New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Jim Campbell

E-mail Print PDF

Jim Campbell Mathematics Teacher Awards

These awards are to recognise personal excellence in Primary or Secondary classroom teaching and support given to others in enhancing their classroom teaching.

Nominations are called for these awards which recognise excellence in mathematics teaching. They are presented biennially at the NZAMT Conference in September/October.

The criteria for these awards are:

 A excellence in the teaching of mathematics in the classroom at a particular school;

B contribution and support to mathematics teaching at other schools in the district and/or contribution to mathematics teaching throughout New Zealand; and

C support of a local mathematics association or mathematics group.

Teachers from primary, intermediate and secondary schools may be nominated. Nominations on the official form are to be made initially by a teacher, principal or other mathematics educator. Three referee statements on the official forms are required, one of which must be from a person not teaching at the same school. It is the nominator’s responsibility to request the appropriate forms and distribute them.


Referee's Report
Nomination  Form
Nominator's Report

Jim Campbell
Jim Campbell

or requested by email from

Nominations to
The Secretary
Box 26-582
fax (09) 623 8914

Recipients of a Jim Campbell Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Date Conference Venue Recipients
Date Conference Venue Recipients
1991 Wellington Gwenda Hill ,Kevin George Kent,Pauline Boyle,Tony Davidson
1993 Christchurch David Boardman, Tony Davidson, Jan Wallace, Sue Winters,Anne Willmann,Nicola Knight, Dianne Parkinson, Robin Staples
1995 Auckland Alan Parris, Doug Bothwell, Jeanette Saunders, Bronwyn Cowie, Ann Saunders, Wayne Abrahams, Sylvia Bishton
1997 Palmerston North Peter Grootenboer, Geoff Ackerley, Heather Bell, Derek Smith, Elizabeth Rix, Kerry Taylor, Johanna Wood
1999 Dunedin Ann-Marie Hutton, Helena Chong, Vicki Nicolson, Peter Rawlins, Martine MacGregor-Reid, Angela Hawkins
2001 Wellington Anne Lawrence, Lewis Hocking
2003 Hamilton Graham Gracie, Velma Murphy, Colleen Nolan, Victoria Walker
2005 Christchurch Angela Jones, Bill Ellwood, Kevin Hannah, Paul McWilliam, Martin Vaughan, Judy Francis, Rhona Lever
2007 Auckland Kerry Lloyd,Bethan De Malmanche, Kathy Paterson,Thomas Sidebotham
2009 Palmerston North Anna Brookie, David Phillips, Lauris CrookPeter Newall, Catherine Udy-Bothwell, Jennifer Hudson, Lyn Brasington
Rory Barrett, Louise Addison, John Major, Barry Thomas, Anne Griffiths

Mathematics teacher inspired success

From The Evening Post, July 14 1994.

Emeritus Professor James Towers (Jim) Campbell, OBE, mathematician, academic. Born in Kilmalcolm, Scotland, 1906, educated at Gisborne Boys High School, married Margaret in 1934 and died in Nelson, July 2 1994.
Jim Campbell was six when his father, a plumber, migrated from Scotland in 1913. He was one of the few in his class to go on from primary school to secondary school.
He was enchanted by his introduction to algebra but shocked by the third form schoolmaster who told the girls in the class to get on with their knitting while he taught the boys mathematics. So began a lifelong love affair with mathematics and an equally enduring conviction that women could and should do mathematics.
Students, including those of limited ability, could not help being infected by the enthusiasm for mathematics which inspired his teaching. The unusually high proportion of women who went from his class to successful careers in mathematics owed even more to his confidence in their ability than to his skill as a teacher.
He went on a university scholarship from Gisborne to Otago University, took a first class honours degree in mathematics and was awarded one of the few postgraduate scholarships for overseas study.
He studied at Edinburgh University under A C Aitken, another Otago graduate. His published PhD thesis was an early contribution to bivariate distributions, a subject that became fashionable only years later.
Returning to New Zealand he taught at Nelson College and took up a lectureship at Victoria University in 1935. A dedicated teacher who was deeply committed to his students both personally in finding the best way to share with them the joy in mathematics, he still found time for extensive reading in mathematics, a valuable asset when he and the professor had to cover the whole mathematics syllabus.
He did not do much research, but more importantly, he did a great deal of consulting in mathematical statistics, mainly with agricultural scientists at Massey and the former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
Those he helped included Dr Dry who established the Drysdale breed of sheep; Professor Riddett, head of the Dairy Research Institute; A W Hudson of Massey; Otto Frankel of the Wheat Research Institute; and, very significantly Arthur Ward, later Sir Arthur Ward and chief executive of the Dairy Board.
Campbell's wise advice was crucial to the sound development of the dairy herd testing and improvements for which Ward is so rightly remembered. A joint paper with Ward was one of Campbell's relatively few research papers.
His work in this area led to recognition by the DSIR of the need for continuing assistance in mathematical statistics. Campbell declined the post but when Ian Dick, about to graduate in mathematics, was appointed before the war, Campbell provided support, informed discussion and the use of his personal library to help him establish the biometrics section, later the Applied Mathematics Laboratory which finally took shape after the war.
Campbell encouraged some of his best students to work in the laboratory in vacations. This arrangement, adopted throughout the country, enabled the laboratory to recruit some outstanding graduates. The most distinguished Peter Whittle graduated from Campbell's classes, studied in Sweden and spent several years in the laboratory. He is now the Churchill professor of the mathematics of operational research at Cambridge and a fellow of the Royal Society. The success of his students was an abiding source of satisfaction to Campbell.
He also provided wise advice to Dr E G (Peter) Jacoby when as research officer in the Department of Education he established the basis for the prediction of student and staff numbers and established the much misrepresented scaling system which is still essential to an efficient examination structure.
He played a key role in the negotiations which enabled us to move the Applied Mathematics Laboratory into the library building, next to the university's mathematics department, and so to create a centre of excellence which, after nearly 30 years of mutual benefit, has been dissolved in the recent "reforms".
As a university colleague his judgement and decency, accompanied by occasional bursts of outrage at some folly or hypocrisy, made him widely liked and respected. He and his wife Margaret, a former city councillor had many friends. - Robin Williams (former director, Applied Mathematics Laboratory, DSIR).