AustMS2021 plenary profile – Susan Scott

This is the second in a series of interviews with the plenary speakers for the upcoming 65th Annual Meeting of the AustMS.

  1. What is your earliest mathematical memory?

My earliest mathematical memories come from my years at primary school. Things that stand out are the colourful Cuisenaire rods, which all the kids enjoyed. Then there was the rote learning of the times tables up to 12 x12 which was fun as a group chanting activity, like singing songs. I clearly recall our initiation to long division, which was generally hated, although I didn’t mind it in moderation. Lastly, I recall that we had to do written calculations in non-base 10 units, for length, area, volume, speed, currency, etc. That was later removed from the primary school curriculum but, looking back, it is perhaps surprising that most students were able to manage it quite well.

  1. What made you decide to become a mathematician, and when?

At primary school I was very interested by mathematics and science, and I seemed to have an aptitude for it, but at that time, where I grew up, no child would have imagined they were going to become a mathematician. I was absolutely enthralled by watching the first lunar landing, which really sparked my interest in gravity. So I just naturally drifted towards focussing on mathematics and physics and, by the time I was 14, I had decided that I somehow wanted my career to involve those fields.

  1. Name a favourite paper by a contemporary mathematician, and why (or more than one, if you can’t decide).

The contemporary mathematical physicist Prof Sir Roger Penrose proved an astonishing singularity theorem in 1965. He showed that, in very general circumstances involving isolated gravitating systems undergoing gravitational collapse, a trapped surface will form, inevitably leading to the formation of a singularity – the heart of a black hole. This result demonstrated that singularities in black holes should be a common feature of our Universe, and yet no candidate for a black hole had been identified at that time. The international astronomy community were in denial about the result, and even Einstein himself would have been shocked to see this consequence of his theory. This incredible breakthrough earned Roger the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics.

  1. What historical mathematician would you like to be able to talk maths with? What would you ask them?

I would love to be able to chat with Emmy Noether. She was an extraordinarily gifted mathematician and mathematical physicist with great vision of connections between different branches of mathematics. I would ask her how she became interested in exploring the mathematics behind the then recently presented general theory of relativity due to Einstein. I would also ask how the insight she gained with this work led her eventually to the creation of the deep principle known as Noether’s Theorem, one of the most celebrated results in mathematical physics.

  1. What result would you like to see in mathematics in the next 10 years?

The famous singularity theorem due to Roger Penrose actually proves that, in very general circumstances involving isolated gravitating systems undergoing gravitational collapse, a trapped surface will form and thus there will exist an incomplete, causal geodesic. The theorem does not actually prove the existence of curvature singularities as the name suggests. The “completion” of this singularity theorem to prove the existence of curvature singularities has proven to be an intractable problem for more than 50 years. I would love to see that problem cracked in the next 10 years, and I would love to be part of the solution!

Lecturer: Mathematical Sciences (Teaching Academic A/B)@UniSA

  • Be part of an exciting future in Mathematical Sciences at UniSA, Mawson Lakes campus
  • Full-time, fixed-term contract until 31 December 2022
  • Commencement Salary: $72,218 (Level A) or $101,784 (Level B) per annum (plus 17% superannuation)
  • Applications close: 11.30pm Monday 6 December 2021

Along with being an enthusiastic and collaborative colleague, you will have a genuine commitment to student learning. Some of the key skills and experience you’ll bring include:

Level A

  • Bachelor qualification and postgraduate qualification and/or relevant industry/discipline experience in Mathematics, Statistics, or similar
  • Ability to undertake a range of teaching duties
  • Knowledge and understanding of a range of contemporary teaching methodologies

Level B

  • A postgraduate degree or equivalent professional/industry experience in Mathematics, Statistics or similar
  • Demonstrated ability and experience in teaching, including design and preparation of teaching activities and resources
  • Understanding of and experience in using a range of contemporary teaching methodologies

Level A and B

  • High-level communication skills including demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate with team members, colleagues, and external parties
  • Empathy for students from a variety of backgrounds
  • High-level administrative and organisational skills

3 Teaching Research Lecturers (Level B)@UniSA

Mathematical Sciences at UniSA, Mawson Lakes campus

Commencement Salary: $101,784 per annum (plus 17% superannuation)

Applications close: 11.30pm Monday 6 December 2021

Along with being an enthusiastic and collaborative colleague, you will have a genuine commitment to student learning and to innovative research. Some of the key skills and experience you’ll bring include:

  • A doctoral qualification in Mathematics, Statistics, or similar (candidates nearing completion are also encouraged to apply)
  • Demonstrated ability and experience in teaching, including design and preparation of teaching activities
  • Ability to undertake research in one or more of the following areas:
    • Applied statistics
    • Applied optimisation
    • Classical applied mathematical modelling
  • Excellent communication skills and empathy for students from a variety of backgrounds
  • Understanding of and experience in using a range of contemporary teaching methodologies

More information and application info at this link

Update on AustMS2021 emails

Mimecast at many universities is blocking emails from the AustMS21 registration system. This ranges from annoying to catastrophic (e.g. when password reset emails get blocked).

There is something people can do, however: they can log on to the Mimecast portal at https://login-au.mimecast.com/u/login/#/login with their university email. There, they can release held messages and permit certain addresses (such as austms21@mathematics.org.au) and domains. This might be useful well beyond just receiving emails from the Conference registration system.

Best regards,

Florian (AustMS2021 conference director)

Research Fellow in Mathematics and Statistics@USydney

  • Full time 3 years fixed term employment, located on the Camperdown campus at the School of Mathematics and Statistics 
  • Base Salary Level B $110K – $131 p.a. + 17% superannuation 
  • Closing date: 11.59pm, Thursday 16 December 2021

The University of Sydney is welcoming applications for a Research Fellow in Mathematics and Statistics.The successful applicant will undertake research in the areas of mathematics or statistics and be affiliated with SMRI. Preference will be given to candidates working in the areas of applied mathematics, or theoretical or applied statistics, and who will be able to build capacity in these areas at SMRI through the organization of seminars, conferences, or outreach activities.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • demonstrate research excellence in mathematics or statistics
  • develop research collaborations
  • assist with grant writing and publishing original work
  • experience in student supervision at the undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • contribute to successful applications for competitive research grants and/ or funding to deliver research impact
  • develop your profile and the profile of SMRI in the areas of applied mathematics or statistics through conferences and seminars
  • enhance relationships with outputs such as research and development, commercialisation, improved practices, and policy development.

For more information and to apply, please see here.

Mathematics Manager – Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Ongoing/Full time

Salary Range: $125,893 – $168,473

Applications close: midnight 26 November 2021

The Mathematics Curriculum Manager works in the Curriculum Division of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), alongside Curriculum Managers for other learning areas and capabilities.  The role reports to the Executive Director of the Division.

The Ongoing Mathematics Curriculum Manager will work closely with the Curriculum Managers.

The Ongoing Mathematics Curriculum Manager role provides the incumbent with exciting opportunities to proactively provide support to teachers across the three schooling sectors and to stakeholders on a statewide basis.  The combination of resource development and professional learning provision offers incumbent substantial opportunities to enhance their professional repertoire and make an important contribution to Mathematics education in Victoria.

If you have Mathematics qualifications and expertise and a strong and successful Mathematics teaching background and wish to contribute to excellent Mathematics teaching, please consider applying for this exciting role.

For more details regarding this position please see https://jobs.careers.vic.gov.au/jobs/VG-DET-VCAA-20003698B.

AustMS2021 plenary profile – Zeev Rudnick

This is the first in a series of interviews with the plenary speakers for the upcoming 65th Annual Meeting of the AustMS.

  1. What is your earliest mathematical memory?

My family moved from Israel to Uganda when I was 8 years old, and I started school there without knowing any English. Nakasero Primary School was at the time an old fashioned colonial British school, which offered very little help for pupils who did not know English. I was put in a class and expected to catch up on my own.
I well remember that the one subject that I was able to follow for the first few weeks was Maths: multiplication table and such matters. At that point I was grateful that math was a universal language!

  1. What made you decide to become a mathematician, and when?

In my final year at high school I was seriously thinking about taking up physics. I tried to read some of the university physics texts but decided that I needed to better understand the math, and while doing it fell in love with the subject. I participated in a couple of local math contests and received a small fellowship as a result of winning third place in one of them, and I saw that as a sign that I had a future in the subject.

  1. Name a favourite paper by a contemporary mathematician, and why (or more than one, if you can’t decide).

Some of Michael Berry’s papers and surveys are particular favourites of mine, as they have shaped my views of Quantum Chaos and its relation to Number Theory. In particular I can mention the survey:

  • Berry, M V, 1983, ‘Semiclassical Mechanics of regular and irregular motion’ in Les Houches Lecture Series Session XXXVI, eds. G Iooss, R H G Helleman and R Stora, North Holland, Amsterdam, 171-271. (author pdf)

Michael Berry is a physicist, but much of his work is mathematical and I have drawn inspiration from his way of looking at nature.

  1. What historical mathematician would you like to be able to talk maths with? What would you ask them?

I suspect that many of the great mathematicians are not great conversationalists.

  1. What result would you like to see in mathematics in the next 10 years?

I would like to see a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. But it may well take much more than 10 years.

Credit: Copyright C.J. Mozzochi, Princeton N.J

Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Applied and/or Computational Mathematics – Continuing, Tenure Track@ANU

Classification:       Academic Level B or C
Salary Package:    Level B  $101,805 – $115,428 pa plus 17% superannuation
                              Level C $122,240 – $135.866 pa plus 17% superannuation
Terms:                   Full-time, continuing and/or tenure track

Closing date: 21 November 2021

The Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) is seeking to appoint two continuing and/or tenure track mathematicians in the areas of applied and/or computational mathematics.

These positions are available at the Academic Level B and/or Level C (which equate to the positions of Assistant/Associate Professor within the United States of America).

The Mathematical Sciences Institute is seeking to offer up to two continuing and/or tenure track appointments at the Academic Level B and/or Level C (which equate to the positions of Assistant/Associate Professor within the United States of America).

These positions are established for early to mid-career academics to pursue their research career in applied and/or computational mathematics.  MSI is particularly keen to invigorate its teaching and research programs in the areas of scientific computing, high-performance computing, data science and welcomes applications from candidates in these areas. Nevertheless, applicants in all areas of applied and computational mathematics will be seriously considered.

The level of this appointment, Academic Level B or C, is to be determined by the appointee’s current research and teaching expertise.

Applicants are expected to have an outstanding record in research and teaching relative to the level of their application. The positions involve teaching both in the candidate’s area of specialisation and standard mathematics undergraduate courses.  Successful candidates will have access to a four-year start up grant to support research, visitors and conference travel.

Joint appointments with other parts of the University are a possibility, depending on their fit with other research groups at ANU.

For more information or to apply, see this page.

Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer, or Lecturer in Mathematics (Female Only) – Continuing, Tenure Track@ANU

Classification:              Academic Level D, C or B
Salary Package:           Level B $101,805 – $115,428 pa plus 17% superannuation
                                    Level C $122, 240 – $135,866 pa plus 17% superannuation
                                    Level D $146,080 – $159,582 pa plus 17% superannuation
Terms:                         Full-time, continuing and/or tenure track

Closing date: 21 November 2021

The Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) is strongly committed to improving the gender balance amongst staff and students.  It is taking proactive action towards this goal by advertising a full-time continuing female-only position.

The position is available at academic Level B, C or D (the latter equates to the position of Professor within the United States of America) depending on the experience of the candidate, and is open to all fields of mathematics, but preference may be given to a candidate whose research interests align with one or more of the existing research programs.

These positions are established for mid to later career academics to pursue their research-focused career in any field of mathematics, preferably in the research interests that align with one or more of the existing research programs

The level of this appointment, Academic Level D, C or B is to be determined by the appointee’s current research and teaching expertise.

Applicants are expected to have an outstanding record in research and teaching relative to the level of their application. The positions involve teaching both in the candidate’s area of specialisation and standard mathematics undergraduate courses.  Successful candidates will have access to a four-year start up grant to support research, visitors and conference travel.

Joint appointments with other parts of the University are a possibility, depending on their fit with other research groups at ANU.

More info and application process at this page.

Lecturer in secondary mathematics@USydney

Full time, continuing role, based in Camperdown Campus 

Exciting opportunity to contribute teaching and research expertise in the area of secondary mathematics education learning and curriculum

Base Salary $110,856 + 17% superannuation  

Closing date: 11.30pm, Monday 22 November 2021

The Lecturer in Secondary Mathematics will contribute to teaching and research expertise in the area of secondary mathematics education, learning and curriculum for the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. The appointee should have classroom teaching experience in secondary school settings, knowledge of current relevant school curriculum as well as research expertise in a related area of mathematics education and be prepared to contribute to secondary teacher professional learning initiatives offered by the Faculty and/or STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy.

Key responsibilities include teaching, curriculum designing, planning, evaluation and unit co-ordination of Secondary Mathematics units of study in the Master of Teaching, and Bachelor of Education (Secondary): Mathematics/Bachelor of Science programs within the Sydney School of Education and Social Work while continuing to build their research contribution, expertise and impact.

More details and apply at this page