Dr. Gordon MacDonald
Science Atlantic Outstanding Contributing Member, 2017
Dr. Gordon MacDonald has been an essential force propelling Science Atlantic forward since first becoming involved in 1994. Dr. MacDonald sat as Science Atlantic’s Mathematics and Statistics Representative of UPEI for 23 years from 1994 to 2017, but he didn’t stop there.
He has also served in various positions on the Mathematics and Statistics subcommittee, lead the organization of MSCS at UPEI and participated in multiple important discussion panels.
His academic career has taken him from the Maritimes to Ontario and even California where he attended University of California at Berkeley as a Postdoctoral Fellow.
“I grew up in rural Cape Breton, and for the first part of my life I just wanted to get out and get to ‘bigger and better’ places, but then I felt the call of the Maritimes” said Dr. MacDonald.
Now living in rural PEI, Dr. MacDonald has held the title of Professor of Mathematics at UPEI since 1993. He has a garden and bikes to work – “for about half the year” he specifies.
Of his experiences with Science Atlantic he says the “most beneficial opportunities are the chances for faculty to build connections and community, and for students to have their first exposure to scientific conferences in a more friendly setting.”
He values Science Atlantic as “something special that offers opportunities to students that you don’t get in other regions. The chance to meet students and professors from other universities, to hear talks by students and distinguished professors and to participate in various competitions energizes and excites the imaginations of our students.”
Interestingly, Dr. MacDonald was not always sure mathematics or the university track was for him: “For my first few years of undergrad I bounced around programs, (Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science and Math) and wasn’t very involved in university life outside of classes.”
He continues, “I found my niche in my last few years of undergrad and in grad school and became more involved. I went directly from being a student to being a post-doctorate and professor – I guess I began to enjoy the university lifestyle so much I couldn’t leave.”
His rigorous dedication to teaching and research has not gone unnoticed. Dr. MacDonald has been researched funded by NSERC since 1994, he played an instrumental role in the creation of the School of Mathematical and Computational Science at UPEI and received the Atlantic Association of Universities (AAU) Distinguished Teacher award in 2015.
Of all this, Dr. MacDonald says, “I guess I am most proud that I have been a well-rounded professor who contributes in teaching, research and service.”