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Kate Smith-Miles

Professor of Applied Mathematics, ARC Laureate Fellow, Chief Investigator in the Australian Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, The University of Melbourne

The impetus for my work is a belief in the power of mathematical research – pure and applied -- to contribute to public good.

My own research, in applied maths, uses modelling as well as data mining and optimisation methods to solve real-world problems. These include working out how to increase throughput in robotic manufacturing systems, and how “uncommitted” stem cells transform into cells with a specific role to play be it as a brain cell or skin cell.

One highlight of my career to date was winning the Australian Mathematical Society medal in 2010. The citation described my contributions as ‘characterised by their extraordinary breadth, as well as an exceptional attention to rigour”. Precious words to an applied mathematician!

My other passions are the public understanding of mathematics and teaching—including supervising research students. My colleagues and I frequently visit schools to inspire the next generation to use mathematics to make a difference to the world.


  • 2017–present
    Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Melbourne
  • 2016–2018
    President, Australian Mathematical Society
  • 2009–2014
    Professor and Head of School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University


  • 1996 
    University of Melbourne, PhD


Australian Mathematical Society Medal 2010 -- for distinguished research in the mathematical sciences; E. O. Tuck Medal 2017 from the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Society (ANZIAM) -- for outstanding research and distinguished service over the last 20 years.