Dr Malgorzata Dubiel Retires!

December 10, 2019

Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel retires from the Dept of Math

After a celebrated career, our colleague Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel, a Fellow of the Canadian Mathematical Society and University Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University, has retired.

A recipient of multiple local, regional, and national awards for her teaching and outreach, Dr. Malgorzata Dubiel has been one of the most influential math educators in Canada. Through her involvement on the Canadian Mathematics Society (CMS) Educational Committee and the Women in Mathematics Committee, Malgorzata was a tireless champion for equality in our mathematical community. The number and caliber of the female keynote speakers at the latest CMS meeting reflects the progress in the Canadian mathematical community that Malgorzata passionately advocated for so many years. Even upon her retirement, Malgorzata will continue to encourage young women to explore their talents and interests in mathematics. For example, Malgorzata is one of the organizers of the forthcoming 2020 Diversity in Mathematics Undergraduate Summer School at the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS).

Loved and respected for her uncompromising commitment to students and her fellow instructors, Malgorzata has been one of the pillars of the mathematical teaching community across the country. As just one example, her work and vision have shaped the curriculum of the BC math courses for the future elementary school teachers.

The Annual Changing the Culture Conference, sponsored by PIMS, is another influential event made possible by Malgorzata’s efforts. Since 1998, Malgorzata has been the main organizer of this conference which, in Malgorzata’s words: “was designed to bring together mathematicians, mathematics educators, students, and school teachers from all levels to work together towards narrowing the gap between mathematicians and teachers of mathematics, and between those who do enjoy mathematics and those who don't." As a conference workshop moderator, a co-organizer, and a panelist over many years, I witnessed how participants respected Malgorzata and saw her talent for bringing together teachers and learners from all walks of mathematical life. As I have observed many times, Malgorzata has a rare talent to quickly shift between equally passionate discussions on mathematics with an elementary school teacher, a university professor, a college instructor, and a high school teacher.

Between 2004 and 2016, Malgorzata and I co-organized a series of talks and activities called “A Taste of Pi”. The program consisted of monthly Saturday morning meetings at SFU during which students had an opportunity to hear talks by distinguished faculty members about their research, about new and exciting developments in the mathematical sciences, and about contemporary applications of mathematics. The talks were followed by problem sessions, where students worked on problems and activities related to concepts discussed in the talks. The sessions would end with a talk on a topic from another scientific discipline. Malgorzata’s experience, ideas, and her excellent reputation among high school teachers were crucial for the success of the series. This collaboration is still one of the highlights of my professional life.

On a more personal note, Malgorzata helped me realize that a teacher’s duties extend outside of the classroom. Belonging to the teaching community also brings a responsibility of building constructive relationships with learners and teachers at all levels of the educational process as well as with the general public.

On behalf of the department, I wish Malgorzata a very happy retirement! We hope that you enjoy your time with your family and that you continue to share with us photos of your beautiful grandchildren.

Veselin Jungic
Professor/3M National Teaching Fellow
Department of Mathematics
Simon Fraser University

(Photo: Malgorzata Dubiel and Veselin Jungic)