New Zealand Mathematical Society

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NZMS Research Award

This annual award was instituted in 1990 to foster mathematical research in New Zealand and to recognise excellence in research carried out by New Zealand mathematicians. This award is based on mathematical research published in books or recognised journals in the last five calendar years: 2012-2016. Candidates must have been residents of New Zealand for the last three years.

Nominations and applications should include the following:

A judging panel shall be appointed by the NZMS Council. No person shall receive the award more than once. The award consists of a certificate including an appropriate citation of the awardee's work, and will be announced and presented (if at all possible) at the New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium Dinner in 2017.

All nominations and applications should be sent by 31 July 2017 to the NZMS President Astrid an Huef. Submissions should be made by email to, stating clearly that they are for the NZMS Research Award.

The Research Award for 2016 was presented at the NZ Mathematics Colloquium dinner in Wellington jointly to

Kalman Prize for Best Paper

The Kalman Prize for Best Paper was instituted in 2016 to recognise excellence in research carried out by New Zealand mathematicians. The Prize will normally be awarded annually for an outstanding and innovative piece of research in the mathematical sciences published by a member or members of the New Zealand Mathematical Society. The Prize is for a single publication of original research, which may be an article, monograph or book, having appeared within the last 5 calendar years: 2012-2016. The value of the Prize is $5000. The Prize is generously funded by the Margaret and John Kalman Charitable Trust, and recognises the significant contributions to mathematics in New Zealand made by Professor John Kalman.

A publication may be nominated for the Prize by any member of the NZMS who is not an author of that publication. To be eligible, the nominated publication must have at least one author who:

In the case of publications with multiple authors, the Prize will be shared by all authors. The existence of authors who do not meet the conditions in i) and ii) above will not preclude the award, although the judging panel may take into account whether the NZ author has made a major contribution to the published work. The judging panel may deem a publication ineligible if an author has previously received an award from the NZMS for a body of research that included the nominated publication.

The judging panel will be appointed by the NZMS Council, and makes recommendations to the NZMS President and Vice-President for the Prize. The recommendation for the Prize is at the sole discretion of the judging panel. The winner of the prize will be announced at the New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium Dinner in December.

Nominators should provide a brief summary of 1-2 pages of what makes the nominated publication important, innovative and outstanding (with appropriate references to prior or subsequent work in the field), and the names of three possible assessors. All nominations should be sent by 30 September 2017 to the NZMS President Astrid an Huef. Submissions should be made by email to, stating clearly that they are for the Kalman Prize for Best Paper.

The Kalman Prize for Best Paper in 2016 was awarded to Gaven Martin (Massey University) for the journal article

NZMS Early Career Award

This award was instituted in 2006 to reward early career New Zealand mathematicians. Criteria for eligibility are the same as for the Marsden Fund Fast-Start grants. Essentially, this means applicants must be within seven years of confirmation of PhD with an allowance made for extenuating circumstances. The candidate will be judged on their best three papers and a two-page CV. The candidate will have completed a significant part of their research within New Zealand. They would also normally be expected to be a member of the NZMS.

Nominations and applications should include the following:

A judging panel shall be appointed by the NZMS Council. No person shall receive the award more than once. The award consists of a certificate including an appropriate citation of the awardee's work, and will be announced and presented (if at all possible) at the New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium Dinner in 2017.

All nominations and applications should be sent by 31 July 2017 to the NZMS President Astrid an Huef. Submissions should be made by email to, stating clearly that they are for the NZMS Early Career Award.

The Early Career Award for 2016 was presented at the NZ Mathematics Colloquium dinner in Wellington to Alexander Melnikov (Massey University) for "highly original contributions to the theory of computability in algebra and topology".

NZMS Aitken Prize (Student Prize)

The Society offers a prize for the best contributed talk by a student at the annual New Zealand Mathematics Colloquium.

This prize is known as the Aitken Prize, in honour of the New Zealand born mathematician Alexander Craig Aitken, and was offered for the first time at the 1995 Colloquium held in conjunction with the Aitken Centenary Conference at the University of Otago.

The winner in 2016 was Naomi Gendler of the University of Auckland for the talk "Pulse Dynamics of Fibre Lasers with Saturable Absorbers".

The prize consists of a cheque for NZ$500, accompanied by a certificate.

Entrants for the prize must be enrolled (or have been enrolled) for a degree in Mathematics at a university or other tertiary institution in New Zealand in the year of the award. During the Colloquium, they give a talk on a topic in any branch of the mathematical sciences.

A judging panel is appointed by the NZMS Council, and makes recommendations to the NZMS President and Vice-President for the prize. Normally the prize will be awarded to one person, but in exceptional circumstances the prize may be shared, or no prize may be awarded.

Entrants should indicate their willingness to be considered for the prize on the Colloquium registration form.

See also:

Recipients of the Research Award

2016David BryantThis award recognises David Bryant for work developing mathematical, statistical and computational tools for evolutionary biology, and work drawing on evolutionary biology to develop new theories in mathematics.
2016Bernd KrauskopfThis award recognises Bend Krauskopf for outstanding contributions to dynamical systems, especially bifurcation theory and its application to diverse physical phenomena.
2015Hinke OsingaThis award recognises Hinke Osinga for pioneering work on theory and computational methods in dynamical systems and its applications in biology and engineering.
2014Dimitri LeemansThis award recognises Dimitri Leemans for his striking contributions to algebraic combinatorics that combine techniques from algebra, graph theory, combinatorics and number theory for the exploration and classification of highly symmetric geometric structures.
2013Steven GalbraithThis award recognises Steven Galbraith for applying deep ideas from number theory and algebraic geometry to Public Key Cryptography to achieve world leading processing speeds without compromising security.
2012Ben MartinThis award recognises Ben Martin's outstanding and broad contributions to algebra including the application of geometric invariant theory to algebraic groups, the geometry of spherical buildings, and the representation growth of groups.
2012Tom ter ElstThis award recognises Tom ter Elst for his deep and sustained contributions to the analysis and understanding of elliptic operators, and associated evolution processes.
2011Shaun CooperThis award recognises Shaun's sustained generation of significant and original contributions to number theory, particularly in the areas of elliptic functions, theta functions, and modular forms.
2010Charles SempleThis award recognises Charles Semple’s landmark contributions to combinatorics, and in particular matroid theory, as well as leading work in phylogenetics and computational biology.
2009André NiesThis award recognises André Nies’s special creativity and highly influential contributions in the area of mathematical logic and in particular its application to questions of computability, complexity, and randomness.
2008Mike HendyFor his innovative mathematical approach to molecular ecology and evolution which has transformed the field. His seminal work on the Hadamard transform—used to separate out pertinent signals in evolutionary data—is now an integral part of phylogenetic software internationally and has contributed to the solution of several fundamental problems
2007Ernie KalninsFor his wide ranging, prolific and significant contributions to mathematics, especially in his research on symmetries of partial differential equations, separable coordinates and superintegrable systems.
2006Robert AldredFor his leading work in Combinatorics and Graph Theory. In particular his near complete solution of the vertex colouring/edge partition problem, the characterisation of regular graphs which admit at most one 2-factor as well as his recent work on the Path Partition Conjecture from the early 80s by resolving (in the negative) a strong form of this conjecture.
2006Mick RobertsFor his pioneering and practical work in Mathematical Epidemiology, his development of realistic physiologically based models of the incidence and spread of infectious diseases and his work on parasite transmission on pasture, all of which has attracted international recognition.
2005Robert McLachlanFor creative, pioneering work leading to deep advances in the theory of geometric numerical integration, and its application in the study of dynamical systems.
2005James SneydFor extensive and celebrated contributions in mathematical biology, demonstrating approaches that combine originality with biological realism.
2004Eamonn O'BrienFor outstanding achievements in using computation, backed up by deep algebraic theory, to solve long-standing and difficult problems in group theory.
2003Rod GoverFor highly original contributions in conformal differential geometry, that has led to the solution of some outstanding and difficult problems.
2002Bakhadyr KhoussainovFor his contributions to computable model theory and the theory of automatic structures.
2001Warren MoorsFor his impressive body of interconnected research work on the geometry and topology of Banach spaces, related questions of set-theoretic topology and especially non-smooth analysis and optimization where a number of deep insights of a foundational nature have been achieved.
2000Graham WeirFor his wide-ranging in-depth contributions to applied mathematical modelling covering a diverse range of phenomena including geosciences, structure of materials, corrosion theory, and the flow of granular material.
1999Mike SteelFor his fundamental contributions to the mathematical understanding of phylogeny, demonstrating a capacity for hard creative work in combinatorics and statistics and an excellent understanding of the biological implications of his results.
1998Jianbei AnFor his contributions to the study of modular representations of groups, in which he has established his leading expertise through a combination of deep understanding, ingenuity and technical skill.
1997Peter LorimerFor a lifetime of achievements in mathematical research, especially for his contributions to the application of group theory in geometry and combinatorics, and to the structure and classification of finite projective planes.
1996Mavina VamanamurthyFor his prolific and far-reaching work in analysis and topology, especially for his contributions to the theory of quasiconformal mappings and special functions; contributions that are characterized by both analytic ingenuity and geometric insight.
1996Geoff WhittleFor his work on matroids and other combinatorial structures, in which he has contributed fruitful ideas and found beautiful new results; placing him in the forefront of recent workers on difficult problems of matroid representation.
1995Vladimir PestovFor his creative and ingenious research in areas ranging from topological groups and Lie theory to the nonstandard analysis of superspace, in which he has solved long-standing open problems as well as demonstrating his breadth and depth of understanding and a gift for elegant and colourful exposition.
1995Neil WatsonFor an outstanding series of research articles on harmonic functions and potential theory, in which he has introduced new ideas and tools, and deep analyses, that have resulted in new and improved approaches to classical theorems and led to their generalisation to more abstract situations.
1994Gaven MartinFor fundamental contributions in analysis, especially in complex analysis, requiring a careful and inventive blending of algebraic, analytic, and topological ideas, with applications in diverse areas ranging from differential equations, through hyperbolic geometric to low-dimensional topology.
1993Marston ConderFor research exhibiting insight and originality in solving problems in algebra and combinatorics, in which, by his outstanding skills in machine computation, he has demonstrated the effectiveness of the computer when guided by real intelligence.
1992Rod DowneyFor penetrating and prolific investigations that have made him a leading expert in many aspects of recursion theory, effective algebra and complexity.
1992Vernon SquireFor major contributions to the science of ocean wave-ice interaction, ranging from the theoretical and mathematical to the experimental and practical aspects, that have made him the leading consultant in this field
1991John ButcherFor establishing new fundamental connections between analytic stability properties and algebraic properties of numerical methods for the solution of nonlinear differential equations; for implementing new methods; and for an outstanding monograph on Runge-Kutta and general linear methods.
1991Rob GoldblattFor outstanding work in generalisations and applications of modal logic, including four books displaying a remarkable mastery of diverse aspects of mathematics from programming to space-time geometry.

Recipients of the Kalman Prize for Best Paper

2016 Gaven Martin T. H. Marshall and G. J. Martin. Minimal co-volume hyperbolic lattices II: Simple torsion in a Kleinian group. Annals of Mathematics 176 (2012), 261-301.

Recipients of the Early Career Award

2016Alexander MelnikovFor highly original contributions to the theory of computability in algebra and topology.
2015Adam DayFor fundamental contributions to the theory of algorithmic randomness and computability including the solution of the random covering problem.
2014David SimpsonFor his contributions to the analysis of the effects of randomness and uncertainties in nonsmooth dynamical systems.
2013Florian BeyerFor his contributions to the understanding of the global structure of cosmological solutions of Einstein’s equations using numerical and analytical methods, and, in particular, for the proof of the wellposedness of the singular initial-value-problem for Fuchsian PDEs.
2012Mark HolmesFor rapidly becoming a world expert in the theory of random walks, and in the analysis of high-dimensional models in statistical physics.
2011Claire PostlethwaiteThe award recognises Claire's enormous progress in applying mathematics to the study of animal movement, and for her development of fundamental ideas in applied dynamical systems.
2010Mihály KovácsFor his innovative research in the field of stochastic partial differential equations, particularly their numerical approximation.
2009Stephen MarslandFor outstanding work in many areas of computational and applied mathematics, including self-organizing networks, machine learning, image registration, and generalized Euler equations.
2008Barbara HollandFor her groundbreaking work in interpreting information of historical and biological importance in comparisons of genetic sequence data, and for her pioneering development of phylogenetic networks that succeeded where simple optimisation models failed in identifying conflicts and in unmasking the more interesting biological evidence.
2007Noam GreenbergFor his discovery of new natural definable classes which capture the dynamics of constructions arising from computability theory, his studies of real-valued measures on the continuum and his use of delicate inductive arguments to exhibit links between high compressibility and low computational power.
2007Catherine McCartinFor her fundamental contributions to the development of efficient algorithms for computational problems in a variety of areas, and for her development of theoretical frameworks for parameterized counting problems and for parameterized approximation problems.

Recipients of the Aitken Prize

2016Naomi ChandlerAucklandPulse Dynamics of Fibre Lasers with Saturable Absorbers
2015Andrew KeaneAucklandBifurcation analysis of a model for the El Niño Southern Oscillation
2014Timm TreskatisCanterburyAccelerated gradient vs. primal-dual methods in nonsmooth optimisation
2013Chris StevensOtagoThe Friedrich-Nagy gauge for colliding plane gravitational waves
2013Timm TreskatisCanterburyTrust-region SQP methods for numerical simulations of viscoplastic flows
2012Stefanie HittmeyerAucklandUntangling Wild Chaos
2012Jennifer CreaserAucklandThe Lorenz System Near the Loss of the Foliation Condition
2011Edoardo PersichettiAucklandCoding theory and cryptography:New perspectives
2010Rachael TappendenCanterburyExtensions of compressed sensors
2009Michael SmithAucklandVibration of floating and submerged elastic plates
2009Shannon EzzatCanterburyRepresentation growth of the Heisenberg group over quadratic integers
2008Mareike FischerCanterburyCurious properties of Maximum Parsimony in estimating evolutionary trees and ancestral sequence states
2007Peter HumphriesCanterburyA basis exchange property for matroids
2007Ratneesh SuriMasseyA real options approach to fisheries
2006Kevin ByardMasseyApplications of qualified residue difference sets
2005Amanda ElvinMasseyThe role of gap junctions in a neural field model
2005Elan GinAucklandCalcium waves and buffers
2004Joanne MannMasseyTo vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
2003Cynthia WangMasseyModelling a plate of arbitrary shape in infinitely deep water using a higher order method
2002Sivajah SomasundaramWaikatoSome recent results concerning weak Asplund spaces
2001Brian van DamAucklandThe construction method of resolutions and Dowker spaces
2000Patrick RynhartMasseyStatic liquid bridges
2000Barbara HollandMasseyMedian networks: A visual representation of ancient Adelie penguin DNA
2000Sivajah SomasundaramWaikatoCover semi-complete topological groups
1999Britta BasseCanterburyMathematical modelling for conservation: predator control via secondary poisoning
1999Jamie SneddonAucklandDomination conditions for tournaments
1998Charles SempleVictoriaExcluded minors for matroid representability
1997Robyn CurtisAucklandSubgraphs of hypercubes with no small cycles
1997Louise ParsonsAuckland
1996Anton RavirajMasseyGauss's equation and Backlund transformations
1996Thomasin SmithMasseyOn arithmetic degree theory
1995Chris StephensCanterburyGlobal optimisation requires global information