical Society's 2000 Coxeter-James Prize for mathematics research is Dr. Damien Roy. Professor Bernard Courteau is the recipient of the 2000 Adrien Pouliot Award for mathematics education. Dr. Stephen J. Astels has won the Society's 2000 Doctoral Prize and Dr. Arthur Sherk will receive the CMS Distinguished Service Award for 2000. All four awards will be presented at the CMS 2000 Winter Meeting Banquet on December 11th at the Hotel Vancouver.


CMS 2000 Coxeter-James Prize - Dr. Damien Roy (University of Ottawa)

The Society's Coxeter-James Prize recognizes young mathematicians who have made outstanding contributions to mathematical research.

Dr. Damien Roy was born in Verdun, Quebec and is currently an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. He obtained his B.Sc. from the University of Montreal, his M.Sc. from McGill University, and his Ph.D. from Laval University. He was a post-doctoral student at Paris VI, Laval and at the Centre Interuniversitaire en Calcul Mathématique Algèbrique before joining the University of Ottawa. Dr. Roy was an invited participant in the MSRI program in 1993 and received the Young Researcher of the Year Award from the University of Ottawa in 1998.

Damien Roy has made outstanding contributions to the study of transcendence theory and Diophantine approximation. With Jeffrey Thunder (Northen Illinois University), he proved a fundamental refinement of Siegel's Lemma for a system of homogeneous linear equations and, in 1992, he completely resolved a problem that was proposed by J.J. Sansuc (Université Paris VII) in 1980. Recently Dr. Roy established a new interpolation theorem for functions of two complex variables and used this theorem to recast Schanuel's conjecture in terms of an algebraic criterion for polynomials in two variables with integer coefficients. In collaboration with M. Laurent (Institut de Mathématique de Luminy, CNRS) and M. Waldschmidt (Université Paris VI), he has also introduced new techniques into the study of the algebraic independence of numbers.

CMS 2000 Adrien Pouliot Award - Professor Bernard Courteau (Université Sherbrooke)

The Adrien Pouliot Award is for individuals, or teams of individuals, who have made significant and sustained contributions to mathematics education in Canada.

Professor Courteau is professor emeritus at the University of Sherbrooke, Québec, and has been a commanding figure in Quebec in fostering an interest and facility in mathematics among teachers, pupils and members of the general public. In 1991-1992 he created the mathematical module for the traveling exhibition, "Ebulliscience", that attracted more than 400 000 visitors and, for his work in the popularization of mathematics he was elected as honorary president of "la Quinzaine des sciences de l'Estrie".

A major thrust of Professor Courteau's activities has been to unite in a common cause teachers of mathematics at all levels. He has been actively involved in the key organizations in Quebec concerned with mathematical education, including serving on the council of l`Association canadienne-francaise pour l'avancement des sciences (ACFAS) (1996-1998) and the Executive Committee of the Conseil pedagogique interdisciplinaire du Quebec (CPIQ) (1995-1997). He was president of l'Association mathematique du Quebec (AMQ) from 1993 until 2000. Professor Courteau is praised for his prodigious energy, progressiveness and passion for mathematics.

2000 CMS Doctoral Prize - Dr. Steve Astels (University of Waterloo)

The CMS Doctoral Prize prize recognizes outstanding performance by a doctoral student who graduated from a Canadian university.

Born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia, Dr. Astels did his undergraduate studies at Acadia University, Nova Scotia, and won Governor General's award. He obtained both his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Cameron Stewart. He is currently an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Georgia with Andrew Granville, a leading number theorist who graduated from Queen's University. Dr. Astels served as the President of the Graduate Students Association at the University of Waterloo and was a member of the University Senate and Board of Governors.

In his thesis, Dr. Astel studied the properties of Cantor sets and their application to problems of Diophantine approximation. He generalized a theorem of Newhouse (1970) to the sum of any number of Cantor sets and established a lower bound for the thickness of the sum of two Cantor sets in terms of the thickness of each set and proved that, in general, the lower bound is best possible. Mathematicians have sought such a result for at least 30 years.

2000 CMS Distinguished Service Awards - Dr. Arthur Sherk (University of Toronto)

The CMS distinguished service award is to recognize individuals who have made sustained and significant contributions to the Canadian mathematical community.

Dr. Arthur Sherk received his undergraduate education at McMaster University, Ontario. He obtained his masters from McMaster in 1955 and his doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1957 under, the supervision of Dr. Donald Coxeter. He remained at the University of Toronto until his retirement in 1994. His research interests are finite and discrete geometry, a field in which he has published 20 papers and two texts. He has also been co-editor of two collections of papers and of "Kaleidoscopes, Selected Writings of H.S.M.Coxeter".

Dr. Sherk has been a member of the Canadian Mathematical Society since 1955. Over the past forty five years, he has served the Society in a number of capacities. As Managing Editor for each of the Society's research journals at a formative period in their development. He was Managing Editor of the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin from 1963 to 1967 and of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics from 1978 to 1983. He has been the Society's Treasurer since 1993 and is now in his third term.

During his academic career, Dr. Sherk served for five years as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies (University of Toronto) and for three years on the Governing Council. In 1975, he was cross-appointed with University College and served the college in a variety of roles, notably as Vice-Principal (1985-90) and as Acting Principal (1992-1993).



For more information contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright, Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Email: director@cms.math.ca


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