The Payne-Scott Professor of Mathematics at the University of Sydney, Nalini Joshi, has been elected Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union at its General Assembly in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Professor Joshi, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and former president of the Australian Mathematical Society, is just the second Australian mathematician to be elected to the executive of the IMU and the first elected as Vice-President.
After an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney – where she won the University Medal – Professor Joshi completed her doctorate at Princeton University. She is former Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney, the first woman to hold that position.
The current Head of School, Professor Jacqui Ramagge, said: “As well as being an outstanding mathematician, Professor Joshi is a visionary pioneer. She was the first female professor of mathematics at the University and our first female Head of School.
“Nalini has made significant contributions to maths and science more broadly through various roles, including as an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow. The international impact of her activities, which was already significant, is about to be taken to another level. We are lucky to have Nalini in Australia and at the University of Sydney in particular."
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, said: “We are privileged to have such an acclaimed mathematician at the University. Professor Joshi’s election is a fitting honour for her scientific work and her leadership as a mentor and as a role model for women in mathematics.”
Professor Joshi helped establish the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program in Australia and was its first co-chair. She currently sits on SAGE’s Expert Advisory Group.
Professor Joshi’s research interests are in non-linear differential and difference equations, with a focus on asymptotic methods.
She said: “In addition to longstanding interests in mathematics research and education, I have a particular interest in increasing the participation of women and minority groups in science and mathematics.”
Professor Joshi is a finalist for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers in this year’s Eureka Prizes for Science; the winners will be announced on 29 August.
The incoming IMU President is Professor Carlos Kenig from the University of Chicago in the US.