New Professor Explores Multiplicity of Mathematics

04 Apr 2016 - 16:25:52 in Research
The freezing of sea ice and exploding rocks in volcanoes may not sound like things a mathematician would worry about, but a newly-appointed Professor says mathematics has taken him on a 40-year academic journey of discovery.Mark.jpg

As part of his inaugural lecture held 5 April 2016 to mark his professorial promotion, Victoria University of Wellington Professor Mark McGuiness will shed light on some of the interesting puzzles he has faced during his career.

“I studied physics and worked my way through to applied and industrial mathematics,” says Professor McGuinness. “I’ve had the good fortune to work on a range of problems, including how to cook crispy cereals, how fast sea ice freezes, and why volcanic eruptions are sometimes very lumpy.”

During the lecture Professor McGuinness will outline how mathematics provided the tools to solve these problems.

In July, Professor McGuinness is codirecting Mathematics in Industry New Zealand 2016, a forum for researchers to look at applying mathematics, statistics, physics and engineering principles to problems brought by local businesses and industry.

From a young age he was interested in solving puzzles and problems, says Professor McGuinness.

“This curiosity continues to drive my research today. It’s really rewarding brainstorming and then solving a problem. I’d encourage anyone with an interest in problem solving to consider mathematics in their studies or as a career.”