J. Steele's picture       John Steele's home page

Contact information

Personal (j.steele@unsw.edu.au)
As Director of Undergraduate Studies (ug.MathsStats@unsw.edu.au)
+61 - 2 - 9385 7060
+61 - 2 - 9385 7111 (MathsStats Office)
+61 - 2 - 9385 7123
School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of New South Wales
Sydney, NSW, 2052

Research Interests

I work in General Relativity (see, for example, John Baez' excellent General Relativity Tutorial for an introduction). See also the transcript of my talk Everyday Einstein on the effect of relativity on the Global Positioning System.

If anyone reading this thinks they have a revolutionary new physical theory, please refer to John Baez' Crackpot Index before telling me about it. If you score more than 100 then forget it.

My particular interest is in exact solutions of Einstein's equations and the symmetries they admit. My latest work is on an extending a formalism for vacuum space-times admitting an isometry to the cases of homothetic and conformal vectors, and applications of that formalism.

See also my Mathematics and Physics Links page.

External Duties etc

I am a life member of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation and and Executive Committee Member of the Australasian Society for General Relativity and Gravitation.

I was also Treasurer of the Local Organising Committee for the 18th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation (GRG18) and 7th Eduardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves (Amaldi7), jointly held at Darling Harbour, Sydney, in July 2007.

I was also one of the Australian delegates on the International Coordinating Committee for the Marcel Grossman meetings, MG11 (Berlin 2006), MG12 (Paris 2009), MG13 (Stockholm 2012) and MG14 in Paris, July 2015, and on the scientfic program committee for the Australian Institute of Physics 2012 congress (UNSW Sydney, Dec 2012).


My current timetable has details of my consultation hours, and when I am unavailable.

In session 1 2018 I am lecturing one course:
  • MATH2011 -- Several Variable Calculus (first 6 weeks).
In session 2 2018 I will be lecturing two courses
  • MATH1241 -- Higher Mathematics 1B (Calculus)
  • MATH3531 -- Differential Geometry and Topology.

I am currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

My notes on exam technique are available as a pdf file.

Brief History

I was born in Culcheth, Lancashire (now in Cheshire), England, and grew up in Thurso, Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland, despite which I have only ever once worn a kilt. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with First Class Honours in mathematics in 1986. I then stayed on to complete my MSc and PhD in General Relativity under Graham Hall, graduating in 1989.

From there, I took up a position as a research associate at Monash University in Melbourne, funded by the Australian Research Council.

In 1992 I came to the University of New South Wales as an Associate Lecturer, initially on contract. I was granted tenure in November 1998, promoted to Lecturer at the end of 2001 and became the Director of Undergraduate Studies in July 2007.

Other Links

Last updated: 25 July 2017.