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Published 30 September 2021

Two significant tributes to the late Sir Vaughan Jones FRS Hon FRSNZ

Image credit: NZ Herald

On the anniversary of the untimely death of leading mathematician Sir Vaughan Jones FRS Hon FRSNZ, Marston Conder FRSNZ and Gaven Martin FRSNZ share news about two significant tributes to him.

We would like to report on two significant tributes to our late colleague and friend Sir Vaughan Jones FRS Hon FRSNZ, made on the 12-month anniversary of his untimely death.

For those who didn't know him, Vaughan Jones was born in Gisborne in 1952,  studied mainly in Auckland and Geneva, and spent most of his career in the USA.  In 1990 he won the Fields Medal (which at the time was the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in Mathematics) at the International Congress of Mathematicians, in Kyoto.  He was also the inaugural winner of New Zealand's Rutherford Medal, in 1992, and he went on to win numerous awards and honours after that.)   

The first is a 24-page memorial tribute to him in the October 2021 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, with pieces contributed by many of his colleagues and former students and a representative of his family.  This gives an account of his many remarkable achievements across a wide range of fields, and also the very high esteem in which he was held internationally, as a mathematician and human being, and his love and the contributions he made for his home country. Interested readers may download a copy of the memorial tribute.  

The second is a special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Mathematics, containing an introductory item by the co-founders of the New Zealand Mathematics Research Institute (NZMRI) Inc. and several invited papers written by some organisers and expert keynote speakers from around the world at the NZMRI's summer meetings over the last 27 years. The papers accepted and published so far can be viewed at https://nzjmath.org/index.php/NZJMATH/issue/view/7.  

These two items reinforce what was said about him in the memorial service for him in Auckland last year: 

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane 
A totara has fallen in the forest of Tane.

Marston Conder
FRSNZ and Gaven Martin FRSNZ


Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi