Advisory Board

The MATRIX Advisory Board consists of the following senior mathematical scientists and industry representatives.  
  • Prof. Tony Guttmann
    (University of Melbourne)

    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, and was Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Mathematics and Statistics of Complex systems (MASCOS) from its inception in 2002 until 2017.

    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.

  • Prof. Jan de Gier
    Director MATRIX
    (University of Melbourne)

    Jan is the Director of MATRIX. He is a former Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of Melbourne and was the inaugural Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Association for Mathematical Physics. Jan is 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.

  • Prof. Peter Bouwknegt
    Deputy Director MATRIX
    (Australian National University)

    Peter is Deputy Director of MATRIX and 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.

  • Prof. David Wood
    Deputy Director MATRIX
    (Monash University)

    David is Deputy 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.

  • Dr Mark Aarons
    (VFMC and Monash University)

    Mark joined VFMC in 2018 and is currently Head of Investment Risk and Absolute Returns. His risk role encompasses risk analysis, portfolio construction and defensive overlays. He also heads-up the Absolute Returns team which covers Hedge Funds, Private Credit and Emerging Market Debt (circa 20% of VFMC’s FUM). Mark is a member of the Investment Leadership Team and investment committee. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Centre for Quantitative Finance and Investment Strategies at Monash University.

    Prior to working at VFMC, Mark was global Head of FICC Structuring at the National Australia Bank from 2010 to 2017, where he built a leading institutional derivatives structuring and sales business in both Australia and the UK. Mark also spent four years in London with NAB working in both market risk and in front office on a rates trading desk.

    Mark holds Bachelor degrees in Law and Science (both with Honours) from Monash University and a PhD in Mathematics jointly from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Mark is also the co-author of a book on securitisation swaps which was published by Wiley Finance in 2019 and has published several finance papers.

  • Prof. Hélène Barcelo 
    (Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute)

    Hélène is the Deputy Director of the Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences 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.

  • Prof. Howard Bondell
    (University of Melbourne)

    Howard is Professor and Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

    Research interests: Howard’s research interest is in statistical data science, with focus on model selection, robust estimation, regularisation, Bayesian methods, and all aspects of modelling and handling uncertainty in statistical and machine learning approaches.

  • Prof. Adelle Coster
    (UNSW, Sydney) 

    Adelle is Professor and Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the UNSW (Sydney). Adelle is an applied mathematician who uses dynamical systems analyses, stochastic modelling and queueing theory, amongst other techniques to answer questions arising from fields other than mathematics.

    Research interests: Adelle's research is in mathematical modelling, particularly in biomedicine and biology. The investigations Adelle is currently involved range from understanding the dynamics of fundamental protein-protein interactions, cellular processes, the geometrical morphological features of microfossils, to the interactions in systems at larger scales involving human subjects.

  • Prof. Lilia Ferrario
    (Director, Mathematical Sciences Institute, Australian National University)

    Lilia is a Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Astrophysics at the Australian National University in Canberra. She was the Head of the ANU Department of Mathematics in 2012-2014 and then the Associate Director of Education of the ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) until 2020. She is currently the Director of MSI.

    Research Interests: Lilia’s work is on compact stars, magnetic accretion and cyclotron shocks on the surface of highly magnetic white dwarfs. She has studied the magnetosphere-accretion stream interaction in compact stars with detailed self-consistent 3-D computational models of the thermal structure of magnetically confined accretion flows. She has investigated the origin of magnetic fields in compact stars and has shown that binary interaction and stellar merging can explain the strongest magnetic fields in the universe. She has also performed Galactic archaeology studies to hunt for the elusive progenitors of type Ia Supernovae that are routinely used as standard candles to determine the expansion history of the universe.


  • Prof. Jennifer Flegg
    (University of Melbourne)                (Chair, WIMSIG)

    Jennifer is a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne and is Chair of the Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group (WIMSIG) of the Australian Mathematical Society. She obtained her PhD from the Queensland University of Technology in 2009. She held a postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford and was a lecturer at Monash University before joining the University of Melbourne in 2017. Jennifer was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Christopher Heyde Medal In Applied Mathematics in 2020.

    Research interests: Jennifer's research focuses on using mathematics and statistics to answer questions in biology and medicine. In particular, she develops mathematical models in areas such as wound healing, tumour growth and infectious disease epidemiology.

  • Prof. 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.

  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Huisken 
    (Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, Germany)

    Gerhard is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Tübingen University and Director of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach in Germany. Before that he was a Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-Institute) in Potsdam.

    Research Interest: Gerhard's research interests are in Geometric Analysis with applications to Mathematical Physics, in particular to General Relativity.

  • Prof. Tim Marchant 
    (University of Wollongong) (Director, AMSI)

    Tim Marchant is Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute and a Honorary Professor of Applied Mathematics at University of Wollongong. He was previously President of the Australian Mathematical Society, and Head of the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics and Dean of Research at the University of Wollongong.

    Research interests: nonlinear optics, nonlinear waves and combustion theory.

  • Prof. Yong-Geun Oh
    (Director IBS Center for Geometry and Physics, Pohang, Korea)

    Yong-Geun is the founding director of the IBS Center for Geometry and Physics established in August 2012 and a professor of the mathematics department in the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH). He got his Ph.D. in the University of California, Berkeley in 1988. He was a faculty member in the mathematics department of the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the period 1991-2014. He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1991-1992, 2001-2002, 2012). He was honored with the 2019 Korea Science Award.

    He is a member of Korean Mathematical Society and American Mathematical Society. He is a member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology and is in the inaugural class of AMS Fellows.

    Research Interests: Yong-Geun’s fields of study have been on symplectic topology, Hamiltonian mechanics, and mirror symmetry. His research focus lies in the symplectic Floer homology theory and its applications. He was a ICM speaker in the Geometry Session of ICM-2006 in Madrid.

  • Prof. 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.

  • 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

  • Prof. 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.

  • Prof. Ole Warnaar
    (AustMS/University of Queensland)

    Ole is Chair and Professor in Pure Mathematics at the University of Queensland, President of the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS), and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

    Research Interests: Ole’s research interest include algebraic combinatorics, basic and elliptic hypergeometric series, representation theory, and special functions.

  • Prof. Warwick Tucker
    (Monash University)

    Warwick has been Head of School at Monash University since July, 2020, having previously (2014-2020) served as Head of the Department of Mathematics at Uppsala University (Sweden). Warwick received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Uppsala University in 1998. Since then he has had research positions at IMPA (Brazil), Cornell University (USA), University of Bergen (Norway), ENS-Lyon (France), and Uppsala University. Before joining Monash University, Warwick was part of the Swedish $1bn research initiative WASP acting as the chair of the national graduate school in Artificial Intelligence.

    Research Interests: Warwick’s research is mainly in dynamical systems, chaos theory, computer-assisted proofs, and artificial intelligence.

  • Prof. Shmuel Weinberger
    (University of Chicago)

    Shmuel Weinberger is the Andrew MacLeish Professor of Mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Chicago. He is Fellow of the AMS and of the AAAS.

    Research Interests: geometric topology, differential geometry, geometric group theory, and applications of topology in other disciplines.