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A $1.25 million gift has enabled The University of Wollongong to establish Australia’s first philanthropically funded chair in mathematics for more than a century.

This visionary donation by the Tibra Foundation to UoW supports excellence in mathematics, statistics and data science, highlighting the contribution mathematical sciences make to Australia’s social and economic wellbeing, and raising awareness about the career opportunities that mathematical sciences degrees deliver.

The Tibra Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Tibra Capital, a finance company specialising in quantitative trading with several UoW alumni in its senior ranks. The Foundation has committed to several UOW scholarships and prizes, taking its total philanthropic support for the next five years to $1.33 million.

“Mathematical sciences is an area that Australia isn’t typically known for and we want to be involved in changing that. Our country is suffering from a significant shortage of skills in this area,” the Tibra Foundation said. “Sponsoring a world-leading Chair in Mathematical Sciences will make it easier for UoW to recruit other high-quality mathematicians and foster a rich environment in the field of mathematics.”

According to UoW’s AMSI representative, Professor Aidan Sims, “the Chair will also do a bit of teaching, which gives us that extra capacity for the advanced mathematics programs that we teach and to put someone really exciting in front of this generation of students and get them into mathematics.”

“We are also really excited about the outreach part of the Chair’s job”, Professor Sims added. “It involves getting out into schools and getting students enthusiastic about studying mathematical sciences and championing this new data science and analytics degree that we are offering.”

UoW will now begin a recruitment search for a world-leading scholar to appoint to the Chair.

Read more at the UoW media webpage.

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