Leading mathematician to be honoured at Graduation

Published 07 October 2009

GraduationOne of the world’s leading mathematicians, Professor Norman Dancer, will be presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science during a graduation ceremony at the University of New England on Friday 9 October.

Professor Dancer is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and earlier this year was awarded the Academy’s Hannan Medal in recognition of his achievements in pure mathematics. A world leader in his field, he taught at UNE for 20 years from 1973, receiving a Personal Chair in 1987. Since 1993, as a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Sydney, he has maintained a high level of research collaboration with UNE mathematicians.

Friday’s ceremony, for the presentation of awards within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, will be the first of two ceremonies comprising UNE’s Spring Graduation 2009. The second ceremony, for awards within the Faculty of The Professions, will be the following day – Saturday 10 October. More than 1,100 people are graduating from UNE this spring, with more than 400 of those able to attend the ceremonies – on the lawns of “Booloominbah” – and receive their testamurs from the Chancellor, Dr Richard Torbay.

The Director General of the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, Mr Barry Buffier, will deliver the Occasional Address at Friday’s ceremony. Mr Buffier, who holds Bachelor of Rural Science (Honours) and Master of Economics degrees from UNE, is a Churchill Fellow, a Commissioner with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor John Hay AC, a former Vice-Chancellor of both Deakin University and the University of Queensland, will be the Occasional Address speaker on Saturday. Professor Hay was awarded a Centennial Medal in 2003 for his contributions to Australian Higher education, and was named a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2004 Australia Day Honours List.

The University is expecting about 1,500 visitors – friends and family members of the graduands – over the two days. Both ceremonies will begin at 10.30 am.