Our Legacy

Over the years, our graduates and academic staff members have left their mark on the department through donations, achievements, discoveries, and international renown.

Read about some of these alumni and faculty below.

Drs. Josephine Mitchell (left) and Lowell Schoenfeld (right) on vacation with their arms around each other. Dr. Josephine Mitchell, who graduated from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Alberta in 1934, wanted to leave a gift to her alma mater but passed away before she could add the bequest to her last will and testament. Her husband, Dr. Lowell Schoenfeld, honoured his late wife in his own last will by leaving a gift of $1.6 million USD to the university in her name. Josephine's gift supports a variety of endowments, scholarships, and labs in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences today.
Decima Robinson seated, staring directly at the camera Decima Eveline Robinson was the very first Bachelor of Science graduate at the University of Alberta, earning her degree in 1911 in mathematics. Her legacy lives on in the department in the Decima Robinson Support Centre, a centre created to assist and support students enrolled in math courses across the university with exam help, review sessions, tutoring, and more.
An esteemed mathematician whose career included positions at Cornell, Harvard, and UCLA before he moved to the University of Alberta, Dr. Ambikeshwar Sharma also had in mind future generations of mathematicians when he set up an endowment to support graduate students at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Mathukumalli Venkata Subbarao smiling at the camera Dr. Mathukumalli Venkata Subbarao was a number theorist and longstanding faculty member of the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. His students and colleagues note his passion for pure mathematics and how he could open the floodgates into the wonderful world of mathematics for everyone. His explanations of the intricacies of abstract mathematical problems could enthrall any who were willing to listen.
Dr. Max Wyman headshot Dr. Max Wyman is the first native Albertan and graduate of the University of Alberta to be its president. Max was a theoretical mathematician who focused on the potential applications of math to the theory of relativity. A major achievement in his career was preserved in his papers: a letter sent he wrote to Einstein and E.G. Straus where he corrected and solved the field equations in their paper, "The Influence of the Expansion of Space in the Gravitational Fields Surrounding Individual Stars". Both Einstein and Straus were impressed with his work and responded with a letter of their own.