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Dr. Joseph Khoury – Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa

Dr. Joseph Khoury

You can’t talk about math literacy and outreach in Canada without mentioning Dr. Joseph Khoury. Dr. Khoury has more than two decades of furthering mathematics through community outreach activities, while also helping advance the importance of having a solid foundation in Mathematics among young students. A few of the many outstanding activities fostered by Dr. Khoury are Math Horizons Day, the Math Poster competition, the Problem of the Month, and the highly recognized Math Camp.

Dr. Khoury has a mission. He thrives at showing students the relevance of math and statistics in everything around us, from biology, ecology, meteorology, and cyber security to computer science and even forestry. Dr. Khoury loves to think outside the box by finding interesting topics and applications that highlight the power of knowledge in mathematics, and their relevance in many significant discoveries made in that field in the past few decades.

He knows that when students, at any level, do not see the relevance of the subject they are studying, their interest in learning that subject decreases and they are less willing to work hard to understand it. Dr. Khoury strives to counter this reality by exposing the lesser-known side of mathematics. More specifically, the practical face of mathematics and statistics that makes them attractive, accessible, and ultimately more fun to learn at school and by the public at large.

In his current position in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Khoury has spearheaded many academic and outreach activities to expose students to a “different kind of mathematics, one that they wouldn’t necessarily have in their curriculum.” At the request of the Canadian Mathematics Society, Dr, Khoury has the responsibility of being the national coordinator for all math camps across Canada. Today, there are 23 CMS math camps across Canada, with at least one camp in every province, and the recent establishment of the first-ever Math Camp in a Canadian territory.

He has authored many books, articles, and electronic publications with mathematics playing the main role, most notably The Mathematics That Power Our World — How Is It Made?, published in 2017, and Jim Totten’s Problems of the Week, providing, you guessed it, a wide selection of mathematical problems. Additional works include A Tale of Discrete Mathematics; Linear Algebra Close to Earth, and a student guide to success in mathematics.

In 2021, Dr. Khoury received the Adrien Pouliot Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to promoting mathematics and mathematical education in Canada. In 2020, he received the National CMS Excellence in Teaching Award, one of the most prestigious Canadian awards for teaching postsecondary Mathematics. In 2017, Dr. Khoury received the Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service for the Canadian Mathematical community. At the University level, he is the recipient of many recognitions, including the President’s Award for Service Excellence.

For his career-long contributions to the promotion of mathematics and statistics, Dr. Joseph Khoury is the recipient of the 2022 NSERC Awards for Science Promotion.