Lowering the Flag: Remembering Herbert I. Freedman

The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Herbert I. Freedman, Professor Emeritus from the Department of…

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The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Herbert I. Freedman, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Science.

Herbert I. Freedman passed away on November 21, 2017.

He was born in Manitoba, Canada, on November 16, 1940. He obtained his B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Manitoba in 1962, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota in 1964 and 1967, respectively. His Ph.D. thesis, titled “Estimates on the Existence Region for Solutions of Equations Involving a Small Parameter,” was under the supervision of Professor Warren S. Loud.

Dr. Freedman then joined the faculty in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor in 1967. He was swiftly promoted to Associate Professor in 1969 and to Full Professor in 1978. Professor Freedman served as the Acting Chair of the Department of Mathematics in 1985 and 1986–1987. From 1987 to 1993, Herb was the Director of the Applied Mathematics Institute at the University of Alberta.

In 1993, Herb and Professor T. Bryant Moodie co-founded the Canadian Applied Mathematics Quarterly (CAMQ), which has become one of the top journals in applied mathematics and mathematical biology. Herb served in various capacities at professional and academic societies. In the Canadian Mathematical Society, Herb served on the Board of Directors (1983–1986), was the Treasurer (1985–1989) and Chair of the Nominating Committee (1990–1992); in the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematical Society, Herb was the Secretary in 1988–1998; in the Rocky Mountain Mathematics Consortium he was the Vice-President (1988–1992) and the President (1989). He also served multiple terms on the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Committee and the International Mathematical Olympiad Committee. The participants of the Canadian Mathematical Society Winter Meeting in Victoria 1991 still remember how Herb, as one of the meeting organizers and the conference banquet host, entertained the participants like a professional comedian with humorous comments and great jokes.

Herb has always been active in service to the greater community, serving on the Hebrew School Board of Directors, Gym Club Keyanos Board of Directors, and as a JCC Swim Club Executive. At one point he was the Treasurer of the West Edmonton Mall Casino Association.

In 1997, Herb took an early retirement offer and became a Professor Emeritus. This early “retirement” seems to have enabled him to be more actively involved in conducting research, advising graduate students, and serving the general community and the University of Alberta in particular. He supervised four more Ph.D. students after 1997 and responded to the call of duty to serve as the Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta in 2001–2003. Not too excited about fund raising activities, Herb re-retired in 2003.

Biographical excerpt originally published in the Canadian Applied Math Quarterly (CAMQ).Canadian Applied Math Quarterly (CAMQ).

For information about lowering the University of Alberta banner, visit the In Memoriam webpage.In Memoriam webpage.