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Max Wyman, 1916-1991

Max Wyman, '37 BSc, '82 LLD (Honorary) the first native Albertan and the first graduate of the University of Alberta to become its president died 9 February in Edmonton.

A theoretical mathematician interested in the applications of mathematics to the theory of relativity, Dr Wyman was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1951, the youngest person ever to receive the honor. When he was appointed the University's seventh president in 1969, he had a well-established reputation as a mathematician, a teacher and an administrator.

Known for his quiet humanity and his willingness to listen, Dr Wyman was active in the debate that succeeded in obtaining greater student representation on the University's General Faculties Council, and he later called this discussion "the real highlight of my office for me."

After his five-year term as president, Dr Wyman became the first chair of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and served as a member of the Kirby Commission of Inquiry studying the justice system of Alberta's lower courts. He was also a member of the National Research Council of Canada and the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Alberta.

Born in Lethbridge in 1916, Dr Wyman graduated from the University of Alberta in 1937 and earned his PhD magna cum laude from the California Institute of Technology only three years later. He became a U of A faculty member in 1943 and head of the mathematics department in 1961. In 1963 he was appointed dean of the Faculty of Science and later served as vice-president (academic) before becoming president.

Published Spring 1991.

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