Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Rod Downey

Dances Devised By The Scottish Country Dance Deviser - R. Downey

Adelle's Jig
Alec Hay
Allison Kay
An Tri Daraich
Apprentice
Bit On The Side
Borders' Traditional
Bunting Bee
Burning Of Paddy's Breeches
Buttermilk Falls
Cane Toad Jig
Carlton And Alex
Cayuga Reel
Celtic Rover
Charles And Tomoko
Charlotte's Web
Cocker Spaniel
Coleraine Rant
Corner Greeting
Corner Meeting
Daisy Chain (Downey)
Dancing Fool
Désirée And John
Désirée Patterson
Dovecote Park
Durian Rant
Eighty Eight
End Of The Great Bridge
English Rose
First Foot And Friend
Freeman Of Auchtermuchty
Fyreladdie
Gillian And Joe Wheadon
Great Teddy Bear Hunt
Helen Brown
Highlander's Farewell
Isla's Fancy
Ithaca Reel
Jeanette's Hornpipe
Jenny Freeman's Strathspey
Jill's Dental Jig
John Markham's Rant
John McCormick
Johnsonville Diamond
Johnsonville Gold
Kitchen Faerie
Kristin Macdonald's Strathspey
Labyrinth
Lady In Pink
Lady Mary Hay's Reel
Lady Mary Hay's Scot's Measure
Lass And The Laird
Le Moyne And Roger Farrell Of Ithaca
Light On The Waters
Loralee Hyde
Lost Legion
Lyall Bay
Malcolm Brown
Marjorie Crawford's Hornpipe
Mary Summer
Maureen Vivino
Maypole Dance
Meet The Corners
Miss Leslie Cunningham
Moggie And The Fish
Monica
My Golden Bear
Neidpath Tower
Neighbours' Day
New York Fugue
Nordfjordeid
On The Banks Of Spey
One For All
Pangolin
Paparangi
Parting Glass
Patricia London
Patricia Reesby
Peter Elmes' Strathspey
Phina's Fling
Pieces Of Eight (Downey)
Portsonachan
Prince Of Sutton Coldfield
Riversdale
Road To Mod
Room One
Short And Very Sweet
Snakes And Ladders
Spanish Ghost
Spinnaker Hornpipe
Spring Chick Waltz Mixer
Stargazers
Stranfasket Hill
Summer On The Neckar
Summer Wedding
Summer With McKinnon
Susan's Jig
Ten Beach Dancers
They Stole My Wife From Me Last Night
Tofino Strathspey
Tom Cole's Rant
Trip To Johnsonville School
Trip To York
Twisted Wizard Of Binghamton
Ullswater Way
Unjust Incarceration
Viking's Sheepskin
Violynne
Vishoek
Watchmaker (Downey)
We'll Meet Again (Downey)
White Rock
Will Starr
Windy Lane
Wizard Of Binghamton
Wordsmiths
Xiaowen

Professor Rod Downey, Winner Of The Rutherford Medal

In 2018, New Zealand's top science award, The Rutherford Medal, has gone to Professor Rod Downey, a mathematician at Victoria University Of Wellington.

Professor Rod Downey works on computability, at the interface of maths and computer science, and is particularly interested in algorithms.

"The advent of computers," he says, "has driven a great interest in the mathematics of how algorithms work, and how fast... and how efficiently can we do things."
He says an algorithm is like a recipe - it contains a series of small logical steps, and if it works as planned you end up with a cake. He says the goal is to make algorithms as simple and efficient as possible.

It's not about numbers Prof Downey says mathematics is about concepts and abstract ideas, rather than numbers.

"You take that abstraction and you seek to understand it," he says. "When you understand it very well then you can develop better algorithms, or you can develop better models for what you're trying to do. There's all kinds of things you can do and that's what mathematicians do - we think."

Prof Downey says that basic research, like he does, can have surprising applications.
"I was interested in some fairly abstract things, and they turned out to be useful for, like, cancer research, distribution of products in New South Wales, and understanding Aboriginal ear infections in the Northern Territory, believe it or not."

A mathematician's dance As well as maths and surfing, Prof Downey has a strong interest in Scottish country dancing.

"Many people who do it are actually mathematicians and computer scientists. That's because the patterns in the dance have a certain appeal to such people."

Prof Downey has devised and published many new dances, and he says that writing a dance is like proving a theorem.
"Because the kinds of problems I think about are dynamic problems, where I try to imagine what an algorithm will be doing in time," he says.
"So you have to visualise what's happening. And when you're dancing, it's somewhat similar because you have to visualise where you'll be and where other people will be.


Rodney Graham Downey (born 20 September 1957) is a New Zealand and Australian mathematician and computer scientist, a professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He is known for his work in mathematical logic and computational complexity theory, and in particular for founding the field of parameterised complexity together with Michael Fellows.

Downey earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Queensland in 1978, and then went on to graduate school at Monash University, earning a doctorate in 1982 under the supervision of John Crossley. After holding teaching and visiting positions at the Chisholm Institute of Technology, Western Illinois University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he came to New Zealand in 1986 as a lecturer at Victoria University. He was promoted to reader in 1991, and was given a personal chair at Victoria in 1995.

Downey was president of the New Zealand Mathematical Society from 2001 to 2003.

Rod Downey has gained more awards and honours than we have room for here... To view all, see the Rod Downey article on Wikipedia, linked below.

Rod Downey - Information Video

Rod Downey
Professor Rod Downey


Dance Information Copyright Radio New Zealand, 2018, reproduced here with the kind permission of RNZ.
Text from this original Mathematician Wins Top Science Award article, All Rights Reserved, 2018.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Rod Downey article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Radio New Zealand, reproduced here with the kind permission of RNZ, All Rights Reserved, 2018.

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