September 3, 2012, in Sydney (Ian Sloan) and Singapore (Peter Hall)
. Ian Hugh Sloan was born in Melbourne on June 17, 1938, and educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, and Ballarat College, before going on to undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics at the University of Melbourne. Shortly after completing his BSc and BA (Hons) in late 1960 he joined the Colonial Sugar Refining Company. This might sound like an inauspicious start for a research mathematician, but by the early 1940s, CSR, as it is called today, had already diversified into building products and chemicals, and by the late 1950s had plans for a future based largely on scientific research. Thus, Ian was able to undertake a PhD in theoretical atomic physics at University College, London while receiving a salary from CSR.
However, when Ian returned to Australia in 1964 he found a changed CSR. In particular, the research project on which he was supposed to work had collapsed, and his employer was more focused on short-term, rather than long-term, goals. So he left, and joined the University of New South Wales in 1965, and has been there ever since. Over the ensuing 48 years he has developed and fostered Australia’s premier numerical analysis programme.