I am a mathematician and Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney. I went to school in Sydney, after my family emigrated from Burma, and completed my BSc (Hons 1M) at the University of Sydney.
Having become obsessed with wanting to understand the universe, I decided to pursue further study in applied maths and got a Masters and PhD in computational and applied mathematics at Princeton University.
I’ve held positions at the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Adelaide, before returning to the University of Sydney in 2002 to take up the Chair of Applied Mathematics. At the University of Sydney, I was Director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology during 2006-2012 and Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics from 2007-2009.
My research interests lie in non-linear differential and difference equations, with a particular focus on integrable systems such as the Painlevé equations. For (less technical) information see what is this thing called Painlevé, geometry & asymptotics and AM4 integrable systems.
In 2012, I was lucky enough to get an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship to work on the 5-year project Geometric Construction of Critical Solutions of Nonlinear Systems. This project also includes a role to promote and retain women researchers in science and technology. I was a foundation co-Chair of the SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) initiative jointly managed by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
In the 2016 Queen’s Birthday honours awards, I was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia “for distinguished service to mathematical science and tertiary education as an academic, author and researcher, to professional societies, and as a role model and mentor of young mathematicians”.
I travelled around the UK during June-July in 2015 to deliver 9 lectures as the special 2015 Hardy Fellow of the London Mathematical Society. Many people asked me for copies of my slides. They are now on mytalks page. Other talks are available too: e.g., my recent talk to SUMS“When applied maths collided with algebra”(3.1Mb).
Some of you might recognise me because I appeared in a Q&A episode Time Travel, Teaching and the Meaning of Life with Matt Covell (360), Brian Cox, Richard Gill and Miranda Tapsell and was interviewed by Charlie Pickering on the Weekly. See videos for links to watch these again.