The 2002 JH Michell Medal

The Selection Panel for the 2002 J.H. Michell Medal proposes that the Medal be awarded to Dr Stephen Lucas.


Sephen Lucas completed a BMath with First Class Honours at the University of Wollongong before moving to the University of Sydney where he was awarded a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1994, having contributed to developments in the Boundary Integral Method. Stpehen then spent two years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the Mawson Lakes campus of the University of South Australia, where he is also Head of the Applied Mathematics Group within the Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (CIAM).

His post-doctoral work at Harvard University with H. A. Stone on numerical integration of Bessel functions is significant and has been widely cited. The key idea was realising that a product of Bessel functions could be separated into the sum of two simply-oscillating functions. Researchers around the world have benefited from a substantial set of calculation routines developed during this research. While Stephen has continued his collaboration with H. A. Stone, his overall research portfolio has now become much more diverse, perhaps a natural response to his current research environment in CIAM.

Over the last year Stephen has been part of a research team that has established boundedness on certain function spaces of a two-parameter family of Cesaro averaging operators. Stephen has recently led some most innovative work in classical number theory, using Laplace transforms to formulate a new relationship between the average order of a number theoretic function and its Dirichlet form. This relationship has been used to construct a new proof of the prime number theorem, as well as to verify a number of otherwise diverse number theoretic results. The new relationship also allows for a reformulation of the twin prime conjecture.

The ability to contribute to a wide variety of theoretical and applied mathematics is not found in many. Stephen's published work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, reaction-diffusion problems, wave scattering and computational methods, as well as special functions and number theory has all been significant, while he also retains an enthusiasm for mathematical modelling in general.

Stephen has already impressed the academic community: he has a long list of awards to his name, including, from his alma mater, a University Medal, two prizes for senior-level Mathematics and three scholarships, as well as having held a Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship for his PhD studies.

Dr Lucas has contributed enormously to his profession through his membership of AMS and ANZIAM since 1991. He has participated in the organisation of various conferences and workshops. He has been a regular contributor at ANZIAM meetings, and won the T.M. Cherry Prize in 1991. Recently, Stephen has been a key MISG researcher.

With about 20 published research papers and a wide variety of conference presentations, Stephen Lucas is certainly worthy of the ANZIAM's award for outstanding new researchers.

Updated: 11 Jan 2008