Dr. Kanwal Inder Singh Neel was born in Mombasa, Kenya in 1953. He moved to Canada with his family in 1969 where he attended Steveston High School in Richmond. Neel received both a Bachelor of Science in computer science and mathematics and a teaching certificate at the University of British Columbia. In 1977 he began teaching with the Richmond School District. In 1993, he co-hosted the television program "Math Shop." The sixteen episode run was aired by the Knowledge Network for the next twenty years. In 2008, Neel received his PhD in Mathematics Education from Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he wrote his thesis on numeracy among Indigenous and settler communities on Haida Gwaii. He served as president of the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers and as associate director of Professional Programs within SFU's Faculty of Education. Neel married his wife Nancy in 1982, with whom he had two daughters. In 1972, Neel co-founded the Punjab Cultural Association, a bhangra group, with a number of his friends. The Punjab Cultural Association went on to perform in cities across the country, including the World Expo in Spokane in 1974, and the Pacific National Exhibition. He has continued to promote bhangra and has been active in other arenas of sport and culture. In 1978, Neel was a Technical Official at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and in 1989, Neel coordinated events and acknowledgments for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Komagata Maru Incident. Neel received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2016, he also received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and the Prime Minister's National Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology and Mathematics in 1996. In 2017, he was inducted into the Richmond Sport Wall of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Sport as an International Athletics Official. Now retired, Neel continues his involvement with SFU through the "Friends of Simon" program, which trains and pairs university students with newcomer K-12 students for tutoring and mentorship.