# Plenary Speakers

### Butcher-Kalman Lecture

#### James Saunderson

Monash University

James Saunderson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University. He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT (2015), and undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Melbourne (2008). With Hamza Fawzi and Pablo Parrilo, he was awarded the 2020 SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Best Paper Prize, and was the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early-Career Researcher Award (DECRA). His research interests lie in mathematical optimisation and its applications.

### Dr Yunupingu Lecture

#### Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta

Auckland University of Technology

Dr Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta is Māori (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu), Hawaiian, Cook Island Māori, and Sāmoan. She is an Associate Professor in Te Ipukarea Research Institute. Rachael has a background in te reo Māori, Māori culture and traditions, and Indigenous politics. Rachael holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (First Class) and a Master of Arts (with Distinction) from the University of Otago, and a Doctorate from AUT. She is a graduate of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo (Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language) and holds the Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Certificate of Competency in Interpreting and Translating the Māori Language.

#### Michael Miller

Victoria University of Wellington

Michael is currently pursuing his PhD at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. He gained his Master of Science in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington, with a thesis that focussed on mathematically modelling gravitational microlensing events. After completing his Master of Science, he worked for several years as an educator, teaching mathematics and physics at secondary school and polytechnic levels. Michael has genealogical affiliations to Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

### Hanna Neumann Lecture

#### Svitlana Mayboroda

University of Minnesota and ETH Zurich

Svitlana Mayboroda is the McKnight Presidential Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota and Professor of Mathematics at ETH Zurich. Her work lies at the interface between partial differential equations, analysis, and geometric measure theory, and has enjoyed wide ranging applications in condensed matter physics, cold atoms systems, research and engineering of organic and nonorganic semiconductor materials and devices. Her work has been recognized by Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, AWM-Sadosky Prize in Analysis, US National Blavatnik Award, and Stein Prize for New Perspectives in Analysis. She was an ICM speaker in 2018 and is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. She is the founder and the Director of the Simons Collaboration on Localization of Waves.

### Public Lecture

#### Persi Diaconis

Stanford University

Persi Diaconis is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Stanford University. He specializes in the study of randomness; are tosses of a coin really random? How many times should a deck of cards be mixed to really mix it up? How about picks from the lottery? This study involves areas like probability, combinatorics, and group theory along with practical statistical study of the real world. He is well known for his ability to explain abstract ideas ‘in English’. This perhaps aided by his ten years on the road as a professional magician. An early Macarthur winner, he is a member of the US National Academy of Science.

# General Plenary Speakers

#### Lara Alcock

Loughborough University

Lara Alcock studied for a BSc and MSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematics Education at the University of Warwick. She then worked at Rutgers (USA) and at Essex (UK) before taking up her present position at Loughborough (UK) in 2007. She teaches undergraduate mathematics and conducts research on undergraduate mathematics education, focusing on issues of learning at the transition to proof. She is currently working on a Leverhulme Research Fellowship on logical reasoning in mathematics students. She is author of the popular mathematics book *Mathematics Rebooted and *three research-based study guides for mathematics students: *How to Study for a Mathematics Degree*, *How to Think about Analysis*, and *How to Think about Abstract Algebra*.

#### Richard Kenyon

Yale University

Richard Kenyon received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1990 under the direction of William Thurston. After a postdoc at IHES, he held positions at CNRS in Grenoble, Lyon, and Orsay and then became professor at UBC, Brown University and then Yale where he is currently Erastus L. Deforest Professor of Mathematics.

He was awarded the CNRS bronze medal, the Rollo Davidson prize, the Loève prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Simons Investigator.

#### Eamonn O'Brien

University of Auckland

Eamonn O’Brien is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Auckland.

His research is in group theory, with a particular focus on the development, implementation and application of effective algorithms for its study. Many of his research outputs are incorporated into the leading computational algebra systems GAP and Magma.

Eamonn obtained his PhD from the Australian National University in 1988. He was a Research Fellow at the ANU and a Humboldt Research Fellow at RWTH University of Aachen before joining Auckland in 1997.

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2009 and awarded its 2020 Hector Medal, he is a recipient of a 2024 Humboldt Foundation Research Award.

#### Priya Subramanian

University of Auckland

Inspired by watching Star Trek, Priya Subramanian completed her PhD in Aerospace Engineering in 2012 at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. She later moved to research fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation (2012-2015), University of Leeds (2015-2019) and University of Oxford (2019-2021) before moving to Auckland as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics in 2021.

Her research interest is to identify minimal mechanisms that enable the emergence of multi-dimensional patterns with desired properties. In the past she has looked at temporal patterns arising in thermoacoustics, spatio-temporal patterns arising in transitional flows, spatio-temporal patterns arising when organelle filaments move on motility assays and complex spatial patterns that arise during crystallisation of soft matter.

#### Katharine Turner

Australian National University

Katharine Turner is an Associate Professor in the Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) at the Australian National University (ANU), and a member of the new Mathematical Foundations of Data Science Centre within MSI. After graduating from her PhD at the University of Chicago in 2015, she did a postdoc at EPFL in a joint position between the Mathematical Statistics group and the Laboratory for Topology and Neuroscience, and in 2017 moved to ANU.

Ass/Prof Turner is interested in solving fundamental problems that arise in the search for structures within data. Collecting data and discovering interrelations between them is a traditional part of science, but with the advent of information technology, it is easy to collect massive data sets in which each sample is complicated (e.g., a set of MRI scans corresponding to different patients) and comparison of the raw data is prohibitive. Instead, we wish to represent each sample by features that describe its shape and the multi-scale structures within it.

A surprisingly successful approach is to adapt tools from the pure mathematical area of algebraic topology – creating the field of topological data analysis in which Ass/Prof Turner is an expert. She is interested in all stages of the topological data analysis pipeline but particularly focuses on proving the mathematical foundations needed for the statistically rigorous analysis of topological features. Ass/Prof Turner also formulated a new paradigm for statistical shape analysis which has led to a new subfield in topological data analysis studying directional transforms.

#### Geordie Williamson

University of Sydney

Geordie Williamson is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Sydney and inaugural Director of the Sydney Mathematical Research Institute (SMRI). His major research interests are in algebra, geometry, representation theory and machine learning, and he has collaborated with artificial intelligence lab DeepMind on the growing potential of AI to enhance mathematical creativity.

Geordie studied mathematics at the University of Sydney and completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg, Germany. After several years spent working as a mathematician overseas, Geordie returned to the University of Sydney in 2017. In 2018 he co-founded SMRI, the first mathematical research centre in NSW.

In 2018, Geordie was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom. He has been awarded with four major international mathematics prizes and the 2022 NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Mathematics.

## We are grateful to our sponsors

The Kalman Trust

Department of Mathematics, University of Auckland