Auckland computer scientist receives prestigious award
University of Auckland computer scientist Dr André Nies has received the 2009 New Zealand Mathematical Society Research Award.
“We’re delighted that André’s achievements have been honoured by his peers, and that the award highlights the important linkages between mathematics and computer science,” says Professor Robert Amor, Head of Computer Science at The University of Auckland.
“The award recognises André’s creativity and highly influential contributions in mathematical logic – an area in which New Zealand is a major world force,” says President of the Society Professor Robert MacLauchlan, from Massey University.
Mathematical logic sits at the intersection of mathematics, computer science and philosophical logic, and is a particular strength of The University of Auckland.
Much of Dr Nies’ work is in a subfield of mathematical logic called computability, which gives a theoretical background for applications such as analysing the limits of current computers.
Dr Nies is a world leader in computability and the related field of algorithmic information theory, which combines computability with ideas from probability theory and information theory in order to study the nature of randomness. He is considered one of the principal architects of significant advances in these two areas during the last eight years.
The New Zealand Mathematical Society has honoured Dr Nies for contributions throughout his career. Some of his major achievements include a comprehensive book on algorithmic information theory, Computability and Randomness, published by Oxford University Press in 2009, and a highly regarded scholarly paper in the field published in Advances in Mathematics.
Presented annually since 1991, the Society’s Research Award aims to foster mathematical research and recognise excellence in research by New Zealand mathematicians.
Based on his achievements Dr Nies has also been invited to speak at the 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians in India. He is one of only three New Zealand-based mathematicians ever invited to the meeting, alongside colleagues Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin (Massey University) in 2010 and Professor Rod Downey (Victoria University) in 2006.