Prestigious mathematics award to Gus Lehrer

June 7, 2017 by Community newsdesk
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The President of the Sydney Jewish Museum Professor Gus Lehrer has been awarded the prestigious George Szekeres Medal for 2016 in recognition of the influential contribution he has made to the studies of algebra and geometry.

Gus Lehrer

Gus Lehrer is a Professor of Mathematics at Sydney University

This medal is awarded by the Australian Mathematical Society for outstanding research contributions over a fifteen-year period. The award, established in 2001, is given biennially for work that has been carried out, primarily in Australia.

This medal commemorates the work of the late George Szekeres, an Hungarian–Australian mathematician, for his achievements in number theory, combinatorics, analysis, and relativity.

Prof Lehrer’s career highlights include the development of the “Howlett–Lehrer theory” to solve decomposition problems in representation theory. The theory of cellular algebras, co-invented with his student John Graham in one of the most highly cited Australian mathematical papers of the 1990 and Professor Lehrer’s work with Ruibin Zhang on invariant theory, including the solution of a problem of Brauer that had been open for 75 years.

Professor Lehrer has held numerous leadership positions in Australian mathematics, including Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney and Director of the Centre of Mathematical Analysis at the ANU and has fostered the careers of many outstanding PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows.

He has held the position of President of the Sydney since 2010 and was made a member of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day honours list in recognition for his significant service to tertiary mathematics education as an academic and researcher and his service to professional and community groups.

George Szekeres received his degree in chemistry at the Technical University of Budapest and worked as an analytical chemist. The family escaped from the Nazi persecution and Szekeres took a job in Shanghai, where they lived through World War II and the Japanese occupation and finally came to Australia in 1948.

He taught at the University of Adelaide and UNSW until his retirement in 1975.

In 2002 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to mathematics and science, particularly as a contributor to education and research, to the support and development of UNSW Mathematics Competition and the Australian Mathematical Olympiad Team

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