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2017 Laureate Profile: Professor George Willis

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Professor George Willis

Administering Organisation: The University of Newcastle
Discipline Area: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Fellowship project summary:

Zero-dimensional symmetry and its ramifications (FL170100032)

This project aims to investigate algebraic objects known as 0-dimensional groups, which are a mathematical tool for analysing the symmetry of infinite networks. Group theory has been used to classify possible types of symmetry in various contexts for nearly two centuries now, and 0-dimensional groups are the current frontier of knowledge. The expected outcome of the project is that the understanding of the abstract groups will be substantially advanced, and that this understanding will shed light on structures possessing 0-dimensional symmetry. In addition to being cultural achievements in their own right, advances in group theory such as this also often have significant translational benefits. This will provide benefits such as the creation of tools relevant to information science and researchers trained in the use of these tools.

Australian Research Council funding: $2,837,520

About Professor Willis

Professor George Willis works in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at The University of Newcastle. His research has focused on the interaction between algebra and topology in diverse contexts. In the context of this project, `group’ is an algebraic concept while being 0-dimensional is a topological property and Professor Willis has revealed previously unexpected structure in 0-dimensional groups through his invention of the scale function, which encapsulates how the algebra and topology combine.  Professor Willis has been a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science since 2014 and an editor of the Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society since 2013. 

Find out more about Professor Willis and his research by visiting his profile page on The University of Newcastle website.

For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme page on the ARC website.


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