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Edwards JD


Josephine Dianne Edwards
Born Oxford 18 August 1942
Died Canberra 25 May 1985

Josephine Dianne Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the Canberra College of Advanced Education, died in Canberra on 25 May after many months of illness.
Jo, as she was universally known, obtained a scholarship to read mathematics at Cambridge after attending the Ursuline School in Brentwood.
She came to Canberra in 1964 and taught mathematics for a number of years in ACT Secondary Schools, including Daramalan, Watson, Telopea Park and Canberra Grammar. In 1975 she was appointed to the mathematics staff of the Canberra College of Advanced Education.
Throughout her professional life she was a most dedicated, thoughtful and sensitive teacher of mathematics. She gave great energy and thought to her teaching preparation in order to make the most complicated concept in mathematics understandable by all of her students ... as she had written on the board of her room at the CCAE - "Everything is simple once you know how". Jo was an active member of the Canberra Mathematical Association for 18 years and has served at various times as its President (1983-4), Vice President (1984-5) and Secretary (1982-3).
While at the Canberra CAE, Jo was responsible for first year mathematics units, with up to 350 students, as well as establishing the mathematics laboratory. In recent years she was also responsible for designing a special unit for pre-service mathematics education of intending primary and early education teachers.
It was because of her concern for the encouragement of school students to achieve their full potential that she was one of the creators of the Australian Mathematics Competition. Here, she played a significant role.
She was the foundation chairman of the Organising Committee, a m ember of the AMC Board of Governors (1977-1985), and Editor of AMC Publications since 1979, including the annual Solutions and Statistics Booklet and the pamphlets Number Skills Can Open Many Doors and Maths is Solving Real Problems. She was also an Associate Editor of the USA publication College Mathematics Journal.
Her great strengths included her deep concern for the welfare of all her students as well as her extraordinary organisational ability, whether in helping her set up the AMC admiistration or in running the CCAE's large first year mathematics units.
Using the vast AMC data file, Jo had undertaken research on students' achievements in mathematics, particularly in boy/girl comparative levels of success. Her intention was to maintain the high standard of the AMC and to ensure that its contribution to Australian education continued to be both positive and effective.
She has had a number of articles on mathematical education published in various journals in Australia, Canada and France. At the time of her death, she was editor of the nearly completed, 200 page book to be titled The Best of the AMC.
Jo will be greatly missed, not only by her family, but by members of the mathematics teaching confraternity in Canberra, by staff and students at the Canberra CAE and in particular all those people throughout Australia who are involved with the AMC.

Peter J O'Halloran OAM
June 1985

The following obituary appeared in the Canberra Times on 29 May 1985.

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