Peter Derrick FINCH (1929 - 2014)
Chair of Mathematical Statistics (1964 - 1994)
It is with sadness that the Monash community has learned of the passing of Emeritus Professor Peter Derrick Finch, who was the Foundation Professor of Mathematical Statistics at Monash. He made significant, lasting research contributions to a number of areas including Queuing Theory, Foundations of Probability and Statistics and Quantum Mechanics and its Foundations.
Professor Finch, who researched and lectured at Monash for 30 years from 1964 until his retirement in 1994 from the School of Mathematical Science, passed away at the age of 85 on 4 January 2014, leaving his wife Josephine and his six children (Caroline, Ian, Lesley, Emma, Monica and Oscar) and nine grandchildren. In his retirement, Professor Finch continued his research but also devoted more of his time to his other loves of composing and playing music and being with his dogs.
In recognition of Professor Finch's work at Monash, The Peter Finch Mathematical Statistics Honours Scholarship was set up, through the School of Mathematical Science. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards at the undergraduate level. It is awarded to high achieving undergraduate students who wish to continue their passion in mathematical statistics through research programs offered in their honours year.
His memorial service was held at the Boyd Chapel, Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Friday 10 January 2014. He will be missed by his family, former students and colleagues.
Published in Monash Memo, 22 January 2014.