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Frances Kirwan

Dame Frances Kirwan DBE
File:Frances Kirwan.jpg
Born 1959 (age 56–57)
Nationality British
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Template:If empty
Notable awards Whitehead Prize (1989)
Senior Whitehead Prize (2013)

Dame Frances Clare Kirwan, DBE FRS (born 1959) is a British mathematician, currently a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Her fields of specialisation are algebraic and symplectic geometry.


Kirwan was educated at Oxford High School, and studied maths as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge. She took a D.Phil at Oxford in 1984 (dissertation title The Cohomology of Quotients in Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry), which was supervised by Michael Atiyah.[1]


Kirwan's research interests include moduli spaces in algebraic geometry, geometric invariant theory (GIT), and in the link between GIT and moment maps in symplectic geometry.[2] Her work endeavours to understand the structure of geometric objects by subtle investigation of their algebraic and topological properties.[3] She introduced the Kirwan map. From 1983-85 she held a Junior Fellowship at Harvard. From 1983-86 she held a Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford, before later becoming a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.[4] She is an honorary fellow at Clare College, Cambridge.[5]

In 1996 she was appointed a University Professor of Mathematics. From 2004-06 she was President of the London Mathematical Society, the second-youngest president in the society's history.[6] In 2005, she received a five-year EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship, to support her research on the moduli spaces of complex algebraic curves.[7]

Prizes, Awards and Scholarships


  • Cohomology of Quotients in Symplectic and Algebraic Geometry. Mathematical Notes 31. Princeton University Press. 1984. ISBN 978-0691083704. 
  • An Introduction to Intersection Homology Theory. Longman Scientific and Technical. 1988. [13] with Jonathan Woolf: 2nd edn. CRC Press. 2006. ISBN 978-1584881841. 
  • Complex Algebraic Curves. London Mathematical Society Student Texts. Cambridge University Press. 1992. ISBN 978-0521423533. 


  1. ^ Frances Kirwan at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Prof Kirwan profile,; accessed 9 May 2014.
  3. ^ Prof Kirwan profile,; accessed 9 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Academia Europaea member profile, retrieved 2014-06-22.
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  6. ^ "President Designate of the London Mathematical Society", Mathematical Institute News, University of Oxford, 2004.
  7. ^ Prof. Frances Kirwan awarded an EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship (2004),; accessed 9 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b Dr Frances Kirwan awarded the Whitehead Prize,; accessed 9 May 2014.
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed 9 May 2014.
  10. ^ Prof. Frances Kirwan awarded an EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship, Univ. of Oxford Mathematical Inst., retrieved 2014-10-20.
  11. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society; accessed 9 May 2014
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60728. p. 7. 31 December 2013.
  13. ^ Kleiman, Steven L. (1990). "Review: An Introduction to Intersection Homology Theory, by Frances Kirwan". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 22 (1): 127–138. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1990-15859-8. 


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