Ranking our Research

#1 ranked in Australia

UNSW frequently ranks among the top universities worldwide for mathematics and statistics.

UNSW ranked first in Australia for mathematics in the 2020201920182015, 2014, 20132012 and 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 US News Global Universities Rankings placed us at number one in Australia for mathematics. 

We ranked number one in the country (together with UNSW Computer Science) in the 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 CWTS Leiden Rankings

The 2019 NTU Ranking for mathematics also positioned us as first in the country. 

In the QS Rankings, we ranked second in Australia for mathematics in 2020 and 2019, and from 2015-2017 we ranked in the top 4 in Australia.

In 2020, we ranked second in the country, and in the global top 20, for Oceanography in the ARWU rankings. In 2019 and 2018 we ranked second in the country, and in the global top 25. 

In the most recent (2018) Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) exercise, UNSW received a perfect score (5/5) in the Mathematical Sciences and our four main areas of research focus: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics and Oceanography.

We are the only Australian university to feature in the top 100 in the world for Mathematics in all five of the ARWU, the US News Global Universities, the CWTS Leiden, NTU, and the QS World University Rankings. 
In 2018, we are one of only nine research subjects at UNSW that are ranked first nationally by ARWU. 

#1 funded in Australia

UNSW Mathematics and Statistics has received the most funding in the mathematical sciences of any school of mathematics and statistics in Australia in three of the past five rounds (DP14, DP15 and DP18) and leads nationally in cumulative funding over the past five rounds. Additionally, since 2014, the School hosts a node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS). Previously, the School hosted a node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems (MASCOS). The award of a Centre of Excellence is a prestigious recognition of research excellence.

In addition to DP funding in mathematics and statistics, School researchers have been very successful in attracting DP funding in other research areas (particularly in oceanography and marine science) or through other schemes. The School is increasingly successful with ARC Linkage Grants, which fund projects between university and industry partners. Overall, the School attracted $4,062,477 in research income in 2017, up 18% from 2015. As well as being proud of the quality of our research, we are proud of the breadth of our research into mathematics and statistics.  

Most prolific

We produced the highest number of academic papers published by any Australian school of mathematics between 2004 and 2014 (Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators).

Highly cited

For the decade 2004-14, UNSW ranked second nationally amongst mathematics schools in both total citations and citations per paper in mathematics (Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators).

Excellence in Research Australia

In the last ARC Excellence in Research for Australia exercise of 2015, the School received the top rating of 5 in Pure Mathematics and Statistics, the rating 4 in Applied Mathematics and the rating 5 overall (5 denotes ‘well above world standard’ in research and 4 denotes ‘above world standard’). This was equal best performance nationally for schools of mathematical science.

Measures of Esteem

Individual researchers in the School have received the highest distinctions through Fellowships of Academies, funded research fellowships and research medals. We are the only School in the UNSW Faculty of Science to host two Australian Research Council Laureate Fellows: Professors Trevor McDougall FRS (awarded 2015) and Fedor Sukochev FAA (awarded 2017). 


Jan Zika won the 2020 Australian Academy of Science Anton Hales Medal for his contributions to understanding the vital role of the ocean in the global climate system.

David Harvey won the 2019 Australian Mathematical Society Medal for his work in the fields of algorithmic number theory and computer algebra.

Trevor McDougall was awarded the 2018 Companion of the Order of Australia, “For eminent service to science, and to education, particularly in the area of ocean thermodynamics, as an academic, and researcher, to furthering the understanding of climate science, and as a mentor of young scientists.”

David Hunt was awarded the 2018 Medal of the Order of Australia (General Division), “For service to education, and to mathematics.” 

Zdravko Botev was awarded a 2018 Australian Academy of Science Christopher Heyde Medal. Dr Botev was selected for this medal for his ground-breaking research into new methodologies for understanding the probabilities underlying high-cost, hard-to-predict events.

Jan Zika received a 2018 European Geosciences Union (EGU) Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award. Dr Zika was honoured by EGU for his important contributions to the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

Professor McDougall won the 2017 NSW Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering, for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Physics. In 2015 he received the Australian Academy of Science Jaeger Medal, which honours the contribution to science in Australia of the late Professor John Jaeger FAA, FRS. 

Catherine Greenhill was awarded the Australian Academy of Science's 2015 Christopher Heyde Medal. The award recognises distinguished research in the mathematical sciences by researchers up to 15 years post-PhD in the calendar year of nomination. A/Prof Greenhill received the award jointly with Dr Scott Morrison from the Mathematical Sciences Institute at Australian National University.


James Franklin, Gary Froyland, Trevor McDougall, Ian Sloan, Chris Tisdell and David Warton are Fellows of the Royal Society of NSW. Professor Sloan is also the current President of the Society.

Trevor McDougall was announced a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2018, and joined the ranks of science greats as a Fellow of The Royal Society in 2012. 

In 2015, Prof McDougall received an Australian Laureate Fellowship, while Fedor Sukochev received one in 2017. These Fellowships are the most prestigious research awards from the ARC. 

Ian Sloan was elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in early 2013. He joins an elite group of scientists from around the world, recognised for their contributions to the profession.

William Dunsmuir and Sue Wilson are Fellows of the American Statistical Association.

Several members of staff are Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science: Michael Cowling; Gary Froyland; Trevor McDougall; Colin Rogers; Igor Shparlinski; Ian Sloan and Fedor Sukochev.

Several are Fellows of the Australian Mathematical Society: Michael Cowling; Ian Doust; James Franklin; Gary Froyland; Bruce Henry; Igor Shparlinski; Ian Sloan; Fedor Sukochev and Chris Tisdell.

Bruce Henry and Ian Sloan are Fellows of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Prestigious grants

Scott Sisson received an ARC Future Fellowship in 2017 for his research project, "Frontiers in Data Science: Analysing Distribution as Data".

David Harvey received an ARC Future Fellowship in 2016 for his research project, "Counting points on algebraic surfaces". 

Future Fellowships provide four-year fellowships to outstanding Australian mid-career researchers. 

Igor Shparlinski received a 2014 Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA).

Fedor Sukochev received a 2012 Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellowship for his work in non commutative probability and analysis.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRAs) were conferred to Min Sha (2019), Michael Feischl (2017), Anita Liebenau (2017), Peter Straka (2016) and Dmitry Zanin (2015). This esteemed award supports and advances promising early career researchers, promoting enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways.

Publications by the School on MathSciNet

A listing of UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics publications is available on MathSciNet (please note: a MathsSciNet subscription is required for access).