Professor Rowena Ball

PhD, BSc Hons I + University Medal
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Applied Mathematics 0102
  • Other Mathematical Sciences 4999

Research interests

*Student Scholarship available*

A full scholarship is available for an Indigenous student to undertake an MPhil or PhD research degree within my Mathematics Without Borders group at ANU, Canberra.

Choice of research topic is flexible, depending on the student's interests, background, and career aspirations. Possible research areas may include -

- Fluid dynamics simulations of smoke, in relation to Indigenous smoke-signalling codes and new management strategies for bushfires and cultural burning

- Tracing the origins and usages of mathematical transforms and other mathematical objects and processes through Indigenous and non-Western cultures

- Modelling aspects of the human neurophysiology of mathematical expression to help understand questions about the origins of mathematics, such as pattern recognition, cognition of cyclic phenomena, and numbers

- Truth-telling in mathematics history and cultures; tacking unbridled Eurocentrism and coloniality in mathematics

- Other exciting projects are under development

Get in touch if you would like to become a key contributer to this dynamic and rapidly expanding research program!


Research Keywords:

Mathematics Without Borders, Truth-Telling in Mathematics History, Decolonisation of STEM, Indigenous and Non-Western Mathematics, Emergence of life, Nonlinear and complex dynamical systems, Thermochemical instabilities and oscillators, Thermodynamic analysis, Railways and trains, Country pub lunches

What is mathematics? What is included in mathematics? Who gets to say? How and why did Western mathematics exclusively colonise minds and curriculums over the whole world? Should that situation continue unabated? 

In this suite of research projects we investigate the mathematical knowledges of non-Western and Indigenous societies, truth-telling in mathematics history, vernacular mathematical practices, and neurology of mathematical expression.  


  • PhD (1997), BSc Hons I + University Medal (1993) Macquarie University
  • ARC Future Fellowship 2010–2016
  • Lagrange Fellowship in Complex Systems, ISI Foundation Italy 2005
  • ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2000–2003
  • APA, Energy Research Priority Area  1993–1996   

Researcher's projects

I am a mathematical scientist and physical chemist with broad research expertise in nonlinear and complex dynamical systems. 


Mathematics Without Borders

Emergence of life

Available student projects

Student projects available on

  • Non-Western and Indigenous Mathematics
  • Reactive oxygen species in the emergence of life


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  15 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers