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Fellows Directory

Frances Kirwan

Frances Kirwan

Professor Frances Kirwan DBE FRS


Elected: 2001


Frances Kirwan conducts research in the field of pure mathematics, focusing on algebraic geometry. Frances studies geometric objects known as moduli spaces by investigating their algebraic and topological properties. Her work incorporates ideas from other areas of mathematics, as well as theoretical physics.

She has made important contributions to geometric invariant theory, a method for constructing quotients in algebraic geometry. Frances has also striven to address gender imbalance in the mathematics community, as a member of the European Women in Mathematics network and the London Mathematical Society’s Women in Mathematics Committee.

Frances served as President of the London Mathematical Society from 2004–2006 and is a recipient of both its Whitehead Prize and Senior Whitehead Prize — awarded to early career and experienced mathematicians, respectively. She has chaired the Council of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust since 2010. In 2014, she accepted a DBE for services to mathematics.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Mathematics
    • Pure mathematics


Algebraic geometry


  • Sylvester Medal

    For her research on quotients in algebraic geometry, including links with symplectic geometry and topology, which has had many applications.

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