Gavin Brown (academic)

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Gavin Brown
Vice Chancellor, University of Adelaide
Term 1994 – 1996
Predecessor Kevin Marjoribanks
Successor Mary O'Kane
Vice Chancellor, University of Sydney
Term 1996 – 2008
Predecessor Derek Anderson
Successor Michael Spence
Born (1942-02-27)27 February 1942
Lundin Links, Fife, Scotland
Died 25 December 2010(2010-12-25) (aged 68)
Adelaide, Australia
Alma mater University of St Andrews
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Residence Adelaide, South Australia
Profession Mathematician
Spouse Barbara (deceased)
Diané Ranck
Website University of Sydney

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

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. 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, and 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]

Brown died of a heart attack in Adelaide in December 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. 

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