The 1997 ANZIAM Medal

The Selection Panel for the 1997 ANZIAM Medal proposes that the Medal be awarded to Professor Ian Hugh Sloan.


We cite the following outstanding achievements of Professor Sloan in relation to the selection criteria for the medal.

  • Research achievements

Professor Sloan's research career has two main emphases - theoretical physics and numerical analysis. He began his research career in theoretical nuclear physics, particularly in the area of few-body collision problems for small systems of particles. His contributions to theoretical physics include some 35 articles in international journals.

In the mid 70s, Professor Sloan transferred his attention to numerical analysis, particularly to the study of integral equations which figures in his theoretical physics research. Since then, he has made extensive contributions to the numerical solution of integral equations of the second kind, the study of weakly singular kernels in second kind integral equations, the convergence and stability of product integration, convergence results in approximation theory, integral equations on semi-infinite intervals, novel methods (`qualocation') for solving boundary integral equations, the numerical evaluation of high dimensional multiple integrals, and finite elements. His work has resulted in over 100 articles in international journals and an Oxford University Press book with S. Joe entitled "Lattice Methods for Multiple Integration". This is the first book on this subject.

Professor Sloan's research has been recognised through the following honours and achievements

    • Fellow of Australian Academy of Science (1993)
    • representation on editorial panels of many journals (SIAM J Numerical Analysis, Advances in Computational Mathematics, J Integral Equations andApplications, IMA J Numerical Analysis, J Computational and Applied Mathematics, J Austral Math Soc B)
    • numerous invitations to international meetings as an invited speaker, prolific winner of ARC grants, including a half million dollar grant from 1988-93 for ``Numerical analysis for integrals, integral equations and boundary value problems''
  • Activities enhancing applied or industrial mathematics, or both and Contributions to ANZIAM<

Professor Sloan has had a major influence on the development of applied mathematics in Australia in the last two decades. An early major contribution was as Editor of the Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society, Series B from 1978-82. At the time he was appointed, the Journal was in difficulties, and the previous Editor had recommended that the Journal be closed down. In his five years at the helm, Professor Sloan established the Journal on the secure, internationally-recognised basis that continues to this day.

Professor Sloan played a full role in the Division of Applied Mathematics of the Australian Mathematical Society (the progenitor of ANZIAM). He was Director of the 1977 annual meeting and Chair of the Division from 1989-90. He is also on the Council of the Australian Mathematical Society and the Council of the Australian Academy of Science.

From 1991-96, Professor Sloan was Chair of the National Committee for Mathematics of the Australian Academy of Science. He displayed consummate political and networking skills to develop the role of this Committee. As a result of his leadership, the various Australian professional associations in the mathematical sciences now collaborate in better fashion than ever before. He was the driving force in setting up the recent ARC-funded strategic review of the mathematical sciences in Australia. In 1996, Professor Sloan was appointed to a three year term on the Physical, Mathematical and Chemical Sciences panel of the Australian Research Council.

Professor Sloan also played a major role in regional activities, particularly as Head of the School of Mathematics at the University of NSW (one of the largest mathematics departments in Australia) from 1986-90 and 1992-93, and as Chair of the NSW Centre for Parallel Computing.

In all of these activities, Professor Sloan is universally recognised as visionary, articulate, influential and energetic.

  • Recommendation

Through his research achievements and work for the benefit of the profession, Professor Sloan has contributed enormously to the development of applied mathematics in Australia for more than 30 years. At home and abroad, he is widely recognised as an outstanding leader of the profession. For these sustained and valuable contributions, the Selection Panel recommends that Professor Sloan be awarded the 1997 ANZIAM Medal.

Updated: 11 Jan 2008