Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis

22 March 2017

Congratulations to the Department of Mathematics' awardees Sean Curry and Andrew Keane who have won the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis 2016.

The judging panel, comprised of members from the Board of Graduate Studies, reviewed all nominations and ranked them according to the demonstrable significance of the thesis in its field, the originality and excellence of the research, exceptional academic and intellectual achievement, and timely completion.

Sean Curry received the prize for his thesis Submanifolds in Conformal and CR Manifolds and Applications. There were significant open problems of how to treat structures called submanifolds, and Sean resolved many of these in the thesis. In particular, he found a new and very effective way to idenitify the 'fingerprint' of the geometry.

Andrew Keane won the prize for his thesis entitled A dynamical systems approach to understanding the interplay between delayed feedback and seasonal forcing in the el Niño Southern Oscillation. Andrew introduced advanced mathematical techniques to provide fundamental insights. For example, he showed that the irregular and unpredictable nature of El Niño events does not require external stochastic input.

Well done to Sean and Andrew, who will recieve a certificate and a monetary prize at the Celebrating Research Excellence reception on 9 May. Their achievements will also be recorded on their academic transcripts.

Faculty of Science nominees include:

  • Josie Galbraith from the School of Biological Sciences: Ecological impacts of supplementary feeding on urban bird communities in New Zealand
  • Mozhgan Memari from the Department of Computer Science: Partial Referential Integrity in SQL Databases
  • Cory Toth from the School of Biological Sciences: Lek breeding in the lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculate) – male courtship, female selection, and the determinants of reproductive strategies