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CAIMS*SCMAI E-News Volume 22 Number 8

Editor: Christina Christara

  1. In memoriam: Paul J. Sullivan 1939 — 2022
  2. Call for papers in Mathematics in Science and Industry (MSI)
  3. Preliminary announcement (dates and location) for CAIMS•SCMAI 2023 Annual Meeting

1. In memoriam: Paul J. Sullivan 1939 — 2022

Professor Paul J. Sullivan,

born March 2, 1939 – Merrickville, Ontario,

died peacefully at home September 17, 2022 – London, Ontario.

Professor Paul J. Sullivan, BASc and MASc in Mechanical Engineering (University of Waterloo 1964 and 1965) and PhD (DAMTP, Cambridge 1968) was the Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Science from 1986 till 1989 and Chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario from 1997 till 2002.

More biographical information can be found at his online obituary:


Paul joined the Applied Mathematics Department at Western in 1970, very shortly after it was formed. Always proud of his iron ring, he was instrumental in designing and teaching the Engineering Mathematics program. He maintained excellent connections with Engineering faculty, staff, and students for his entire working life.
Always forward-looking, he was a very early champion of using new technology to teach engineering mathematics in the most effective way possible.

His research concerned contaminant dispersal in environmental flow, a topic of considerable interest when he began and of even more interest today. Perhaps his best-known work, with PC Chatwin of Liverpool University, is his paper “A simple and unifying physical interpretation of scalar fluctuation measurements from many turbulent shear flows” in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. He supervised several PhD students, including Honglin Ye and Tom Schopflocher. He held research funding from NSERC throughout his career.

But Paul’s best gift was his ability to promote growth in others. He was a stellar mentor for junior faculty, assiduously smoothing their paths and giving excellent direction. As Goethe put it in a letter to one of his own teachers, “Correction does much, but encouragement does more”. That was Paul’s principal method: encouragement. The people he mentored continue to shape computational and applied math, and statistics, at Western today, although the administrative structures have changed significantly.

Paul oversaw a period of significant growth and change: the Department, under his leadership, gave up Fluid Mechanics (his own research area) and instead started fledgling Mathematical Biology and Mathematical Finance groups. These groups flourish today at Western. Both the Ontario Research Centre for Computer Algebra (ORCCA) and the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET) groups were founded during his tenure as Chair, in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and again both are very much still active today. Paul’s open conversational style certainly helped: he could always be found enjoying the sunshine with a cup of coffee (and in early days, a cigarette) in his “outer office”. In this way, he managed to make sure he connected with everyone: students, staff, parents, faculty, Deans, donors, and Presidents.

On a national scale, he worked tirelessly for the Canadian Applied Mathematics Society (as CAIMS was then known, before the word “Industrial” was added), and helped in the modernization of the Society. He won the Arthur Beaumont Distinguished Service Award from CAIMS in 2002 for this work. He was also active in organizing international conferences, including some for CAIMS and some for MODSIM in Australia. Indeed he is still remembered fondly by the senior members of that Society, both for his charm and for his activity.

Paul retired from Western in 2004, but remained active and social with members of the Department for many years afterwards. His regular appearance at lunch (with other Professors Emeritus) meant that his advice could be sought, and indeed was sought, on various difficult matters. He was always glad to consult, and his wisdom will be sorely missed.

Written by Rob Corless, with permission by Connie (Paul Sullivan’s widow).

2. Call for papers in Mathematics in Science and Industry (MSI)

Mathematics in Science and Industry (MSI) is the official journal

MSI is published by the American Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).
It is open access, indexed and currently free for authors.
We invite submission of high-quality papers and proposals for special issues.
For details see the journal website

3. Preliminary announcement (dates and location) for CAIMS•SCMAI 2023 Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society • Société Canadienne de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles (CAIMS•SCMAI) will take place in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, from 12 to 15 June 2023.

Proposals for mini-symposiums should be submitted by February 15, 2023.
Acceptance of mini-symposiums will be sent by the beginning of March 2023.

More information for participation, registration, accommodation, etc will be posted later in https://caims2023.github.io/

CAIMS*SCMAI E–News Information

CAIMS*SCMAI E–News is distributed electronically several times a year by the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society * Société Canadienne de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles (https://www.caims.ca).

Past issues are available on the web at https://www.caims.ca/e-news_archive

Submissions are welcome and should be sent in plain text format to:
Christina Christara, CAIMS*SCMAI Secretary Email: secretary@caims.ca
Morgan Craig, CAIMS*SCMAI Communications-Officer Email: communications-officer@caims.ca

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 ENews, please send an email message to Christina Christara as above.