MEDIA RELEASE — March 12, 2008

Canadian Mathematical Society

March 12, 2008


Ottawa Ontario - The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to award the 2008 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award to Professor Edward Bierstone of the University of Toronto's Department of Mathematics. The Award will be presented at the Society's 2008 Summer Meeting in Montreal.

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

"Ed Bierstone is a professor who demands a lot from his students, inspiring the best to go on to do great things, while at the same time consistently scoring high in teaching evaluations and getting great comments", said Jeremy Quastel, the Department's Acting Chair. His colleagues describe as "extraordinary" the influence he has on generations of students who have passed through the Mathematics Specialist program, many of whom themselves have gone on to become great educators and researchers. They also praise his enthusiasm for teaching students at all levels in Mathematics, Engineering and other programs. His former students cite him as a mentor and inspirational role model. They praise his clear presentations to a point where one student decided last year to type up 60 pages of lecture notes, because "the exposition cannot be lost!" Students always comment on how well prepared he is, how his enthusiasm engenders inspiration, how helpful and generous he is with his time and how skillful he is in unlocking the textbooks mysteries around very difficult topics.

"Throughout his many years at the University of Toronto, Professor Edward Bierstone has asked of his students only what he asked from himself: to strive enthusiastically on the endless road to excellence" said Mike Lorimer, former Associate Chair for Undergraduates.

Professor Bierstone's unwavering commitment to education goes beyond his teaching. During his mandate as Undergraduate Chair, he instituted some major changes by introducing the specialist program "Mathematics and its Applications" which created opportunities for students to combine mathematics with concentrations in areas like teaching, finance or a "design-your-own" program. Each summer he supervises several NSERC or UTEAS (University of Toronto Excellence Award) summer research students. He is currently involved in Curriculum review and renewal at the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto.

Professor Bierstone's distinguished contribution to teaching has been recognized by the University of Toronto through the Faculty of Art and Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996.

Edward Bierstone completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and his graduate studies at Brandeis University where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1973, the same year he joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Professor Bierstone has held visiting professor positions and has been a distinguished invited lecturer in many top institutions. His research interests are in algebraic and analytic geometry, resolution of singularities, and analysis on singular spaces. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1992, is a Founding Fellow of the Fields Institute (2002) and was the 2005 winner of the Jeffery-Williams Prize of the Canadian Mathematical Society.

For more information, contact:

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