Dances Devised By The Scottish Country Dance Deviser - R. DowneyAdelle's Jig
An Tri Daraich
Bit On The Side
Burning Of Paddy's Breeches
Cane Toad Jig
Carlton And Alex
Charles And Tomoko
Daisy Chain (Downey)
Désirée And John
End Of The Great Bridge
First Foot And Friend
Freeman Of Auchtermuchty
Gillian And Joe Wheadon
Great Teddy Bear Hunt
Jenny Freeman's Strathspey
Jill's Dental Jig
John Markham's Rant
Kristin Macdonald's Strathspey
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
Marjorie Crawford's Hornpipe
Meet The Corners
Miss Leslie Cunningham
Moggie And The Fish
My Golden Bear
New York Fugue
On The Banks Of Spey
One For All
Peter Elmes' Strathspey
Pieces Of Eight (Downey)
Prince Of Sutton Coldfield
Road To Mod
Short And Very Sweet
Snakes And Ladders
Spring Chick Waltz Mixer
Summer On The Neckar
Summer With McKinnon
Ten Beach Dancers
They Stole My Wife From Me Last Night
Tom Cole's Rant
Trip To Johnsonville School
Trip To York
Twisted Wizard Of Binghamton
We'll Meet Again (Downey)
Wizard Of Binghamton
Professor Rod Downey, Winner Of The Rutherford MedalIn 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.
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.