Media Release – June 8, 2023
Canadian Mathematical Society


OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie University) has been named the recipient of the 2023 Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service.

Dr. Pronk has made consistent and significant contributions to the Canadian mathematical community and to the Canadian Mathematical Society. She has served as the Chair of the Math Competitions Committee since 2016, as Chair of the IMO Committee from 2014 till 2015 and as Chair of the EGMO committee since 2018.  Additionally, she has represented Canada many times as leader and deputy leader of Math Team Canada, at the International Math Olympiad, the European Girls Math Olympiad and the Pan American Girls Math Olympiad. In 2018, she was instrumental in securing Canada’s first participation in the European Girls Math Olympiad. She has also served as member of the Women in Math Committee and was part of the team organizing the first Connecting Women in Math Across Canada workshop.

Dr. Pronk is a Professor of Mathematics at Dalhousie University whose research program is in category theory with applications to geometry, topology, and computational semantics. She serves on the boards of the Applied Category Theory conferences and the Foundational Methods in Computer Science workshops, and she serves on the editorial board of two category theory journals: Cahiers de Topologie et Géométrie Différentielle Catégoriques and Applied Categorical Structures.  She has also served on the Executive Committee of AARMS (the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences) and the Mathematics and Statistics Committee of Science Atlantic.

She is active in local outreach in Nova Scotia, as organizer of the Dalhousie Math Challenge Club and former faculty advisor of the Nova Scotia Math Circles. She was instrumental in securing the second round of funding by Eastlink for this program. In collaboration with Nova Scotia Math Circles, she has recently started the Indigenous Math Circle, a new after-school math program for Indigenous students in the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.

A common theme expressed by those who nominated Dr. Pronk is her care and dedication to personal mentorship, providing encouragement and advice along with compassion.  To quote some of their words:

“The essence of Dr. Pronk’s activities is attention to each young person, and encouragement of their potential through personal effort.”

“Dorette made for a truly excellent leader beyond just organizing the opportunity as well; she was incredibly hands-on and made sure to provide us with much support, organize social activities, and get to know and support us as individuals.  She made for a very compassionate and encouraging leader who would listen to our concerns and insecurities being young women in mathematics and make us feel heard and appreciated.”

Her contributions have been invaluable to raising passion for and access to mathematics among young Canadians, especially for female and non-binary students.

Dr. Pronk earned her doctorate in mathematics in 1995 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.  Since joining the faculty at Dalhousie University in 2000, she has supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows, in whom she instills the importance of outreach work in addition to their research.

About the Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service

The Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service is presented annually to an individual who has made sustained and significant contributions to the Canadian mathematics community, particularly through their involvement with the CMS. This award is named in honour of Dr. Graham Wright (Ottawa) who served as the CMS Executive Director and Secretary from 1979 to 2009.

For information about past recipients visit: Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including scientific meetings, publications, grants, math camps and national and international mathematics competitions, as well as awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Termeh Kousha
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Dr. David Pike
Canadian Mathematical Society