This issue of The ANZIAM Journal is dedicated to the memory of Dr Hilary Booth,
who died from heart failure on May 26th at the early age of 48
after a lifetime battling cancer.
After taking a B.Sc. at The University of Adelaide with a major
in Mathematical Physics, she was a full-time artist for some
years before returning to the academic world. She obtained her
Ph.D. at The University of New England in 1999, with a thesis
entitled The Static Maxwell-Dirac Equations.
Hilary was a very visible figure on the
Australian scene in mathematical physics, mathematics and finally
bioinformatics, in which her mathematical creativity found its fullest
expression during the last five years. She was also known internationally for
her artwork. She had a warm and sparkling personality and those who knew her
will remember her lively discussions, her ready laugh, her spontaneous wit and
prolific creative ideas. She was a friend to many and will be sorely missed.
While at Adelaide, Hilary served a period as an Assistant Editor for The ANZIAM
Journal and designed its present cover. A derivative of this subsequently
became the cover for the Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society. Her
rich artistic creativity was very manifest in the range of very different
alternative cover designs that were considered before the final choice for The
ANZIAM Journal cover was made. The choice was difficult and at one point we
were very close to selecting an intricate Aztec design in gold. The Journal
office currently enjoys the large framed original from which the present cover
was extracted as a portion. Hilary's artworks have featured in a number of
sole-artist exhibitions in major cities in the Northern Hemisphere.
Hilary acted as a role model for women in the mathematical sciences and
successfully juggled the demanding roles of mother, partner, researcher and
teacher. In this she followed her mother, a geophysicist, whom she lost when
she was only eight. She also managed to find some time for art, though always
less than she would have liked. As Sue Wilson notes in a moving obituary in
the latest issue of the Gazette of The Australian Mathematical Society, Hilary
was a natural teacher and had a wonderful ability to successfully nurture
students, to whom she devoted much of her time.
Hilary is survived by her two dearly loved daughters, Lila and Natalie Marvell,
to whom we extend our deepest condolences for their loss.
Emma Hunt and Charles Pearce