A mathematician whose name will be remembered for the ground-breaking theories she posited will have a special 60th birthday ‘party' at The University of Western Australia - a 12-day international conference in her honour.
Many of Professor Cheryl Praeger's PhD students, who are now working in universities and industry around the world, will attend the world-first Group Theory, Combinatorics and Computation Conference at UWA from January 5 to January 16.
Professor Praeger is in the top one per cent of highly cited mathematicians in the world and is recognised for adapting a 19th century theory by a now celebrated rebel French teenager, Evariste Galois, for use in today's information technology.
Professor Praeger is also well-known for promoting the involvement of women in mathematics and for the Family Maths Program Australia (FAMPA) which encourages primary school students. Her creativity and enthusiasm in research and teaching help students distil new ideas.
UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson, said much of modern society was underpinned by digital information brought to us by the kind of mathematical technology in which Professor Praeger was involved.
"Increasing computer power alone is inadequate for studying huge complex mathematical and real-world systems and problems. Clever approaches are required to bring solutions within reach. Professor Praeger's work has enabled many parts of seemingly impossible, big problems to be solved at once," Professor Robson said.