12 Mar

University Hall Council member Winthrop Professor Cheryl Praeger AM FAA has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal for research in mathematics or physics.

Professor Praeger was awarded the medal for transforming the understanding of groups acting on large systems, producing new theories, algorithms and designs that have advanced every field that exploits the symmetry of large systems.

The Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal is awarded by the Australian Academy of Science once every two years and recognises individuals who through their lifetimes’ work have shaped their field and in turn shaped the world for better.

The research undertaken by Professor Praeger has led to significant new directions taken up by mathematicians internationally. Algorithms developed have also enhanced powerful computer algebra systems and have transformed the research and teaching of algebra.

Professor Praeger is the first woman to receive the award since its inauguration in 1935 and expressed her pleasure on receiving the medal while being interviewed by the ABC, stating “I’m extremely pleased to get the award, it’s (the mathematics of symmetry and computation) been my passion for my whole life”.

Professor Praeger has been a member of the University Hall Council since 1990 and has received a host of honours during the course of her career including recently; citation for outstanding contributions to student learning from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, the Moyal Medal and lecture for Mathematics from Macquarie University, an Doctor Honoris Causa (Mathematics) from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and she was the 2009 Western Australian Scientist of the Year.