MEDIA RELEASE — Feb 21, 2012

Canadian Mathematical Society

Feb 21, 2012


Veselin Jungic to Receive the 2012 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award

Veselin Jungic

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Veselin Jungic (Simon Fraser University) is the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award.

The CMS Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes sustained and distinguished contributions in mathematics teaching at the undergraduate level at a Canadian post-secondary education institution.

"Veselin is well known in the mathematics community as an excellent educator due to his effective teaching style, his innovative ideas, and the immense time and effort he puts into education initiatives," says Dr. Peter Taylor, Chair of the CMS Education Committee. "His dedication to students and his passion for the subject are truly inspiring."

Dr. Jungic's course load at SFU includes introductory calculus courses that contain over 500 students. He conducts research into methods and techniques for teaching large classes and has written research papers on the subject. He makes use of on-line assignments as a tool to communicate with all students in the class and pioneered the use of Lon-CAPA, an online course management system, for mathematics courses at SFU.

"One of the reasons for Veselin's success in teaching such large classes is his immense caring for students, and constant reflecting on how to help them learn mathematics," says Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel, a fellow mathematics professor at SFU who nominated Dr. Jungic for the award.

Dr. Jungic was instrumental in the development and remains actively involved in many of SFU's outreach programs, including the CMS-PIMS Summer Math Camp, the program 'A Taste of Pi', which features enrichment activities for high school students, and the Math Student Ambassador Program, which connects SFU student volunteers with high schools to speak to students about pursuing university mathematics.

In addition to his work with university and high school students, Veselin regularly teaches basic courses in mathematics to adult learners, including students in the SFU Liberal and Business Studies program and First Nation individuals who did not complete secondary education. His adult students praise him for his patience and his efforts to make sure students understand the course content.

Dr. Jungic also works extensively with Aboriginal students and endeavors to integrate Aboriginal culture in his mathematics lessons. He teaches an introductory math course in SFU's Aboriginal University Prep Program, and, along with a student from this program, he produced the animated short film "Small Number Counts to 100," which introduces math topics and techniques through stories that follow Aboriginal storytelling formats. The film is part of a larger project funded by NSERC, Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling, that aims to promote mathematics in a way that allows Aboriginal students to see themselves and their culture in the math.

Veselin Jungic earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Simon Fraser University in 1999. After completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, he returned to SFU as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics in 2001. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Department, and is also the Deputy Director of IRMACS (Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Science Centre). He has twice received the SFU Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award (once as a teaching assistant), and in 2009 he was the recipient of the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Jungic will receive his award and deliver a prize lecture at the 2012 CMS Summer Meeting in Regina, Saskatchewan.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Peter Taylor, Chair
CMS Education Committee
Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
(613) 533-2390
or Laura Alyea
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 733-2662 ext. 728

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the national mathematics organization whose goal is to promote the advancement, discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.