2022: The End of an Era

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Cover Article
December 2022 TOC icon
Cover Article
December 2022 (Vol. 54, No. 6)

As I sit and reflect on the past year, I feel grateful for my office in the Canadian House of Mathematics from where I write this article. Despite the many ups and downs that the CMS has faced over the past year (or several), I am pleased with the progress that we have made and continue to make with our endeavours. This was an exciting year, with the resumption of many in-person activities, which allowed young mathematicians to experience the exciting atmosphere of Mathematical Olympiads and to attend a variety of Math Camps across Canada. What’s more, professional mathematicians from all domains were able to reunite and collaborate face to face (offline).

It is such a pleasure to be a part of the Canadian Mathematical Society, a group of diverse mathematicians that is always ready to stand with their colleagues in the face of injustice. The Board of Directors has been working hard to create new committees and sub-committees to address the needs of our members and mathematicians alike. This year, two new committees were established: Human Rights in Mathematics Committee and International Prize Committee.

We had the first full year of in-person CMS Meetings since 2019, where we were able to reconnect with old friends and colleagues to discuss important issues pertaining to the field and those within it. At the Summer Meeting, we felt the residual effects of the pandemic, with our shipment of meeting supplies being stuck at a warehouse in New Brunswick and arriving after the meeting had already concluded. No badges? No problem! Despite this minor hiccough, everyone was pleased to be able to finally attend an in-person mathematics conference. Whether the Executive Office Staff learned from this experience or was paranoid due to this experience, I cannot say; we loaded up our car and drove to Toronto for the Winter Meeting. Badges or no badges, mathematicians sure know how to enjoy a conference! It was great to see everyone back after a successful semester and to congratulate our Award Winners and our new class of CMS Fellows.

Among those who benefitted from the excitement of attending a mathematical event were the students on Math Team Canada who traveled to the International Mathematical Olympiad and the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad. I’d love to take this opportunity to boast about how wonderful our team performed and encourage you to look at the official competition scores[1]. Of course, none of this would be possible without Dorette Pronk, Robert Woodrow, and the rest of the team that put in endless hours behind the scenes to train the Olympians, coordinate their travel, and provide them with a positive experience.

This year has been a busy year for competitions, with the Executive Office running a campaign to increase school participation in the COMC and the CJMC. 14,792 invitations were sent to Canadian schools inviting them to participate in our competitions this fall. Our competition network expanded this year thanks to new and existing partnerships both in Canada and internationally[2]. Thanks to these efforts, CJMC participation increased by nearly 50%. We are wrapping up a very busy competition season and are looking forward to analyzing the results of this direct marketing campaign in the new year.

Summer 2022 brought with it the resumption of many Math Camp programs across the country and the creation of several new programs. We have received great feedback from students and organizers regarding the camps and are certain that 2023 will bring additional exciting opportunities for youth in mathematics.

Here at the CMS Executive Office, we are no stranger to happy reunions. After over 2 years of working remotely, we have returned to the office. It is worth noting that this office is not just any office, but the newly christened Canadian House of Mathematics: a permanent home for the CMS and Mathematics in Canada.

This reunion has been bittersweet, because one of our team members is no longer with us. On September 30th, resident expert on all things CMS, our friend and mentor, Alan Kelm passed away. He was a pillar of the Canadian Mathematical Society for almost 30 years, and he is dearly missed by our entire team.

Speaking of our team, I cannot stress enough how resilient the CMS Executive Office Staff has been over the past year. Through staffing shortages, technological glitches, illness, and everything else that life has thrown their way, everyone at the Executive Office has remained committed to the Society and the role that they play within it. The hard work of Kaileigh, Jessica, Sarah, Steve, and Xinxin did not go unnoticed. I am so lucky to have them as colleagues and wish to express my heartfelt thanks for all their effort this year. Last, but far from least, I would like to thank Yvette for all that she has done for myself and the CMS this year. Her hard work and dedicate have ensured the survival of the CMS during difficult times. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. David Pike, Dr. Javad Mashreghi, Dr. Monica Nevins, the Board of Directors, and the members of this wonderful Society for their support and guidance this year. I greatly appreciate their mentorship and friendship as I learn and grow in my role at the CMS.

From my position of privilege, I must acknowledge the sorrow and rage that I experience as an Iranian Canadian Woman when I think of the injustices that my fellow Iranians are facing (and have faced) under the current regime. The bravery of those who are and have been peacefully protesting for their freedoms makes me proud to be an Iranian Woman.[3]

At the same time, the Canadian Mathematical Society and the dedication of its wonderful members to the Mathematical Community make me proud to be a Canadian mathematician.

Wishing all of you a wonderful period of rest, and a very happy 2023!

For Women, Life, Freedom

برای زن،  زندگی، آزادی

[1] CMO/CJMO: https://cms.math.ca/news-item/2022-cmo-cjmo-results/

EGMO: https://cms.math.ca/news-item/egmo-results-2022/

IMO: https://cms.math.ca/news-item/math-team-canada-imo-2022/

[2] A list of International Competition Partners can be viewed here: https://cms.math.ca/competitions/international-competition-partners/

[3] More information on current events in Iran can be found here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/topic/Tag/Iran

Email the author: tkousha@cms.math.ca
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