SMRI congratulates Professor John Cannon in our news post:
Congratulations to Professor John Cannon FAA, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
Professor Cannon is a world expert on the development and implementation of algorithms in pure mathematics and is recognised throughout the mathematical community as the father of computational algebra system MAGMA. The system is the culmination of over 45 years of work, beginning at a time when the importance of mathematical computation was not widely understood.
First released in 1994, MAGMA is now used on a daily basis by tens of thousands of mathematicians to solve problems in algebra, geometry, group theory, and number theory (among other fields). "It has become an invaluable tool in the working lives of pure mathematicians around the globe," says SMRI Director Professor Geordie Williamson.
Cannon coordinated the work of over 500 mathematicians who contributed to the algorithm library software. "Needless to say, the task of coordinating hundreds of researchers to produce a usable software package is huge, and Cannon has done a remarkable job," says Williamson. The Journal of Symbolic Computation paper outlining the MAGMA system, co-authored by Cannon with Wieb Bosma and Catherine Playoust, is the most cited journal article of all time in mathematics, according to Mathscinet.
Professor Cannon has built a world leading research group in computational algebra. “As a child I wanted to be an astronomer, but things didn't turn out that way," he told the Australian Academy of Science. "I now work to emphasise the importance of pure mathematics in all parts of our society."Cannon has been recognised with several notable distinctions: