Cheryl Praeger wins 2019 PM’s Prize for Science | Australian Maths Trust

Cheryl Praeger wins 2019 PM’s Prize for Science

Professor Cheryl Praeger (centre) at the awards ceremony with Australian International Mathematical Olympiad and European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad team members (from left) Yasiru Jayasooriya, Vicky Feng, Eva Ge and Preet Patel.

 

Longtime AMT board member Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger AM FAA has been awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in recognition of her incredible contribution to mathematics research and education in Australia and around the world.

Professor Praeger is well known for inspiring new generations of mathematicians from her base at The University of Western Australia, as well as for her critical contributions to the mathematical fields of group theory, permutation groups and combinatorics. Her research has formed the basis for the public-key cryptography used for secure banking, digital signatures and secure internet communication.

Professor Praeger has been a prolific contributor to scientific research, with more than 400 publications to her name. As well as winning the prestigious B.H. Neumann Award in 2010, among many other awards, she has built the reputation of Western Australian mathematics by mentoring talented local mathematicians such as 2018 Fields Medallist Akshay Venkatesh. She is also a passionate advocate for attracting more women and girls to mathematics and was instrumental in forming Australia’s first team to compete in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad.

AMT CEO Nathan Ford said that there was no more deserved winner of the award. “Congratulations to Cheryl on her fantastic achievement in winning the PM’s Prize for Science! It is a fitting tribute to Cheryl’s lifelong dedication to the advancement of mathematics, especially in group theory and combinatorics,” he said. “She is a leading light for a whole generation of Australian mathematicians. We have been incredibly fortunate to have her as part of our Trust family since 1987 and leading our mathematical Olympiad program as Chair of the Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee since 2002. She is an inspiration to us all at the Trust and thousands of mathematicians here in Australia and internationally. This is a wonderful achievement for Cheryl and another great story about the strength of mathematics in Australia.”

This year marks 20 years of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. The prizes recognise the contributions our scientists, innovators and science teachers make to Australia’s scientific and commercialisation capabilities.

Professor Praeger was presented with her award by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology at a gala event in Canberra on Wednesday 16 October.

Please join the Board of the Australian Maths Trust, staff and stakeholders in congratulating Professor Praeger on this prestigious prize!

For Professor Praeger’s full citation and those of the other prize winners click here.