Ernie Tuck

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Ernie Tuck
Eotuck Dec 06.JPG
Born(1939-06-01)1 June 1939
Died11 March 2009(2009-03-11) (aged 69)
NationalityFlag of Australia.svg Australian
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide
Cambridge University
Known forTuck's incompressibility function
Tuck Fellowship[1]
Ship Motion Program
AwardsGeorg Weinblum Lectureship (1990)
Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal (1999)
ANZIAM Medal (1999)
Scientific career
FieldsApplied mathematics
InstitutionsThe University of Adelaide
Doctoral advisorFritz Ursell

Professor Ernest Oliver (Ernie) Tuck was an Australian applied mathematician, notable for his sustained work in ship hydrodynamics, and for Tuck's incompressibility function.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Tuck was born on 1 June 1939 in Adelaide, South Australia. He studied Applied Mathematics for his undergraduate degree at the University of Adelaide, where his principal mentor was Professor R. B. Potts. In 1960, he studied with Fritz Ursell at Cambridge University for his PhD. His PhD thesis was on the application of slender-body theory to ships. In it, he made a revolutionary approach of using matched asymptotic expansions in order to predict the wave resistance of a slender ship.[3]


In 1963 Tuck went to the United States to work with Francis Ogilvie and John Nicholas Newman at the David Taylor Model Basin, and subsequently with Ted Wu at Caltech. He worked on topics related to ship hydrodynamics, acoustics, bio-fluid mechanics, and numerical analysis. Tuck returned to Adelaide University in 1968 as a Reader in Applied Mathematics, and was subsequently appointed the (Sir Thomas) Elder Professor of Mathematics. From 1984 to 1992 he served as Editor of Series B (Applied Mathematics) of the Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society. In 1992 he established TeXAdel, an organization responsible for automating the production of the AMS journals. He served as president of the IUTAM Congress in 2008. He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and MIT. Apart from applied mathematics, in his later years he also worked on problems in pure mathematics related to Riemann hypothesis and properties of the zeta function.[3]


  • 1939 Born: 1 June 1939 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • 1960 University of Adelaide Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Mathematics
  • 1963 D Phil (Cambridge) Dissertation: "The steady motion of a slender ship"
  • 1959 Awarded the Sir John Gellibrand Scholarship
  • 1988 Elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
  • 1990 Awarded the George Weinblum Lectureship
  • 1995 Elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
  • 1999 Awarded the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal


He published over 180 papers covering a wide range of topics in:


Survived by wife Helen (née Wood), two sons Warren and Geoff, and their grandchildren. He and his wife shared a strong interest in backgammon, and other games of chance.


  1. ^ "The Tuck Fellowship". IWWWFB. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  2. ^ M.V. Berry and P. Shukla, "Tuck's incompressibility function: statistics for zeta zeros and eigenvalues", Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 41 (2008) 385202
  3. ^ a b J. N. Newman (13 April 2009). "Ernest Oliver Tuck" (PDF). Retrieved 30 December 2009.

External links[edit]