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 Professor Rod Gover

The University of Auckland

We interviewed Professor Rod Gover from The University of Auckland about what motivated him to become a mathematician, and what his biggest achievements are to date.

Why did you become a mathematician?

As a young child, and then at high school, I was passionately interested in science and where it could take us. At that stage I liked mathematics puzzles and some competitions but did not think of mathematics as a vocation. But then in my last years of high school and at university my interests focused on general relativity and theoretical physics, and suddenly I found myself wanting to deeply understand the mathematics behind all of these things.  Then I became excited by the fact that in mathematics one can quickly discover new things and move theory along.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

Push hard to get to the bottom of whatever it is you are working on. It is my feeling that the strongest results and progress come also with simplifying perspectives, and that these are seen when one understands the problem in a broad framework.

Why are opportunities such as AMSI Winter School so valuable? What do you hope attendees take from your lectures?

Learning the mathematics in a given area by only reading research articles can be difficult and slow.  In any school like this the presenters make a big effort to quickly but accurately distill out some of the main points and exciting directions in new research.

What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?

The discovery of new approaches to constructing geometric structures, geometric operators, curvatures and invariants, and then the use of these approaches to find such objects.

Professor Gover will be presenting the topic Curvature in Conformal Geometry at the 2018 Winter School, hosted by The University of Queensland.

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