Associate Professor David RIDOUT

Senior Lecturer

School of Mathematics and Statistics

  • Room: 159
  • Building: Peter Hall Building
  • Campus: Parkville

Research Interests

  • Conformal field theory
  • Vertex operator algebras
  • Representation theory
  • Lie (super) algebras
  • Integrable models

Research Groups


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Extra Information

I study the mathematical structures that underlie my favourite physical theories. These include vertex operator algebras / conformal field theories and their relations with string theory, integrable models, representation theory and number theory (and anything else that I can think of). At the moment, this means logarithmic conformal field theory, Kac-Moody superalgebras, non-semisimple tensor categories and mock modular forms. I'm especially interested in the appearance of indecomposable (but reducible) representations in physics, but pretty much anything that involves cool math is fine with me. Currently, I'm studying examples of conformal field theories in which the correlation functions exhibit logarithmic singularities. In representation-theoretic terms, these logarithmic theories are built from representations which are indecomposable but not irreducible. Such theories arise naturally when considering so-called non-local observables (crossing probabilities, fractal dimensions) in the conformal limit of many exactly solvable lattice models (percolation, Ising). They are also relevant to string-theoretic considerations, especially when the target space admits fermionic directions, AdS/CFT, and perhaps even to black hole holography. In mathematics, there is a tantalising suggestion that logarithmic conformal field theory and Schramm-Loewner Evolution may be equivalent in some sense. The corresponding logarithmic vertex operator algebras also suggest natural generalisations of the notion of a modular tensor category. Finally, the characters of the modules of a vertex operator algebra tend to have nice modular properties. Some of the examples that I study are related to false / partial theta functions and mock / quantum modular forms.

Current Postgraduate Supervision

Name Thesis title
Zachary FEHILY

Past Postgraduate Supervision

Name Thesis title
Tianshu LIU "Coset construction for the N=2 and osp(1/2) minimal models"
Steve SIU "Singular vectors for the WN algebras and the BRST cohomology for relaxed highest-weight Lk(sl(2)) modules"

Current MSc Students

Name Project title
Daniel TAN "to be confirmed"

Past Honours & MSc Students

Name Project title
Benjamin GERRATY

Recent Grant History

Year(s) Source Type Title
2020 - 2023 ARC Future Fellow Logarithmic conformal field theory and the 4D/2D correspondence
2016 - 2018 ARC Discovery Towards higher rank logarithmic conformal field theories
2010 - 2014 ARC Discovery Indecomposable structure in representation theory and logarithmic conformal field theory


  • BSc Mathematics & Statistics Major Coordinator
  • Course advisors - Upper Undergraduate


  • Executive Committee
  • Management Committee
  • Postgraduate Programs Committee