Inclusive Mathematics

Table of Contents

Indigenous Mathematics

Edward Doolittle is a member of Six Nations in southern Ontario and a mathematician. He earned his PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Toronto in 1997, and later studied the Mohawk language for a year in the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa immersion program in Six Nations. He has taught mathematics, math education, and Indigenous Studies at numerous universities and colleges including University of Toronto, Six Nations Polytechnic, and University of Regina. He is currently Associate Professor of Mathematics at First Nations University where his research interests are Indigenous mathematics, including Indigenous statistics and Indigenous mathematics education, and pure mathematics.

Pride at the CMS

David Pike received a BMath degree in 1992 from the University of Waterloo and a PhD in 1996 from Auburn University in Alabama. In 1998 he joined the faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he is currently a University Research Professor. His research involves combinatorial design theory and graph theory.

In 2007, he was awarded the Hall Medal of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications where he is currently serving as Vice-President. He has served on NSERC panels for grants and scholarships and was Vice-President (Atlantic) of the Canadian Mathematical Society (2015-2017). Currently he is on editorial boards for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics and the Journal of Combinatorial Designs. In 2021 he was elected as President-Elect of the Canadian Mathematical Society.

David is a gay man, having first come out to family and friends while in graduate school. His recreational interests include curling with the Odds & Ends LGBTQ+ Curling League in St. John’s, as well as hiking and genealogical research.

Stacey Smith? (the question mark is part of her name) is a professor of disease modelling at the University of Ottawa. Using mathematics, she studies infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, human papillomavirus, COVID-19, influenza, neglected tropical diseases… and zombies. She’s published over 100 academic articles; is a winner of a Guinness World Record for her work on modelling a zombie invasion; was the winner of the 2015 Mathematics Ambassador award, given by Canada’s Partners in Research association; and won the 2018 Society for Mathematical Biology Distinguished Service Award. She was the first University of Ottawa employee to transition… but won’t be the last! Outside of her day job, she has more than 20 books to her name, including Bookwyrm (ATB Publishing), Who is the Doctor, Who’s 50and The Doctors Are In (ECW Press), Look at the Size of That Thing! (Pencil Tip Publishing), as well as a Black Archive on Doctor Who and the Silurians (Obverse Books), guides to the wonderful world of Doctor Who. She’s also the editor extraordinaire of the Outside In series of pop-culture reviews with a twist (ATB Publishing), covering Doctor Who, Star Trek, Buffy, Angel, Firefly and The X-Files. Oh, and she’s the world’s leading expert on the transmission of Bieber Fever, but let’s not worry about that one.

Anthony Bonato (X University) is a gay man and mathematician whose research is in Graph Theory and Network Science. Author and co-author of over 130 papers and four books, Bonato is currently full Professor in the Department of Mathematics at X University, where he’s won three awards for his research and two awards for his graduate supervision. He has served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Associate Dean in Graduate Studies. Bonato serves on the NSERC-Mathematical and Statistical Liaison Committee, the CMS Board and Research Committee, and the BIRS Board of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He recently co-chaired the first-ever LGBTQ+Math Day.

Black Excellence in Mathematics

Dr. Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969)

The first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in mathematics was Dr. Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969). He earned his degree from Cornell University in 1925, under the supervision of Dr. William Lloyd Garrison Williams, an American mathematician who is known to have been a co-founder of the Canadian Mathematical Society!

Cox was awarded a music scholarship which would have enabled him to travel to Europe to study at the Prague Conservatory of Music. His love of mathematics won and he entered Indiana University, receiving an A.B. in 1917 having majored in mathematics and scored an “A” in every mathematics examination he took.

He received a scholarship to pursue his doctoral studies at Cornell in September 1922 under the supervision of CMS co-founder, William Lloyd Garrison Williams. In 1924 he was awarded a Erastus Brooks Fellowship and he spent some time in McGill University in Montreal in that year since his supervisor was working there.

As a Black mathematician, Dr. Cox endured numerous difficulties throughout his trajectory. America produced a total of only 28 Ph.D.’s in mathematics in 1925 (one of whom was Cox), while this was the era of the Ku Klux Klan with 31 African-Americans being murdered by lynching in 1926.

Indeed, Dr. Cox’s accomplishment “helped to make it possible for other black[sic] mathematicians, such as Dudley Welcon Woodard, William Waldron Shiefflin Claytor, Marjorie Lee Browne, Evelyn Boyd Granville and David Blackwell, to receive their doctorates from American universities.”[1]

[1] Information taken from Elbert Cox’s biography.
[2]C. W. Carey Jr, Elbert Frank Cox, American National Biography 5 (Oxford, 1999), 621622.

Dr. Lucy Campbell

Lucy Campbell is a Canadian mathematician of Barbadian and Ghanaian descent. She obtained her PhD in Applied Mathematics from McGill University and is an Associate Professor of Applied  Mathematics at Carleton University in Ottawa. Her  research interests are in differential equations and numerical analysis with applications in geophysical fluid dynamics. She uses  mathematical models to study the interactions of the  different types of waves that occur in the atmosphere and their effects on weather and climate. Dr. Campbell is active in the atmospheric science and applied mathematics communities in Canada; she served on the Board of Directors and was the Treasurer of the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society and  received the CAIMS 2019 Arthur Beaumont Distinguished Service Award. At present she is on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics and the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin.

Dr. Campbell is from a mathematical family; her father Merville O’Neale Campbell was a Barbadian mathematician who did research in group theory and taught at the University of the West Indies for many years. Her mother, a teacher, recognized and encouraged her interest in mathematics from a very early age.

Closing the Gap – CMS Inclusion Initiative

CMS has vowed to reaffirm its commitment to a future for the mathematical community where the voices of Black and Indigenous mathematicians and STEM professionals are better reflected. As part of CMS Inclusion Initiative, the Society will invite 400 Black and Indigenous students to participate in the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) and the Canadian Mathematical Gray Jay Competition (CMGC) at no cost. This is an opportunity for students to engage with mathematics and STEM activities and have their mathematical talent recognized.

For more information on this initiative visite the CMS Closing the Gap page.



CMS Webinar Series

Starting in 2020, the CMS offered free webinars to Black and Indigenous students and their educators and caregivers. Some of these webinars are preparatory courses for students taking part in the competitions, others discuss ways of engaging with mathematics that takes account of different knowledge systems, and some are aimed at educators and caregivers and discuss equity in mathematics and unconscious biases in education system.

For a list of Closing the Gap webinars see the Closing the Gap Page.