Jacques Hurtubise, Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is the 2022 recipient of the David Borwein Distinguished Career Award for his exceptional, broad, and continued contributions to mathematics. He will receive his award and present a Prize Lecture at the Winter meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) in Toronto, December 2-5, 2022.
Prof. Hurtubise is the fifth recipient of this award, established in 2004 to recognize individuals who have made a sustained outstanding contribution to Canadian mathematics. Born in Montreal, where he completed his BSc in Mathematics at the Université de Montréal in 1978, Prof. Hurtubise has been active in research ever since he became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he completed his DPhil in 1982. He gained worldwide recognition for his seminal work on the topology of the moduli spaces of instantons, as well as on integrable systems. His research has appeared in top mathematics journals and earned him several prestigious prizes and lectureships, including the 1993 CMS Coxeter-James Prize and, that same year, the first Centennial Fellowship awarded to a Canadian by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Inducted a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada at the age of 47, he was an inaugural Fellow of the AMS (2012) and the CMS (2018).
After teaching for six years at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Prof. Hurtubise joined McGill in 1988, where in addition to having a deep influence as a mentor of young mathematicians, he took on many leadership roles. He was, among others, Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (2009-15, 2019-22), Interim Vice-Principal Research (2004-5), Interim Deputy Provost (2005-6), and a member of Senate (2010-15). On the national scene, he was Deputy Director, then Director, of the Centre de recherches mathématiques in Montréal (1999-2003), and served many grant agencies and learned societies in various roles, including as President of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 2010 to 2012, ACFAS Board member (2005-10), Co-Chair of the 74th annual ACFAS meeting held at McGill, and Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 2nd Mathematical Congress of the Americas that brought over 1000 delegates to Montréal in 2017.
Jacques’ stewardship is epitomized by his remarkable human qualities, charisma, and scientific vision. Admired for his unswerving, selfless devotion to the greater good, he has been hailed by his colleagues for placing the interests of his academic unit, university, and professional community well before his own. His exemplary career is eminently deserving of this award, named after David Borwein, who was head of the Mathematics Department at the University of Western Ontario from 1967 to 1989 and served as President of the CMS from 1985 to 1987.