Vale Dr Robert Bryce

Publication date
Friday, 3 Feb 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Robert (Bob) Bryce on 26 January 2017. Bob was a much loved and respected member of the mathematics community. His mentoring and sage advice will be greatly missed.

Bob came to ANU as a postgraduate student in 1965. He came from the Universtiy of Queensland where he gained a BSc with first class honours in Mathematics and an MSc. Under the supervision of Laci Kovács, he completed a doctorate with a thesis: On Certain Varieties of Metabelian Groups. For the thesis he was named promixe accessit for the Stroud Prize in 1968. He took up a post as a Research Fellow in Mathematics in 1967. In 1970 he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics. He was promoted to Reader in Mathematics in 1983. Among other things he is known through the Bryce-Cossey Theorem on subgroup closed Fitting formations of finite soluble groups. He was also an active researcher in the history of mathematics with a special interest in the work of Ruffini. As well as his research and teaching in mathematics he served the ANU community as Head of the Department of Mathematics, as a member of the Faculty of Science and as Chair of  the Admissions Committee. He represented the ANU on the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. In 1989 he was awarded a Public Education Award for Outstanding Service.

Bob was a key figure in the Friday evening Canberra Mathematics Enrichment programme for high school students which has run at the ANU for over fifty years. He contributed to the program for much of this time and organised it for more than twenty years. For over thirty years he served on various problem committees of the Australian Mathematics Trust. In 1993 he was given its Bernhard H. Neumann Award.

After his retirement in 2003 he continued his association with MSI as a Visiting Fellow.