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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MS 476, Math Sciences Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5203
F. 403.282.5150

Jason Nicholson granted PhD Degree despite battling multiple sclerosis

Jason Nicholson with his family.
Jason Nicholson was a top student during his undergraduate years and also quite athletic as a young man, but he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his early 20’s.  Jason dropped out and spent many years researching the illness and trying to make sense of it all, including periods in Korea where he studied with a monk and Hawaii where he lived in a commune among the most memorable landmarks. Unexpectedly back in Calgary with promising signs of some returning energy in 2005, Jason decided to resume his graduate studies in the PhD program. With his scholarship reinstated and a huge dose of determination, Jason spent the next 10 years dealing with an unpredictable body, but equipped with an impeccable brain and deep insight into the human soul.  During the last 10 years, many department members were also part of the team helping Jason reach his goal.  His supervisor, Dr. Clifton Cunningham, put in great effort to guide him through the process.  Dr. Claude Laflamme provided research funding several times to help Jason with his research projects.  Many people in the department helped him in his daily life on campus.  Our graduate students even carried him in his wheelchair to see the mountains.  Jason successfully defended his dissertation in April this year and was granted a Ph.D. degree in Pure Mathematics during June 2015 convocation.  Jason’s journey has inspired many people, brought all of us together and we also all learned a lot more of ourselves.  It is with all our hearts that we congratulate Jason on this journey.  Congratulations, Dr. Jason Nicholson!