Te Tari Pāngarau me te Tatauranga
Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Recent News

Students wanted: Simon Marais Competition

The Simon Marais Competition for 2022 is on October 25. Students compete individually or in pairs for a prize pool of over $100,000!

Are you interested in keeping Otago's proud tradition in this competition going? To enter, please contact the local coordinators by September 8: Jörg Hennig ( or Robert Van Gorder (

July 2022

Top duo in NZ in Simon Marais Competition 2021

Baxter Robb (L) and Louis Davis (R) were the top scoring pair in New Zealand in the international 2021 Simon Marais Mathematics Competition. Congratulations to them both!

July 2022

Rainbow reflection and absorption in water waves

PhD student Ben Wilks has published a paper in the prestigious Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Ben explored theoretically and numerically the phenomena of rainbow reflection and rainbow absorption in water waves. Using graded arrays of vertical barriers, he was able to construct a structure that nearly absorb 100% of the incident wave energy over a continuous spectral band. This research has potential applications to the design of smart coastal technologies, e.g. wave energy converters and breakwaters. Congratulations Ben!

June 2022

Genomics of Covid-19 and te ao Māori

Phil Wilcox has been a key contributor to an educational animation about genomic sequencing and Covid-19 with te ao Māori perspective. The animation is the result of a collaboration between Maui Studios, ESR and the University of Otago.

As Phil points out "Unpacking important science-based activities in a manner more relatable to Māori communities is extremely important, not only for improving understanding, but also to encourage tauira pupils and pakeke seniors to think about how gene technologies might be used to benefit our people."

More details and a link to the video can be found here.

February 2022

Gravitational waves from rotating black holes

The work of Joerg Frauendiener was the focus of a recent research update from the Marsden Fund.

Joerg, along with Chris Stevens and collaborators, want to understand nonlinear perturbations of rotating black holes. In the latest work they effectively deform a black hole by shooting strong gravitational waves at it and studying the reaction -- all within the relatively safe environment of a numerical simulation!

Image credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes Lensing (SXS)

February 2022

Fellow of Engineering NZ Te Ao Rangahau

Congratulations to Sarah Wakes who has just been made an Engineering New Zealand Fellow.

Sarah's research interests include fluid dynamics, engineering design, sustainability, and coastal management.

February 2022