Neil CAMERON (1939 - 2013)
Associate Professor of Mathematics (1968 - 1997)
It is with sadness that the Monash community learned of the passing on 30 March 2013 of Associate Professor Neil Cameron, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science until his retirement in December 1997.
Associate Professor Cameron was known across the University for his tireless work with students and colleagues at department, faculty and University level, as well as in the halls of residence and beyond the University. He will also be remembered as an able administrator, and was one of the first Associate Deans, as Associate Dean (Teaching) in the Faculty of Science.
Associate Professor Cameron joined the Department of Mathematics at Monash in December 1967, from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He was proud of his Scottish origins and grew up in the Tayport area, on the east coast of Fife, Scotland. His undergraduate studies were at the University of St Andrews, and his postgraduate work was at the Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow and subsequently the University of Strathclyde.
His thesis was entitled 'Wave propagation in anisotropic elastic media' but his passions at Monash were in pure mathematics and especially mathematics education. In particular, he was interested in linear programming, and wrote a book on that subject, published by Cambridge University Press in 1985.
Associate Professor Cameron's administrative contributions were influential and widespread, with an admirable attention to detail. In his role as the Director of First-year Studies in the department for many years, he provided pastoral care to many students. His vision influenced the entire mathematics program. He was appointed as Sub-Dean in the Faculty of Science from 1983, and was a long-term chair of the faculty’s Undergraduate Matters Committee. In 1996, he was appointed as Associate Dean (Teaching) in the Faculty of Science, prior to becoming Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 1997.
With his wife, Annette, he always took an active interest in student development. In a number of cases they assisted and cared for individual students, and guided them through their studies. He was Warden of Roberts Hall from 1988 until his retirement, and Chair of the Halls Management Committee in 1992. He will be remembered fondly by many students from that period.
Following his retirement, he continued to work in mathematics and mathematics education, including assisting with examinations for the Monash University Foundation Year program.
Associate Professor Cameron had a rich academic career in mathematics and a genuine interest in student education and welfare.
A memorial service for Associate Professor Neil Cameron will be held in the Religious Centre at the Clayton campus at 3pm on Thursday 9 May. All members of the university, past and present, are invited to attend.
Published in Monash Memo, 1 May 2013.