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Mathematical magic and the digital revolution | Whangārei

Mathematicians understand the magic that made the digital revolution possible. So can you. In his talk Geoff will share some of this magic.

Public lecture: celebrating 25 years of the Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden

Geoff Whittle is firmly established as a world leader in discrete mathematics, particularly in the theory of matroids - a type of finite geometry – and graph theory.

Geoff is also known as an incredible communicator about the passion and beauty of doing Maths research. He is currently teaching Graph Theory at Victoria University of Wellington, where he has spent much of the last decade in the process of solving problems previously considered impossible, and, as a consequence, revitalising the field of matroid theory.

In the early 1990s, Geoff, then in his native Tasmania, decided to begin attacking some of the many notoriously difficult unsolved problems in matroid representability. His success resulted in a series of important advances in an area that, only a decade ago, had looked totally intractable.

Geoff moved to Wellington in 1992. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University in 1998, and has undertaken research visits to Louisiana State University and The University of Waterloo, Ontario, to collaborate with other leaders in the field of matroid theory. His collaboration with Jim Geelen and Bert Gerards recently resulted in proving the famous Rota’s Conjecture – a problem first posed over 40 years before.

Outside of mathematics Geoff has a passion for conservation. He and his wife Lisa were recipients of Wilderness Magazine's 2019 Outdoor Hero award for their work in whio protection in the Ruahine Range.


About the Marsden Fund 25 Series

Marsden Fund Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden was established by the New Zealand government in 1994. Since then, it has driven world-class research in New Zealand by supporting and incentivising excellent researchers to work on their best and boldest ideas, to connect internationally, leading to new knowledge and skills with the potential for significant downstream impact for Aotearoa.

To celebrate 25 years of Marsden Funding, this series pf regional lectures, online profiles and videos shines a light on 25 researchers to reflect on the depth and breadth of research excellence supported by this funding. Over coming months, there will be 15 regional lectures and 10 online profiles to explore #Marsden25.

Marsden 25 black extended


Professor Geoff Whittle FRSNZ

School of Mathematics and Statistics, Victoria University of Wellington


Royal Society Te Apārangi


Whangārei Girls' High School 1 Lupton Avenue, Whangarei, Northland 0112

6:00pm Thu 27 February, 2020 - 7:00pm Thu 27 February, 2020