About

My name is Rod Deakin (Rodney Edwin Deakin) and I created this website.  I am a retired academic having lectured in the areas of Surveying, Geodesy and Map Projections at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia for over three decades. My association with RMIT (formerly Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) began as a student (1973-1976), then as a tutor (1981-83) and finally a lecturer (1983-2013). My academic career began in the Department of Surveying and finished in the School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences with intervening tenure in the Departments of Land Information and Geospatial Science. But all the while I remained in the same office, which probably tells you something about the constant re-structuring in universities. I have always regarded myself as a surveyor, having started as a 17-year old assistant to the local surveyor John Horne (Frankston, Victoria) in 1968. I well remember John’s instructions in ‘survey adjustment’ using a 6-inch plastic slide rule, trigonometric tables and pen & paper. On slow days in the office John inducted me into the mysteries of least squares and always encouraged my mathematical inclinations. I became proficient with the steel surveyors band (chain), the theodolite, the level and staff and bashing pegs with a sledge hammer. A business downturn saw me returning to RMIT in 1980 for a year of study which turned into my academic career.
During my time at RMIT I was attracted to the mathematical/technical areas of Surveying and Geodesy and my lecturing ‘style’ centred about explaining (with diagrams on the board) the salient points of printed Lecture Notes. I regarded most of my subjects as Applied Diagram Drawing and much of my time was spent writing lecture notes on various topics.
You might detect that much material on the website is ‘mathematical’; and I’m indebted to some former maths staff at RMIT for my mathematical education. Ian Peckham, Theo Doukakaros, Gary Fitzgerald, Howard Connell, Max Hunter and Dan Kildea. I hounded them relentlessly as a student and staff member asking endless questions and often they’d sit it in their offices with their lights off hoping I’d go away. We were having lunch once at a small reunion and I was talking (glibly) about some mathematical theorem when Dan said: “Deakin, we taught you everything you know about maths, but not everything we know! Just stick to surveying.” Max Hunter is a co-author on many papers and my priority is simply alphabetic.

I enjoy explaining things and my writing style always has/had the interested student as the target. I even imagine that they may have pen and paper handy and are checking my workings. As a consequence, much of my material has an undergraduate flavour; not really suitable for publication in most academic journals.
The material here in the various categories is for your use. I hope it’s of some help.

I can be contacted at: randm.deakin@gmail.com