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Geordie Williamson wins Australian mathematics highest honour

5 December 2018
Australian Mathematical Society Medal caps stellar year
Fresh from launching the University of Sydney Mathematical Research Institute, Professor Geordie Williamson has been recognised by his peers at the Australian Mathematical Society annual meeting.
Professor Geordie Williamson is director of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.

Professor Geordie Williamson is director of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.

Professor Geordie Williamson has been awarded the 2018 Australian Mathematical Society Medal, the top honour in Australian mathematics.

Professor Williams was presented with the medal at the opening of the 62nd Australian Mathematical Society annual meeting in Adelaide on Tuesday.

“It is a great honour to be acknowledged by the Australian mathematical community. I am deeply grateful to my undergraduate lecturers and colleagues within the Australian mathematical community, a number of whom are previous medallists,” Professor Williamson said.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney is now home to four winners of the Australian Mathematical Society Medal: Professor Anthony Henderson, Professor Andrew Mathas, Professor Alexander Molev and now Professor Williamson.

Head of School, Professor Jacqui Ramagge, said: “The Australian mathematical community is buoyed by Geordie's decision to return to Australia early last year, and we are lucky to have him at the University of Sydney.”

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, said: “This is a fitting end to a wonderful year for Professor Williamson and the School of Mathematics and Statistics that has culminated in the launch of the world-leading Sydney Mathematical Research Institute, of which we are very proud.”

It has been a stellar year for Professor Williamson, who launched the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute in November. He was also elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society and Australian Academy of Sciences. He is the youngest living fellow of both institutions.

In 2018, he was also the first mathematician working in Australia to deliver a plenary at the International Congress of Mathematicians. This came shortly after the election of Professor Nalini Joshi as Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union.

Also honoured at the Australian Mathematical Society AGM was the University of Melbourne’s Professor Peter Taylor who received the 2018 George Szekeres Medal. A team of Australian, French and Swiss researchers were honoured with the 2018 Gavin Brown Best Paper Prize for The critical fugacity for surface adsorption of self-avoiding walks on the honeycomb lattice is 1 + √2 which was published in Communications in Mathematical Physics 326 (2014) 727-754.

Congratulating this year’s medallists, the Australian Mathematical Society President, Professor Kate Smith-Miles, said the contributions of each of the 2018 winners had transformed Australian and global mathematics.

“We are delighted to honour these extraordinary Australians whose work has helped advance understanding of their fields and the mathematical sciences,” she said.

The Australian Mathematical Society Medal

Awarded annually to an Australian Mathematical Society member under 40 for distinguished mathematical sciences research.

Sydney Mathematical Research Institute

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