We are sad to report the death of Prof David Matravers at the age of 84.
David was born in Durban on 26th September 1937 to parents who had moved to South Africa from England. He read mathematics at the University of Natal and then studied for his PhD under the supervision of the distinguished German mathematician Hanno Rund, completing his doctorate while a fulltime lecturer at Rhodes University. David moved to the University of Cape Town first as a lecturer and then a professor, before becoming the head of the Department of Applied Mathematics. He became a regular visitor at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford, swapping the South African summer for the English winter, and he moved to England full-time in 1990 to become head of the School of Mathematical Studies, at what was then Portsmouth Polytechnic.
It was a time of great change in the UK academic system as the binary divide between universities and polytechnics was swept away, and the Portsmouth Polytechnic became the University of Portsmouth. David was charged with developing both teaching and research in mathematics, and he nurtured research groups in topics such as numerical methods, finance and logistics, as well as in his own research area, where he established the Relativity and Cosmology Group. Through a number of shrewd appointments, David built a small but very active group. The Relativity and Cosmology Group that David founded became the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation in 2002, and over the last 20 years it has gone from strength to strength.
David retired from the university in 2002, but remained an Emeritus Professor. He continued to visit the ICG every week for seminars and discussions, until ill-health began to curtail his visits. He passed away peacefully at his home in West Sussex on 31st May 2022.
David will be fondly remembered by the many mathematicians and cosmologists around the globe, whose lives and careers he touched.
Marco Bruni, Roy Maartens, David Wands