Cheryl Praeger

Emeritus Professor, BSc Qld , MSc Qld & Oxf. , DPhil Oxf. , DSc W.Aust. , Hon.DSc Prince of Songkla , Hon.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, Room 1.33, Mathematics Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 2870 Citations
  • 26 h-Index
1992 …2022
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Personal profile


Emeritus Professor Cheryl E Praeger is a multiple award-winning professor and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Praeger retired from full-time academia at UWA at the beginning of 2017, following 40 years of dedication to the academic pursuit of mathematical knowledge. She now focuses on research and research supervision in her role as Senior Honorary Research Fellow.

During her prestigious career, Professor Praeger won many distinguished awards, recognising her as one of Australia’s leading mathematicians. Professor Praeger was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1996, and served on its Council as Foreign Secretary 2014-2018. In 1999, she was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for her research and service to mathematics in the country.

Many of Professor Praeger’s awards have marked the first time a woman has won the prize. This includes the 2013 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, of which she was the first female recipient since the Medal’s establishment in 1935.

Professor Praeger was the first woman President of the Australian Mathematical Society (1992-1994), and the first pure mathematician to win an ARC Federation Fellowship (2007-2012). Another outstanding achievement was being the first mathematician named WA Scientist of the Year in 2009, and being inducted into both the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame and the Western Australian Women's Hall of Fame in 2015.

Throughout her noteworthy career, Professor Praeger has held memberships with the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia, Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Australian Mathematics Trust, American Mathematical Society, the London Mathematical Society, and was Chair of the Australian Council of Heads of Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Praeger has been heavily involved in the direction of mathematics within Australia, within her roles as a 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.

Her research has focussed on the theory of group actions and their applications in Algebraic Graph Theory and to Combinatorial Designs; 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.

Elected as an Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society, 2014

Became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, 2012

Awarded a Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning, by the Australian Government Office for Teaching and Learning, 2012

Named Western Australian Scientist of the Year – the first mathematician, 2009

First Australian-based mathematician elected to the Executive of the International Mathematical Union, 2006

Appointed a member of the Order of Australia for service to mathematics in Australia, 1999

Funding overview

Her research has received continuous funding from the Australian Research Council since the 1990s.

Recent Funding



  Isaac Newton Institute Cambridge

  • 'Groups, representations and applications: new perspectives' (six month program)



Mittag-Leffler Institute Stockholm

  • 'Modern theory of group actions and the special role of finite simple groups' (Summer school)

ARC Discovery Project

  • 'Complexity of group algorithms and statistical fingerprints of groups'



Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics Bonn

  • 'Logic and algorithms in group theory' (one month fellowship)



All Souls College Oxford

  • Visiting Fellow

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.

Industrial relevance

Data Analysis Australia, Director since 1989


Professor Praeger's research areas are Group Theory and Combinatorics, including Analysis of algorithms and complexity, Discrete Mathematics and Geometry

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:


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

Fingerprint 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.

  • 7 Similar Profiles
Permutation group Mathematics
Primitive Group Mathematics
Graph in graph theory Mathematics
Finite Group Mathematics
Arc-transitive Graph Mathematics
Subgroup Mathematics
Simple group Mathematics
Symmetric group Mathematics

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1992 2020

44 Downloads (Pure)

Involution centralisers in finite unitary groups of odd characteristic

Glasby, S. P., Praeger, C. E. & Roney-Dougal, C. M., 1 Mar 2020, In : Journal of Algebra. 545, p. 245-299

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Unitary group
Finite Group

Derangement action digraphs and graphs

Iradmusa, M. N. & Praeger, C. E., Aug 2019, In : European Journal of Combinatorics. 80, p. 361-372

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Graph in graph theory
Simple Graph
Cayley Digraph
1 Citation (Scopus)

Generalised Paley Graphs with a Product Structure

Pearce, G. & Praeger, C. E., Mar 2019, In : Annals of Combinatorics. 23, 1, p. 171-182 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Linear bounds for the normal covering number of the symmetric and alternating groups

Bubboloni, D., Praeger, C. E. & Spiga, P., 20 Mar 2019, In : Monatshefte fur Mathematik. 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Normal number
Covering number
Alternating group
Symmetric group

On the parameters of intertwining codes

Glasby, S. & Praeger, C., 2019, In : Ars Mathematica Contemporanea. 16, 1, p. 49-58 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Minimum Distance
Linear Codes
Characteristic polynomial
Upper and Lower Bounds

Projects 1996 2022


Elected fellow

Cheryl Praeger (Recipient), 1996

Prize: Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

Honorary Doctorate

Cheryl Praeger (Recipient), Mar 2018

Prize: Honorary award



The beauty of symmetry

Cheryl Praeger (Participant)

Impact: Understanding and Awareness Impact