Our Research

At the School of Mathematical Sciences our research informs every area of modern science and enterprise—from understanding epidemics and sea-ice dynamics, to big data and abstract mathematical theory.

Maths student

We are highly respected internationally for our strengths in geometry, statistics, stochastic modelling and operations research, and dynamics, modelling and computation.

Supporting this standing, we have an exceptional track record in attracting research funding, and a number of school staff hold prestigious Australian Research Council research fellowships. We are also home to the Adelaide node of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers.

Our research students work on cutting-edge projects with leading senior researchers in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Higher degrees by research

You can undertake a research degree with the School of Mathematical Sciences in your chosen area of interest. We offer two postgraduate research degrees:

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a two-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) commitment, and teaches you about applying research methodology to critically evaluate literature and results in your field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is our flagship research award and is the standard qualification for a research career or academic position.

Candidates undertaking a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in mathematics resolve problems suggested by either theoretical mathematics or real-world situations. These discoveries may be applied in many different contexts, including the areas of biostatistics, seismic wave propagation, network tomography, traffic matrix modelling and string theory.

Resources available to you will include conference travel, opportunities to participate in the teaching program and access to our outstanding computing facilities. The University of Adelaide has ranked in the top two or three Australian universities for PhD completions in mathematics and statistics for many years, and our graduates are highly sought-after.

If you are interested in undertaking a PhD in our school, download our Postgraduate Studies brochure and consider attending our next PhD Open Day event.

Find out more about higher degrees by research

Our research capabilities

The school has particular expertise across the following areas:

Dynamics, Modelling and Computation

Our research in dynamics, modelling and computation involves mathematically modelling problems in biology, chemistry, ecology, geophysics, materials science and many other areas of science and engineering.

Dynamics, Modelling and Computation


The Institute for Geometry and its Applications conducts research across a wide range of geometry subjects including differential, finite, complex, non-commutative and algebraic geometry together with geometric topics in mathematical physics.

The Institute for Geometry and its Applications

Pure Mathematics

Our pure mathematics research involves the study of fundamental mathematical structures to increase our understanding of mathematics itself, and its role in science and technology.

Pure Mathematics


Our research in statistics involves collecting, modelling and analysing data to draw conclusions, inform decision-making, solve problems and direct business development.


Stochastic Modelling and Operations Research

Our stochastic modelling and operations research involves using mathematics to understand, and make decisions in, systems that involve randomness and/or uncertainty.

Stochastic Modelling and Operations Research