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[Marta Sved]

Marta Sved with South Australian AMOC Director Keith Hamann at a function in Adelaide on Thursday 10 June 1999. Marta was an academic at the University of Adelaide who worked for decades providing enrichment help for students in South Australia. I knew her well because she was a tutor when I was studying in the department and often tutored with her. She was a good friend of the Szekeres', went to school with Esther in Budapest and was a winner of the Eotvos competition in the late 1920s, as was her future husband George, who was placed first in the same year and became a legendary engineer academic at the University of Adelaide also.


Dr Sved grew up in the same cultural environmentas both Esther and George Szekeres. Her love of mathematics was instilled in her by the Hungarian High School Journal "Középiskolai Matematikai Lapok" (KöMaL) - still going strong after some 100 years of almost uninterrupted existence. She was a devoted and highly successful problem solver of the journal and in her final school year was placed third in the National High School Mathematics Competition. (The future shining star of Hungarian matics, Paul Turan, came fifth andthe winner, who later became Marta's husband, was George Sved, a well-known civil engineer).

The Sveds moved to Adelaide in 1939 and Marta became Mathematics mistress at Wilderness High School. The school experiences of her young years made a deep and lasting impression on her and it was largely through Marta's initiative and active participation that the first Australian High School Mathematics journal started in the same year. Since then the seeds which she has sown in those years has blossomed into the impressive tree that is the organisation of mathematical competitions in Australia today, culminating in our participation and excellent standing in the International Mathematical Olympiad.

In her later years Marta became an active research mathematician and at the age of 75 received a PhD degree from the University of Adelaide for her work in Finite Geometries - surely an extraordinary achievement. In all respects Dr Marta Sved would be an excellent choice for the Bernhard Neumann Award.

Peter Taylor,
Mar 20, 2014, 3:17 AM