Jonathan M. Borwein
(University of Newcastle)
It is with great sadness that the Canadian Mathematical Society announces the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Jonathan M. Borwein, Laureate Professor at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Director of the Centre for Computer-assisted Mathematical Research and Applications (CARMA) at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
Borwein completed an Honours Mathematics degree at the University of Western Ontario (1971) and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University (1974) as an Ontario Rhodes Scholar. He started his academic career at Dalhousie University (1974-1991) before moving to the University of Waterloo (1991-1993). In 1993, Dr. Borwein became the Shrum Professor of Science (1993-2003) and founded the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics (CECM) at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He later served as a Canada Research Chair in Information Technology (2001-2008) at SFU before returning to Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Computer Science as a Canada Research Chair in Distributed and Collaborative Research, with a cross-appointment in Mathematics (2004-2009).
In 2009, Jonathan and his family moved to Australia, where he accepted the position of Laureate Professor of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Newcastle and became the founding director of CARMA, while holding an adjunct appointment at Dalhousie University. The next year, Borwein was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Soon after, he accepted a second adjunct professorship at Chiang Mai University in Thailand (2013 onwards). In 2015, he received the honour of becoming a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and of the Royal Society of New South Wales. From April to July 2016, Jonathan Borwein served as the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Western University.
“Jon was an extraordinarily productive and diverse researcher, widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost practitioners of Experimental Mathematics,” said CMS President Michael Bennett (UBC).
Dr. Borwein was passionate about promoting the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics at both the local, national and global levels. Over several decades, he held various CMS Executive and Board appointments, including serving as Chair of the Electronic Services Committee (1995-1996), Editor-in-Chief of the CMS/Wiley Book Series (1998-2000), Editor-in-Chief of CMS/Springer Books in Mathematics (1998, 2000-2005), Chair of the Fundraising Committee (1999-2001), CMS President (2000-2002), Chair of the Advancement of Mathematics Committee (2001-2002) and Associate Publisher of CMS Books and Rich Media (2004-2007). He also served as a delegate to the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Council (2000-2002), as the Governor at Large of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) (2005-2007) and as the Chair of the CMS International Affairs Committee (2004-2005).
Borwein was fundamental to the vision and the growth of the Canadian Mathematical Society. He held permanent seats on the CMS Special Consultations Group and the President’s Advisory Committee where he was consistently prepared to offer insightful comments and guidance to the Board of Directors and the Presidents of our Society.
The CMS wishes to extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Borwein. We are humbled to have been in the presence of a true visionary and leader, and we are truly grateful for his unwavering dedication to our rich and diverse community.