National security, health and the law and cosmology researchers win Australian Laureate Fellowships

August 11 / 67

Three University researchers have received Australian Laureate Fellowships to further  research into disease and security, the national health system and the origins of the universe.

Professor Peter Hall (Department of Mathematics and Statistics), Professor David Studdert (Melbourne Law School and School of Population Health) and Professor Stuart Wyithe (School of Physics) were among the17 new fellows.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor James McCluskey congratulated the winners and said it was official recognition of their contributions to research.

“It is a wonderful achievement and acknowledgment that the University continues to uphold the highest standards of scientific research,” he said.

Professor Hall received the award for his proposed development of new methods in modern statistical science. He said statistically challenging problems today involved answering many more questions.  

“There is an increasing quantity of data, but in many cases the useful information it contains is distributed very sparsely. We plan to make inroads into the analysis of data of this type,” Professor Hall said.

Professor Studdert will develop techniques to use caseload data from medico-legal agencies, such as health complaints commissions and coroners’ courts, to monitor and address risks to health. He said his research would test the potential of legal institutions as a new type of surveillance system.

“Legal scholars and practitioners tend to focus on one case at a time.  We will study large collections of cases to try to identify ways of reducing risks of injury in hospitals, on the road and in workplaces,” he said.

Professor Wyithe will make a comprehensive study of the formation of the first galaxies to explore how and when the first generation of galaxies formed, and what they looked like. He said the next 10 years would be a very exciting time to study the first galaxies and their effect on the surrounding universe, thanks to the technological advances in the new generation of large telescopes.

“These telescopes have been designed to have the capability for study of the first galaxies. I plan to develop a unified theoretical framework based on the data these telescopes will provide, to help answer questions about how the first galaxies were formed,” he said.


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