MEDIA RELEASE — January 26, 2009

Canadian Mathematical Society

January 26, 2009

David Poole to receive the
2009 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to award the 2009 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award to Professor David Poole, Department of Mathematics, Trent University.

The Award will be presented at the Society's 2009 Summer Meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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.

"David’s success as a teacher reflects his love of teaching, as does the fact that he did not take a teaching reduction while he was chair of our Department from 1996 to 2001. He is an exemplary academic citizen: diligent, inclusive, keen, sanguine, serious and modest”, said Reem Yassawi, the Department's Chair.

His students describe him as a gifted mathematician whose love and passion for the subject shine through all of his interactions with his classes and as a multi-talented professional, working diligently and with considerable creativity and notable success to enrich the lives of his students. His depth of knowledge allows him great flexibility in the range of examples and applications that he brings to the teaching of almost any mathematical concept. They also praise the way he prepares his assignments in a way that the understanding of the material increases significantly at the end of the assignment due to careful choice and ordering of the questions. David’s development of the course MATH 2080 (Mathematics for the contemporary classroom) was crucial in serving the needs of prospective elementary school teachers and it reflects his conviction that a mathematician has a responsibility to educate, and educate effectively.

“David is a gifted Teacher, both inside the classroom and out, who truly cares about his students. His teaching is the model on which I try to base my own. He has been a strong and positive influence on the lives of students at Trent for many years, and his influence has now been extended to many more students through his text book”, said Joy Morris, a former student of David and an associate professor at the University of Lethbridge.

Professor Poole's excellence in teaching has been recognized through his numerous teaching awards: Trent University’s Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching (1995), an Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award (2002), a 3M Teaching Fellowship (2003), a Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award (Ontario, 2007), and several merit awards for excellence in teaching. He has given many invited talks related to mathematics education, notably the John F. Randolph Lecture to the Seaway Section of the Mathematical Association of America in 2005.

David Poole completed his undergraduate studies at Acadia University and his graduate studies at McMaster University, where he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1984. He has taught at Trent University since then and is currently Professor of Mathematics. He chaired Trent’s Mathematics Department from 1996–2000 and from 2001–03. From 2002–2007, he was Associate Dean of Arts and Science (Teaching and Learning) with responsibility for Trent’s Instructional Development Centre, Academic Skills Centre, Trent Centre for Community-Based Education, classroom technologies, and the university’s academic integrity policy.

Professor Poole’s research interests are in ring theory, discrete mathematics, and mathematics education. He is the author of the textbook Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction (Brooks/Cole), currently in its second edition and used in universities and colleges worldwide.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662
or Dr. Joseph Khoury
Excellence in Teaching Award Selection Committee
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Ottawa
Tel: 613-562-5800 ext 3487