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University appoints Professor of Pure Mathematics

Student enjoying coffee in St Davids

Tuesday 5 May 2009 3:40pm

The University of Otago has appointed Dr Astrid an Huef as its new Professor of Pure Mathematics.

Dr an Huef is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Her main area of expertise is functional analysis, which is a branch of modern analysis relevant to problems involving infinite-dimensional phenomena.

"I study objects called operator algebras - an area not currently represented in New Zealand - so I'm contributing a new skill set to New Zealand mathematics. Operator algebras first arose in mathematical models of quantum mechanics, and have since proved to be of interest in a broad range of mathematical situations."

Dr an Huef's current research programmes involve collaborations with colleagues from Australia, the United States, Scotland and Brazil. She has published in highly-ranked international journals and has been successful in obtaining grants from the National Science Foundation (USA) and the Australian Research Council.

Dr an Huef has a connection to New Zealand - her family immigrated from Germany when she was a teenager and she attended Wellington High School for two years before the family moved to Australia. She graduated with a PhD from Dartmouth College in the USA in 1999 and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver for three years, before returning to Australia in 2002.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) Professor Vernon Squire says that, as a previous Department of Mathematics and Statistics Head, he is especially delighted to have attracted Dr an Huef to the University.

"A popular university lecturer, postgraduate supervisor and mentor, she conveys a real passion both for teaching mathematics and for research. She will bring an exciting new research focus to the department. Her interests in operator algebras complement other areas of scholarship in the Department, for example abstract algebra, and relate to theoretical physics and chemistry topics such as advanced quantum theory and dynamical systems. Astrid's pure mathematical advances are well recognised overseas owing to a good record of publications in journals of the highest quality."

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says that he is very pleased that the University has been able to appoint Dr an Huef to the position.

"She is an outstanding academic who will enhance Otago's research and teaching strengths in this field."

Dr an Huef takes up her position later this year. She replaces Professor Derek Holton, who is retiring after 24 years as Otago's Professor of Pure Mathematics.

For more information, contact

Simon Ancell
Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 5016

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