MEDIA RELEASE — August 3, 2016

Canadian Mathematical Society

August 3, 2016

Jonathan M. Borwein, former CMS President, dies at 65

Jonathan M. Borwein
(University of Newcastle)

OTTAWA — It is with great sadness that the Canadian Mathematical Society announces the passing of our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Jonathan M. Borwein, Laureate Professor at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Director of the Centre for Computer-assisted Mathematical Research and Applications (CARMA) at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Borwein completed an Honours Mathematics degree at the University of Western Ontario (1971) and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University (1974) as an Ontario Rhodes Scholar. He started his academic career at Dalhousie University (1974-1991) before moving to the University of Waterloo (1991-1993). In 1993, Dr. Borwein became the Shrum Professor of Science (1993-2003) and founded the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics (CECM) at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He later served as a Canada Research Chair in Information Technology (2001-2008) at SFU before returning to Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Computer Science as a Canada Research Chair in Distributed and Collaborative Research, with a cross-appointment in Mathematics (2004-2009).

In 2009, Jonathan and his family moved to Australia, where he accepted the position of Laureate Professor of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Newcastle and became the founding director of CARMA, while holding an adjunct appointment at Dalhousie University. The next year, Borwein was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Soon after, he accepted a second adjunct professorship at Chiang Mai University in Thailand (2013 onwards). In 2015, he received the honour of becoming a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and of the Royal Society of New South Wales. From April to July 2016, Jonathan Borwein served as the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Western University.

“Jon was an extraordinarily productive and diverse researcher, widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost practitioners of Experimental Mathematics,” said CMS President Michael Bennett (UBC).

Dr. Borwein was passionate about promoting the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics at both the local, national and global levels. Over several decades, he held various CMS Executive and Board appointments, including serving as Chair of the Electronic Services Committee (1995-1996), Editor-in-Chief of the CMS/Wiley Book Series (1998-2000), Editor-in-Chief of CMS/Springer Books in Mathematics (1998, 2000-2005), Chair of the Fundraising Committee (1999-2001), CMS President (2000-2002), Chair of the Advancement of Mathematics Committee (2001-2002) and Associate Publisher of CMS Books and Rich Media (2004-2007). He also served as a delegate to the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Council (2000-2002), as the Governor at Large of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) (2005-2007) and as the Chair of the CMS International Affairs Committee (2004-2005).

Borwein was fundamental to the vision and the growth of the Canadian Mathematical Society. He held permanent seats on the CMS Special Consultations Group and the President’s Advisory Committee where he was consistently prepared to offer insightful comments and guidance to the Board of Directors and the Presidents of our Society.

The CMS wishes to extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Borwein. We are humbled to have been in the presence of a true visionary and leader, and we are truly grateful for his unwavering dedication to our rich and diverse community.

Obituary and Funeral Details

BORWEIN, Jonathan Michael, August 2, 2016 at age 65. Jon Borwein, Laureate Professor at the University of Newcastle, FRSC, FAAAS, FBAS, FAustMS, FAA, FAMS, FRSNSW passed away suddenly at 12:32 a.m. on August 2 during a stint as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Western University in London, Ontario.

An innovative and prolific mathematician of international renown, he is survived by his parents, Bessie and David Borwein of London; his adoring wife Judith, three daughters Naomi, Rachel, and Tova; five grandchildren Jakob Joseph, Noah Erasmus, Skye, Zoe and Taj; siblings Sarah and Peter; sister-in-law Jennifer Moore.

The funeral will take place at Logan Funeral Home, 371 Dundas Street, London, Ontario at 1:00 pm on Wednesday August 10, 2016 with a visitation period from noon to 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, friends and colleagues may wish to donate to a scholarship fund being set up in Jonathan’s name. For information on how to donate contact

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:

Melissa Bingol-Phillips
Special Projects Coordinator
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: 613-733-2662 ext. 728
or Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Secretary
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: 613-290-3046