Ron Sandland recently wrote about the new phenomenon of 'big data' - weighing up the benefits and concerns. Terry Speed reflected on the same issue in a talk earlier this year inGothenburg, Sweeden noting that this is nothing new to statisticians. So what's all the fuss about? Here's another take on the 'big data' bandwagon.
One of the country's best mathematics educators recently passed away.
Every now and again you have the good fortune of working with someone who you not only get on really well with, but also admire for their consummate ability. Over a career now spanning 40 years, I can count on one hand the number of such people I've met and at the top of that list was Curtin University academic, Brian White.
I was saddened today when I stumbled across news of his passing on September 8, 2016 at Kinross Amana Care in Perth, Western Australia.
I first met Brian in 1980 when I returned to Australia to take up an appointment at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) as Senior Tutor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Brian and I immediately 'clicked' and over the course of 10+ years we became very good friends and work colleagues.
I always admired Brian not only for his infinite patience with students, but for his sharp mind and huge intellect. Brian loved the 'mental gymnastics' exercises a number of us would engage in at every opportunity. My own capabilities paled into insignificance compared to Brian's mastery of mathematics, but it was fun nonetheless.
Brian and I also enjoyed a beer and we both served on the committee of WAIT House (the staff club) where we spent quite a few Friday nights drinking in the bar till the small hours of the following Saturday morning (Brian was President, so had the keys to lock up the building)!
Although I hadn't seen Brian for many years, I always remembered him with a great deal of fondness and affection. The Australian mathematics community has lost one of its best and brightest. Rest in peace mate.
Brian White and David Fox share a beer at a party in Perth. Picture taken around 1985.