Thursday, October 01, 2009

Steve Lack wins the Australian Mathematical Society Medal.

I am very pleased to hear the news that Steve Lack has won an Australian Mathematical Society Medal this year.

He did his fourth year essay in Sydney with me on extensive categories (my interest arose from the use of distributive and extensive categories in Computer Science). I think however he learnt much more about the way of doing mathematics from Max Kelly. He seems to have Max Kelly's great style of clarifying and solving problems. He went on to do his PhD with Peter Johnstone in Cambridge. As I commented in a post I enjoyed his talk perhaps the most in Capetown this year.

One interesting aspect of the award was that Category Theory seems almost to have joined the main stream. I remember some years ago when Gus Lehrer prophesied that there would not be any more posts for category theorists at the University of Sydney - and after I left Sydney, and until now, this prediction seems to have been fulfilled. We can hope that maybe in the future category theory might return to the University of Sydney where it flourished for so many years, and gave such credit to the university.

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