Jean-Marie De Koninck

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Jean-Marie De Koninck, OC CQ (born 1948) is a Canadian mathematician. He has served as a professor at Université Laval since 1972 and is the creator of the road safety program Opération Nez Rouge, or "Red Nose Operation", a system preventing people from drinking and driving.


He is the son of the philosopher and theologian Charles De Koninck and the brother of the geographer Rodolphe De Koninck, the psychologist Joseph De Koninck, the philosopher Thomas De Koninck and the sociologist Maria De Koninck.


April 29, 1948, Quebec City.


Professor of Mathematics at Université Laval

University Diplomas:

1970- Baccalauréat ès Sciences, Université Laval,

1972- Master Degree in Mathematics, Temple University,

1973- Ph.D. in Mathematics, Temple University.

Professional Career at Université Laval:

1972 to 1977: assistant professor at the Mathematics Department,

1976 to 1980: assistant director at the Mathematics Department and person responsible of graduated studies,

1977 to 1982: associate professor at the Mathematics Department,

1982 until now: professor at the Mathematics and Statistics Department,

1988 to 2002: person responsible of the collaboration between Université Laval and colleges,

1999 to 2003: assistant director at the Mathematics and Statistics Department and director of programs for the 2nd and 3rd cycles in mathematics and statistics,

2005 until now: director of SMAC (Science and Mathematics in Action) program.

Scientific Realizations[edit]

Author of nine books:

  1. Topics in Arithmetical Functions, North-Holland, 1980;
  2. Approche élémentaire de l'étude des fonctions arithmétiques, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 1982;
  3. Introduction à la théorie des nombres, Modulo, Montréal, 1994;
  4. 1001 problèmes en théorie classique des nombres, Ellipses, Paris, 2004;
  5. Mathématiques de l'ingénieur, Éditions Loze, Montréal, 2004;
  6. 1001 Problems in Classical Number Theory, American Mathematical Society, 2007;
  7. Ces nombres qui nous fascinent, Ellipses,Paris, 2008;
  8. En chair et en maths, Septembre Éditeur, Québec, 2008;
  9. Those Fascinating Numbers, American Mathematical Society, 2009.

Author of 83 publications in scientific papers with reviewing committees.[1]

Author of the SMAC chronicle in the "Découvrir" revue (5 publications per year).

Guest Speaker in several Canadian and American universities, as well as in France, Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Mexico.

Co-president of the organizing committee of the International Conference on Number Theory held in Université Laval from July 5 to July 18, 1987.

Co-president of the organizing committee of the 33rd Seminar of Mathematical Sciences of Quebec held in Université Laval on April 21, 1990.

Member of the FQRNT's Board of Directors from 2001 to 2008.

President of the 70th ACFAS Congress held in Université Laval from May 13 to May 17, 2002.

Research Director of 4 PhD students and 12 Masters students.

President of the Association mathématique du Québec from 2005 to 2007.

Member of the ACFAS' Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007.

De Koninck is an analytic number theorist. He has worked on the distribution of prime numbers, factorization methods, the asymptotic behavior of arithmetic functions, and the Riemann zeta function. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers.

Contributions to the Dissemination and Popularization of Mathematics[edit]

  • Research and animation of a Canadian television series C'est mathématique! ("It's mathematical!") broadcast on Z Network and produced by "Téléfiction". The first series (16 episodes of 30 minutes) was broadcast during Winter 2000 and the second series (13 episodes of one hour) during Winter 2001. Both series were bought by the TFO Network (Télévision française de l'Ontario/Ontario French Television) in 2001: since then, they are on air each fall. They are broadcast as well on the "Canal Savoir". The goal pursued by C'est mathématique! is to demonstrate to a general audience that mathematics are present in almost all areas of human activity, and somehow in our everyday lives. It deals with the presence of mathematics in finance, meteorology, medical treatments, aviation, lotteries, sports, message encoding (cryptography), food, etc..
  • Organizer of "Popular Lectures on current mathematics" (given on 3 consecutive days in April 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002): This is a series of presentations by students graduating in mathematics and intended for students and professors from colleges and universities.
  • Organizer, during Summers of 1991, 1992 and 1993, of the "AMQ (Association mathématique du Québec/Quebec Mathematics Association) Mathematics Camp", an annual summer event bringing together the 25 best mathematics students from colleges.
  • Organizer of "La Quinzaine des Sciences" held in October 1996 at Université Laval: a series of popular lectures on sciences intended for a general audience.
  • Guest speaker in several colleges of Quebec, as part of lectures organized by the ISM (Institut des sciences mathématiques du Québec/Mathematics Sciences Institute of Quebec) since year 2000. Lectures were given in the following colleges: CEGEP Ste-Foy, CEGEP F.X. Garneau, CEGEP d'Ahuntsic, CEGEP Édouard Montpetit, Collège Brébeuf and CEGEP of Chibougamau (with videoconference).
  • Guest speaker invited by the Association française pour l'enseignement des mathématiques en Ontario (French Association for Mathematics Education in Ontario) on November 16, 2000. The lecture title was : "Des équations et des hommes" ("Of Equations and Men"), in which the speaker was demonstrating that behind most of the important mathematical discoveries, we could find passionate and profoundly human persons.
  • Guest speaker at the Congress "Des mathématiques pour le monde (Mathematics for the people)" organized in May 2000 by a gathering of all organizations involved in mathematics education at all levels.
  • Invited by the GRMS (Groupe de recherche sur les mathématiques au secondaire/Research group on high school mathematics) to pronounce the opening lecture of the May 2002 Congress.
  • Invited by the Canadian Mathematical Society to pronounce the general audience lecture at the June 2002 Congress.
  • Invited by the Canadian Mathematical Society, at the Canadian Forum on Mathematics Education, to pronounce the general audience lecture, on May 16, 2003.
  • On a regular basis since 1990, gives interviews on mathematics-related subjects on several television networks (Radio-Canada, TVA, TQS and many other community stations) and various radio stations.

Community involvement[edit]

  • President and founder of the Operation Red Nose [1], an operation of road safety to be held in December each year since 1984 which brings the participation of over 45 000 volunteers annually in Canada. Operation Red Nose has over one million rides since its foundation and gives back annually to amateur sports organizations more than 1 million Canadian dollars in donations.
  • Honorary President of several fund raising (Mira Foundation, many Red Cross blood campaigns, Adaptavie, Laval Hospital, Ste-Monique Hospital, the Ignatia House, the Camp-School Trois-Saumons, the "Association des Diplômés de l'Université Laval" (Alumi Association of Université Laval), and the Fernand Séguin School Foundation).
  • President of the "Table québécoise de la sécurité routière" since December 2005.

Involvement in amateur sport[edit]

1974 to 1985: president of the Quebec Swimming Coaches Association;

1978 to 1990: coach of the Rouge et Or swimming club of Université Laval;

1976 until now: sports analyst for the Société Radio-Canada for international swimming competitions, among others the Summer Olympic Games of 1976, 1984,1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008;

1988 to 1995: president of the Club des Amis de la Natation du Québec (Quebec Friends of Swimming Club);

1988 to 1998: member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Swimming Federation; author of Systeme 2001 (1992), a software that allows swimming coaches to prepare their training plan and monitor the evolution of their athletes physiologically throughout the season;

1999 until now: president of the Rouge et Or swimming club of Université Laval;

2005 to 2007: member of the Board of Directors of Swimming Canada;

2005 until now: president of the Board of Directors of the Coaching Association of Canada.


1975: named Coach of the Year in the province of Quebec by the Société des Sports du Québec;

1979: named Varsity Swimming Coach of the Year in Canada;

1984: named Coach of the Year in the Quebec area;

1985: awarded the Solicitor General of Quebec Award for "its support for crime prevention in the region 03 by the completion of the Operation Red Nose";

1985: motion of congratulations at the House of Commons for the initiative of the Operation Red Nose;

1987: the National Assembly declares Friday, December 18 the national day of the Operation Red Nose and officially congratulates Jean-Marie De Koninck for his initiative of the Operation Red Nose;

1988: awarded, as president and founder of the Operation Red Nose, the Alphonse-Desjardins Award, underlying his positive action in the community;

1988: La Presse newspaper's personality of the week;

1989: named "volunteer administrator" of the Year by the Quebec Society for Sports in Quebec for his help in the development of amateur sport;

1989: the Operation Red Nose is awarded with the Jury Special Award in Carcassone (France), at the Film Festival on Road Safety;

1990: guest speaker at the First International Congress on road safety (Edmonton, Alberta);

1990: named "Sports Personality of the Year" in the Quebec area;

1990: as president and founder of the Operation Red Nose, Jean-Marie De Koninck is awarded with the Solicitor General of Quebec Award in "recognition of his outstanding contribution to crime prevention in Canada";

1992: named in the Quebec Swimming Hall of Fame;

1994: Audace Award, Fidéides Gala, for his exceptional realizations and his contribution to the influence of the region of Quebec;

1994: Member of the Order of Canada - promoted to Officer in 2014;[2]

1995: awarded the Adrien-Pouliot Award from the Mathematical Association of Quebec for the book "Introduction à la théorie des nombres";

1996: named "Personality Richelieu International";

1998: awarded with the 50th Anniversary Medal by the Association des diplômés de l'Université Laval;

1999: Knight of the National Order of Quebec;

2001: special mention at the annual awards of the Mathematical Association of Quebec for the popular article "Those Fascinating Numbers";

2002: awarded the Abel-Gauthier award, presented annually by the Mathematical Association of Quebec to the "Quebec Mathematical Personality";

2003: honored at the National Assembly for his contribution to the road safety in Quebec;

2004: awarded the Adrien Pouliot Award by the Canadian Mathematical Society for his "continuing and significant contributions to mathematics education in Canada"

2005: honorary president of IMAGINE, the Innovation happening in the Quebec area;

2006: named as a member of the "Académie des Grands Québécois" by the Chambre de Commerce et de l'Industrie du Québec.

2006: recognized as Scientist of the year by Radio-Canada for "his exemplary role in the promotion and development of mathematics in Canada"

2006: awarded the Lester B. Pearson award, given every year by CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) for his "contribution to the development of university sport in Canada.


  1. ^ Publications PDF (199 KB)
  2. ^ "Order of Canada Appointments". June 30, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 

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