News

Tara Murphy: Young Tall Poppy



26 October 2012

Dr Tara Murphy from the University of Sydney School of Physics and the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SifA) has been awarded the prestigious Young Tall Poppy award for New South Wales.

Dr Tara Murphy. Young Tall Poppy award winner 2012
Dr Tara Murphy. Young Tall Poppy award winner 2012

The Tall Poppy is a prestigious annual science award that recognises young scientists who are doing outstanding work in their field and actively engage and educate the community about their work.

Dr Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Astroinformatics at the University of Sydney. Her research is interdisciplinary, investigating the application of novel computer science and software engineering techniques to data-intensive astronomy research.

Dr Murphy is currently leading the VAST project: An ASKAP Survey for Variables and Slow Transients, investigating astronomical objects that vary on rapid timescales. VAST will allow us to answer questions about the formation of black holes, the missing mass in our Galaxy, and the origin of many exotic objects that burst and flicker in the distant universe.

Dr Murphy is a world leader in this transformation from astronomy to astroinformatics, and is one of the few researchers worldwide who sits comfortably at the intersection between astrophysics and computer science. Her unique contribution has been to apply sophisticated data mining and machine learning algorithms to key problems in radio astronomy.

As a recipient of the Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Dr Murphy becomes a science ambassador and expert and will undertake outreach activities as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign programs targeting school students, teachers, the general public, media, federal or state MPs, policy makers, and in a range of science promotional activities throughout NSW over 2013.

Dr Tara Murphy (centre), from the School of Physics, won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award. Presented by Professor Maria Kavallaris (left), from the NSW Young Tall Poppy Selection Committee and the Children's Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research.
Dr Tara Murphy (centre), from the School of Physics, won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award. Presented by Professor Maria Kavallaris (left), from the NSW Young Tall Poppy Selection Committee and the Children's Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research.

In addition to her research, Dr Murphy is Director of the National Computer Science School and the NCSS Challenge - two high school outreach programs that encourage students to engage with Science and IT.

Professor Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), in which Murphy is an Associate Investigator, said "Her commitment and passion for these initiatives has required spectacular levels of dedication and organisation."

"Tara is on a steep rising trajectory, and has already established herself as an international leader in her field. She epitomises the commitment to research and to broader engagement that the Young Tall Poppy program aims to recognise," said Professor Gaensler


Contact: Tom Gordon

Phone: 02 9351 3201

Email: 0c1615765425455d291412181d3117263c4a302a27010540