The Australian Mathematical Society has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Mahony-Neumann-Room Prize. This award is given every year for outstanding contributions to the Society’s research publications, fittingly named after the founding editors of those journals.

Thomas Gerald Room (1902—1986), a geometer, was professor of pure mathematics at the University of Sydney from 1935 to 1968. Born in London and educated at Cambridge, he, like all the earliest professors in Australia’s first universities, was selected for the post by British mathematicians or on the advice of British mathematicians from mostly British applicants. He worked enthusiastically for the formation of the Society in 1956, and was appointed its Publications Secretary. The Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society first appeared in August 1959 and Room was its editor until 1965.

Bernhard Hermann Neumann (1909—2002) was born in Berlin and represents the wave of refugee mathematicians that came to Australia in the 1930s and ’40s, many of whom were appointed to chairs around the country. Neumann was the foundation professor of mathematics at the Australian National University. He was appointed in 1962, having left Germany in 1933 with a doctorate from the University of Berlin, and was at the University of Manchester, where his eminence in group theory was established, before coming permanently to Australia. Neumann was a tireless worker for all facets of Australian mathematics. In 1969 he was appointed editor of the Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society, a journal which would insist on submissions in near-final form for which rapid publication (of those which were accepted) would be ensured. He had argued himself for this concept, and remained its editor for ten years.

John Joseph Mahony (1929—1992) was born in Melbourne and gained his PhD at the University of Melbourne. He exemplifies the Australian-born mathematicians who now dominate the profession in their home country. Mahony was for a few years professor of applied mathematics at the University of Queensland before taking a similar position at the University of Western Australia, which he held from 1965 until his death. The Society’s Journal (Series B), later called the ANZIAM Journal, specialising in applied mathematics, first appeared in 1975 and Mahony was its editor until 1978.

The 2018 prize will be awarded to authors who have published papers in the ANZIAM Journal between 2012 and 2017. You can view the shortlisted papers here, all of which are free to read through 2019.

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