The Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowships aim to assist young pure mathematicians in travelling in Australia and overseas so that they can enrich their mathematical research through contact with other mathematicians. The Fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, although need may be taken into account. The Fellowship is funded by the family of the late Professor Alf van der Poorten.

The rules and application forms for the Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowships can be found on the Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship page.

The Alf van der Poorten Fellows to date are:

2017 – Dr Joshua Howie

Dr Howie obtained his PhD in 2014 in the area of knots and links. Recently he proved a topological characterisation of alternating knot complements, using properly embedded spanning surfaces, which answered an open question of Ralph Fox from the early sixties. He would like to extend this characterisation to an algebraic one. He will try to find a characterisation of the knot groups associated to alternating knots. He proposes to collaborate with Genevieve Walsh, who is an associate professor at Tufts University, and with Anastasiia Tsvietkova, an expert on alternating links and hyperbolic geometry based at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan.

2015 – Dr TriThang Tran

Dr Tran’s research focuses on developing connections between topology, number theory and geometry. He has proven a conjecture of Melanie Matchett Wood and Ravi Vakil on stability of the Betti numbers of certain subspaces of a symmetric product. In joint work with Nathan Perlmutter and Dev Sinha of the University of Oregon, he is constructing geometric interpretations for characteristic classes of surface bundles, or equivalently cohomology classes of the moduli space. Dr Tran will use his Fellowship to collaborate with Dr Norman Do at Monash University, applying geometric constructions to algebro-geometric problems, and to investigate the homological stability of Hurwitz spaces, with Assistant Professor Craig Westerland of the University of Minnesota. He will also participate in the PIMS Symposium on the Geometry and Topology of Manifolds in July 2015.

2013 – Dr Tyson Ritter


Dr Ritter is a complex geometer with expertise in Oka theory who obtained his PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2011. He will use his Fellowship to visit the University of Oslo for four weeks in 2013 to collaborate with Erlend Wold (University of Oslo), Franc Forstneric (University of Ljubljana) and Rafael Andrist (Universität Wuppertal). His main aim is to construct embeddings of Stein manifolds into complex manifolds. While in Oslo Dr Ritter will also attend an international research symposium which is being organised to coincide with his visit.

2012 – Dr Maurice Chiodo

Dr Chiodo is a computability theorist and a group theorist, with particular interests in algorithms and decision problems in groups. He will use his Alf van der Poorten Fellowship to attend a special research program at the Isaac Newtown Institute at the University of Cambridge and the British Logic Colloquium in Manchester. During this time he will collaborate with Professor Rod Downey (Uni. Wellington) on generic computability in groups, Professor Nigel Smart (Uni. Bristol), Dr. Andrew Lewis (Uni. Leeds) and Dr Jack Button and his student Mariano Zeron-Medina (both at Uni. Cambridge).

2011 – Dr Raymond Vozzo

Dr Vozzo’s expertise is in the topology and geometry of infinite dimensional manifolds and bundle gerbes. He will use his Alf van der Poorten Fellowship to attend the conference “Analysis, Geometry, and Quantum Field theory” in Potsdam, Germany. During this conference he will initiate a collaboration with Professor Rosenberg of Boston University. After this conference he will visit Dr Daniel Stevenson at the University of Glasgow and Professor Michael Singer at the University of Edinburgh.