School of Mathematics and Statistics Alumni


BSc (Hons) 1968; PhD 1973 (ANU), GDipCompStud 1981

One of my main recollections is the excitement of actually being at University. It’s not such a big deal these days. Most of us were the first in our families to reach tertiary education. Science was held in high esteem, probably as a result of the advances made in the Second World War and the consequences of that. Most of us had Commonwealth scholarships or teaching scholarships so we didn’t have to earn to pay for our tuition. We could concentrate on learning new things, socialising and soaking up the freedom. All of this made for a memorable experience.

An incident I remember was giving the real analysis lecturer (Dr Russell?) a rubber stamp at the end of the term with the standard, technical phrase that he applied in nearly every proof,

given and arbitrary \( \epsilon > 0, \exists{N} (\epsilon) \) such that \( |a({n})| < \epsilon, \forall{n} \geq {N}(\epsilon) \)

The potential theory lecturer, who filled the board in a haphazard way, rubbing out holes and connecting them, was Dr Bill Wood.
Bruce Craven was teaching us Topology. On the last day before he went on sabbatical, four of us carried a largish box on our shoulders into the lecture theatre with Michael Cwikel in the lead playing ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ on his violin. When Bruce opened the box a few helium balloons popped out and rose to the ceiling. From them, at about nose level, dangled a large sheet of cardboard on which I had written some doggerel in the style of AA Milne something like Mr Craven the acting prof, is off. Bruce was last seen happily wandering down the corridor clutching his balloons. He had a sense of humour.

Best wishes, Bill Haebich

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