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.