It is with great sadness that the Canadian Mathematical Society learned of Richard Kane’s passing on October 1, 2010.
Richard Kane was a lifetime member of the CMS and was deeply dedicated to the work of the Society. He was the CMS president from 1998 to 2000, and during his membership served as chair of the Finance, International Affairs, Nominating, and Research committees. He was also an associate editor of the CMS Books in Mathematics series. In 2006, he received the CMS Distinguished Service Award and the inaugural David Borwein Distinguished Career Award for his outstanding service to the CMS, for his significant research accomplisments and for his many contributions to the Canadian mathematical community.
Richard’s contributions to the mathematical community are numerous and extensive. He served as scientific convener of the 1996 NSERC Review of Canadian Mathematics and chaired and served on numerous NSERC committees for the mathematical sciences. His efforts in these positions raised government and public awareness of the importance of mathematics in Canada and secured and enhanced funding for mathematical research. Richard was also a member of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fields Institute Fellow.
Richard had taught at the University of Western Ontario since 1980 and served two terms as Chair of the Mathematics Department. He was a dedicated teacher and supervised four PhD theses. He was well known for his research in the field of algebraic topology.
In 2008, when Richard was honoured with a Distinguished University Professorship Award from Western, former CMS president Thomas Salisbury noted, “I cannot think of any aspect of the Canadian mathematical community which Richard has not influenced for the better. He has taken on all such challenges that have come his way, and has done so with care and attention.”
In the words of Richard’s close friend, Joseph Neisendorfer, “He possessed a strong serene integrity. He was a loyal and gracious presence to his family, to his friends, to his colleagues, and to his students. He will be missed by all who knew him.”
The CMS extends its deepest condolences to Richard’s family and friends.