September 8, 2005


OTTAWA, Ontario -- The recipient of the Canadian Mathematical Society's Adrien Pouliot Award for 2005 is Dr. Katherine Heinrich (University of Regina), and Dr. Yu-Ru Liu (University of Waterloo) is the winner of the 2005 G. de B. Robinson Prize. The awards will be presented at the CMS 2005 Winter Meeting Banquet on December 11th at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia.

CMS 2005 Adrien Pouliot Award: Dr. Katherine Heinrich (University of Regina)

The Adrien Pouliot Award is for individuals, or teams of individuals, who have made significant and sustained contributions to mathematics education in Canada.

The most significant achievement of Kathy Heinrich in the area of mathematics education is the idea for a Canadian Mathematics Education Forum as a venue for people interested in mathematics education at all levels: mathematicians, math educators, teachers of mathematics from every level, representatives of school boards, ministries of education, industry, and parents, to meet and talk together about issues of common interest.

The first Forum, held in Québec City in 1995, set the stage for many activities that followed. In British Columbia, Forum participants organized the BC Mini-forum for Education in Mathematics (December 1995). This event led to the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences "Changing the Culture" annual conference which, for the past eight years, has brought together people interested in math education. In Ontario, the spirit of the 1995 Forum is continued with the Fields Institute Mathematics Education Forum.

In 2001, the Canadian Mathematical Society revived Kathy Heinrich's Forum concept. The second Forum took place in Montréal (hosted by UQAM) in May 2003 and the third Forum (hosted by the Fields Institute) was held in May 2005. Many new initiatives have grown out of these Fora. A new Canada-wide teachers' organization is being created and Canadian indigenous people are becoming partners in the discussions on mathematics education. These Fora are on the verge of becoming an institution.

The inspiration for the 1995 Forum arose from Kathy Heinrich's significant involvement in mathematics education and the promotion of mathematics. In 1982 she organized the first Mathematics Enrichment Conference for grade 11 students at Simon Fraser University. This three-day event, which continued annually for the next 15 years, provided inspiration to generations of British Columbia students. Kathy Heinrich was a co-organizer of "Women Do Math" (later renamed "Discover the Possibilities"), a mathematics conference designed to reach girls in grades 9 and 10 and a co-organizer of "Math in the Malls", a series of displays with hands-on activities, organized in several Vancouver area shopping malls in the early 1990's. She took an active role in lobbying to have Mathematics as a category at Canada Wide Science Fairs. Her legacy of involvement in mathematics education continues to be felt across the country.

Dr. Katherine Heinrich received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 1979. In 1981, she joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Simon Fraser University as an Assistant Professor on a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) University Research Fellowship. She was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1987 and, from 1991-1996, was Chair of the Department. From 1999, she has held the position of Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Regina.

During the last several years Kathy Heinrich has served as a member of the Interim Governing Council of the University of Northern British Columbia, the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University, the Youth Science Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Mathematical Society. She was President of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 1996 to 1998. For six years she served as a member of the BC Science Council Awards Committee. Recently she was a member of an NSERC Grant Selection Committee and the National Killam Selection Committee. She is currently a member of the NSERC Council.

In 1995, she was awarded both the Vancouver YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Education, Training and Development and the University of Newcastle Gold Medal for Professional Excellence.

Her research interests include graph factoring problems, the design and application of Latin squares and more generally the "mathematics of arrangements" that enable the construction of computer networks, scheduling of tournaments and secure transmission of information.

CMS 2005 G. de B. Robinson Prize: Dr. Yu-Ru Liu (University of Waterloo)

The G. de B. Robinson Award was inaugurated to recognize the publication of excellent papers in the Canadian Journal of Mathematics and the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin and to encourage the submission of the highest quality papers to these journals. The 2005 G. de B. Robinson Award is awarded to Dr. Yu-Ru Liu, University of Waterloo, for her two papers entitled "A Generalization of the Turan Theorem and its Applications", and "A Generalization of the Erdos-Kac Theorem and its Applications" which were published in the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin in 2004.

A classical theorem of Hardy and Ramanujan states that the normal number of prime divisors of a natural number n is log log n. Their difficult proof was simplified by Turan in 1934 and was subsequently amplified by Erdos and Kac in their monumental creation of probabilistic number theory. In her two papers, Liu shows that the theorems of Turan, as well as the subsequent generalizations by Erdos and Kac, apply to a wider geometric context. Most notable is the application to the study of points on varieties over finite fields. The papers represent an elegant melange of probability theory, analytic number theory and algebraic geometry.

Dr. Yu-Ru Liu obtained her Bachelors degree from McGill University in 1997 and she completed her Masters degree at Queen's University in 1998. Under the direction of Barry Mazur, she completed her doctoral work at Harvard University in 2003. The two papers which appeared in the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin in 2004 are based upon her doctoral thesis. Dr. Liu currently holds a University Faculty Award at the University of Waterloo.

For more information contact:

Dr. H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: 709-737-8246
  or   Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702