CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Volume 15, Number 12

December 20, 2015.

Editor: Justin Wan (


Society News

 1. Rémi Vaillancourt (1934 - 2015)
 2. 2016 CAIMS*SCMAI Prizes and Awards: Call for Nominations
 3. 2016 Election: Call for Nominations


 4. ICIAM Dianoia Newsletter - October 2015
 5. CAIMS*SCMAI E-news Information

Item 1

Rémi Vaillancourt, June 16, 1934 - November 29, 2015

We are saddened to announce to the members of CAIMS that Rémi Vaillancourt, retired professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa and former President of CAIMS, passed away on November 29, 2015 at the age of 81.

An obituary, photos and a book of condolences are available at

Obituary notes contributed by two CAIMS members:

Victor LeBlanc

December 10, 2015

It is with great sadness that I inform the Canadian mathematics community that our dear friend and colleague Rémi Vaillancourt passed away peacefully on November 29 at the age of 81.

Rémi was a regular professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa since 1970, after completing a Ph.D. under the supervision of Kurt Friedrichs at NYU, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago.  Although he officially retired in 1999, he was still afterwards among the most active members of this department (as an Adjunct Professor) by teaching courses, supervising graduate students, and being extremely productive in research, holding one of the largest NSERC grants in the department.

Rémi had a truly illustrious career, excelling in all aspects of a professor's job. As a researcher, he was a pioneer in introducing applied mathematics and scientific computation in the Courant Institute style in Canada.  He has published over 170 high-quality papers in refereed journals, and co-authored eight books.  He has supervised approximately 50 graduate level theses in applied mathematics (many of these students being foreign nationals), and has thus contributed to the overall vibrancy of this area of mathematics within Canada and throughout the world.

As a teacher, Rémi was heavily involved in the training of engineering and applied mathematics students.  He was a regular instructor of courses in differential equations, numerical analysis and applied linear algebra, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and received excellent evaluations from his students.  As a former departmental chairman, I was very happy to be able to count on Rémi¿s experience, professionalism and generosity when assigning courses.  I think that it is worth mentioning that after his retirement, in lieu of receiving a salary stipend for his teaching, Rémi¿s wish was to receive his compensation in the form of a research grant, so that he could provide better financial support to his graduate students.  Such generosity and concern for his students and colleagues was Rémi¿s trademark.

Rémi¿s generosity also shines through when one looks at his contributions to academic service.  From very early on in his career, Rémi took on a leadership role by becoming Director of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics - when he was only an Assistant Professor! As director, he was instrumental in shaping the department by introducing key curriculum changes and development. Later, Rémi served as President of the Canadian Mathematical Society (1977-79), and of the Canadian Applied Mathematics Society (1993-97). Indeed, he is the only person to have served as president of both mathematical societies. Rémi also served on NSERC scholarship selection committees, and was president (for 6 years) of the Canadian National Committee for the IMU.

In 2007, our department nominated Rémi for the David Borwein award.  As part of the nomination package, I included letters of recommendation from several world-renowned mathematicians.  All letters were quite unequivocal in their praise for Rémi. I was particularly touched by the letter written by one eminent professor.  When I asked this professor if he would be willing to write a letter for Rémi, he quickly and enthusiastically agreed to do so. A little while after accepting to write the letter, I received an email from this professor¿s  wife informing me that he had been in an accident, and was in hospital. It seems that this professor was so worried that he would not be able to get his letter to me in time for the nomination, that he dictated his letter to his wife from his hospital bed, which she then forwarded to me in time to include in the nomination package.  I think that this speaks volumes as to the impact that Rémi has had on his colleagues in the mathematical community, and how this community values him as both a colleague and a friend.

On a personal level, Rémi Vaillancourt was an exceptional colleague - both a mentor, and a friend. I will forever remember and miss his contagious smile and good humour. His passing is a great loss to the mathematics community. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Victor G. LeBlanc Mathematics and Statistics University of Ottawa

Jacques Belair

Rémi était président de la Société Mathématique du Canada quand la Société Canadienne de Mathématiques Appliquées (SCMA) (comme elle s'appelait à sa fondation) a été créée. Il en est par la suite devenu le président; l'incongruité de la situation ne lui avait pas échappé, puisqu'il se considérait interpellé par les préoccupations des fondateurs de la SCMA, mais ne pouvait pas vraiment officiellement appuyer leur démarche lors de la mise sur pied de la Société.

Sa présidence de la SCMA reflétait son attachement à la communauté des mathématiciens appliqués; je l'ai côtoyé alors comme membre du Conseil, et il m'avait très impressionné par sa connaissance socio-politique du milieu et son évaluation de ce qui pouvait, réalistement, et devait être fait pour celle-ci.

Très généreux de son temps, il était un vrai gentilhomme.
Rémi was president of the Canadian Mathematical Society when the Canadian Applied Mathematics Society (CAMS), as it was known then, was created. He eventually assumed the CAMS Presidency. The irony of the situation had not escaped him, for as sympathetic as he was for the actions of the creators of CAMS, he was literally not in a position to support them.

His becoming president of CAMS reflected his attachment to the applied mathematics community; I was a board member then, and he impressed me by his global knowledge of the whole community in Canada, and his strategic assessment of possible growth and successes.

Very generous of his time and knowledge, he was indeed a true gentleman.

Item 2

CAIMS*SCMAI Prizes and Awards: Call for Nominations

Nominations for the annual CAIMS*SCMAI Prizes and Awards are now open. They are

1) Arthur Beaumont Distinguished Service Award
2) Cecil Graham Doctoral Dissertation Award
3) CAIMS*SCMAI Research Prize
4) CAIMS-Fields Industrial Mathematics Prize
5) CAIMS/PIMS Early Career Award

Nominations must be submitted online at by January 31, 2016.

Details of each prize/award as well as the supporting documents necessary for the nomination can be found in the above nomination website.

Item 3

2016 Election: Call for Nominations

CAIMS*SCMAI will be holding an election next winter (March 2016) for:

 - Three Member-at-Large positions on the Board of Directors
 - Treasurer
 - Communications Officer

The three member-at-large positions will fill the positions to be vacated by Ronald Haynes, Thomas Hillen, and Greg Lewis whose terms will come to an end in 2016. The Treasurer appointment will be for a three-year term, and current Treasurer, Lucy Campbell, is willing to continue in this role. The Communications Officer appointment will be for a three-year term, and current Communications Officer, Petro-Luciano Buono, is also willing to continue in this role.

All members of CAIMS*SCMAI are invited to put forward names of candidates for these offices. Nominations should reach the CAIMS Secretary, Justin Wan
<> by January 31, 2016.

Item 4

Dear Colleagues,

The October 2015 issue of the ICIAM Dianoia Newsletter is now available.

At the moment, it is still on the old website:
Please visit there to download a PDF copy of DIANOIA from the link that you will find there.

Best wishes,
Barbara Keyfitz

PS: In the near future, the newsletter will be on ICIAM¿s new website at



2    ICIAM and the Future: An Exchange
3    A Word from the President -- Maria J. Esteban
4    The ICIAM 2015 Congress -- Barbara Lee Keyfitz
5    Announcement of MCA-2017
6    Applied and Industrial Mathematics in Spain: An Overview -- Tomás Chacón Rebollo
7    ICIAM Announcements
8    Announcement of ICIAM 2016 Board Meeting in Brazil
9    A Call to CIMPA Members
10   Mathematics-in-Industry New Zealand (MINZ) Study Group -- Winston L. Sweatman
11   News from CIMPA
12   News from the International Council for Science
13   Bid Process for ICIAM 2023
14   Silver Jubilee of the Indian Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
15   Global change impact on diseases and alien species expansion
16   About ICIAM

Item 5

CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Information

CAIMS*SCMAI E-News is distributed electronically several times a year by the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society/Societe Canadienne de Mathematiques Appliquees et Industrielles (

Past issues are available on the web at


Submissions are welcome and should be sent in plain text format to:

                Justin Wan, CAIMS*SCMAI Secretary

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Board or Membership of CAIMS*SCMAI. The editorial policy of this publication is to encourage the discussion of issues and facilitate the dissemination of information relevant to Canadian applied and industrial mathematics.

If you wish to have your name removed from the e-mailing list for the CAIMS*SCMAI E-News, please send an email message to Justin Wan as above.

Page tags: