Award recog­nises global achieve­ments

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Distin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Math­e­mat­ics and for­mer Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent Marston Con­der will re­ceive a Distin­guished Alumni Award from the Univer­sity of Waikato this month.

Pro­fes­sor Con­der com­pleted a Masters in So­cial Sciences, with First Class Hon­ours in math­e­mat­ics at the Univer­sity of Waikato in 1977. He won two schol­ar­ships to study for his doc­tor­ate at Ox­ford Univer­sity in the United King­dom and grad­u­ated there in 1980, win­ning the Se­nior Math­e­mat­i­cal and John­son prizes for the best doc­toral the­sis that year.

Fol­low­ing post­doc­toral fel­low­ships in Dunedin and Ger­many, Prof Con­der took up a lec­ture­ship at the Univer­sity of Auck­land – where he re­mains more than 30 years later. He has served as Head of the Math­e­mat­ics Depart­ment and as Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor (Re­search).

In 1993, aged just 38, he was pro­moted to full pro­fes­sor, and in 2011 was be­stowed the ti­tle of distin­guished dro­fes­sor – the first in math­e­mat­ics at Auck­land Univer­sity.

Prof Con­der in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned au­thor­ity on com­bi­na­to­rial group the­ory, and his re­search to date has re­sulted in more than 120 pub­li­ca­tions world­wide.

He has re­ceived nu­mer­ous schol­ar­ships, awards and grants, and has been a con­tin­u­ous re­cip­i­ent of Mars­den grants since the es­tab­lish­ment of the Mars-

is

an den Fund in 1995.

Prof Con­der has over­seen some of the most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments in math­e­mat­ics and re­search na­tion­wide. In 2000 he co­founded and led the New Zealand In­sti­tute for Math­e­mat­ics and its Ap­pli­ca­tions, one of the first five cen­tres of re­search ex­cel­lence, which lifted the per­for­mance of math­e­mat­ics teach­ing and re­search across New Zealand.

In 2002 he chaired the gov­ern­men­tap­pointed com­mit­tee that es­tab­lished New Zealand’s Per­for­mance Based Re­search Fund ( PBRF), the clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem that awards funds to ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions based on aca­demic re­search qual­ity.

Prof Con­der is held in high re­gard in New Zealand and over­seas, and is a sought-af­ter speaker at in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences. In 2012 he was se­lected as the inau­gu­ral Maclau­rin lec­turer to take part in a lec­ture tour of Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties as part of a new joint ven­ture be­tween the New Zealand and Amer­i­can math­e­mat­i­cal so­ci­eties.

The Univer­sity of Waikato Distin­guished Alumni Awards for 2013 will be pre­sented Septem­ber 20 at the Gal­lagher Academy of Per­form­ing Arts. The two other re­cip­i­ents this year are Sin­ga­porean de­sign- agency owner Ed­mund Wee and Maori Land Court Judge Stephanie Mil­roy.

Prof Con­der says he is de­lighted to win this award.

‘‘I was lucky to build a ca­reer on top of a first- class, all- round ed­u­ca­tion at Mata­mata Col­lege and the Univer­sity of Waikato, and I have some great mem­o­ries of those ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

Univer­sity of Waikato Vice- Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Roy Craw­ford says Prof Con­der’s work in math­e­mat­ics and re­search has contributed to an en­hanced re­search com­mu­nity in New Zealand, in turn pro­fil­ing his out­stand­ing achieve­ments on a global plat­form. ‘‘ Pro­fes­sor Con­der ex­em­pli­fies the qual­i­ties of ex­cel­lence that, as a Univer­sity, we are com­mit­ted to achiev­ing. It is an hon­our to present Pro­fes­sor Con­der with this award.’’

Three Distin­guished Alumni Awards are pre­sented ev­ery year. The awards cel­e­brate and hon­our Waikato alumni who have made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions in their ca­reers and com­mu­ni­ties, tak­ing into ac­count ex­cel­lence in the pro­fes­sional, cul­tural, cre­ative and vol­un­tary sec­tors.

Hon­our: Pro­fes­sor Marston Con­der will re­ceive a Distin­guished Alumni Award from the Univer­sity of Waikato this month.

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