The University of Western Australia's internationally acclaimed mathematician, Professor Cheryl Praeger, today became the first woman to be awarded the Australian Mathematical Society's George Szekeres Medal.
The medal honours mathematicians who have made an outstanding contribution to the mathematical sciences over an extended period and was announced this morning at the opening ceremony of the Australian and New Zealand Mathematics conference in Melbourne.
Australia's most highly cited pure mathematician and one of the world's top 200 most highly cited mathematicians, Professor Praeger was the second woman in Australia to be appointed as a Professor of Mathematics in 1983.
She boasts an exceptional research career in the mathematical disciplines of group theory and combinatorics, with more than 350 published journal articles and books. She has spent many years promoting the benefits of international collaboration and has been an inspiring role model for women in mathematics.
Professor Praeger is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science - made up of around 450 of Australia's top scientists - and this year took up the role of Foreign Secretary of the Academy.
This year she was elected an Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society, joining Albert Einstein and Australian Fields Medallist Terry Tao. She is also Vice President of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction and an Honorary Life Member and former president of the Australian Mathematical Society.
She was named WA's Scientist of the Year in 2009 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999.
The Australian Mathematical Society also honoured three other mathematicians for their recent and career-long research, citing the deep intrinsic value and applications in many other complex problems arising throughout the sciences as well as the arts and business.