Photo of Frances

Oxford Mathematician Frances Kirwan is the recipient of a 2023 L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Award. The awards honour five eminent women scientists from five regions of the world.

Frances was recognised for "techniques that have been used by theoretical physicists searching for mathematical descriptions of our universe." Frances specialises in algebraic and symplectic geometry, notably moduli spaces in algebraic geometry, geometric invariant theory (GIT), and the link between GIT and moment maps in symplectic geometry.

Frances Kirwan studied mathematics at Cambridge before taking a DPhil in Oxford under the supervision of Michael Atiyah. She was a Junior Fellow at Harvard before returning to Oxford where a successful career culminated in her appointment as Savilian Professor of Geometry, one of the oldest Chairs in the University. She is a fellow of New College. 

Frances has received many honours including being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 (only the third female mathematician to attain this honour), and President of the London Mathematical Society from 2003-2005. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 and received the Sylvester Medal from the Royal Society in 2021.

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