Advisory Board

The MATRIX Advisory Board consists of the following senior mathematical scientists and industry representatives.  

Prof. Tony Guttmann (University of Melbourne, Chair)

Tony holds a Personal Chair in mathematics at The University of Melbourne. He was the Interim Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute at the time of its creation.

Research Interests: Tony’s research interests are in equilibrium statistical mechanics in general, and more particularly in discrete models of phase transitions. As these are often equivalent to a combinatorial problem, he is equally interested in the relevant combinatorics, and the connection between the two. Additionally, he is regularly looking for new ways to count the underlying graphs efficiently leading to a study of algorithmic complexity.
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Mark AaronsDr. Mark Aarons (VFMC and Monash University)

Mark is the Head of Investment Risk at Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University in the Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies. Previously, he was the global head of FICC Structuring at National Australia Bank for over 7 years, leading the team that provided tailored derivatives to financial institutions and large corporate clients. He has over 14 years’ financial markets experience in Australia and the UK, across both Front Office and quantitative Market Risk roles. He obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the Max Planck Institute / Free University Berlin and has bachelor degrees in Law and Science (both with Honours) from Monash University.
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Helene BarceloProf. Hélène Barcelo (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute)

Hélène is the Deputy Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, a position she has held since July 1, 2008. As Deputy Director, she is in charge of overseeing all scientific activities at the Institute. She received the Wexler Award (ASU) for distinguished teaching, and 4 doctoral and 8 master students completed their degree under her direction. She has held visiting positions at numerous universities and research institutes around the world.

Research Interests: Hélène’s research interests lie in algebraic combinatorics; more specifically, combinatorial representation theory and homotopy theories in relation to subspace arrangements.
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Peter BouwknegtProf. Peter Bouwknegt (Australian National University)

Peter is a Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is a former director of the Mathematical Sciences Institute at the ANU and has served both on the ARC College of Experts and the ARC ERA Research Evaluations Committee.

Research Interests: Peter is a Mathematical Physicist. His research interests center around the mathematical foundations of String Theory, Quantum Field Theory and Condensed Matter Theory.
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Jan de GierProf. Jan de Gier Director (Strategy) (University of Melbourne)

Jan is co-Director of MATRIX and Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne. He is also Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers.

Research Interests: Jan’s main research areas are mathematical physics, statistical mechanics, interacting particle systems, solvable lattice models, representation theory and multivariable polynomials. He also studies applications of stochastic particle systems to real world traffic modelling.
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Joe GrotowskiProf. Joe Grotowski (University of Queensland)

Joe has been Head of School at the University of Queensland since May, 2014, having served as Head of Mathematics from January 2010 until April 2014.

Research Interests: Joe’s research is mainly in geometric and nonlinear analysis, in particular in geometric evolution equations. In recent years he has also become involved in a number of more applied projects.

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Iain JohnstoneProf. Iain Johnstone (Stanford University)

Iain is Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Biomedical Data Science at Stanford.

Research Interests: Iain’s research interests lie in statistics, in particular around high dimensional data, random matrix methods, decision theory and wavelet methods.
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Aleks OwczarekProf. Aleks Owczarek (University of Melbourne)

Aleks is the Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne.

Research Interests: Aleks’ research areas include: integrable systems, mathematical physics, enumerative combinatorics, and statistical mechanics.
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Cheryl PraegerProf. Cheryl Praeger (University of Western Australia)

Cheryl is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. She is also the Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science (2014-2018). She is a former ARC Federation Fellow and was the inaugural Director of the UWA Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation.

Research Interests: Cheryl’s research has focussed on the theory of group actions and their applications in Algebraic Graph Theory and for Combinatorial Designs; and algorithms for group computation including questions in statistical group theory and algorithmic complexity.
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Prof. Tim Brown (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI))

Tim has been Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) since 2019 following several years as Professor of Statistical Data Science at the University of Melbourne.

Tim was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at La Trobe University (2008-2013), Dean of the College of Science (2005-2007), Dean of the Faculty of Science (2002-2007) and Professor of Statistics at the Australian National University. Tim was President of the Australian Council of Deans of Science (2004-2006), President of the Statistical Society of Australia (1992-1994) and elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Research Interests: Tim’s research interests have been in probability, especially probability approximations and stochastic processes, applied statistics and educational measurement (with applications to Year 12 moderation, scaling and interstate-transfer).
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Prof. Jessica Purcell (Monash University)

Jessica Purcell is a Professor of Mathematics at Monash University. She is also the Chair of the Women in Mathematical Sciences Special Interest Group (WIMSIG) of the Australian Mathematical Society. Before arriving at Monash, she held positions at Brigham Young University, Oxford University, and the University of Texas at Austin, and visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study and Melbourne University. She received her PhD in mathematics from Stanford University in 2004.

Research Interests: Jessica’s research interests are in low-dimensional topology and geometry, especially 3-manifolds, hyperbolic geometry, and their relation to knot theory.
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Peter TaylorProf. Peter Taylor (Director ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS), University of Melbourne)

Peter is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of ACEMS.

Research Interests: Peter’s research interests lie in the fields of stochastic modelling and applied probability, with particular emphasis on applications in telecommunications, biological modelling, mechanism design, epidemiology, healthcare and disaster management. Recently he has become interested in the interaction of stochastic modelling with optimisation and optimal control under conditions of uncertainty.
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Ruth WilliamsProf. Ruth Williams (University of California San Diego)

Ruth is a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. She holds the Charles Lee Powell Chair in Mathematics I. She is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2012.

Ruth studied Mathematics at the University of Melbourne where she earned her B. Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. degrees in 1977 and 1979, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford University in 1983. She had a postdoc at Courant Institute before joining UCSD.

Research Interests: Ruth’s research interests are in probability theory, stochastic processes and their applications. Her current research is concerned with the analysis and control of stochastic networks which arise in applications such as high-tech manufacturing, telecommunications, computer systems, service systems and biochemical reaction networks.
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Prof. David Wood Director (Publications) (Monash University)

David is co-Director of MATRIX, and Professor in the Discrete Mathematics Research Group of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Research Interests: David’s research interests are in discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, especially structural graph theory, extremal graph theory, geometric graph theory, graph colouring, and combinatorial geometry.
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Prof. Bruce Henry  (UNSW, Sydney)

Bruce is the Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW, Sydney, and currently Deputy Chair of the Australian Council for Heads of Mathematical Sciences.

Research Interests: Bruce’s research interests are in continuous time random walks, anomalous diffusion, fractional calculus, pattern formation, applications of chaos and fractals, mathematical modelling, nonlinear lattice dynamics and statistical mechanics.

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Ms. Brigitte Smith (GBS Venture Partners)

Brigitte has twenty years’ experience in venture capital, business strategy and start-up company operations. She has been investing and managing investments for GBS’s $450m of life science specialised venture capital funds since 1998. Brigitte has a B. Chem Eng (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and as a Fulbright Scholar completed a MBA (Honours) from the Harvard Business School and a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, both in Boston, USA.

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Prof. Kais Hamza (Monash University)

Kais is Associate Professor at Monash University and currently Interim Head of the School of Mathematics.

Research Interests: General theory of stochastic processes. Representation properties for martingales. Markov jump processes. Non-standard random walks and other alternative models. Applications of stochastic processes to the modelling of financial markets, population dynamics and biological systems.

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