Obituaries

Professor Jonathan Borwein.
Photo: Mark Graham

Professor Jonathan Borwein FAA

Professor Jonathan Borwein FAA died on 2 August 2016, aged 65 years.

A Rhodes Scholar and Oxford Doctor of Philosophy, Jon was Laureate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Newcastle and the Founder and Head of its Priority Research Centre for Computer-Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA).

Jon was elected to the Academy in 2010 for his contributions to distinct mathematical disciplines: optimisation theory and practice; number theory; classical analysis; theory of computation; and functional analysis. Jon was also a world leader in the field of experimental mathematics using intensive computation for pure mathematical discovery. Working with a new method of visualising large strings of numbers through random walks—a path described by a sequence of randomly generated points in the plane—Jon and his colleagues produced papers and digital images using computers to show information at a glance that would take many pages to set out in written numerical form. Among his many achievements, Jon produced the world's largest mathematical picture of π. More information on his work.

Jon was also highly successful as a supervisor, expositor, and populariser of mathematics—he authored with E.J. Borowski the best-selling modern dictionary of mathematics. Jon’s passing has been described as ‘an incalculable loss to the field of mathematics in general, and to experimental mathematics in particular’. A close colleague, Professor David Bailey, has written a blog to commemorate Jon’s accomplishments.

Professor Alan McIntosh
Photo: Michael John Hood

Professor Alan McIntosh FAA

Professor Alan McIntosh FAA died on 8 August 2016, aged 74 years.

Alan was most recently Professor at the Mathematical Sciences Institute at the Australian National University until his retirement in 2014. Alan was elected to the Academy in 1986 and is best known for his role in solving the Calderon conjecture on singular integrals and the Kato square root problem both of which have had a massive impact in harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. Alan received many prestigious prizes and awards in recognition of his research achievements, including the 2002 Moyal Medal by Macquarie University and the Academy’s Hannan Medal in 2015.

A close colleague, Neil Trudinger FAA, notes that Alan will be well remembered for ‘his abundant and natural friendliness with students and colleagues of all levels and for the care and inspiration given to his graduate students and postdocs’. 

© 2018 Australian Academy of Science

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