Pouliot, Adrien

Adrien Pouliot, engineer and mathematician (b at Saint-Jean, Île d'Orléans 4 Jan 1896: d at Québec City 1980). After completing his cours classique at the Séminaire de Québec, he entered the École Polytechnique de Montréal earning a BA in applied science in 1915. In 1922, he left his position as an engineer in the Québec Department of Public Works to teach mathematics full time at Université Laval's Graduate School of Chemistry. In 1923, he founded la Société Mathématiques de Québec, and became its first president. Pouliot completed his education in France at the Sorbonne, and in the USA at the U of Chicago. He was secretary of the Faculty of Science at Université Laval in 1938, and its dean from 1940 to 1956, where he set up several departments: mining and metallurgy, physics, mathematics, civil and mechanical engineering, and actuarial methods. A brilliant orator, he championed for better teaching of the sciences in collèges classiques (former private Québec high schools) and actively took part in the reconstruction of European universities after World War II. In 2000, the Prix Adrien-Pouliot was created in his honour for work carried out in collaboration with a person or group from France that would have repercussions on Québec and France.

For 20 years (1939 -1959), he held a senior executive position at Radio-Canada and was a vigorous ambassador for francophone minority rights in Canada as well as for French language and culture abroad (Prix de la langue française 1948 de l'Académie française). A legend in his lifetime, his awards include numerous honorary doctorates, the French Legion of Honour, and the Order of Canada.