Bright spark wins prized award
GREAT MIND: Recipient of highly-coveted scholarship thanks Woodlawn teachers for igniting maths, science interest
ONE of the best and brightest young minds in applied mathematics has thanked his teachers at Woodlawn College for pointing him in the right direction. Isaac Donnelly ( pictured at
right ) has just been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and will spend 10 months at the Northeastern University in Boston under the mentorship of worldleading scientist Professor Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.
Mr Donnelly is currently doing a PhD at the University of New South Wales in network science and is interested in applying this theory to the real world to help predict things like epidemics on airline networks and to minimise congestion on city roads.
“Network science is about how everything is interconnected and the structures of that interconnectedness and using mathematical analysis to get some useful information,” he said.
The Fulbright Program is a highly-coveted educational scholarship program, operating between the United States and more than 155 countries. Mr Donnelly was one of just 11 scholarships for 2015.
He said he was first turned on to really pursue maths and science by his teachers at St John’s College, Woodlawn, Mr Ghioni and Mr Bryce.
Mr Donnelly completed his Bachelor of Advanced Science in 2011 and then spent some time working for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and also for Victoria’s road and traffic authority VicRoads.
He said getting the Fullbright Scholarship was a validation of network science.
“It’s a young science but it’s going to be very powerful,” he said.
“I want to be a champion for the links between pure research and applied development, which we don’t do well in Australia. We need to get science out of unis and into the real world.”