background image
/ 29
avid Pickard was one of a long line of Pickards at Mount
Allison. His great-great-grandfather Th omas was Mount
Allison's fi rst math professor and Th omas' brother Hum-
phrey was Mount Allison's fi rst president. His father Campbell
('40) and mother Molly ('41) met at Mount Allison. His sister
Joyce ('71) attended as well. Many preceded and many followed.
A gift ed mathematician, David taught on and off in Mount Allison's
math department for several years before completing his PhD on
full scholarship at Australia national University. He then landed
a job at Harvard University, where he taught for nine years, before
moving on to Queen's University in Kingston, On with his wife
Dale and children, Damon and Darcy.
It was there he was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 41
and died within a year.
"David was outgoing, easy to know, and made friends quickly,"
says his father, Campbell. "He had this talent for passing on infor-
mation in a way that was easy to understand."
In 1987, a year following his death, the David K. Pickard Math
Prize was established at Mount Allison by his family and friends.
With the generosity of its donors, the prize has grown from $400
to a renewable scholarship valued at approximately $5,000. Th e
scholarship is awarded to a second-year Science student, preferably
majoring in math or computer science, who shows an outstanding
ability, interest, and perseverance in his or her studies -- just as
David did.
Campbell says it was important to honour David at Mount Allison
because the University means so much to their family.
"You gain something at Mount Allison that you just don't get else-
where," he says. "It is where I grew up and where I met lifelong friends."
One of the lasting friendships David made at Mount Allison was
with Dr. Elmer Tory, Professor Emeritus, mathematics and computer
science. Tory was David's professor during his time as a student,
and they collaborated on research for many years aft er David began
teaching. Th ey even developed a mathematical process that became
known as the Pickard-Tory process.
"He will certainly be remembered as one of the best and most
successful math students we ever had," says Tory. "Of course we all
recognize he could have contributed so much more."
In 2010, more than 20 years aft er his death, David was also hon-
oured by his statistics students and colleagues at Harvard with
the creation of a biennial David K. Pickard Memorial Lecture. A
biennial junior faculty award for teaching and mentoring and
awards related to a new graduate student honour -- the Pickard
Teaching Fellows -- were also created. While at Harvard, David
won every major Harvard undergraduate teaching award for his
passion, accessibility, patience, and clarity.
"He was always able to relate to everyone in an honest and genuine
way," says Campbell. "Th at's probably what endeared him most to
a mathematical gift
ReMeMBeRing DaviD K. PiCKaRD ('67)
JumP uPdate