Congratulations to Dr Paul McNicholas who has received the John L. Synge Award from the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of his outstanding research in the mathematical sciences. The award was established in honour of one of the first mathematicians in Canada to obtain international recognition through research, and is endowed by friends of J.L. Synge, society Fellows, the McLean Foundation and Synge’s daughter, Cathleen Synge Morawetz, FRSC. Dr McNicholas, whose research is focused on the development, implementation and application of statistical methods, is the Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics, director of the MacDATA Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Classification.
Congratulations to Dr Balakrishnan who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr Balakrishnan is recognised for being a world leader in Distribution Theory, Ordered Data Analysis, Reliability Analysis and Applied Probability. He is particularly known for his pioneering contributions to a wide range of areas in Applied Sciences and Engineering, through introduction of sophisticated models, development of efficient inferential methods and novel applications, and for his seminal books on theory and applications of Statistics and co-editing of the Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences.
Congratulations to David Earn who has been appointed as Faculty of Science Resarch Chair in Mathematical Epidemiology. The Science Research Chairs program seeks to recognize excellence in research among our colleagues and provide a research stipend to help support the Chairs’ research programs.
Carl Riehm (1935 – 2021)
We are saddened by the death of Carl Riehm, a long-time faculty member at McMaster University and a good friend of the Fields Institute, who passed away on March 16, 2021. He was 85.
Carl was a dedicated academic whose interest in algebra and number theory contributed to his prolific, high-caliber research output. Born in Kitchener Ontario, Carl earned a B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1958. He then studied at Princeton University where, in 1961, he received his PhD under the supervision of Tim O’Meara for work on integral representations of quadratic forms.
Carl held a position at McGill University, followed by a professorship at Notre Dame from 1963 until 1972. He was recruited to McMaster from the University of Notre Dame in 1972 to be Department Chair and he remained at McMaster until his retirement in 2000. There, he served as Department Chair from 1972 until 1978.
Carl was instrumental in the formation of the Fields Institute, and ensured that McMaster was fully involved in the Institute from the beginning. In fact, it was Carl’s wife Elaine, later a biographer of John Charles Fields, who provided the suggestion to call the institute after the Canadian mathematician and founder of the Fields Medal. Carl served on the Board of the Institute and after retiring from McMaster, he ran publications at Fields for 13 years as Managing Editor. He was made a Fields Fellow in the inaugural class of Fellows in 2002.
On top of his many achievements, Carl will be most fondly remembered for his kindness and generosity toward those fortunate enough to enter his orbit. A former Fields colleague recalls that Carl was a “prince” who was always an engaging conversationalist. “I always tried to score a seat beside Carl or Elaine at any Fields dinner because I knew we’d have lots to chat about,” she recalls.
True to form, this gregariousness made him a familiar figure at McMaster’s University Club, where he held a prime seat at the “Math Table” and made it his job to know everyone and to connect people. From his seat, Carl would have lunch with and chat with everyone from the most recent hire in the department to the Dean and the upper administration. He remained a mentor and friend to so many throughout his life, taking new recruits out for lunch, a run or a game of squash.
Carl is survived by his wife, Elaine, their sons Derek and Marc, as well as their six grandchildren. The family will organize a celebration of his life this coming fall.