AustMS NZMS 7th Australia - New Zealand Mathematics Convention

Invited speakers


Carl de Boor

Carl de Boor is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an affiliated professor at the University of Washington. Originally from East Germany, he earned his PhD from the University of Michigan. His research is in approximation theory and numerical analysis. He is renowned for his innovative work with spline functions and box splines. His research has had many practical applications, particularly in aircraft and automotive design and construction. Among his many accolades, in 2003 de Boor was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Science in a ceremony held at the White House, hosted by the President of the United States. He is the author of a number of fundamental mathematics textbooks, including an influential introductory work on numerical analysis (with S. D. Conte) and another on spline approximation. De Boor has also made significant contributions to Matlab and is the designer of their spline toolbox.


Jonathan Borwein

Jonathan Borwein received his DPhil from Oxford in 1974, as a Rhodes Scholar. After periods on the faculties at Dalhousie, Carnegie-Mellon, Waterloo, and Simon Fraser Universities, in 2004 he took up a Research Chair in Distributed and Collaborative Research, in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University; he also holds an adjunct appointment at Simon Fraser. His interests span analysis, optimization, computational (numerical and computational analysis) mathematics, and high-performance computing. He has authored ten books and over 250 journal articles, and is co-founder of a software company producing interactive CD and Web tools for school and university mathematics. Professor Borwein is a past President of the Canadian Mathematical Society (2000-02), past Chair of (the National Science Library) NRC-CISTI’s Advisory Board, and past chair of the International Mathematical Union committee on electronic information and communications (2002-2006). He has received various awards including the Chauvenet Prize (1993), Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (1994), Fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002), an honorary degree from Limoges (1999), and foreign membership in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2003).


Vaughan Jones

Vaughan Jones is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. After completing his undergraduate years in New Zealand, he received his PhD from the University of Geneva in 1979. Jones is renowned for his work on von Neumann algebras, knot polynomials, and conformal field theory. Perhaps his most famous accomplishment is the discovery of the the Jones polynomial for distinguishing knots. He was awarded a Fields Medal in 1990 at the International Congress in Kyoto, Japan. In addition to this prestigious award, he was given a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986, elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1990, and awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Auckland (1992) and the University of Wales (1993). New Zealand is justly proud of his achievements, bestowing upon him one of their highest honours, that of a Distinguished Companionship of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. Among his various roles, he is the co-director of the NZ Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.


Gregory F. Lawler

Gregory F. Lawler is a Professor of Mathematics as well as Professor of Statistics at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1979. He researches prolifically in probability and stochastic processes, and in statistical physics, concentrating on random walks and Brownian motion. In 2006, he, along with Oded Schramm and Wendelin Werner, was awarded the George Polya Prize for groundbreaking work on the development and application of stochastic Loewner evolution. He is a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, and of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics. He has held positions at Cornell University, Duke University, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and the University of British Columbia as well as serving as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow from 1986-1990.


Charles Leedham-Green

Charles Leedham-Green is a Professor of Mathematics at Queen Mary College, University of London. He completed his DPhil at Oxford University. He is a distinguished group theorist whose research focuses on finite p-groups and computational group theory. Much of his recent work has been devoted to developing algorithms and software for finite groups, particularly groups of matrices. The computational algebra software he developed, including the product replacement algorithm (an algorithm that generates random elements of groups by taking a random walk through the group) has proved indispensable for promoting advances in group theory. In recognition of his contributions to the field and in honour of his 65th birthday, the 300th issue of the Journal of Algebra (2006) and a special one-day meeting in London were dedicated to him.


John W. Morgan

John W Morgan is a Professor at Columbia University, where he has been since 1974 and is currently the chair of the Mathematics department. He received his PhD, on homotopy equivalences, at Rice University in 1969. His mathematical interests include geometry and topology, in particular the problems of classifying manifolds‒topological, smooth, analytic, and algebraic. He has served as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow from 1974-1976. In partnership with Gang Tian, he verified the proof of the Poincaré conjecture offered by Grigori Perelman. At the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid, in 2006, he was invited to announce this verification to the mathematical community.


Karen Parshall

Karen Parshall is Professor of History and Mathematics at the University of Virginia. She earned her PhD in history from the University of Chicago, under the supervision of I. N. Herstein (in mathematics) and Allen G. Debus (in the history of science). Her research interests lie in the history of science and mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a special mathematical focus on the history of algebra and its various technical developments, such as the theory of algebras, group theory, and algebraic invariant theory. She is also interested in the development of national mathematical research communities, as well as in the internationalization of mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has been editor of Historia Mathematica, was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (in 1996), and is currently the chair of the International Commission for the History of Mathematics, a post she has held since 2002.


Cheryl Praeger

Cheryl Praeger has been a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia since 1983. After completing master's degree at the University of Queensland, she went to Oxford as Commonwealth Scholar, being her DPhil in 1974 for her thesis on finite permutation groups. Since then, she has had a stellar career, with 4 books and more than 270 research papers to her name, in group theory, algebraic graph theory, combinatorial design theory, and other areas. She is also noted for popularising mathematics through talks on mathematics and weaving, a topic on which she has published three papers. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, former president of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-1994), and a member of the Order of Australia (since 1999). She was awarded an honorary DSc by the Prince of Songkla University in 1993 and by the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2005.


James Sneyd

James Sneyd is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Auckland. Having completed his undergraduate years in New Zealand, he earned his PhD from the Courant Institute at New York University in 1989. His research interests focus on the applications of mathematics to medicine and physiology, and to biology in general. In particular, he is most interested in spatial and temporal pattern formation, oscillations, nonlinear waves, and excitable systems. Recent major publications that he was involved in have won Best Book Awards: ‘Self-Organization in Biological Systems’ (Princeton University Press, 2001) won Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Biological Sciences, and ‘Mathematical Physiology’ (Springer, 1998) won the Best New Title in Mathematics. He has been awarded various prestigious research grants, including the New Zealand Mathematics Society Research award (2005). He has also had multiple grants from the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the National Science Foundation of the USA, and the USA National Institutes of Health Research.


Angelika Steger

Angelika Steger is a Professor of Computer Science at the Institute of Theoretical Computer Science at ETH Zurich. Her undergraduate study was supported by a Fulbright scholarship. She earned her PhD from the University of Bonn in 1990, where her work won the Fachbereich Mathematik-Informatik Prize for best dissertation. Her research interests are in the foundations of computer science (mainly efficient algorithms and probabilistic methods), graph theory, analysis of discrete structures, and combinatorial optimization. She is the co-author of several books, the most recent entitled The Steiner Tree Problem, A Tour Through Graphs, Algorithms and Complexity (2002). Since 2007 she is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.