For announcements of AustMS business, such as awards, vacant positions, upcoming deadlines, etc.

Indigenising University Mathematics 20-21 Sept: registration open – all welcome

Dear Colleagues,

You are warmly invited to register for “Indigenising University Mathematics” 20-21 Sept 2021, being held simultaneously online via Zoom and in-person at the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle: 

This symposium is being put together to provide support, learning and collaborative opportunities around Indigenising our practices and teaching in University Mathematics and Statistics.  Increasingly, this is a responsibility that individual academics and University departments are feeling, but we do not necessarily know where to start. In some discipline areas, such as Food Science or Astronomy, the task may seem easier due to more obvious links between traditional Indigenous knowledge and course content.  In Mathematics and Statistics, the task may initially seem harder.  The purpose of this Symposium is to help.

It turns out that the challenges presented by Mathematics and Statistics may mean we may have an opportunity to do things which are deeper and more meaningful than simply incorporating isolated fragments of content, and we can do this in multiple ways.   We can utilise Indigenous pedagogies, for example using stories, symbols, maps and relationships.  We can promote inclusion and recognition.  We can compare with and learn from Indigenous ways of organising the world through structures such as kinship, that relate to graph theory and group theory and so on. And we can begin to (learn and) apply Indigenous perspectives to our own traditional content.  There is a lot to discover. 

In this symposium, we will utilise the traditional Indigenous practice of “yarning circles” to help us all get together and think through opportunities around all these and more.  To support this, the Symposium is organised around a number of themes, each of which is led by a small team of 2 or 3 Mathematicians/Statisticians/Indigenous practitioners. A presentation on each theme – see the Symposium webpage for more details – will precede the yarning sessions.  We hope to have broad representation from our Mathematics/Statistics and Indigenous communities, to facilitate sharing and the development of relationships and partnerships to support ongoing work in this area.

If you’d like to attend in person, please register soon, since places are limited to about 40 for in-person attendance, due to covid.  If you do register for in-person attendance and then cannot come in person, and you let us know by the week before, we will happily refund the difference and convert your registration to online. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

best wishes,

Judy-anne and all the organising committee.

Representation theory’s hidden motives: Conference at Münster and Sydney

The workshop takes place in-person at the University of Münster and at the University of Sydney, on 27 September – 1 October 2021. It can also be attended online. Workshop participation is free of charge. However, a registration is required. 

In recent years, motivic techniques have been applied in several branches of representation theory, for example in geometric and modular representation theory. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers in these areas in order to foster new synergies in topics such as foundational aspects of the theory of motives, Tate motives on varieties of representation-theoretic origin, motivic aspects of the Langlands program, and motives of classifying spaces.


Speakers marked (*) will speak in Münster, (**) will speak in Sydney.

Angeltveit, Vigleik (Canberra, **)
Cass, Robert (Harvard, *)
Coulembier, Kevin (Sydney, **)
Eberhardt, Jens (Bonn, *)
Fu, Lie (Lyon, *)
Haesemeyer, Christian (Melbourne, **)
Hoskins, Victoria (Nijmegen, *)
Kamgarpour, Masoud (UQ, **)
Lanini, Martina (Roma, *)
Levine, Marc (Essen, *)
Richarz, Timo (Darmstadt, *)
Semenov, Nikita (Munich, *)
Soergel, Wolfgang (Freiburg, *)
Spitzweck, Markus (Osnabrück, *)
Treumann, David (Boston College, *)
Vilonen, Kari (Melbourne, **)
Xue, Ting (Melbourne, **)
Yang, Yaping (Melbourne, **)
Zhao, Gufang (Melbourne, **)
Zhong, Changlong (Albany, *)


Nora Ganter (Melbourne)
Jakob Scholbach (Münster)
Matthias Wendt (Wuppertal)
Geordie Williamson (Sydney)

For more information, visit

Australian Mathematical Society expresses concerns about the proposed new mathematics curriculum

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is currently developing a new national school curriculum, including for mathematics. The public consultation period is drawing to a close, finishing on the 8th July.

On the 2nd of July the President of the AustMS, Prof. Ole Warnaar, contacted David de Carvalho, CEO of ACARA, asking for an extension of the consultation period, and further details about the design process and evidence base for the proposed mathematics curriculum. This letter, along with Mr de Carvalho’s response, can be seen at this page.

The exchange of letters was followed up with a meeting on the 5th of July between Mr de Carvalho, Prof. Warnaar, and Prof. Geoff Prince, Vice-President of AustMS. One result is that “The meeting confirmed that mathematical scientists were not involved in any official capacity in the preparation of the revised curriculum.”

It is deeply concerning that the mathematics profession has been left out of the revision process and design of the new National Curriculum in Mathematics.

Prof Ole Warnaar

Prof. Warnaar’s full summary of the situation can also be seen at the letter page. At the time of posting there is to be no change to the consultation timeline.

Workshop on the Intersections of Computation and Optimisations

MoCaO (Mathematics of Computation and Optimisation) is planning a new workshop for late 2021 which is sponsored by the ANU, UNSW and AMSI. This workshop intends to bring together researchers from the areas of computation, optimisation, computing sciences and engineering interested in the cross-fertilization of ideas around the following theme:

 Optimisation often faces unique issues when there is a need to efficiently compute. On the other hand, computational techniques at times utilise optimisation within their algorithms. Both areas fundamentally need to understand approximation in all its facets which is also fundamental to computation as are the associated notions of convergence. Indeed, recent research has blurred the boundaries between optimisation (continuous and discrete), computation and areas of computing science. The area of machine learning has crept into relevance everywhere. Recently research has turned to its use in computational techniques including the enhancement of optimisation algorithms and the cycle of cross fertilisation of ideas has continued to date.

Workshop Format

We intend to run the workshop in a blended format, involving a face to face component which will be held at the ANU mathematics school in conjunction with a simultaneous\parallel online format to which both group of participants will engage. Some keynotes will present in person (streamed online from ANU) and other will engage totally online in a remote format. We encourage local and international participants to take part in the online workshop. In addition to their keynote presentations, keynotes who will be invited to give a lectorial-discussion session that will promote research questions and engage emerging researchers in these areas.

Keynote Speakers

  • Prof Gerlind Plonka-Hoch (University of Goettingen, Germany)
  • Prof. Frances Kuo (UNSW)
  • Prof Stefan Wild (Argonne, USA)
  • Prof Stephen Wright (Wisconsin, USA) 
  • Prof. Ian Turner (QUT)
  • Prof. Claudia Sagastizabal (IMECC-Unicamp and CEMEAI, Brazil)
  • Prof Martin Berggren (Umeå University, Sweden)

Important dates:

Registration Opens: 07/06/2021
Workshop Dates: 22/11/2021 to 25/11/2021

Future Announcements and Grants:

We intend to follow up with regular announcements regarding workshop accommodation, details on format and software and funding opportunities for ECR, PHD and female participants. We also wish to draw female participants attention to the possibility of applying for the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award (support for attending conferences/visiting collaborators) and/or the WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Awards (support for careering responsible while attending conferences/visiting collaborators).

Members are encouraged to nominate for the Australian Mathematical Society’s Teaching Excellence Awards

The AustMS annual Award for Teaching Excellence and the annual Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career) have been established to encourage excellence in mathematics teaching in higher education. The AustMS Award for Teaching Excellence and Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career) aim to recognise and reward outstanding contribution to teaching and student learning in the mathematical sciences at the tertiary level. With these awards the AustMS recognises the importance of quality of mathematics teaching and the impact it has on the training of a future mathematics workforce. Progressive teaching is essential to maintaining high standards across service courses for other disciplines, where high-quality mathematics teaching is of key importance.

Each year a Teaching Excellence Award and a Teaching Excellence Award (Early Career) will be presented at the Annual Meeting, with the prize money for each award set at $1000 per annum. Awardees will be invited to give a presentation on their work at the Annual Meeting and write a short classroom note for the Gazette. For more details see this page or email Chris Tisdell for clarification.

Nominations for these awards will close on 31 August 2021.

Applications for the 2021 Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship now close on 16th June (closing date has been extended).

Prospective applicants should visit the Society’s web site here for an application template before submitting an application electronically to the selection committee before 16 June. The Alf van der Poorten Travelling Fellowship, of up to $10,000, is offered to early-career researchers who have obtained their PhD in pure mathematics from an Australian university.

To be eligible to apply, a candidate must have qualified for their PhD within five years of the closing date, allowing for career interruptions, and they cannot have previously been awarded the Alf van der Poorten Fellowship. Applicants must have been members of the Society for the consecutive twelve-month period immediately prior to the date of application. (Back dating of membership to the previous year is not sufficient.)

Call for Special Sessions at AustMS 2021, University of Newcastle, December 2021

The 65th Annual Conference of the Australian Mathematical Society will be held at the University of Newcastle, 6-10 December 2021. We warmly invite proposals for special sessions at this year’s edition of the conference. We hope to have a very good representation of our mathematical strengths in Australia, so please come forward in proposing a special session in your area of research or education.

If you wish to run a special session, please submit your proposal here. The deadline for submision of proposals is 20 June 2021.

For a list of special sessions at previous AustMS conferences, please see:

Best wishes, Florian Breuer (AustMS 2021 Conference Director)

AustMS travel awards and Maryam Mirzakhani Award round 14

The Society has a series of regular awards to support women mathematicians. Two of these are the Cheryl Praeger Travel Award and the Maryam Mirzakhani Award. The most recent awardees are as follows.

Cheryl Praeger Travel Award: two funded applications
1. Adriana Zanca for the requested $1,000 (domestic travel) for a research visit to Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane  
2. Nargiz Sultanova for the amount of $477 (or the AUD amount equivalent to 365 USD)  for the SIAM Conference on Optimization (international conference, to be held virtually).
Maryam Mirzakhani Award successful applicant Maud El-Hachem.

The committee has also proposed Ayreena Bakhtawar for honourable mention. She came in second for the award both in 2020 and 2021. 

A little bit about this year’s MM awardee: 

Maud came to her postgraduate studies in applied mathematics with a background in computer science.  Her undergraduate training and Master’s thesis involved the development of computational algorithms for approximating gradient operators using novel GPU approaches.  Given Maud’s background in computer science and numerical methods, her PhD program focuses on the analysis (formal asymptotics and numerical methods) to study partial differential equation models of invasion that are often used in mathematical biology.  

Maud’s research focuses on comparing classical models, such as the well-known Fisher-Kolmogorov model, with more recent approaches that re-cast these models as moving boundary problems.  This work seeks to overcome a key limitation of the Fisher-Kolmogorov model which, when non-dimensionalised, leads to travelling wave solutions with a positive wave speed, c > 2.  This means that standard analysis neglects slower travelling wave solutions with c < 2.  These slow travelling wave solutions are routinely disregarded on the grounds of being non-physical owing to arguments that arise in the phase plane.  One of the limitations of traditional mathematical approaches to understand invasion is that the underlying biology is highly idealised, and a consequence is that travelling wave solutions with c < 2 are completely disregarded.  Maud’s work has carefully compared the classical application of the Fisher-Kolmogorov model with the more recent approach of studying the same partial differential equation reformulated with a moving boundary.  This reformulated problem, that Maud has called the Fisher-Stefan model, allows us to study travelling wave solutions with arbitrary speed.  This includes travelling wave solutions with c < 2, and even travelling wave solutions with c < 0, which Maud has called a receding travelling wave.  Maud’s work has been published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena and Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

Symmetry in Newcastle seminar – Monday 24th May 2021

Symmetry in Newcastle seminar is here again! The confirmed speakers for next Monday are Libor Barto, Charles University in Prague, and Zoe Chatzidakis, CNRS – ENS. Feel free to grab a beverage appropriate for your respective timezone (we won’t judge) and join us for a friendly chat during the break!

The talks will be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel and our website The running times of the talks, titles and abstracts are as follows

16:30 – 17:30 AEST (06:30 – 07:30  UTC) Libor Barto
17:30 – 18:00 AEST (07:30 – 08:00  UTC) Break and chat
18:00 – 19:00 AEST (08:00 – 90:00  UTC) Zoe Chatzidakis

Speaker: Libor Barto (Charles University in Prague)
Title: CSPs and Symmetries

How difficult is to solve a given computational problem? In a large class of computational problems, including the fixed-template Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs), this fundamental question has a simple and beautiful answer: the more symmetrical the problem is, the easier is to solve it. The tight connection between the complexity of a CSP and a certain concept that captures its symmetry has fueled much of the progress in the area in the last 20 years. I will talk about this connection and some of the many tools that have been used to analyze the symmetries. The tools involve rather diverse areas of mathematics including  algebra, analysis, combinatorics, logic, probability, and topology.

Speaker: Zoe Chatzidakis (CNRS – ENS)
Title: A new invariant for difference fields

If (K,f) is a difference field, and a is a finite tuple in some difference field extending K, and such that f(a) in K(a)^{alg}, then we define dd(a/K)=lim[K(f^k(a),a):K(a)]^{1/k}, the distant degree of a over K. This is an invariant of the difference field extension K(a)^{alg}/K. We show that there is some b in the difference field generated by a over K, which is equi-algebraic with a over K, and such that dd(a/K)=[K(f(b),b):K(b)], i.e.: for every k>0, f(b) in K(b,f^k(b)).
Viewing Aut(K(a)^{alg}/K) as a locally compact group, this result is connected to results of Goerge Willis on scales of automorphisms of locally compact totally disconnected groups. I will explicit the correspondence between the two sets of results.
(Joint with E. Hrushovski)

See the website for Zoom details.

Nominations for AustMS Medal, Gavin Brown Prize, and George Szekeres Medal due 21st May

This is a REMINDER that nominations for the 2021 Australian Mathematical Society Medal, the Gavin Brown Prize, and the George Szekeres Medal close on 21st May 2021. Nominations should be uploaded at Nominators should receive an acknowledgement of the nomination: if this is not received, please contact the respective Committee Chair (see below). Nominations will not be automatically rolled over from previous years.

For further details, see the Awards & Grants page or the March Gazette.