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Professor Kate Smith-Miles is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability) at The University of Melbourne, and a Melbourne Laureate Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. She is also Director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Optimisation Technologies, Integrated Methodologies and Applications (OPTIMA).


Prior to joining The University of Melbourne in September 2017, she was Professor of Applied Mathematics at Monash University,  Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences (2009-2014), and inaugural Director of the Monash Academy for Cross & Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications (MAXIMA) from 2013-2017. Previous roles include President of the Australian Mathematical Society (2016-2018), and membership of the Australian Research Council College of Experts (2017-2019), as well as Associate Dean (Enterprise and Innovation) for the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne from 2019-2023. 

Kate obtained a B.Sc(Hons) in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, both from The University of Melbourne. Commencing her academic career in 1996, she has published 2 books on neural networks and data mining, and around 300 refereed journal and international conference papers in the areas of neural networks, optimisation, data mining, and various applied mathematics topics. She has supervised over 30 PhD students to completion, and has been awarded over AUD$20 million in competitive grants, including 13 Australian Research Council grants and industry awards. She was awarded a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (2014-2020), enabling her Instance Space Analysis methodology to be expanded into an online tool (MATILDA, Melbourne Algorithm Test Instance Library with Data Analytics).

Kate was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2022, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) in 2006, and a Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society (FAustMS) in 2008. Awards include: the Australian Mathematical Society Medal in 2010 for distinguished research; the EO Tuck Medal from ANZIAM in 2017 for outstanding research and distinguished service; the Ren Potts Medal for outstanding research in the theory and practice of operations research from the Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR) in 2019; and the Monash University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision in 2012.

In addition to her academic activities, she also regularly act as a consultant to industry in the areas of optimisation, data mining, and intelligent systems.  She is also actively involved in mentoring, particularly with the aim of encouraging greater female participation in mathematics, and chaired the Advisory Board for the AMSI Choose Maths program.

Research Interests

I'm interested in most branches of applied mathematics, but especially optimisation, pattern recognition, and modelling of complex systems. My group has pioneered the development of a methodology known as Instance Space Analysis for "stress-testing" algorithms, which finds importance in ensuring algorithmic trust in various domains including machine learning/AI, optimisation, and quantum computing. Our online tool MATILDA ( supports researchers to develop their own Instance Space Analysis to explore the strengths and weaknesses of their algorithms.

Bibliometric Analysis

My bibliometric analysis includes: h-index = 55 (google scholar) and 42 (Scopus), with over 14000 citations on google scholar (over 7000 Scopus citations).


Click below for details.

Latest News
OPTIMA's website live!

See to learn more about OPTIMA. Commencing operations in September 2021, based at Melbourne Connect, our new $8 million Training Centre for Optimisation Technologies, Integrated Methodologies and Applications (OPTIMA) is funded by the Australian Research Council in partnerships with 11 industry partners and Monash and University of Melbourne. 

Online Tutorial

An Introduction to Instance Space Analysis and our online tool MATILDA is now available, recently presented online at the World Congress on Computational Intelligence, in July 2020

Screenshot 2020-08-04 17.10.40.png
MATILDA launch
Our Instance Space Analysis methodology is now available as an online tool (MATILDA - Melbourne Algorithm Test Instance Library with Data Analytics). Please visit to take a look. You can explore our library problems, or generate an instance space for your own problem to explore algorithm strengths and weaknesses. Let us know if you'd like to add a problem to our library, and we are always keen to collaborate. You can read more about MATILDA in The Conversation, and here.

Latest Keynote Talks
The recording of my keynote address to high school maths teachers at the Mathematical Association of Victoria's annual conference in December 2019 is available here.
My keynote at the 20th Biennial Computational Techniques and Applications Conference (CTAC 2020), presented online in September 2020, is available here.
The recording of my public lecture "When mathematics becomes art ... the unexpected beauty of self-evolving mathematical functions" is available at the link on the left.
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