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LIVES LIVED: A passion for mathematics, church and Scottish dance

Doug Crawford, a professor at Queen’s for many years, died Jan. 19, in his 91st year.

Doug Crawford

Doug was born in Scotland, and long maintained his passion for Scottish dancing. However, he immigrated to North America and completed a PhD in mathematics education at the University of Syracuse. In 1962 he joined the Department of Mathematics at Queen’s University, with his focus primarily on math education and secondarily on statistics, and subsequently joined the Queen’s Faculty of Education when it was founded in 1968.

As well as his regular teaching he was heavily involved until his retirement in 1988 in numerous studies and reports on school mathematics (again, often concentrating on statistics), most often in collaboration with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). 

Doug was a life-long dedicated churchgoer, usually attending his neighborhood United Church, St. Margaret’s United (later Crossroads United) where his wife Pat sang in the choir, but for a while attended St. George’s Cathedral when one of his sons sang in the boys’ choir there.

Both at work and at church Doug had a wide range of strong opinions, and was not shy about sharing them, but always well-reasoned and articulated (even if not always persuasive).

Doug was a voracious reader with many areas of interest, and this naturally went along with a sharpness of mind that stayed with him right to the end.  Indeed, almost his only complaint about the nursing home where he spent his last years was what he felt was rather a lack of intellectual stimulation.

He lived a full and rich life.

Norman Rice is a retired professor from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He was a long-time friend and colleague of Doug Crawford.