Dr. Barry Monson
Science Atlantic Outstanding Contributing Member, 2017
Dr. Barry Monson has been awarded the title of Outstanding Contributing Member for his meaningful participation with Science Atlantic since attending his first mathematics conference in 1979.
Since then, he has contributed to over 25 Science Atlantic conferences, meetings and educational efforts including co-authoring the 1995 APICS (now Science Atlantic) report on the joint Atlantic Provinces high school math curriculum.
Born and raised on a post-WW2 cooperative farm in Saskatchewan, Dr. Monson completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan at Regina before completing his PhD at the University of Toronto where he studied under geometer H.S.M. Coxeter.
“I’m a farm boy at heart [but] I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I like the idea of living on a farm, I don’t like the idea of working on one. That’s way to hard for me,” says Monson, whose research lies in the area of regular and abstract polytopes, hyperbolic geometry and group theory.
He then continued travelling eastward after securing his first official teaching contract with the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in 1979 where he taught for the rest of his career.
New to Fredericton, Dr. Monson found much needed community through Science Atlantic while also familiarizing himself with the research being conducted in this part of the country.“
Before I came here I knew absolutely no one from the Maritimes… really I couldn’t have told you whether Fredericton was on the ocean. I went to [Science Atlantic Conferences] originally just to travel around the Maritimes [and] I made lots of friends who are lifelong friends now,” Monson says.
Dr. Monson recognizes his good fortune in receiving a one-year teaching contract at UNBF after responding to a bulletin flyer in his university’s math department – a sabbatical replacement position which would eventually become tenure.
“I was just enormously grateful to have any kind of job because even in the 1970’s the job market was brutal… These days it is unbelievably competitive to get an academic job [and] it was already competitive enough then,” Monson says.
Dr. Monson has retired from his position at UNBF and now holds the title of professor emeritus. If you ask him his proudest accomplishments in life he is quick to respond “having two daughters and a marriage.” In his career at UNBF he is most proud of receiving the 2003 Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award.