The Kate Edger Department of Mathematics


The Margaret Morton Memorial Prize

The Margaret Morton Memorial Prize in Mathematics was established in the year 2001 in memory of Dr Margaret Morton, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at The University of Auckland from 1984 to 2000, and is financed from funds donated by relatives, friends and colleagues.

The main purpose of the Prize is to recognise a female student who has exhibited the most potential to succeed in Mathematics Education, or Discrete Mathematics (including Graph Theory). If there is no suitable candidate in these areas, consideration will be given to offering the prize to a female student in another area of Pure or Applied Mathematics.

Regulations


  1. The Prize will be known as the Margaret Morton Memorial Prize.
  2. The Prize will be of the value of $250.
  3. The Prize will be awarded annually to the female student with the most potential to succeed in Mathematics Education, or Discrete Mathematics (including Graph Theory). If there is no suitable candidate in these areas, then consideration will be given to offering the prize to the female student with the most potential to succeed in another area of Pure or Applied Mathematics.
  4. The Prize shall not be awarded in the particular year if there is no candidate of sufficient merit.
  5. The Prize will be awarded by the University of Auckland Council upon the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Mathematics.
  6. The University of Auckland Council will have power to amend or vary these Regulations provided that there is no departure from the main purpose of the Prize.
cp-margaret-morton
Margaret Morton 1944-2000

About Margaret Morton


Dr Margaret Morton, passed away August 31, 2000, aged only 55, after a short battle with cancer.

After years of raising a family and then moving back home to New Zealand from the US in the mid-1980s, Margaret set out to establish an academic career at the University of Auckland while in her 40s. This was no mean feat! In addition to teaching and more general service, Margaret wanted to fully engage in research, in both pure mathematics and mathematics education. The fact that she succeeded in all these areas is a tribute to Margaret's tenacity and inner strength, as well as her natural ability.

Margaret was a student at the University of Auckland in the 1960s, and went on to complete a PhD at Penn State University in 1975, and subsequently worked part-time as an Instructor in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Texas. After returning to Auckland, she worked as a Programmer before being appointed to a Tutorship in the Mathematics Department here. She was promoted to a Lectureship in 1991, and to a Senior Lectureship in 1998.

Following an early publication in 1976, Margaret returned to research in the late 1980s and went on to publish 2 books and 10 papers in mathematics education, and 8 papers in graph theory, most of these in the last five years. She did joint work with several people at Auckland and overseas, and together with Dr Paul Bonnington won a Marsden Fund grant in 1998.

Although Margaret was always modest of her abilities and the results of her research, what she achieved was phenomenal. Also at Auckland she made us all sit up and re-think what we do in the Department. She helped us learn to see things from many perspectives (not just our own), and was a wonderful advocate for students and for younger staff. She did a fantastic job as Teaching Coordinator, helping introduce much better feedback mechanisms and well thought out processes for maintaining and improving our teaching resources. She was also a champion for new appointments, and especially the need for mentoring of new and younger staff.

Margaret has three children (David, Robyn and Andy). She was devoted to her family, and had a wide range of personal interests, especially outdoor activities such as tennis, walking, kayaking and golf. She particularly loved the ocean.

(Marston Conder, September 2000)