Media Release – July 3, 2020
Canadian Mathematical Society

Veselin Jungic Receives the 2020 Adrien Pouliot Award

Veselin Jungic writes on the blackboard

OTTAWA – The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Veselin Jungic of Simon Fraser University is the recipient of the 2020 Adrien Pouliot Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to mathematics education. The award will be presented at the 2020 CMS Winter Meeting in Montreal.

Veselin Jungic, also known lovingly as Veso in the mathematics community, is a Teaching Professor at the Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University. He has been teaching mathematics at the post-secondary level since 1978. Dr. Jungic is a 3M National Teaching Fellow and a recipient of several teaching awards, including the Canadian Mathematical Society Teaching Award and the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences Educational Award. Most of his research is in Ramsey theory and the field of mathematics education and outreach. He has authored and coauthored papers with numerous educational themes, mostly based on his own teaching practices.

“Dr. Jungic is a leader on many levels, his efforts and  dedication had an impact on so many young students and his numerous projects made him well  known in the Canadian mathematics community and well beyond, ” says Dr. Joseph Khoury, Chair of the CMS Education Committee. “His nomination file is truly inspiring and reflects his love, commitment and passion for Math education.”

One of his most remarkable accomplishments is the creation of the Math Catcher program. The Program aims to promote mathematics and scholarship in general by encouraging elementary and high school students to recognize how math is used in everyday life and how it forms the basis for many of our daily decisions and life-long choices. The storytelling, puzzles, pictures, models, and hands-on activities encourage young people to recognize that learning and doing mathematics can trigger feelings of pride, happiness, and joy. Over the last nine years, Dr. Jungic has visited more than 600 classrooms from kindergarten to grade 12 and shared his passion for mathematics with over 15,000 students. As an invited speaker, he delivered more than 50 of the Math Catcher-related workshops and lectures to teachers, academics, and general public at the local, national, and international levels.

The Math Catcher Program has strong Indigenous components and it is in many ways inspired by Indigenous storytelling traditions. For example, in collaboration with Dr. Mark MacLean (2015 Adrien Pouliot Award), Dr. Jungic has created 25 animated films in nine First Nation languages.

In order to provide enrichment activities to high school students during the school year, Dr. Jungic, together with Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel (2011 Adrien Pouliot Award), created a series of talks and activities called A Taste of Pi. For 12 years, once a month, students nominated by their math teachers would come to SFU to hear a talk about and engage in activities related to new and exciting developments in the mathematical sciences and contemporary applications of mathematics.

Throughout his career, Dr. Jungic has pushed forward our understanding of mathematics education and implemented practical solutions for teaching. He has documented his work in a series of over 40 math education-related publications in order to share his experiences with others.

In the recent years, Dr. Jungic has been involved in several initiatives that aim to support Canadian post-secondary instructors in their quest to provide to their students the best learning experience possible. For example, he co-organizes Teaching Matters Seminar Series at Simon Fraser University with Dr. Megan Barker and the PIMS Math Educational Circles Seminar with Dr. Melania Alvarez (2012 Adrien Pouliot Award).  In addition, he is collaborating with Dr. Andrijana Burazin, Dr. Miroslav Lovric (2010 Adrien Pouliot Award), and others on the further developments of the pan-Canadian grassroots faculty-led initiative called “First Year Math and Stats in Canada.”

“It’s hard to summarize all that [Dr. Jungic] does, because there’s always something more. For example, I just looked at his webpage and saw that he already has three different articles out about the particular challenges of mathematics education during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (Where  did he find the time to do that?)” said Dr. Paul Tupper, Professor of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University.

Despite all this impressive work, he has still found the time to run 18 marathons.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Termeh Kousha
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662


Dr. Joseph Khoury (Ottawa)
Chair, CMS Education Committee
Tel: (613) 562-5800 ext. 3487