The 2021 JH Michell Medal

The JH Michell Medal, named in honour of John Henry Michell, is awarded annually by ANZIAM to an outstanding new researcher who has undertaken distinguished research in applied and/or industrial mathematics, where a significant proportion of the research has been carried out in Australia and/or New Zealand. There have been 19 winners of the JH Michell Medal, dating back to 1999.

The JH Michell Medal Committee for 2021 recommends that the JH Michell Medal be awarded to Dr Lewis Mitchell of the University of Adelaide. Lewis has made significant contributions to the emerging field of computational social science and uses mathematical modelling, computational and statistical techniques to assess real-world social phenomena.

Lewis Mitchell receiving the JH Michell Medal from Alys Clark in Gather.Town
Alys Clark presenting Lewis Mitchell the 2021 JH Michell Medal.

Lewis’ research has had an impact across a number of applications. He has successfully collaborated with a number of groups to investigate “the geography of happiness”, “the shapes of stories” in novels in different languages, body image on social media, and monitoring of the wildlife trade to name but a few. Lewis has taken this work and contributed to a significant number of outreach activities including being featured in an installation artwork at Museum of Discovery in Adelaide, and numerous media pieces including regular contributions to “The Conversation” with over 230,000 readers since 2016.

Lewis’ CV is impressive: He has attracted several competitive grants including CRC funding across multiple applications of his work. He has an extensive publication record with 50 publications to date, including 37 journal articles, many of which have arisen from collaborative projects. He has supervised 17 postgraduate students across three faculties as well as several honours and undergraduate projects. In 2018 Lewis was awarded the South Australia Tall Poppy Award, and the ACEMS awards for Outreach and Outstanding Achievements.

The extent and effectiveness of Lewis’ collaborations and outreach activities, along with his successful translation of applied mathematics techniques across multiple applications has helped him gain a significant reputation in the field already that is likely to continue in years to come.

The committee regards Dr Lewis Mitchell as an outstanding early career researcher and a worthy recipient of the 2021 JH Michell Medal.

Congratulations Lewis

Associate Professor Alys Clark (Chair)
Associate Professor Alex James
Prof Michael Small
Prof Natalie Thamwattana
Prof Nigel Bean

Updated: 20 Feb 2022