C cubed: Cool, Calm, and Collect

As a young fresh faced student entering UBC in 1972 it was an intimidating place of learning. l came from a small town up coast so to be thrown into a jostling mix of thousands of complete strangers it was overwhelming at times. A good friend of mine, John M., who entered UBC a year earlier said that when I set up my classes, I should build the curriculum around Dr. Gage’s class in Math 100.

John said that Dr. Gage made calculus so easy that students filled up the lecture hall to the point where many were sitting on the stairs. Luckily I made it into Dr. Gage’s class and it was everything my friend had said. Dr. Gage taught in a fun and engaging manner and indeed he made calculus so easy.

I will always treasure one of Dr. Gage’s witticisms: “C cubed “, he would intone before we commenced our mid term and final exams. It meant ” Cool, Calm and Collect” . I still impart that sage piece of advice to my children whenever they encounter something challenging in life. An incredible teacher and a wonderful human being.

Steve Purcell
BSc (Pharmacy)