UNSW Applied Mathematics - Sloan

Brief History, Research interests, Teaching, Administration, Other Activities, Publications. details

Ian H. Sloan

Scientia Professor


Room 2072, Red Centre (Middle section)


+61 2 9385 7038


+61 2 9385 7123




School of Mathematics

The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052, Australia


Brief History

After schooling in Ballarat in Victoria, Australia, Ian Sloan completed physics and mathematics degrees at Melbourne University, a Master's degree in mathematical physics at Adelaide, and a PhD in theoretical atomic physics (under the supervision of HSW Massey) at the University of London, finishing in 1964. After a decade of research on few-body collision problems in nuclear physics, and publishing some 35 papers in the physics literature, his main research interests shifted to computational mathematics . Since making that change he has published 200  papers on the numerical solution of integral equations, numerical integration and interpolation, boundary integral equations, approximation theory, multiple integration, continuous complexity theory and other parts of numerical analysis and approximation theory.

He was employed by Australia's CSR Company from 1961 to 1965, before joining the University of New South Wales as a Lecturer. After several promotions, he was appointed to a Personal Chair in Mathematics in 1983. He was Head of the School of Mathematics from 1986 to 1990 and from 1992 to 1993. He completed a term as Chair of the Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics Panel of the Australian Research Council and member of the ARC's Research Grants Committee, and is a former President of the Australian Mathematical Society .

He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1993. In 1997 he was awarded the ANZIAM Medal by Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM), and in 2001 was awarded the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2002 he was awarded the Szekeres Medal of the Australian Mathematical Society, and in 2005 was awarded the Information Based Complexity Prize. In 2008 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

He is a member of the editorial board of a number of international journals, including SIAM Journal of Numerical Analysis, Numerische Mathematik, Advances in Conmputational Mathematics, Journal of Integral equations and Applications and the new International Journal of Geomathematics, and is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Complexity.

From 2003 to 2007 he was President of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Before that he was the Chair of the International Program Committee for ICIAM 2003, the fifth International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics, held in Sydney in 2003. He is currently Deputy Director of MASCOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Sysytems.

Research Interests

Professor Ian Sloan's current research interests are in boundary integral methods, finite element methods, high dimensional numerical integration and related issues of information-based complexity, multivariate approximation theory, and the time discretisation of evolution problems.

Prof Sloan's research has been well supported by Australian Research Council grants, including a 6 year Program Grant from 1988 to 1993.

Current ARC large grants are for


In 2011 he has two PhD students: James Nichols and Andrew Chernih


He is a member of the School's Policy and Resources Committee and Standing Committee.

Return to Computational mathematics group , School of Mathematics, UNSW.