Australian mathematicians rise to the challenge of COVID-19

(This is a guest post by Dr Joel Miller, introducing a miniseries of articles/essays by Australian mathematicians involved in the pandemic response)

Mathematics plays an integral role in our daily lives.  A smart phone that guides you to your destination relies on mathematical routines to calculate your position, other algorithms find the optimal route, and yet others ensure that the communications from your phone are secure.  The central role that mathematics plays throughout scientific disciplines comes largely because our mathematical models of the natural world, built on observation, give us remarkable predictive power and allow us to design systems that perform optimally.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not have time to do careful experiments comparing different policies before implementing them.  What we had was information about how efficiently the disease spreads, some hints that it could spread through asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected individuals, and estimates of the distribution of severity in different age groups.  That knowledge grew as different countries began to experience outbreaks.

Armed with this knowledge policy makers were forced to make decisions about their response.  They needed a way to turn this limited information about the mechanisms underlying disease spread into projections of what the future would hold.  Mathematical modelling was the tool that let us rigorously determine what consequences could follow from different policy decisions and different plausible disease properties.  The modelling effort relied on a wide range of techniques and modellers from different backgrounds and career levels, ranging from student to senior academic, as well as researchers working within health departments.

Lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by our response to it.  In this series some of the mathematical modellers who played a role in advising Australia’s (thus far) stunningly successful response give their perspective on the role that they played, showing how mathematicians at many levels played a key role in the decisions that led to COVID-19’s effective elimination in Australia.

Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War July 5-6, 2022

The Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday July 5-6, 2022, in solidarity with Azat Miftakhov, a mathematics graduate student from the Moscow State University who has been arbitrarily imprisoned by Russian state authorities since February 2019.

This event is sponsored by the French (SMF and SMAI), European, Belgian and Catalan Mathematical Societies. It is also announced by the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society.

Registration is mandatory by filling out the form here.

Please visit the site of Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War event for more information and registration.

ICM2022 Down Under @SMRI, 6–8 July 2022

Sydney Mathematical Research Institute (SMRI) Sydney, 6–8 July 2022, register here: https://mathematical-research-institute.sydney.edu.au/news/icm2022-down-under/.

The official International Congress of Mathematics 2022 will now take place as a virtual event. Sydney Mathematical Research Institute (SMRI) will attempt to create some of the usual spirit of the ICM.

The local event will feature talks by the Australia based invited speakers, presentations on the work of the Fields medallists, and interactive streaming of plenary and special session talks selected by the participants of ICM2022 Down Under.

Live talks will be given by Regina Burachik (University of South Australia, Section 16 – Control Theory and Optimisation) and George Willis (University of Newcastle, Section 2 – Algebra).

The ICM Down Under will conclude with a twilight talk by SMRI Director Geordie Williamson on Friday evening (8 July 20:00 AEST). The talk will be recorded and broadcasted by the London Mathematical Society (virtual ICM public lecture, 8 July 12:00 BST).

For further information and registration, please visit: https://mathematical-research-institute.sydney.edu.au/news/icm2022-down-under/

The IMU Awards Ceremony, Prize Winners’ Lectures and ICM 2022

On 5 July 2022, the International Mathematical Union (IMU) prizes – Fields Medals, IMU Abacus Medal, Chern Medal Award, Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize and Leelavati Prize – will be announced at an award ceremony, which will be held live in Helsinki, Finland at Aalto University (Runeberginkatu 14–16, Aalto Töölö, 00100 Helsinki).  Note that the IMU Abacus Medal replaces the Nevanlinna prize.  A limited number of places are available for those who wish to attend the ceremony in person. But registration is required. A live stream of the award ceremony and further details on the event can be found here: https://www.mathunion.org/icm/imu-award-ceremony-2022

On 6 July 2022, the 2022 Fields Medallists and IMU Abacus Medallist will give their prize winner lectures live at Aalto University. Admission to the lectures will be open to all who wish to attend. The lectures will also be streamed live via the virtual ICM 2022 platform. This requires registration for the ICM 2022.

Participation in the virtual ICM is free of charge but access requires registration. Anyone who wishes to register but hasn’t done so yet should do it very soon. See further information on registration and the schedule of the ICM here: https://www.mathunion.org/icm/virtual-icm-2022

The ICM 2022 talks will take place between 0900 and 1800 Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).

Research Fellow in Combinatorics@Monash

The School of Mathematics at Monash University invites applicants for the position of Research Fellow to work on random generation and enumeration of combinatorial structures, in particular problems related to statistical contingency tables. The research is supported by the Australian Research Council through a Discovery Project held jointly by Prof Nick Wormald at Monash, and Dr Anita Liebenau at UNSW Sydney. Applicants must have a doctoral qualification in Mathematics and a strong background in combinatorial mathematics, including asymptotics and/or random structures.

Job No.: 636115

Location: Clayton campus, Monash University
Employment Type: Full-time
Duration: 2-year fixed-term appointment
Remuneration: $72,205–$97,995 p.a. Level A (plus 10% employer superannuation)

The candidate is expected to spend significant time supervised by Dr Liebenau, possibly including a major extended period with a formal visiting appointment at UNSW Sydney.
This role is a full-time position; however, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

The School of Mathematics aims at increasing the representation of women in its academic ranks. Applications from qualified female candidates are especially encouraged.Closing Date
Sunday 3 July 2022, 11:55pm AEST

Applications must be made via the Monash website: see here.

Level A/B Modeller@Burnet Inst.

Closing date: 20 June 2022
Campus: Burnet Institute, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.
Remuneration: Academic Level A/B
Status: Fixed-term full-time research position (2+ years) in Modelling & Biostatistics

Are you a talented researcher eager to lead real-world mathematical modelling projects in infectious diseases and global health? This could be the role for you!

A unique opportunity exists for a Mathematical Modeller to join Burnet’s Modelling & Biostatistics team. Join an innovative team that is developing and applying epidemiological and costing models around the world across a range of disease areas including COVID-19, HIV, TB, malaria, viral hepatitis, maternal and child health.

This is a full-time position, initially for a 2-year period with the possibility of extension. Flexible working hours will be provided. Work from the comfort of your own home or join us in the office, location is flexible!

In this role you will:

• develop and apply epidemic and economic models to address major public health issue;
• work with a globally based team of expert modellers, epidemiologists, economists, health and policy specialists, and computer scientists to improve models;
• provide modelling and analytical support to governments, policy makers, and other partners including the World Bank, Global Fund, and international health agencies, to improve health budget investment towards better decision-making and impact around the world;
• write high impact academic publications;
• apply innovations and analytical skills to ensure high quality deliverables in a fast-paced environment.

Let’s talk about you

The following criteria are essential:

• Undergraduate degree in modelling, statistics, physics, computer science, or a similar field, OR
• Undergraduate degree in health sciences, biomedicine or a similar field plus experience with data analysis, computing or modelling;
• excellent written and oral communication skills;
• demonstrated project experience, including the ability to successfully lead projects and work as part of a team;
• experience with scientific computing and/or mathematical modelling;
• well-developed modelling skills, with proficiency in Python (preferable), Matlab or similar, as well as experience in code management;
• experience in one or more of the following: Disease epidemiology, Health costing and economics, Communicable diseases, Maternal and child health or nutrition.

The following criteria are desirable but not essential:
• PhD in modelling, statistics, epidemiology, computer science or a similar field;
• a successful academic track record, including peer-reviewed publications and research impact

Links for application/more information

View position description here: https://burnet.edu.au/system/asset/file/5326/Modeller_PD_Jun2022.pdf
Apply here: https://aurecruitment.actionhrm.com/myrecruit/newApplicationWizard.htm?pc=2TD1BtG1Cd8wmIIPF1tePwxx

You will need to attach the following documents:
 • Resume
 • statement addressing the selection criteria.

Upcoming maths jobs @UniSA

The University of South Australia will shortly advertise two new continuing positions in the mathematical sciences. The positions will be advertised at Level A/B, and will be teaching/research or teaching-intensive, with at least one to be a teaching/research position. The areas of specialisation are likely to include optimisation, statistics, data analytics, and classical applied mathematical modelling. At least one of the successful applicants will be female or gender-diverse, and the hiring process will not conclude until this goal has been met. The initial closing date will be at least six weeks after the positions are advertised, and applications will remain open after that if necessary. There will be flexibility in the starting dates for the successful applicants. Women and gender-diverse people are strongly encouraged to apply, as are early-career researchers, recent PhD graduates and PhD students nearing completion.

Research Fellow in Optimisation and Operations Research@Curtin

Closing date: 21 June 2022
Campus: Curtin University, Perth; Curtin Centre for Optimisation and Decision Science
Remuneration: $91,431 – $125,937 p.a. +17% superannuation
Status: Fixed-term full-time research position (4 years)

The Curtin Centre for Optimisation and Decision Science contains 13 full-time staff who specialise in the optimisation and control of complex systems. To continue its growth trajectory, the Centre is seeking a new postdoctoral researcher or senior research fellow to work on demand-driven research projects, conduct high-quality research in mathematical optimisation and operations research, and help drive research funding opportunities. This is a research-focused position reporting to the centre director. The successful candidate will be provided with career development and mentoring opportunities as part of a young, dynamic group in optimisation. The position will suit specialists in operations research and mathematical optimisation, as well as computational mathematicians who are interested in pursuing a demand-driven research pathway.

The Curtin Centre for Optimisation and Decision Science is part of the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences, which brings together Curtin University’s expertise in data science, artificial intelligence, and digital technologies. Other major collaborative ventures in the school include the Optus-Curtin Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, the ARC Industrial Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, the Cisco Centre for Networks, and the Curtin Institute for Computation.

In this role you will:

• Work on optimisation research projects with industry and government partners
• Participate in proposals for research funding and professional consultancy
• Conduct high-quality scholarly research in optimisation and operations research
• Work in partnership with industry and government to translate research findings into real-world impact and commercialisation opportunities
• Supervise and mentor PhD and honours students
• Disseminate research findings through publications in peer-reviewed international journals and through seminars, workshops, and conferences

Why choose Curtin?

• Young, vibrant university that is ranked in the top 300 universities worldwide according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities and QS World University Rankings
• New research centre in optimisation, with external collaborations across all sectors of the economy, including mining, energy, agriculture, defence, and manufacturing
• Balanced university where both fundamental and applied research are valued
• Easily accessible campus with gym, childcare, wellness programs, and medical and counselling services
• Flexible working arrangements
• Located in Perth, the world’s sixth most liveable city according to the 2021 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Group
• Excellent maternity leave arrangements
• One of Australia’s Inclusive Employers for 2019-2020 by the Diversity Council of Australia

For further information on Curtin’s employee benefits visit https://about.curtin.edu.au/

We are looking for someone with:

• A doctoral qualification in mathematics or a related area
• A track record of publications in high-quality international journals in optimisation, operations research, or computational mathematics
• A strong theoretical background in computational algorithms, preferably advanced techniques in integer programming and combinatorial optimisation
• Excellent computing skills and experience working with relevant programming languages and platforms such as Julia, Python, and AIMMS
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to explain mathematical concepts to a non-technical audience
• Interest in demand-driven research, consulting, and research commercialisation
• The ability to translate high-level, loosely defined business challenges into precise problem statements that can be tackled using optimisation techniques

Next steps

To apply, please complete the online application form via this link, noting we cannot accept resumes sent to the below email address.

Please provide a cover letter and resume as well as sufficient information and examples relating to the relevant selection criteria (outlined above) to allow us to assess your suitability for the role.

Contact details

If you have any further queries regarding the role, please contact Professor Ryan Loxton, Director, Curtin Centre for Optimisation and Decision Science, r.loxton@curtin.edu.au.

If you have a query in relation to the application process, please contact our careers team on curtincareers@curtin.edu.au.

For more information, please click this link.

Postdoc/Associate (Nonlinear PDE)@Sydney

Closing date: 3 July 2022
Campus: University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus; School of Mathematics and Statistics
Remuneration: Level A: Base Salary $95K–$98K p.a. +17% superannuation
Status: Full time 12 months fixed term (with a possible extension)

Do you want to be part of a vibrant and collegial community of world-class mathematicians and statisticians? Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position on the project “Singular solutions for nonlinear elliptic and parabolic equations”, held by Associate Professor Florica Cirstea, (University of Sydney) and Professor Yihong Du (University of New England). This project has recently been funded by the Australian Research Council.

The successful candidate will be expected to carry out collaborative research on this project and we are looking for someone with background in nonlinear partial differential equations with isolated / boundary singularities. The project will focus on the local / global behaviour of singular solutions for general classes of elliptic / parabolic equations with nonlinear source term, along with the existence and classification of the singular behaviour for nonlinear elliptic equations with boundary singularities.
Teaching is not a requirement however opportunities to teach may be available if desired.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of Sydney is one of the largest in Australia. It has more than 89 academic staff to supervise research and teaching 74 postgraduate students and 925 equivalent full-time student-load undergraduate students.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

• undertake research in the area of the project
• publish research papers
• demonstrate research excellence
• assist with grant writing and publishing original work.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who has:

• a PhD (or near completion) in Mathematics with preference in Partial Differential Equations
• proven published research as sole author or in collaboration
• experience in research record keeping, preparation of research papers and seminars
• the ability to carry out high quality research in the areas of nonlinear analysis and partial differential equations
• a background in elliptic / parabolic equations / fully nonlinear partial differential equations
• a demonstrated ability to conduct high-quality research under limited supervision either independently or as part of a research team
• high level of interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues
• a demonstrated ability to complete work in timely fashion and to write up results for publication
• excellent written and verbal communication skills.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Closing date for applications: 11.59pm, Wednesday 15 June 2022

Please click here to apply.

Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics (Newcastle)

Closing date: 16 June 2022
Campus: The University of Newcastle; School of Engineering
Remuneration: $126,446 FTE + 17% superannuation
Status: Permanent

The School of Information and Physical Sciences at the University of Newcastle (Australia) has an open position in Applied Mathematics at Level C (Senior Lecturer).

More details can be found here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/unijobs/listing/294232/senior-lecturer-in-applied-mathematics/

Senior Lecturer or Lecturer (Statistics)@ANU

Closing date: 8 May 2022
Campus: Australian National University; Department of Statistics, RSFAS
Remuneration: $103,841–$138,583 per annum plus 17% superannuation + Competitive Market Loading
Status: Full time, continuing

The Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics (RSFAS) invites applications for a full-time position in Statistics at the Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level. More information about the Statistics group can be found here: https://rsfas.anu.edu.au/academic-areas/statistics.

The successful applicant will demonstrate the ability to deliver an excellent education experience to students and the ability to produce high quality research. The RSFAS will provide exceptional research support to enable the successful applicant to achieve their full research potential, including a world-class suite of database subscriptions, excellent seminar series and visitor program, and generous support for travel.

The ANU College of Business and Economics educates the next generation of business leaders, professional economists and academics. Our graduates have the knowledge and skills to lead organisations, design public policy, and research the big issues of business and economy. Located in the national capital, we engage deeply with the business and policy communities. Our academics lead public debate on the critical issues of our time through their research, which is both long-term and strategic in focus. Our internationally diverse student body is evenly divided between undergraduate and postgraduate study, and we have a large doctoral program. Our alumni may be found in the world’s leading companies, policy agencies and universities.

We strongly believe that the way in which we operate is defined by our Values and Behaviours and encourage you to apply if you are looking for a workplace that encourages respect, collegiality and excellence.

ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, visit https://services.anu.edu.au/human-resources/respect-inclusion.

For further information on this role, consult this page.