Cheryl Praeger

Emeritus Professor, AC, FAA, BSc & MSc Qld , MSc & DPhil Oxf. , DSc W.Aust. , Hon.DSc Prince of Songkla , DHC Libre de Bruxelles , Hon. PhD Yazd , Hon DSc St Andrews, Hon D Math Qld , Hon DSc Primorska , AMusA

  • The University of Western Australia (M019), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Cheryl E Praeger is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, retiring in 2017 after 40 years service to UWA. She now focuses on research and research supervision in Group Theory and Combinatorics, in her role as Senior Honorary Research Fellow. In addition she is a member of the National Science and Technology Council (2022-2025).

In 2021 she was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia "for eminent service to mathematics, and to teriary eduction, as a leading academic and researcher, to international organisations, and as a champion of women in STEM careers". She had previously been appointed a Member of the Order (AM) in 1999.

Professor Praeger has won many distinguished awards, recognising her as one of Australia's leading mathematicians. Many of her roles and awards marked a first for a woman: President of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-1994), Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science (2013, first awarded in 1935).

Professor Praeger was also the first pure mathematician, and the first Western Australian to receive the Prime Minister's Prize for Science (2019); the first pure mathematician to win an ARC Federation Fellowship (2007-2012), or be named as WA Scientist of the Year (2009), or be inducted into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame (2015). She is the inaugural recipient of the Ruby Payne-Scott Medal of the Australian Academy of Science (1921).


Professor Praeger's research is on the theory of group actions and their applications in Algebraic Graph Theory and to Combinatorial Designs and other areas of Discrete Mathematics and Geometry; and algorithms for group computation including questions in statistical group theory and algorithmic complexity. Her mathematical work has been published in more than 400 journal articles and five monographs.

Her list of Publications can be found at

A discussion website for her book 'Permutation groups and cartesian decompositions' with Csaba Schneider in 2018 by Cambridge University Press is here:

Current projects

  • ARC Discovery project (DP200100080) Exceptionally symmetric combinatorial designs (2020-2023)
  • ARC Discovery project (DP190100450) Complexity of group algorithms and statistical fingerprints of group (2019-2022)
  • Isaac Newton Institute Cambridge, (supported by EPSRC grant no. EP/R014604/1) Groups, representations and applications: new perspectives (2020; and 2022)

Funding overview

Her research has received continuous funding from the Australian Research Council since the 1990s. Details on ARC grant funding: 

Selective international research funding

  • CMI-HIMR Summer School Bristol: Probabilistic Group Theory (2023)
  • Isaac Newton Institute Cambridge: Groups, representations and applications: new perspectives' (six month program), and Kirk Distinguished Visiting Fellowship (2020; resumed 2022)
  • Mittag-Leffler Institute Stockholm:  Modern theory of group actions and the special role of finite simple groups (Summer school, 2019)
  • Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics Bonn:  Logic and algorithms in group theory (one month fellowship, 2018)
  • All Souls College Oxford: Visiting Fellow (2015)

Industrial relevance

Data Analysis Australia, Director since 1989

Roles and responsibilities

  • National Science and Techology Council (2022-2025)
  • Association of Academies and Societies for scinces in Asia, Special Committee for Women in Science and Engineering (ex-officio member 2022-2024)
  • Australian Academy of Science, Advisory Committee for International Matters (ACIM) 

In addition she was

  • First Australian-based mathematician elected to the Executive of the International Mathematical Union, 2007-2010, 2011-2014
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (1996), amd Council member and Foreign Secretary 2014-2018.
  • Vice President, International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), 2013-2016 

As a result of her service and achievements:

  • Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society, 2014
  • Honorary Life Member of the Australian Mathematical Society, 2013
  • Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, 2012
  • Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning, by the Australian Government Office for Teaching and Learning, 2012


Professor Praeger has been heavily involved in the direction of mathematics within Australia, within her roles as member of the Curriculum Development Council of the Commonwealth Schools Commission, Prime Minister's Science Council, WA Science Advisory Committee, and WISET Advisory Committee to the Federal Minister for Science on participation of women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

She promotes participation of women in STEM informally as a mentor and also through her role as Chair of the AASSA Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) committee.    

Previous positions

Prior to appointment at The University of Western Australia she held a Research Fellowship at the Australian National University and taught for a semester at the University of Virginia. She taught in the Mathematics and Statistics program at UWA and was Head of the Department of Mathematics 1992-1994, inaugural Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies 1996-1998, Chair Promotions and Tenure Committee 2000-2004, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Computing and Mathematics 2003-2006, ARC Professorial Fellow 2007, and Inaugural Director of the UWA Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation 2010-2013.

Previous positions

  • Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee, Chair (1999-2019), Deputy Chair (1996-98, 2020),
  • Committee for the Freedom and Responsibility in Science, International Science Council (2019-2022)
  • Executive Board AASSA (Association of Academies and Societies for scinces in Asia) (2016-2021) and  Special Committee for Women in Science and Engineering (Chair 2016-2021, ex-officio member 2022-2024)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Mathematics, DSc, Finite permutation groups and algebraic graph theory

31 Jan 198731 Aug 1987

Award Date: 1 Oct 1989

Mathematics, DPhil, Finite Permutation Groups, University of Oxford

1 Oct 19701 Jun 1973

Award Date: 1 Jul 1973

Research expertise keywords

  • Algebraic combinatorics
  • Algorithms for groups
  • Geometry
  • Group theory
  • Combinatorial designs
  • Analysis of algorithms and complexity
  • Complexity of algorithms


Dive into the research topics where Cheryl Praeger is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or