Australian Mathematical Society Web Site - the Gazette


The Executive Committee of ANZIAM unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the Selection Panel for the 1997 ANZIAM medal (N.G. Barton, D.L.S. McElwain, R.B. Potts) that this medal be awarded to Professor I.H. Sloan, University of New South Wales. The medal was announced by the Chair of ANZIAM at the commencement of the Monday afternoon session of the recent Applied Mathematics Conference (2-6 February) held in Lorne, Victoria, and presented at the conference dinner on the Wednesday evening. Professor Sloan, not at the conference due to other commitments, managed a detour from his scheduled movements to arrive in Lorne shortly before the dinner.

The Selection Criteria for the medal are:

  • 1. Outstanding service to the profession of applied mathematics in Australasia through research achievements and activities enhancing applied or industrial mathematics, or both, and

  • 2. Long-term member of and valuable contributor to ANZIAM (or its predecessor, the Division of Applied Mathematics of the Australian Mathematical Society).

    The Selection Panel cited the following contributions of Professor Sloan in terms of the Selection Criteria.

    Research Achievements: Professor Sloan's research career has two main emphases, namely theoretical physics and numerical analysis. He began his research career in theoretical nuclear physics, particularly in the area of few-body collision problems for small systems of particles. His contributions to theoretical physics include some 35 articles in international journals.

    In the mid 70s, Professor Sloan transferred his attention to numerical analysis, particularly to the study of integral equations which figured in his theoretical physics research. Since then, he has made extensive contributions to the numerical solution of integral equations of the second kind, the study of weakly singular kernels in second kind integral equations, the convergence and stability of product integration, convergence results in approximation theory, integral equations on semi-infinite intervals, novel methods (`qualocation') for solving boundary integral equations, the numerical evaluation of high dimensional multiple integrals, and finite elements. His work has resulted in over 100 articles in international journals and an Oxford University Press book with S. Joe entitled Lattice Methods for Multiple Integration. This is the first book on this subject.

    Professor Sloan's research has been recognised through the following honours and achievements:

  • Fellow of Australian Academy of Science (1993)
  • representation on editorial panels of many journals (SIAM J. Numerical Analysis, Advances in Computational Mathematics, J. Integral Equations and Applications, IMA J. Numerical Analysis, J. Computational and Applied Mathematics, J. Austral. Math. Soc. B)
  • numerous invitations to international meetings as an invited speaker, prolific winner of ARC grants, including a half million dollar grant from 1988-93 for numerical analysis for integrals, integral equations and boundary value problems.

    Activities enhancing applied or industrial mathematics, or both and contributions to ANZIAM: Professor Sloan has had a major influence on the development of applied mathematics in Australia in the last two decades. An early major contribution was as Editor of the Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society, Series B from 1978-82. At the time he was appointed, the Journal was in difficulties, and the previous Editor had recommended that the Journal be closed down. In his five years at the helm, Professor Sloan established the Journal on the secure, internationally recognised basis that continues to this day.

    Professor E. Tuck congratulating Professor I. Sloan

    Professor Sloan played a full role in the Division of Applied Mathematics of the Australian Mathematical Society (the progenitor of ANZIAM). He was Director of the 1977 annual meeting and Chair of the Division from 1989-90. He is also on the Council of the Australian Mathematical Society and the Council of the Australian Academy of Science.

    During 1991-96, Professor Sloan was Chair of the National Committee for Mathematics of the Australian Academy of Science. He displayed consummate political and networking skills to develop the role of this Committee. As a result of his leadership, the various Australian professional associations in the mathematical sciences now collaborate in better fashion than ever before. He was the driving force in setting up the recent ARC-funded strategic review of the mathematical sciences in Australia.

    In 1996, Professor Sloan was appointed to a three year term on the Physical, Mathematical and Chemical Sciences panel to the Australian Research Council.

    Professor Sloan also played a major role in regional activities, particularly as Head of the School of Mathematics at the University of NSW (one of the largest mathematics departments in Australia) during 1986-1990 and 1992-93, and as Chair of the New South Wales Centre for Parallel Computing.

    In all of these activities, Professor Sloan is universally recognised as visionary, articulate, influential and energetic.

    The following recommendation, unanimously endorsed by the Executive Committee of ANZIAM, completed the citation.

    Through his research achievements and work for the benefit of the profession, Professor Sloan has contributed enormously to the development of applied mathematics in Australia for more than 30 years. At home and abroad, he is widely recognised as an outstanding leader of the profession. For these sustained and valuable contributions, the Selection Panel recommends that Professor Sloan be awarded the 1997 ANZIAM Medal.

    W. Summerfield
    Secretary, ANZIAM


    The Strategic Plan subcommittee of ANZIAM tabled a draft discussion paper at ANZIAM'97. It was resolved that all members of the Society should be able to comment on this document. It can be accessed on the World Wide Web via the home page of the Australian Mathematical Society. Please direct all questions, comments, concerns to me on this draft,via my email address below by June 1997.
    W. Summerfield
    Secretary ANZIAM

    The Australian Mathematical Society Gazette is Copyright by the Australian Mathematical Society. Any enquiries about this electronic version of the Gazette should be sent to