David Gauld

e-mail me at my email address

I am a professor in the Department of Mathematics of the University of Auckland, having been in the Department as a lecturer and so on since 1969. I have formally retired, but have accepted a four-year appointment in a half time position. My office is in room 419 of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Building. My phone number is (64)(9)9238697. Look at this map of the world to see where my office is.

To go back to the beginning, I was born in Inglewood, NZ, and attended the long since defunct Pukeho Primary School (it closed as a school one year after I left it and, while the building remains, the last time I visited I wondered whether it will outlast the last of its former pupils). Challenge: I can name all of the children who went to my primary school during the whole of the time I attended, from the big kids when I was little to the little kids when I was big; can you? Three of my high school years were at Inglewood High School: I hope the photo on the IHS website of the school with the mountain as background makes you jealous! IHS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. I attended the official celebrations and was thrilled to meet quite a few others who, like me, attended IHS that hot summer's day it opened. Here's a photo of my fifth form class (I'm the smallest kid there). This is the entire fifth form at IHS that year: why are there twice as many girls as boys? The year before IHS opened I attended Wanganui Technical College (which has undergone a number of transitional names to its current Wanganui City College) and my last high school year was at the New Plymouth Boys' High School. I did my BSc and MSc degrees at Auckland before moving to Los Angeles where I completed a PhD in topology. One of the signatures on my PhD certificate was of someone who went on to bigger things. I am a member of the Allahabad, American, Australian and New Zealand Mathematical Societies, having been President of the last of these in 1981-2. I was also the founding secretary of the New Zealand Mathematics Research Institute, but retired from that position in 2011 after 13 years on the job. For many years I have been involved with the New Zealand Journal of Mathematics and its predecessor the Mathematical Chronicle: this journal, a joint publication of the Mathematics Department of the University of Auckland and the New Zealand Mathematical Society, has no page charges and is available free of subscription at the address above.

I have served in a number of administrative roles in the University. Most notable was as Head of the Department of Mathematics (Mathematics and Statistics a lot of that time). My terms as Head were from 1/6/1981 to 31/1/1990, 1/2/1993 to 14/8/1994 and 21/5/2001 to 31/1/2005. From 15/8/1994 to 28/2/1997 I was the University's Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) and from 1/1/2001 until 31/7/2001 I was Associate Dean for Budgets for the Faculty of Science.

I have had eight PhD students who have completed their degrees. Two of those, Sina Greenwood and Abdul Mohamad, graduated in 1999 and a third, Kerry Richardson, in 2000. All three were co-supervised by David McIntyre and I and all three have been awarded a New Zealand Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Sina remains in the Department having transferred to a lectureship in the Department on 29 February 2004 when her fellowship ended (they must have forgotten that 2004 was a leap year!), and is now a senior lecturer. Abdul took up his fellowship at the University of Auckland for a while but decided to accept a post at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman and recently transferred to Nizwa University, also in Oman, where he is now an associate professor. Kerry went to Japan late 2001 on a post-doctoral fellowship sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science before being awarded his NZS&T Fellowship which he took up in Boston. My fourth PhD student, Brian Van Dam, completed his formalities in June 2004 and went to teach at Wollongong University's Auckland branch. My fifth PhD student was Stevie Budden who was supported by an NZIMA Programme awarded to Vaughan Jones, Roger Fenn and me. He completed his formalities in September 2009 and has returned to England. Qingxiang Zhang is another PhD student whom I co-supervised but Gaven Martin was her main supervisor and she completed her degree at Massey University. She was also supported by the NZIMA Programme. Afshin Mardani, originally from Iran, completed his PhD in 2014: he was supported for some of the time by a Marsden grant awarded to me. I was co-supervisor for Nazli Uresin but Sina Greenwood was her main supervisor. I was also mentor for another New Zealand Science and Technology Post-Doctoral Fellow, Jiling Cao, who also completed his PhD in this Department (with Ivan Reilly and M K Vamanamurthy as supervisors) and held a JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Jiling is now a professor at the Auckland University of Technology. Look at a photo of Sina, Abdul and Jiling, who also graduated in 1999, along with David McIntyre and I.

Research Interests

My research interests are in set theoretic topology, especially applications to non-metrisable manifolds, and topological properties of manifolds near the limit of metrisability. If you are interested in my collection of over 100 topological properties equivalent to metrisability for a manifold click here: metrisability. While some of this stuff might seem esoteric, it is interesting and challenging. Indeed, here is an old quote from a great topologist: "The main object of this exercise is to imbue the reader with suitable respect for non-paracompact manifolds,'' John Milnor, Foliations and foliated vector bundles, M. I. T. Notes (1970), page 7. I have incorporated a lot of this into a book which appeared in electronic form late in 2014 with the title Non-metrisable manifolds.

We have quite an active group in topology at the University of Auckland at the moment. Some indication of this activity may be seen by reading my final report to the Marsden Fund, which for 3 years supported part of this group. We also have a nice lot of visitors coming through.