Gavin Brown (academic)

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Gavin Brown
Gavin Brown 2015.jpg
Brown in Adelaide, Australia, 2009
Vice Chancellor of the
University of Sydney
In office
Preceded by Derek Anderson
Succeeded by Michael Spence
Vice Chancellor of the
University of Adelaide
In office
Preceded by Kevin Marjoribanks
Succeeded by Mary O'Kane
Personal details
Born (1942-02-27)27 February 1942
Lundin Links, Fife, Scotland
Died 25 December 2010(2010-12-25) (aged 68)
Adelaide, Australia
Spouse(s) Barbara Routh (1965–2001; her death)
Diané Ranck (2004–2010; his death)
Residence Adelaide, South Australia
Alma mater University of St Andrews
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Profession Mathematician
Website University of Sydney

Gavin Brown AO (27 February 1942 – 25 December 2010)[1] was a Scottish-born mathematician and long serving Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney between 1996 and 2008.

Early career[edit]

After attending secondary school at Madras College in St Andrews, Brown graduated with a Master of Arts degree (1st Class Honours and the Duncan Medal) from the University of St Andrews (1963), a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1966). His academic career began at the University of Liverpool, where he became a senior lecturer in mathematics.

Brown accepted the Chair of Pure Mathematics at the University of New South Wales in 1975 when he and his family emigrated to Australia. During this time, he was awarded the Sir Edmund Whittaker Memorial Prize and the Australian Mathematical Society Medal. At the University of New South Wales, Brown held a number of academic administrative posts, including Head of the Department of Pure Mathematics, Head of the School of Mathematics, and Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Later career[edit]

In 1992, he became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide; later, in 1994, he became the Vice-Chancellor. He took up his position as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney in 1996. He retired from the university in 2008.

Brown was actively involved in the work of the Australian Research Council as a chairman of various funding committees from 1988 to 1993, and a member of the Council from 1992 to 1993. He wrote more than 100 research papers and served on the board of several international journals. His research areas were broad, including harmonic analysis, measure theory and algebraic geometry. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of St Andrews (1997) and an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Dundee (2004). In 2006, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Brown returned to Adelaide after retiring in 2008. He died of a heart attack on Christmas Day in 2010.[1]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Malcolm (28 December 2010). "Sydney Uni don dies of heart attack at Christmas". Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gavin Brown AO". 26 January 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Kevin Marjoribanks
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
Succeeded by
Mary O'Kane