Alan C. Newell, Regents' Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona, was born in Dublin on Guy Fawkes day in 1941. He currently lives and enjoys the outdoor life in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife Tish who deserves most of the credit for bringing up two sons, Jamie and Matt, and two daughters, Shane and Pippa, each of whom makes their parents very proud. Summers are spent on the most beautiful coastline on earth in northwest Donegal.

He received degrees from Trinity College, Dublin in 1962 and from MIT in 1966. He has chaired departments of Mathematics at Clarkson University, at the University of Arizona and at the University of Warwick, England, from 1971 until 2000, a period of almost thirty years. He played his last game of rugby at age 58 and afterwards still managed to lift his pint of Guinness unaided.

In addition to his research in optics and ocean waves and turbulence and pattern formation, he loves literature and poetry and is an unashamed wannabee story teller who gets great pleasure out of writing yarns and plays with a twist.