Richard Berry Building renamed Peter Hall Building

The Peter Hall Building
The Peter Hall building at the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne School of Mathematics and Statistics Building was this week renamed the Peter Hall building in honour of the late Professor Peter Hall, an ARC Laureate Fellow and distinguished University of Melbourne theoretical statistician who died in January 2016.

Formerly named after Professor Richard Berry, the building has been the home of mathematics and statistics for several decades and was the building in which Professor Hall produced much of his highly influential work in non-parametric statistics.

Professor Hall was regarded as a giant in his field for his many outstanding and innovative contributions to statistics and probability theory. His work included a number of classic monographs in addition to over 500 research papers.

Elected to the Australian Academy of Science at 36, he was subsequently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

His 2015 election to the Australian Academy of Social Sciences is an indication of the breadth of his contributions across a wide range of disciplines.

Professor Hall received numerous other awards and medals and presented countless prestigious lectures around the world. Despite these accolades, he remained unassuming and modest about his achievements.

He was also extraordinarily generous with his time, be it for students, colleagues or for science more broadly.

His service included time as President of the Australian Mathematical Society and as Secretary for Physical Sciences at the Australian Academy of Science.

In both roles he was an effective advocate for issues that impacted on science, mathematics and statistics.

More recently he led the establishment of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, which draws together for the first time a critical mass of Australia’s best researchers in mathematics, statistics and machine learning.