Victoria student awarded prestigious Woolf Fisher scholarship

07 Oct 2016 - 11:47:27 in Achievement
A Victoria University of Wellington student has been awarded a prestigious Woolf Fisher Trust scholarship worth around $300,000 for his doctoral study at the University of Cambridge.

ls medium.jpgHonours student Liam Jolliffe will travel to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to study for a PhD in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.

Sir Woolf Fisher (1912-1975), co-founder of Fisher and Paykel, set up his Trust in 1960 to recognise and reward excellence in education. The Scholarship selects young New Zealanders based on their outstanding academic ability, leadership potential as well as their integrity, vision and capacity for work.

Liam studied at Wairarapa College before coming to Victoria to complete a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics.

In his time at Victoria he has won numerous awards for academic excellence, including the Geoffrey A Rowan Memorial Bursary prize awarded to the best 300-level mathematics student, the Pablo Etchegoin Prize in Experimental Physics, and a Victoria Graduate Award in 2015.

Liam, a keen footballer and saxophonist, says he sees his future in academia.

“I will complete a Master of Advanced Studies at Cambridge, before transitioning to the PhD programme.

“I chose my degree at Victoria with no particular path in mind—I was just following my curiosity as I wanted to learn more about how the world works. Now, I see my future career in academia. Research will ensure I am challenged and engaged in interesting new material, and teaching will allow me to pass on my love for mathematics. I hope to return to Wellington and Victoria University later in my career.”

Liam has been studying algebraic matroids in his Honours research project, says Dr Dillon Mayhew from Victoria's School of Mathematics and Statistics.

"This area of mathematics is notoriously difficult to grasp, but Liam has quite quickly clarified the connections between two different ways of viewing these objects. No doubt his study at Cambridge will be equally successful."

Sir Noel Robinson, Chairman of the Woolf Fisher Trust, says, “We are delighted that we have had such a strong field shortlisted for this year’s scholarships. They each bring a range of strengths and research interests. And most importantly, they embody the characteristics envisaged by Sir Woolf when he established the scholarship. We will follow their progress with great pride and great interest.”