MEDIA RELEASE — March 6, 2015

Canadian Mathematical Society

March 6, 2015

2015 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award winner challenges the ‘traditional’ lecture

Jamie Mulholland (SFU)
photo provided by Jamie Mulholland

OTTAWA — Simon Fraser University (SFU) Senior Lecturer Jamie Mulholland's innovative teaching techniques have earned him the 2015 CMS Excellence in Teaching Award. Jamie’s colleagues describe him as a tremendously adaptable and flexible teacher –a master in the art of balancing the use of contemporary technology with face-to-face interactions.

“Dr. Jamie Mulholland is a caring, thoughtful and passionate instructor whom his students admire,” says CMS Education Committee Chair Malgorzata Dubiel. “He is a wonderful colleague and a generous and hardworking collaborator eager to share his knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm for teaching with others.”

“Professors like Jamie who engage students and are passionate about their work are so important to the Canadian mathematical community,” says Lia Bronsard, CMS President. “CMS is pleased to be able to recognize such exceptional teachers.”

Jamie demonstrates how innovative techniques have positive effect on students’ learning. He records Calculus lectures and combines these videos with other online and traditional teaching resources. Students come to class already briefed on to the material to be covered. Class time is reserved for students to participate, solve problems – on their own or in groups – and discuss questions.

Jamie’s approach to math education produces a student population that is more engaged, confident and successful. Jamie supplies the high level of organization and dedication required to make such a course work. His innovations continue into more advanced mathematics courses, where he uses puzzles and hands-on activities to teach concepts in group theory and discrete mathematics. His courses like Adventures in Group Theory: Rubik’s cube and other Mathematical Toys or Mathematics and Computing - Permutation Puzzles: A Mathematical Perspective have inspired many students to study mathematics.

Jamie completed his undergraduate degree at SFU in 2000, where he was the winner of the Governor General’s Silver Medal. He went on to receive an MSc and PhD in mathematics from the University of British Columbia and received the Governor General's Gold Medal upon completing his MSc in 2003. Jamie is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at SFU, where he balances his teaching responsibilities with researching teaching methodology and participating in the direction of undergraduate mathematics education. He has received several honours for his teaching including the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award (2011) and the SFU Faculty of Science Teaching Award.

About the Excellence in Teaching Award

The Excellence in Teaching Award nationally recognizes sustained and distinguished contributions in mathematics education at the post-secondary undergraduate level at a Canadian institution. The award was established in 2004 to recognize teaching excellence as exemplified by effectiveness in the classroom and/or commitment and dedication to teaching students.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including: scientific meetings; publications; awards; prizes; grants; camps and competitions. As the national math association, the CMS represents Canada internationally to other societies as well as organizations such as the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

For more information, please contact:

Julie Bortolotti
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
613-733-2662 ext. 728
or Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel (SFU)
Chair, CMS Education Committee
Tel: 778.782.3800