May 4, 2007


Ottawa Ontario - The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to award the 2007 CMS Excellence in Teaching Prize to Professor Brian Forrest, of the University of Waterloo's Department of Pure Mathematics. The award will be presented at the Society's 2007 summer meeting in Winnipeg.

The award recognizes sustained and distinguished contributions in teaching at the post-secondary undergraduate level at a Canadian institution. Thomson Nelson, a well-known Canadian publisher, is a supporter of this Award.

Brian Forrest's outstanding teaching has previously been recognized by the University of Waterloo, most notably in 2000 through Waterloo's Distinguished Teaching Award. His citation at that time spoke to his "ability to convey the beauty and elegance of mathematics to students at all levels", and to his contagious excitement and enthusiasm for teaching mathematics. Former students refer to him as the best university instructor they have encountered - someone who stands out both as a lucid expositor and as a caring mentor.

His colleagues describe him as the most effective and committed teacher they know, someone who consistently obtains stellar evaluations and who devotes uncounted hours to his students. He is patient and thorough, and succeeds at delivering rigorous and demanding material in ways that resonate with students. His letter of nomination describes his "meticulous approach to teaching, integrating homework assignments and lectures so carefully that students not only practice past skills, but also begin to struggle with new concepts in their homework just as they are being introduced in lecture." In his role as undergraduate advisor, he has carefully guided hundreds of students. He is a frequent mentor of undergraduate research projects, the author of extensive undergraduate course notes, and the co-developer of a respected interactive CD-ROM now used at the University of Waterloo for distance education in mathematics.

In parallel with his achievements in teaching, Dr. Forrest has been a driving force for curricular development in his department and faculty. Together with colleagues, his accomplishments in this area include completely restructuring the Waterloo calculus curriculum, developing an innovative new program in computational mathematics, overhauling the general program in mathematics to give it both cohesion and focus, and introducing specialized options that combine mathematical study with engineering, teaching, or finance.

Brian Forrest received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 1987 under the supervision of Professor A.T. Lau. After two years at Queen's University as a Visiting Assistant Professor, he joined the Pure Mathematics department at the University of Waterloo, where he has taught for the last 18 years. In addition to his regular academic duties, he served a four-year term as Chair of his department. He is currently on leave from his appointment as Associate Dean for Co-operative Education in the Faculty of Mathematics. Dr. Forrest's research is in the field of abstract harmonic analysis.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society 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: scientific meetings and publishing of research material, education at all levels, popularization of mathematics. The education activities include competitions, mathematics camps in all provinces, posters for students, meetings, etc. The CMS organizes national Fora in mathematical education. For more details: (

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Cel: (613) 290-3046
  or   Dr. Joseph Khoury
CMS Education Committee
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Ottawa
Tel: 613-562-5800 ext 3487