James Riddell Memorial Scholarship

James Riddell (1933 - 1992)

A caring teacher, a conscientious colleague, a sportsman, a man who loved his family; these are some of the images of Jim Riddell as his family and friends remember him. During his 25 years in the Mathematics Department at the University of Victoria, he earned respect from students and teachers alike. Off campus, he loved spending time with his family, and enjoyed displaying his prowess as a golfer.

Jim was born in Quill Lake, Saskatchewan and spent his teen years in Ponoka, Alberta. He earned a B.Sc., then an M.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Alberta (U of A) in Edmonton.  His particular field of expertise was additive number theory.  He taught at Eastern Montana College from 1962 to 1964, then returned to the U of A to complete a Ph.D.  He married Eleanor Eichelboss before moving to Victoria in 1967.  He was an assistant professor at the University of Victoria from 1967 to 1973, then an associate professor until his death in 1992.

Colleagues remember Jim as a highly competent teacher, who would spend as much time as was needed helping a student.  He cared about his students, and spent a lot of time designing his lectures and reviewing every detail of his exams to ensure they were fair. He combed textbooks for weaknesses before he decided to use them.  He was also strongly interested in departmental curriculum matters.  He wrote 15 papers on additive and combinational number theory, which were published in established journals.

He is also remembered fondly by golfing friends, such as those he first impressed when he learned to play golf during his graduate student days in Alberta.  Jim began playing with others who were much more experienced, but he soon reached and even surpassed their level of play.  Five times he won an annual golf tournament for former U of A graduate students and faculty, which was organized in the 1960s and continues to this day.  He golfed two or three times a week on the Uplands Golf Course, which he joined in 1968, and had a reputation as being a skilled handler of a wedge and a putter.

Camping with his family in the Rocky Mountains was one of Jim's favorite family activities.  He enjoyed the company of his three daughters, and considered his wife Eykelbosh to be the one who held the family so closely together.  He had an interest in birds and astronomy, and was a keen reader on many topics, with a substantial interest in World War II.

This scholarship was set up by family, friends and colleagues as a tribute to Jim Riddell and his work in teaching Mathematics.

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