Anthony Mays came to the academic life late, having earlier been a stuntman in movies and on TV, and before that he worked in a bread factory, sold pots and pans, and answered telephones at Telstra. He did his undergraduate studies at Monash: first a degree in economics and Mandarin Chinese, then a second degree in mathematics and physics. Next he moved to Melbourne University where his honours thesis was called ''The combinatorics of juggling'' (which comes in very handy for giving fun maths talks). Juggling mathematics covers lots things like combinatorics, group theory, graph theory and probability. He is currently writing a book on this topic.
After a short stint in the private sector working for an engineering consultancy firm, he returned to start a PhD in random matrix theory, which is the combination of probability theory and linear algebra. Having finished his PhD he took up a post-doctoral position in Paris, applying random matrix theory to wireless communications. Anthony is now back in Melbourne as a Melbourne Early Career Academic Fellow, lecturing and researching --- and still performing whenever possible.
In 1859, the German mathematician Bernhard Riemann wrote a paper generating consequences that are still echoing almost 160 years later. ACEMS researchers are now adding to the legend by employing the Riemann zeta function in their quest to develop tools to analyse big data sets using analogies with physical systems.