Emeritus Professor G. M. (Max) Kelly, former Professor in the Department of Pure Mathematics, graduate and University Medal winner, passed away on Australia Day 2007.
Max Kelly (5 June 1930-26 January 2007) graduated from the Faculty of Science of the University of Sydney with first class honours and went on to take his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He returned to Australia to take up a lectureship at the University of Sydney, and in 1967 was appointed Professor at UNSW. In 1973 he returned once more to the University of Sydney, as Professor of Pure Mathematics, remaining here for the rest of his career.
Professor Kelly, who was a member of the Australian Academy of Science, helped develop Category theory – a field of Pure Mathematics that pervades almost all fundamental structures of mathematics.
In 1971 Professor Kelly formed the Australian Category Theory Seminar, conducted by the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales. Its successor, the Macquarie based Centre for Australian Category Theory, is now known as one of the world's leading research centres on Category Theory.
Well known for his role in attracting expertise to the field in Australia, Professor Kelly will also be remembered for his great influence on a young generation of Australian mathematicians.
In 2003 Professor Kelly was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society and science in mathematics.
Professor Kelly continued to carry out research and until last year held an ARC Discovery Grant. He published four papers in 2005 and in his last few days he was working on a joint paper that his co-authors will complete.