Brian Forrest Wins the 2017 Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award
The award recognizes innovation and excellence in mathematics education at any level.
The Fields Institute is pleased to announce Professor Brian Forrest of the University of Waterloo as this year’s recipient of the Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award recognizing innovation and excellence in mathematics education.
Brian makes his courses feel more like a "journey of discovery"
The adjudication committee was impressed by the significant impact his accomplishments have had at all levels of mathematics education: high school, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and teacher education.
Brian received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 1987 under the supervision of Professor A.T. Lau. After two years at Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor, he joined the Pure Mathematics department at the University of Waterloo, where he has taught for the last 28 years.
In additional to being a talented mathematician, Brian quickly gained recognition for his teaching from both colleagues and students. He received several teaching awards including the Professor Appreciation Award (1991) given out by University of Waterloo students, the University of Waterloo Distinguished Teaching Award (2000), and the Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).
“What makes Brian a truly outstanding teacher is his extraordinary ability [to explain] mathematical concepts with clarity and precision, while simultaneously engaging the students and creating excitement for the subject. Brian teaches passionately,” said one of his students.
Another student reported that Brian makes his courses feel more like a "journey of discovery" than a sequence of mathematics results.
In parallel with his teaching, Brian has been a driving force for curricular development. Together with colleagues, he overhauled Waterloo’s general program in mathematics to give it cohesion and focus, completely restructured the Waterloo calculus curriculum, developed an innovative new program in computational mathematics, and introducing specialized options that combine mathematical study with engineering, teaching, or finance.
One of his most important achievements is the Waterloo Masters of Mathematics for Teachers Program (MMT): a three-year, on-line program for high school teachers that aims to refresh mathematics knowledge and rekindle enthusiasm.
“I am surprised and extremely honoured be recognized with this year's Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award,” said Brian. “I am certainly aware of the many significant contributions that past recipients have made to Mathematics education at all levels and I am humbled to be included in their company.”