Math prof appointed deputy director of the Fields Institute

Juris Steprans, a math professor at York, has been appointed deputy director of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Studies in Toronto, beginning July 1, 2006. Steprans takes over from fellow York mathematics Professor Thomas Salisbury, whose term ends on June 30.

Steprans has been an active participant at Fields, one of the world’s leading independent mathematical research institutions, for a number of years. His principal work involves the applying set theory to questions in mathematical analysis, algebra, measure theory and topology. He became a fellow of the institute in 2004.

Left: Math Prof. Juris Steprans

As deputy director, Steprans will assist Fields director Barbara Lee Keyfitz of the University of Houston in providing leadership to research and education programs. His new position will also allow York continuing access to the institute’s services. “The mathematics research community here has benefited from York’s status as a principal sponsoring university by making use of the Fields facilities to organize conferences, workshops, major programs and seminars. Maintaining a close connection to the institute will ensure that this high level of activity continues,” says Steprans.

Steprans is also on the board of directors of the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) and Chair of its publications committee. He recently finished a term as Chair of the grant selection committee for pure mathematics of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Steprans earned a PhD in mathematics in 1982 from the University of Toronto, then started teaching math at York. He has also taught at the universities of Wisconsin, Warsaw and Latvia and has spent extended periods at other institutions, including Rutgers University in New Jersey. Steprans has written over 50 research papers and organized many research conferences.

Fields’ mission is to promote mathematical activity in Canada by bringing together mathematicians from around the world to work on research in pure and applied mathematics, statistics and computer science as well as engineering, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, economics and finance, telecommunications and information systems.