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October 7, 2004

JEAN-MARIE DE KONINCK - RECIPIENT OF THE 2004 ADRIEN POULIOT AWARD

OTTAWA, Ontario -- The winner of the Canadian Mathematical Society's 2004 Adrien Pouliot Award for mathematics Education is Dr. Jean-Marie De Koninck. He will be presented with the award at the CMS 2004 Winter Meeting Banquet on December 12th at the Hilton Hotel Bonaventure, Montréal, Québec.

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

The 2004 Adrien Pouliot Award is awarded to Jean-Marie De Koninck (Laval) for his outstanding role as "Ambassador of Mathematics" in Canada. Jean-Marie used his public profile - gained through his leadership role in Operation Red Nose - to become a popular commentator on scientific issues in the electronic media. In particular, he used his opportunities to create a positive public image for mathematics and mathematicians. An example is the 29 episode television series "C'est mathématique!" teaching mathematical concepts through their use in everyday situations. For these reasons, and many others, Jean-Marie de Koninck is recognized by the Canadian Mathematical Society as an exemplary contributor to Mathematics Education.

Jean-Marie De Koninck has been a professor with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Université Laval since 1972. During his career as a teacher and researcher, he has published more than 50 articles on number theory as well as five books, including two that appeared just last year (1001 problèmes en théorie classique des nombres, Éditions Ellipses, Paris, and Mathématiques de l'ingénieur, Éditions Loze, Montréal, co-authored respectively by Armel Mercier and Norbert Lacroix). It is in his role as mathematics ambassador to the general public for more than 15 years, however, that Jean-Marie De Koninck has left an indelible mark and has made an extraordinary contribution to the promotion and development of mathematics in Canada. His accomplishments are many and varied.

Dr. De Koninck's enviable reputation as a teacher has led to a multitude of speaking engagements at universities, colleges and high schools, as well as at seminars and mathematics camps. He has frequently been invited to deliver keynote addresses at provincial and Canadian conferences of mathematical associations.

Dr. De Koninck's exceptional dedication to community projects has earned him a reputation among the media as an excellent communicator. (Noteworthy in this regard is Operation Red Nose, an ambitious undertaking he founded in 1984 to raise public awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving; it now involves more than 45,000 volunteers across Canada.) He is regularly asked by the electronic press to comment on new scientific and mathematical developments. His scientific expertise, combined with the renown he has acquired in the social arena (and even in sports: for several years he was an accredited commentator on competitive swimming for Radio-Canada television) have allowed Jean-Marie De Koninck to make an undeniable contribution to fostering a positive public image of mathematics ? and of mathematicians, too!

In addition, his organizational talents have been behind a long list of successful scientific meetings and conferences at the provincial, national and international levels.

That Jean-Marie De Koninck has had a successful career as a top-calibre mathematician while making such a significant contribution to society is remarkable in itself. But the fact that he has used the visibility and respect he has earned through his social commitment to promote the field of mathematics enhances his stature as a mathematician. The breadth of his academic and social achievements has earned him numerous awards and distinctions, including the Order of Canada in 1994 and the Ordre national du Québec in 1999.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Cel: (613) 290-3046
director@cms.math.ca
     Dr. H.E.A. Campbell
President, Canadian Mathematical Society
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Tel: (709) 737-8246
president@cms.math.ca

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