HONOURS, PRIZES AND FELLOWSHIPS
|May 25, 2013|
ABOUT MARGARET SINCLAIR
Margaret Sinclair passed away on her 62nd birthday, February 21, 2012 after a brave struggle with a rare form of cancer. Until then she was a tenured professor in the Faculty of Education, Graduate Program in Education, York University.
A vibrant, creative and versatile woman, Margaret followed a rather untraditional path to her impressive accomplishments in life. After graduating high school with a 99% average she began studying economics as a scholarship student at the University of Toronto, but after one year she left to join the work force. Margaret had met Larry Sinclair in Grade 7 and in 1968, when she was 18, they were married. In 1969 she attended Toronto Teacher's College, and after graduation began teaching at the elementary level. Between then and 1974 she also completed five courses by correspondence at the University of Toronto.
By 1975, when Margaret and Larry had two children, she decided to stay home full-time to care for them and then the three more they had by 1982. During that time Margaret also decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics by correspondence from the University of Waterloo. Excelling in that effort, she completed her undergraduate degree in 1988 and began teaching mathematics at the secondary level. Over the next several years Margaret combined full-time work with further part-time studies. In 1995 she earned a masters degree in the Mathematics for Teachers program from York University. Then in 2001, at age 51, after six years of studies, while still a mathematics department head and then a vice-principal, Margaret completed her PhD, receiving her doctorate in education through O.I.SE. In July of that year, she began her new career at York University where she worked as Associate Professor of Education and co-director of the York-Seneca Institute for Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Although she was driven by mathematics, Margaret’s passion was learning and sharing her knowledge and expertise with others through teaching, research and writing. She loved educating prospective teachers, using innovative ways to inspire them and their students. As a contributing author of curriculum materials and textbooks, she also strongly advocated presenting mathematics as an important component of everyday life, incorporating whenever she could practical applications of the mathematics involved in such things as designing and building stairs and calculating the numbers of squares of shingles needed for a roofing project. As well, much of her research involved exploring ways to help learners – teachers and students alike – visualize mathematics concepts.
Margaret balanced her life as wife, mother, student and teacher with precision and extraordinary energy. Her greatest attribute was her unselfishness with her time and talents, and her willingness to share these with family, friends and even strangers. She was always ready, willing and able to get involved, offer advice, and be there for people. And her talents went far beyond academia. She loved cooking, knitting, genealogy, ballroom dancing, golfing, gardening, furniture refinishing and renovating.
Margaret Sinclair was inducted as a Fellow of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences at its annual general meeting on June 27, 2012, the first time the Institute had ever posthumously recognized an individual’s outstanding contributions. On the same evening, Margaret's loving husband, Larry, their family and friends were proud to announce the creation of the The Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Mathematics Education.