Geordie Williamson

Professor Geordie Williamson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Sydney, and completed his PhD in 2008 at the University of Freiburg under the supervision of Wolfgang Soergel. He went on to hold a postdoc at the University of Oxford working with Raphaël Rouquier, and was a Junior Research Fellow at St. Peter’s College. After this, he moved on to the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, where he spent five years as an Advanced Researcher (W2 research professor). He joined the University of Sydney as a Professor in 2017, and is now Director of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.

Geordie’s interests lie in algebra, geometry and representation theory. There are several basic questions (e.g. determining the dimensions or characters of representations of a Lie group or finite group of Lie type) which need extremely sophisticated techniques from algebraic geometry, Hodge theory, or higher category theory to resolve. The richness and complexity contained in these simple questions is extraordinary.

Awards and honours

  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Institute for Advanced Study (2020)
  • Christopher Heyde Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, for research in the mathematical sciences (2019)
  • Member of the National Science and Technology Council (2019)
  • Medal of the Australian Mathematical Society (2018)
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences (elected 2018)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2018)
  • Plenary Speaker, International Congress of Mathematicians (2018)
  • Clay research Award (2016)
  • European Mathematics Society Prize (2016)
  • 2017 New Horizons Prize (with Ben Elias), (2016)
  • Chevalley Prize of the American Mathematics Society (2016)

Media and interviews

Anthony Henderson

Professor Anthony Henderson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Sydney, and obtained his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. He later returned to the University of Sydney as a postdoctoral researcher and has worked here ever since, becoming a Professor of Mathematics in 2016. He is also a founding Director of the Simon Marais Mathematics Competition for undergraduates in the Asia-Pacific region.

Broadly speaking, he is interested in geometric and combinatorial aspects of representation theory. In particular, he studies the geometry of nilpotent varieties and Springer fibres, and their generalisations such as orbit closures in Hilbert nullcones and Nakajima’s quiver varieties. The intersection cohomology of these varieties often controls decomposition numbers in representation theory.

Awards and honours

  • Medal of the Australian Mathematical Society (2012)
  • Christopher Heyde Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, for research in the mathematical sciences (2011)
  • Faculty of Science Citation for excellence in teaching (2009)