Professor Ruth J. Williams (United States) and Professor Richard Ellis (United Kingdom) have been admitted to the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding scientific contributions to their fields.
Professor Ruth J. Williams is an Australian-born mathematician at the University of California, San Diego. Her work has had a deep and lasting impact on heavy traffic analysis within the field of stochastic networks. This is the mathematical subject that describes real-world systems running at near-maximum capacity, such as the Internet when congested, assembly lines, customer service centres and freeways at rush hour.
In 2016, Professor Williams was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize ‘for seminal research contributions over the past several decades, to the theory and applications of stochastic networks/systems and their heavy traffic approximations’.
Professor Richard Ellis is a distinguished astronomer at University College London who has made landmark discoveries over several decades. His main area of research is in observational cosmology, studying the origin and evolution of galaxies, the growth of large scale structure in the universe and the nature and distribution of dark matter.
Australian astronomy has benefited greatly from Professor Ellis’s intellectual leadership and generous support. He conceived the award-winning ‘2 degree Field’ facility on the Anglo-Australian Telescope that produced some of the highest cited papers in cosmology. This instrument continues to advance Australian astronomy 25 years on. His observational campaigns and creative style opened up the distant Universe to direct observation, inspiring three generations of Australian astronomers to follow in his path.
Australian Academy of Science President, Professor Andrew Holmes, congratulated the new Corresponding Members.
“Professors Williams and Ellis join the Academy as Corresponding Members, a special category within the Fellowship, comprising eminent international scientists with strong ties to Australia who have made outstanding contributions to science,” said Professor Holmes.
The Australian Academy of Science will announce the election of 21 distinguished Australian scientists as New Fellows, to mark the start of Science at the Shine Dome, on 22 May 2018.
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