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

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.

The mathematical sciences in Australia: mid-term review

The National Committee for the Mathematical Sciences is currently conduction a mid-term review of the decadal plan The Mathematical Sciences in Australia: A Vision for 2025. I would like to encourage all members of the AustMS to contribute to the review. With the mathematical sciences in Australia facing significant pressures, it is important that we clearly enunciate our recent achievements and priorities & vision for the future.

S. Ole Warnaar

President of AustMS

Integrable Systems in Geometry and Mathematical Physics, Conference in Memory of Boris Dubrovin (online, 28 June to 2 July 2021)

The notion of integrable system in classical mechanics dates back to Joseph Liouville and has an illustrious and long history; it has since expanded considerably and received input from distant areas of mathematics and physics like  algebraic geometry, symplectic topology, string-theory, combinatorics, statistical mechanics, stochastic models and more. The conference aims at bringing together leading mathematicians that have contributed and are contributing to the success and dissemination of methods and ideas originating from integrable systems in all areas of mathematics and physics.

The conference is  in memory of Boris Dubrovin (1950 – 2019), whose activity in the past forty years has been a driving force and a reference beacon for many researchers in Mathematical Physics and Geometry.

Preliminary list of speakers:

Anne Boutet de Monvel (Paris VI, France), Gaetan Borot (TU Berlin), Alexander Buryak (Leeds, UK),  Mattia Cafasso (Angers, France)
Mauro Carfora (Pavia, Italy),  Guido Carlet  (Dijon, France),  Tom Claeys (UCLouvain, Belgium)
Vladimir Dragovic (UT Dallas, USA),  Yakov Eliashberg  (Stanford, USA), Gregorio Falqui (Milano Bicocca, Italy), Giovanni Felder  (ETH, Zurich, CH), Evgeny Ferapontov (Loughbourough, UK),  Alexander Givental (Berkeley, USA),  Claus Hertling, (Mannheim, Germany),  Alexander  Its (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianpolis, USA),  Nalini Joshi (Sidney, AU), Christian Klein, (Dijon, France), Dmitry Korotkin (Concordia, CA),  Igor Krichever (Columbia, USA and Skoltech, Moscow), Arno  Kuijlaars  (KU Leuven Belgium),  Marta Mazzocco (Birmingham, UK),  Ken McLaughlin (Fort Collins, USA),  Sergei P. Novikov* (Steklov, Moscow and UMD, Maryland, USA), Andrei Okounkov (Columbia, USA), Vasilisa Shramchenko (Sherbook, CA), Ian Strachan (Glasgow, UK), Alexander Veselov (Loughborough, UK),  Lauren Williams (Harvard)  Di Yang (Hefei, China), Youjin Zhang (Tsinghua, China),  Don Zagier (ICTP, Trieste Italy  and  Max Planck Bonn, Germany)

See the website at

Mathematics of Conformal Field Theory II (July 5–9)

The 2020 conference “The Mathematics of Conformal Field Theory II” was postponed due to the pandemic. We are happy to announce that it has now been approved to go ahead at the Mathematical Sciences Institute of the ANU from July 6-9. Furthermore, the conference will be preceded by a day of talks celebrating Peter Bouwknegt’s 60th birthday on July 5.

The majority of talks will be in-person at the ANU, following  appropriate COVID-safe protocols. These will be complemented by zoom talks from international speakers. The themes of the conference are  being interpreted broadly and will thus cover a wide range of topics connected to conformal field theory.

Confirmed speakers include:
– Arnaud Brothier (UNSW)
– Ilka Brunner (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich)
– Nora Ganter (Melbourne)
– Pinhas Grossman (UNSW)
– Yi-Zhi Huang (Rutgers University)
– Jock McOrist (New England)
– Alexander Molev (Sydney)
– Krzysztof Pilch (University of Southern California)
– Thomas Quella (Melbourne)
– Jorgen Rasmussen (Queensland)
– Anna Romanov (Sydney)
– Kareljan Schoutens (University of Amsterdam)
– Christoph Schweigert (University of Hamburg)
– Gabriele Tartaglino-Mazzucchelli (Queensland)
– Mathai Varghese (Adelaide)
– Siye Wu (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)

Registration for the conference and birthday celebration is now open at the following website:

We also invite abstracts for contributed talks and encourage researchers at all career stages to apply.

Please note that we will of course need to be flexible with our arrangements in case of any changes to the domestic COVID situation.

Applications are now open for the 2021 AMSI Winter School

AMSI and QUT are proud to present the 2021 Winter School on Statistical Data Science from 12-23 July.

For the first time, the program will be hosted virtually with options for students to attend event hubs in selected states. Boasting an impressive speaker line-up, attendees can delve deeper into modules focusing on Bayesian statistics, modern neural networks, and advanced Markov chains and Monte Carlo methods.

This event is aimed at postgraduate students, early career researchers and industry professionals wanting to sharpen their skills.

Program details are here below:

Event: AMSI Winter School 2021

Dates: 12 – 23 July

Where: Virtual program, with selected event hubs for those who wish to meet face-to-face

Theme: Statistical Data Science, featuring modules on:

  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Advanced Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods
  • Likelihood-free inference
  • Modern neural networks
  • Dimension reduction for high dimensional data


Applications are now open and will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 20 June.

Scholarships are also available to AMSI Member students requiring financial assistance to cover program fees. To apply, go to

For any further enquiries, please contact

If you are an academic and know of someone who may be interested in attending, we encourage you to forward this email and spread the word about the program.

Best wishes,

Anna Muscara
Project Coordinator, Research & Higher Education 

More for Women in Mathematics Day

As part of the upcoming International Women in Mathematics day celebrations in May, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) is proud to present a free virtual public lecture with mathematician, musician and author Dr Eugenia Cheng.

Dr Eugenia Cheng has been featured in the New York Times, presented TED Talks, written several books, and even appeared on “The Late Show with Steven Colbert“. Her most recent book, X + Y, a Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender, tackles the issue of gender inequality and argues that her mathematical specialty, category theory, reveals why.

About this lecture:  “Inclusion-Exclusion in the mathematical sciences: who is kept out, and how we can use maths to bring them in”

The question of why women and minorities are under-represented in mathematics is complex and there are no simple answers, only many contributing factors. Dr Cheng will draw on a combination of precise mathematical reasoning, techniques of abstract mathematical thinking, and her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field of mathematics. She will argue that if we focus on character traits rather than gender we can have a more productive and less divisive conversation about maths and beyond. She will present a new theory for doing so, showing that we can use abstract mathematical thinking to work towards a more inclusive  society in this politically divisive era.

Dr Cheng will also present the abstract field of Category Theory as a particularly inclusive subject area according to the dimensions of her new theory, and demonstrate its scope for deepening the curiosity and social awareness of high school students, rather than just pushing and evaluating them. This goes against the assumption that abstract mathematics can only be taught to high level undergraduates and graduate students, and the accusation abstract mathematics is removed from real life. No prior knowledge will be needed.

For more information about the event, head to:

The Road Ahead for Women in STEM – Virtual Panel Discussion

When: Wednesday 12 May, 12pm-1pm AEST

Where: The panel discussion will be online via zoom webinar. Please register to receive the zoom link.

Register here

As part of the celebration of International Women in Mathematics Day, we’d like to invite you to join us for an engaging panel discussion that brings together some top leaders in education in Australia.

The aim of the discussion is to be forward-looking and to explore how we can get more women in higher-level positions in universities, as well as more women in STEM and, specifically, the mathematical sciences. The panellists will examine why this is so important and look at the benefits of having more diversity in these different areas.


  • Professor Ana Deletic Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Moira O’Bryan Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Asha Rao Associate Dean, Mathematical Sciences, RMIT University


  • Dr Rachael Quill Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, ACEMS Associate Investigator & Chair of the ACEMS Equity & Diversity Committee