Donald Violette (University of Moncton)
Donald Violette (University of Moncton) is the recipient of the 2016 Adrien Pouliot Award for his excellence in teaching and contributions to mathematics education in Canada, particularly in his home province of New Brunswick.
For over 25 years, Violette has played an active and leading role in the promotion, teaching, recognition and appreciation of mathematics in his community and home province of New Brunswick. His reputation as an exceptional teacher has only flourished since the beginning of his teaching career at the age of twenty-three.
Violette’s incredible energy and passion have allowed him to work towards demystifying the subject of mathematics for students and the general public. Outside of teaching mathematics at the post-secondary level, Violette has kept busy with outreach activities, from conducting over 450 workshops benefiting nearly 17,000 students at local high schools, to initiating new programs and math competitions, which include concours de mathématiques de Poincaré, concours de mathématiques de Möbius and concours de mathématiques de Sierpinski.
He is also the founder and organizer of many math camps in New Brunswick, including camps mathématiques de l’Acadie, camp Séjour vacances : à la découverte des mathématiques and camp Les mathématiques, c’est magique. In 2014, Violette established the first mathematical foundation in Canada, Fondation Mathématique Donald Violette Inc., a non-profit organisation with the main objective of supporting math outreach activities.
His colleague, Professor Salah Eddine El Adlouni, from the University of Moncton has said that, “Professor Donald Violette is a person whose teaching, research and community service have made outstanding contributions in an exceptional way, to the lives of our students.”
Violette’s teaching style and dedication are also admired by his students:
“Mr. Violette is a teacher who has the student’s success at heart. His course always revolves around the student so that he or she does not only finish the course with a set of notes, but with the cultural background essential to any first year student. The working method and the method of reasoning acquired from his course are of great value,” noted one of his former students in a letter of support for Violette’s Adrien Pouliot Award candidacy.
Violette has been honoured and revered for his hard work and commitment to the cause of mathematics education by his colleagues, students and community. Throughout his exciting career, Violette has won numerous awards for his teaching, dedication and commitment. Some of the many awards that he has received include the Most Devoted Professor to Student Life Award (2014) from the University of Moncton, the Excellence in Teaching the Sciences Award (1995) from the Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences (now known as Science Atlantic), the Excellence in Teaching Award (2002) from the University of Moncton and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) for his services to Canada and his remarkable achievements in the domain of education.
Born in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick, Violette started his teaching career at the University of Moncton in 1977. In 1984, he earned his Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from the University of Sherbrooke. Upon returning to New Brunswick, he was celebrated as the first francophone from the province to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Violette is currently a Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics of the University of Moncton.
The Adrien Pouliot Award will be presented at the CMS 2016 Winter Meeting in Niagara Falls, December 2 to 5.