New Zealand Approximation Theory Group

Information for Approximation Theory visitors to New Zealand

Here is a collection of information for Approximation Theorists thinking of visiting New Zealand. New Zealand universities provide visiting academics the usual courtesies including access to computer accounts, libraries, office space, honourariums for talks, etc.


Auckland, with a population of close to one million, is the largest city in New Zealand. Being located on an isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it is very spread out, extending 60 kms from north to south. It is antipodal to Malaga in Spain. Its climate is moderated by the ocean and can be described as sub-tropical and cool in winter, but seldom freezing.

The University of Auckland Mathematics department is the largest in N.Z. with approximately 50 academic staff. It has good library facilities including a link to MathSciNet. Recently, Shayne Waldron has been working on (multivariate) Peano kernel theory and related norm inequalities (connected with several classical inequalities of Hardy, Schmidt, Wirtinger and others). Norm Levenberg works on Approximation Theory and Several Complex Variables. There are several other staff working in related areas such as Numerical Analysis and Special Functions. For long term visitors intending to undertake collaborative research it is possible to arrange teaching. Further information can be found in the handbook for visitors to the School of Mathematical and Information Sciences. Contact Norm Levenberg or Shayne Waldron.


Known as the "Garden City", Christchurch is a very pleasant place to live. It has a population of about 350,000 and is situated by the sea on the edge of the Canterbury plains. Christchurch is the gateway to the National Parks and other places of interest in the South Island. Several ski fields are within two hours drive from the city.

There is an active group at the University of Canterbury with Rick Beatson and Allan McInnes being Approximation Theorists, and several Numerical Analysts and Engineers interested in applications of Approximation Theory. Rick's current interests are fast algorithms and error estimates for radial basis functions. Also in applications of radial basis functions to image processing and natural resource modelling. Allan's interests are in Pade approximation and in particular generalizations such as quadratic approximation. Contact Rick Beatson.

Political climate

After a (painful) decade of economic restructuring, the New Zealand Government is again investing in research through such bodies as the Marsden Fund, the Lotteries Science Postdocs, the Public Good Science Fund, and other sources. Members of the N.Z. Approximation Theory Group apply for (and have received) such grants for research. If the new thinking is as enlightened as is claimed
``The Marsden Fund has been established to support excellent research and researchers and to enhance the quality of the research environment by creating increased opportunity to undertake research that is purely curiousity-driven. In supporting research ``for its own sake'', the Government is ensuring that New Zealand is contributing to, and benefitting from the advancement of knowledge globally, and is laying the foundations for strategically-oriented research of direct benefit to New Zealand. The Mardsen Fund also provides for the long-term and sometimes serendipitous aspects of research, which may lead to profound or unexpected discoveries, or catalyse significant developments in previously unrelated and strategically important fields of science.''
then New Zealand will become an even better place to work or visit.

New Zealand has been a nuclear (weapons) free zone, since 1985. It has 13 National Parks (the largest of which is over 1,250,000 hectares in area) and an ever increasing number of Marine Reserves. One interesting (and cheap) way to see a bit of the country is to go backpacking (also try Bed and Breakfast Inns).