Alexander Michael Davidson (1944-2013)
Michael Davidson was brought up in rural South-West Scotland as one of three sons of the manse. After showing considerable talent in a variety of subjects at school, he chose to study Mathematics and Physics at the University of Glasgow. He graduated in 1966 and stayed on to gain a PhD in 1971. In that year a Lectureship in Applied Mathematics was advertised at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, and it was his successful application for this post that brought Michael to Cardiff.
In 1988, he transferred to the newly constituted Cardiff University on merger of the two institutions, and excelled as a teacher and administrator in the School of Mathematics until his retirement. Such was his enthusiasm for teaching that he returned as a part-time teacher until ill-health intervened in 2012. Michael’s main area of interest and expertise was in Applied Mathematics, although his versatility enabled him to present courses in allied subjects such as modelling and linear systems. Promotion to senior lecturer saw him taking on additional responsibilities. He was appointed Director of Undergraduate Courses in the 1990s and later as Deputy Head of School in 2002. In addition, Michael undertook the duties of Chair of the School’s Board of Studies for many years.
Michael was a highly respected member of staff, who was popular not only with his peers but also with the student population. Indeed, his dedication to the needs of students was exemplary – students were always foremost in his thoughts. He came across as a kind and gentle person, who was always careful to act in a fair but firm manner in difficult situations.
Michael possessed a strong bond with his family and his love of classical music combined well with Marilyn’s position as Head of Music at a local school for many years. Michael’s own involvement in the musical field extended to being a tenor lay clerk in Llandaff Cathedral Choir for 25 years, and he was a founder member of the Cantemus Chamber Choir. Michael delighted in the impressive scholarly achievements of his daughter, Mathilda, especially in her career advancement in recent years in the legal profession.
Michael’s passing on 12th May 2013, after an illness borne with much fortitude, was a great loss not only to his family but also to his many friends and colleagues across the University.
- Friends and colleagues, Cardiff School of Mathematics.