Emeritus Professor John Kalman

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The Department of Mathematics is saddened by the passing away of their Emeritus Professor and former Head of Department John Arnold Kalman.

John Kalman obtained his MA in Law and Mathematics from the Auckland University College and PhD from Harvard (under George Mackey). He joined the Department in 1955 as a research fellow and was a Professor with the Department for 30 years, until his retirement at the end of 1993.

He was noted for his careful and precise expository style and for his caring attitude to students. His research was originally in lattice theory, but he later became a specialist in automated reasoning with a well-received book entitled "Automated reasoning with OTTER" (Rinton Press, 2001), crowning his accomplishments in this field.

Senior members of this Department - some of whom have been recruited overseas by Professor Kalman himself - treasure their memories of a scientist of world class. Professor Kalman was a role model for his sincerity and dedication in all his tasks, and a fine mathematician, with a deep sense of care and hospitality towards his colleagues.

During his headship of the Department, John Kalman was instrumental in establishing the New Zealand Journal of Mathematics (then called The Mathematical Chronicle), in developing the curricula, in improving the quality of the mathematics section of the library, and most of all in appointing staff of international level. Last but not least, during all his career in Auckland, he had an important role in creating a nice atmosphere in the Department.

Those of us who were privileged to have him as a teacher will remember him fondly as a thorough teacher with two further amazing traits not mentioned so far: his writing was fast and clear (if you wanted to write down his work on the board then you would be writing at top speed the whole lecture); his memory was amazing (in Stage III analysis, a class of maybe 70, he walked around the class after the first assignment had been marked asking us our names and then giving us our assignment but thereafter he did the same omitting the question about our names. I found his advice invaluable to me during my stints as Head of Department. (David Gauld)

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