Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

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Gerrard Liddell

Gerrard Liddell

Gerrard Liddell has a long interest in the theory of computation, including the theory of rewriting, and he developed a series of software projects, including a general GUI symbolic algebra and graphics application in C++. He looked forward to the original release of Mathematica and has taught many courses entirely in the university’s Mathematica laboratories since 1993. Research on the canonicalization of tensors led to an interactive Rubik’s Cube package in 2001. Gerrard has developed tools to automate the marking of notebooks. He took special interest when Wolfram realized the dream of unifying the language of documents with that of expressions and ushered in the age of interactive manipulations with Mathematica. Gerrard uses Mathematica for writing notes, exercises, and conference presentations.

Gerrard has been a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Otago since 1976 and is now a professional practice fellow in mathematics. He has taught a broad range of courses, including summer camps for high school students, extension courses on computational mathematics for professionals in academia and industry, and honors courses and graduate-level seminar courses in pure and applied mathematics. The applications have covered modeling in areas such as biology, medicine, and finance as well as the physical sciences. A main feature of Gerrard’s teaching is visualization in Mathematica to explain concepts. This has involved hands-on manipulation of geometric and linear relationships, dynamical systems, control systems, and topics in analysis and topology. Visual methods are also applied to topics in group and Lie theory, modules, and algebraic number theory. The visual techniques have also been a feature of Gerrard’s consultation and of his research in areas such as optimization of convex structures and motions on Lie groups.


University of Otago, New Zealand


BSc (Honours) in Mathematics, University of Canterbury
MSc in Mathematics, Queen's University
PhD in Mathematics, Queen's University




Mathematics and its applications; economic, environmental, and social policy; jogging; adventures in the Alps; mountain biking; swimming; kayaking; enjoying opera