Stanton, Ralph G.

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Stanton, Ralph G.

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  • Stanton, Ralph Gordon

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1923-2010

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Ralph G. Stanton, Canadian mathematician, teacher, scholar and pioneer in mathematics and computing education, was born in 1923 in Lambeth, Ontario. He was educated at the University of Western Ontario (BA in Mathematics and Physics, 1944) and then at the University of Toronto (MA, PhD, 1945 and 1948), where he taught from 1946 to 1957. In 1957 he came to the University of Waterloo as its first mathematics professor and head of the Mathematics Department; as a result of his efforts, in 1967 Waterloo became the first university in North America to have mathematics as a separate faculty. In 1967 he left Waterloo for York University to start a graduate program in mathematics. In 1970 he moved to the Department of Computing Science at the University of Manitoba, serving as Head, Professor, and since 1984, as Distinguished Professor.

Ralph Stanton's impact on mathematical education, particularly in computer science, has been substantial. He introduced computing in the classroom at the University of Waterloo in 1960, introduced co-operative programs in applied mathematics and in computer science and served as Graduate Dean from 1960 to 1966. He encouraged teaching of computing science and mathematics at the secondary school level. He served as editor of two high school mathematical journals, on provincial (Ontario) curriculum committees and was actively involved in developing what is now the Canadian Mathematics Competition. He introduced graduate work in mathematics at York University and at the University of Manitoba built up the Computing Science Department with an emphasis on applied computer science. He has also produced a large body of scholarly contributions in algebra, applied statistics, mathematical biology and combinatorics. He has received honourary degrees from the University of Queensland (D.Sc., hon. causa, 1989), the University of Natal (D.Sc., hon. causa, 1997) and the University of Waterloo (D.Math, hon. causa, 1997).

In 1985 he was awarded the Killam prize in Mathematics.

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