Nalini Joshi is a Georgina Sweet
Australian Laureate Fellow in mathematics and the Chair of Applied
Mathematics at the University of Sydney - she is the first woman in the
School to hold this position.
She develops mathematical methods to study solutions of integrable systems
which arise as universal models in physics, such as the Painleve
equations.Her more general research interests lie in non-linear differential
and difference equations, with a particular focus on asymptotic methods.
Currently, Nalini is particularly interested in creating a geometric
framework to reveal properties of critical solutions of nonlinear models
that reflect universal structures in physical models.
Specific research areas: Integrable systems, the Painlevé equations,
geometric asymptotics, nonlinear dynamics, slow-fast systems, nonlinear
waves, chaos, perturbation theory (Source:
The
Conversation)
"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
[Myanmar],
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."
(Source: Sydney University)
Introduction
The socio-political upheaval in Burma brought the Joshis
to Australia back in the 1970s. Independent and free spirited, the world of
numbers always fascinated the young Nalini.
“My father was in the Burmese army and I grew up near jungles with wild
animals. I had the freedom to explore all day long so long as I went to
school and that’s what I actually seek every time I look at mathematics;
it’s an adventure, an exploration, forging new paths into territories nobody
else has looked at before,” she explained.
As a medical practitioner, Joshi’s father wanted her to follow his footsteps
and so she did, enrolling in medicine briefly, only to transfer to pure
sciences, much to his chagrin.
Browsing through her high school photographs recently, she realises that she
was one of only two Asian faces.
“I was the only one who could be described as having a different skin colour
to the others. Surprisingly, this never occurred to me as a point of
difference, growing up in Australia as an immigrant. I knew I was different,
but I thought that was because I was an avid reader, with my face in a book
most of the time, and very interested in unusual things, particularly
science and space travel,” she remembered, nostalgically.
At university, Joshi found her true passion. Completing a science degree
with first class honours, Joshi went on to win the Sydney University medal
in applied mathematics. She then moved to Princeton to complete her PhD.
After stints around Australia and overseas, she returned to the University
of Sydney in 2002 as Chair of Applied Mathematics. Soon after she was
appointed Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, once again
becoming the first woman to hold the position.
Joshi was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and has held a
number of positions with the Australian Mathematical Society, including its
presidency. She was Chair of the National Committee for Mathematical
Sciences and board member of the Australian Mathematics Trust.
“While it takes courage and determination to succeed in most things in life,
I think it took more resilience to become a successful academic, while also
happening to be a woman who had children,” she admitted.(Source:
AMSI Higher Education)
Education
Undergraduate:
B.Sc. (Hons) (1978 - 81) at the University of Sydney . Postgraduate: Ph.D. (1982 - 86) (including M.A. (1984)) at
Princeton University (New Jersey, USA), Advisor: Martin D. Kruskal.
Opportunities & Experiences
Current:
ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow and Chair of
Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney.
Visiting Positions: University of
Colorado, Boulder, Princeton University, Rutgers University, University of
Exeter, Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge
University, Research Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University,
University of Turku, Finland, University of Paris VII, University of
Manchester, University of Joensuu, Finland, University of Leeds.
Academic Positions:
Australian National University
Postdoctoral Fellow (1987)
Research Fellow and Lecturer (1988 - 90)
University of New South Wales
Lecturer (1990 - 94)
Senior Lecturer (1994 - 1997)
University of Adelaide
Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellow (1997 - 2002)
Associate Professor/Reader (1998 - 2002)
University of Sydney
Chair of Applied Mathematics (2002 - )
Director, Centre for Mathematical Biology (2006 - 2013)
Head of School of Mathematics and Statistics (2007 - 2009)
Associate Head (2010 - )
Other Positions:
Australian Academy of Science
Elected Fellow (March 2008)
Elected Member of Council (2012 - 2015)
National Committee for Mathematical Sciences
Chair (January 2011 - )
Member (January 2010 - )
Australian Mathematical Society
President (December 2008 - September 2010)
Vice-President (September 2005 - September 2007)
Incoming President (September 2007 - September 2008)
Outgoing President (September 2010 - September 2011)
Elected Member of Council (2011 - 2013, 2013 - )
International Mathematical
Union (IMU) - Vice-President 2018
Australian Mathematics Trust
Board Member (August 2010 - 2013) (Source: Nalini Joshi)
Australian
Curriculum General Capability:
Numeracy
Australian
Curriculum General Capability:Literacy
1. There are 5 Lessons in the following Mensa
for Kids. Select one or all of the lessons from the following
PDF:
Learning
Objectives
After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to:
a. Introduction to Fibonacci Numbers:
Explain Fibonacci numbers and their origin.
b. Finding Fibonacci:
Identify Fibonacci numbers in nature and art.
c. Working with Fibonacci: Generate the next numbers in the Fibonacci
sequence;
Create a Fibonacci rectangle and spiral.
d. Play with Fibonacci: Create an original number sequence.
e. Write with Fibonacci: Write an acrostic Fibonacci poem.
Community
of Inquiry: Labels and Assumptions of Women in STEM
Middle
Secondary
Australian
Curriculum General Capability:Critical and creative thinking Australian
Curriculum General Capability:Personal and social capability Australian
Curriculum General Capability:Literacy
Australian
Curriculum General Capability:
Numeracy
Australian
Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding
Philosophy
1. As a class, you are going to conduct a
Community of Inquiry. Read over the structure and process of a
CoI before commencing this activity.
2. Your stimulus material is an
article written by Prof. Nalini Joshi along with two other authors
in
The Conversation 1 April 2016.
3. As a class group, read through
the article above paragraph by paragraph.
4. In pairs, write up a question
for each of the four quadrants below:
5. Put all the "Questions for
Thinking" on a piece of butcher's paper or the board and collate
those questions that seem to be asking the same thing. The question
which is asked most, starts off the classroom discussion.