Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin receives international Humboldt Research Award

Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin from the New Zealand Institute of Advanced Studies received the prestigious Humboldt Research Award in October for his research in mathematics, including geometric analysis, topology and geometry and nonlinear partial differential equations.

Professor Gaven Martin.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards every year. This prize honours internationally leading researchers from all disciplines in the sciences and humanities for their overall work to date. Recipients are often academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge academic achievements in the future.

Professor Martin says this is a career research award from one of the most respected international agencies there is.

“The selection committee of 26 is composed of specialist members, including recognised researchers of various disciplines and non-specialist members, voting representatives of public and private funders and non-voting representatives of other science organisations. That this group supported my nomination in what is a pretty esoteric research area is very gratifying.

“Not an insignificant proportion of winners of this prize have gone on to win a Nobel Prize. In mathematics there is no Nobel Prize, but many of the recipients have Fields Medals and other significant international prizes. As such with these things, the money is nice, but to have your name alongside some of the most respected mathematicians and other scientific researchers across the world is very special to me,” he says.

Professor Martin intends to work with host Professor Walter Bergweiler at Kiel University in Germany.

“I haven’t worked with Dr Bergweiler before, however, an aspect of my research that I plan to focus on with him while in Germany is the interplay between holomorphic dynamics and the geometry of one complex dimensional moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces.”

Head of New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger says this is a great achievement for Professor Martin.

“Professor Martin has always been a dedicated researcher and educator for the university, so it’s great to see his efforts have been rewarded with this very prestigious award. The Institute for Advanced Study is very proud to have such a high calibre researcher amongst us.”

Professor Gaven Martin is widely regarded as a leading researcher internationally. After appointments at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley) and Yale University, he returned to The University of Auckland in 1992, before joining Massey in 2004.