2007 BH Neumann Awards

The 2007 BH Neumann Awards were presented to Angelo di Pasquale, Anne Hastings and William Palmer at separate ceremonies. Their citations follow.

Angelo Di Pasquale

Angelo Di Pasquale received a BH Neumann Award at a function at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel, Melbourne, on Monday 27 August 2007. The Award was presented by Professor Peter Taylor, Executive Director of the Australian Mathematics Trust.

[Angelo Di Pasquale]

Angelo Di Pasquale receives his Award from Peter Taylor.

[Angelo Di Pasquale]

Angelo afterwards with his family, from left mother Margaret, sister Anita, father Rudy and brother Robert.


I first knew of Angelo when his name appeared on a list of Melbourne students in 1989 who had won Diplomas in the International Mathematics Tournament of Towns.

In fact Angelo had started in AMOC’s program in 1988 as a Year 9 student at Eltham College. He went to a lecture organised by Victoria’s then AMOC Director Judith Downes. The lecture was given by Emanuel Strzelecki, who made him think for the first time about proving what he believed to be correct. This experience motivated Angelo to take a lifelong interest in mathematics. Actually Angelo was not the person from his school intended to be invited. The student invited was a near-perfect scorer in the Australian Mathematics Competition, but it turned out to be a successful interchange.

Angelo went on to make the 1990 and 1991 Australian IMO teams, competing in Beijing and Sigtuna, and won a Bronze Medal on each occasion.

In 1992 Angelo attended a training camp where former Olympian Mark Kisin suggested he would be welcome to teach. He did so and has continued to do so until this day.

Angelo became Deputy Leader of the Australian team in 1997 and continued in this role until 2001. He succeeded David Hunt as Director of Training in 2001 and has been Australian Team Leader at IMOs from 2002.

He completed a Science Degree at Monash in two years (1992 and 1993) being fast tracked via being a Faculty Scholar, and completed his Honours Degree during 1994.

In 1995 he commenced a PhD, holding an AO Capell Scholarship, with supervisor Walter Neumann (son of Bernhard). He completed this PhD, working on configurations of curves, in 1999.

While studying at Monash Angelo also pursued music studies, gaining both an AMusA and an LMusA. He is a wonderful pianist and also enjoys listening to classical music and studying music history.

Angelo studies the Bible and gains particular pleasure from teaching the Bible, and how it can help people, to others.

He also likes chess, bridge, and watching and participating in various sports such as cricket, tennis, table tennis, body surfing and go-karting.

Angelo has proved an outstanding role model for the students he teaches and he also studies their progress closely, being perceptive at detecting and addressing difficulties when they arise, and dealing with them in a fair manner.

It is very good that many former Olympians have attended tonight to see a unique honour, the first time this Award has been presented to a product of the Trust’s system.

Peter Taylor
Monday 27 August 2007

Anne Hastings

Anne Hastings received a BH Neumann Award at a function at the Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, on Saturday 23 June 2007.

[Anne Hastings]

Peter Taylor and Anne Hastings after the presentation.

[Anne Hastings]

From left: Anne with  sons Gary and Bradley, husband John, mother Patricia Miller, AMC Problems Committee Chairman Warren Atkins and brother Tony Miller with partner Kate Coyne.


Anne was born at Narrabri NSW and educated at a boarding school in Lochinvar NSW.

She started Medicine at the University of New South Wales, but after a year switched to Mathematics. At the same time John Hastings switched from Engineering to Mathematics, they met and later married.

In the late 1970s Anne and John both started teaching in various schools, mainly in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

In the 1990s Anne worked in the NSW Board of Studies and worked particularly on a new syllabus for Years 9 and 10, particularly ensuring there was a significant assessment collection to match.

In the 1990s Anne also gave significant service to the Mathematical Association of New South Wales (MANSW), convening several annual conferences, managing the secondary program and serving a 2-year term as President, later being made a Life Member.

Anne also has given significant service to the Australian Mathematics Trust, having served the Australian Mathematics Competition Problems Committee and being a moderator for a period of about 15 years (continuing). During this time she has composed many of the problems, particularly in the discriminatory middle parts of the secondary papers.

Anne is currently Deputy Principal at Kambala School, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Peter Taylor
Saturday 23 June 2007

William Palmer

Dr Bill Palmer received a BH Neumann Award at a function at the Holmes Building, University of Sydney, on Tuesday 28 August 2007. The Award was presented by Professor Don Nutbeam, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Sydney, on behalf of Vice Chancellor Professor Gavin Brown.

[Bill Palmer]

Dr Bill Palmer receives his Award from Professor Nutbeam.

[Bill Palmer]

Bill afterwards with some members of his family, from left wife Robyn, grandson Clayton, son in law Mark Bonello, grand daughter Talia and daughter Christine.


Bill Palmer gained his first enthusiasm for mathematics while a student at Lithgow High School, particularly studying Euclidean geometry with two inspiring teachers and where he read his first copy of the student Journal Parabola, produced by the mathematics school at UNSW and now published on their behalf (and also now incorpoarting Function from Monash University) by the Australian Mathematics Trust.

Bill qualified at school for a Commonwealth Scholarship, a Teachers College Scholarship and an Engineering cadetship, but settled on science and mathematics teaching and so entered the BSc and DipEd program at the University of Sydney.

This was the time of Professor Harry Messel, the public face of Physics and the virtues of studying pure Science in general, and Pure Mathematics Professor TG Room, well known publicly for his role in the public exams.

On graduation he requested a position in country NSW but was placed at Blacktown Boys High School, where he taught for a number of years.

In the 1970s there was a shortage of mathematics teachers and Bill was encouraged to undertake further study. This led to him undertaking a Masters under the supervision of Alwyn Horadam, working on loops, introducing him to the world of combinatorics, and appointment as a Lecturer at the Sydney Teachers College, teaching mathematics to the 3-year trainees.

The Teachers College got absorbed into the University of Sydney, and Bill pursued his interests in combinatorics, working with various people including Jennie Seberry.

On the way to a conference in New Zealand in 1994, Bill found himself sitting next to AMT Executive Director Peter O’Halloran, and discovered he had been recruited to work with Geoff Ball, also at the University of Sydney and NSW Director of AMOC. He linked with Geoff as Deputy Director of AMOC for NSW and whan Geoff retired from the University in 1997 Bill and Geoff swapped roles. Since then Bill has been Director and Geoff, who already holds a BH Neumann Award, has continued as Deputy.

Together Bill and Geoff have coordinated the whole AMOC program in NSW. They have identified from AMC and AIMO the most talented students throughout the state and nurtured them through to the highest levels. Their program is unique in Australia, has a considerable correspondence component and involves keeping talented students active with regular problems to solve.

As a result NSW has contributed more to the Australian IMO team than would be expected even as the most populated state. Normally NSW supplies at least 3 of the team of 6, but sometimes more, such as this year when 5 of the team came from NSW.

Peter Taylor
Tuesday 28 August 2007