Dr Simon Marais Lectureship

An abstract image of a red and blue colored twisted shape

Dr Simon Marais Lectureship honours the passion of Dr Simon Marais, one of Australia’s most-respected investors, remembered for his extraordinary intelligence, uncompromising integrity and fearless attitude. Dr Marais had a wonderfully adventurous spirit, thirst for knowledge and a passion for conservation.

The University of Sydney was entrusted to continue his passion by his family, bringing world renowned Mathematics and Science experts to educate and engage students, academics and communities. The inaugural memorial lecture was first held in 2017.

About Dr Simon Marais

Dr Simon Marais

Dr Simon Marais

Dr Simon Marais was born in a rural town of Upington, South Africa in 1964. After obtaining a Master of Science at Stellenbosch University and a PhD in theoretical physics at Cambridge, he brought a compelling new style of ‘contrarian’ investing to the Australian funds management industry.

Working as Founder, Chief Executive and portfolio manager at fund manager Allan Gray Australia, Chairman of Allan Gray South Africa and previously as head of research at the global investment management firm Orbis Group, he built a reputation as the outstanding asset manager of his generation.

Dr Marais was compassionate, humble and passionate about conservation throughout his life. He was committed to teaching his children and would tutor his sons in maths irrespective of how demanding his professional schedule became. A constant source of inspiration to friends, colleagues and the mathematics students he tutored in his spare time, his essential optimism and leadership endures.

Past Lectures

2017: The mathematics of deja vu

Professor Amie Wilkinson, University of Chicago

Dynamics is an exciting area of mathematics concerned with the motion of spaces ("dynamical systems") over time. It continues to have applications in a wide variety of fields such as physics, biology, chemistry, medicine and economics. Professor Wilkinson answers questions using a mathematical version of déjà vu called 'recurrence'; including how we can mix and unmix two ideal gases in a box and describing the deep properties of the prime numbers or the existence of exoplanets in nearby solar systems.

Watch the lecture:


We're live at the inaugural Simon Marais Lecture, The mathematics of déjà vu, with Professor Amie Wilkinson from the University of Chicago.

Posted by Faculty of Science, University of Sydney on Thursday, 27 April 2017