Cheryl Praeger awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger (UWA) has been awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, the first time that the prize has been awarded to a mathematician. Cheryl has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge in algebra and combinatorics for the past 50 years. In 2014, WIMSIG named the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards in her honour. Congratulations Cheryl!

Congratulations to Nalini Joshi

Prof Nalini Joshi (USyd) has been awarded the 2019 NSW Premier’s Prize for Science for “Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics”.

Congratulations to Kirk Distinguished Visiting Fellow, A/Prof Lesley Ward

A/Prof Lesley Ward (UniSA) is presently at the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) at the University of Cambridge as a Kirk Distinguished Visiting Fellow.  This fellowship provides funding for one senior mathematician per programme at the INI, chosen from under-represented groups within higher mathematical research. According to the INI website, the INI wishes that this prestigious fellowship will help create and promote influential new role models within the field, and address the historical gender imbalance that persists within the science.

Lesley recent gave her Kirk Lecture on “Fourier, harmonic analysis, and spaces of homogeneous type”, aimed at a general scientific audience.  A recording of the lecture can be found on the INI website at https://www.newton.ac.uk/seminar/kirk/lesley-ward. The lecture was very well received by the audience.

Launch of WIMSIG mentoring program

WIMSIG is excited to launch its pilot mentoring program, which will run for one year from February 2020. We are now seeking mentor and mentee participants. A mentee must identify as a woman and be a Member of WIMSIG. Mentors can be Friends or Members of WIMSIG of any gender. 

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics mentoring program

The Statistical Society of Australia is also piloting a mentoring program. Currently accepting interested mentors and mentees working an biostatistics and bioinformatics.

WIMSIG Executive Committee Call for Nominations

At the end of 2019, WIMSIG will be electing two new members for the Executive Committee, to commence terms in February 2020. The positions that will be open and the length of term are as follows.

  • Incoming Chair, 4yr term
  • Student Member, 1yr term

If you are interested in the opportunity to lead the drive for gender equity in Australian Mathematics, please consider nominating for a position by November 30.

The current Chair, Jessica Purcell (jessica.purcell@monash.edu) is happy to answer any questions you may have about the role of Chair. The current student representative, Kim Becker (kimberly.becker@univ.ox.ac.uk) is happy to answer any questions you may have about the Student role.

The Returning Officer is A/Prof Vanessa Venturi (v.venturi@unsw.edu.au).

Nominations should be emailed to the Returning Officer, and need to include the nominee’s name, the second nominator’s name, the role, and a statement from the nominee on why they would like to take on the role, which will be sent out to the WIMSIG membership list should there be an election.


WIMSIG Business Meeting and Dinner

The WIMSIG Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner will be held on Monday 2 December as part of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society at Monash University.

The event is free to all participants of the AustMS meeting, regardless of gender or membership of WIMSIG. The purpose of the dinner is to support women, and particularly early career researchers, to enter and establish careers in mathematics. Come along to hear about the careers of the AustMS 2019 female plenary speakers, to discuss issues concerning women in mathematics in Australia, and to network with fellow WIMSIG members and supporters.

The annual WIMSIG Business Meeting will also be held on Monday 2 December, just prior to the Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner. As with the Dinner, anyone interested in WIMSIG activities is welcome to attend. 

WIMSIG Business Meeting

  • 5–6pm, Monday 2 December
  • Lecture Theatre S1, located at 16 Rainforest Walk, Clayton campus, Monash University


  • 6:15pm, Monday 2 December
  • Monash Campus Centre Banquet Hall
  • Drinks will run from 6:15pm to 6:45pm. Dinner will start at 6:45pm.

Please register your attendance for the dinner when you register for the AustMS meeting. There is no need to register for the business meeting.

AustMS Session on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

For the first time, a session on ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’ will be held at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society, hosted by Monash University (Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th December). We invite you to participate in the special session, and consider submitting a talk (20 minutes, plus 5 minutes break between talks).

Talks in this session may span a wide range of topics relating to mathematics and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in: the professional community (e.g. academia, industry, government), the higher-education student body (under- and post-graduate students), and more broadly in society.

Examples of underrepresented and under-included groups and knowledges are: women mathematicians; Indigenous mathematicians; LGBTIQ and gender-diverse mathematicians; mathematicians with disabilities; mathematicians from non-dominant cultural backgrounds — and there are many more.

The conference website is here: https://austms.org.au/annualmeeting/2019/. Early bird registration closes on October 31, 2019. Abstracts must be submitted by November 8.

MISG 2020

The  2020 Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISG) will be held at NewSpace, University of Newcastle’s City Campus from Tuesday 28 January to Saturday 1 February 2020. For details of industry projects, see https://mathsinindustry.com/. Registration is free for participants and is now open. Please feel free to pass on this information to others who may not be members of ANZIAM or AustMS.  Enquiries about MISG 2020, contact misg@newcastle.edu.au.  

Foundations of Computational Mathematics (FoCM) 2020


UNSW Sydney

The Infection Analytics team at UNSW Sydney is seeking a post-doc / research fellow in mathematical biology to model viral and immune dynamics in HIV infection. 

The Infection Analytics Program at the Kirby Institute is an interdisciplinary team, including applied mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists, who collaborate widely with around 30 experimental groups around the world to model within-host and epidemiological aspects of infection and immunity. The group has a high publication output and a strong history in successful interdisciplinary training. It is an ideal venue for post-docs with a quantitative background (mathematics / physics / statistics) aiming to establish themselves in mathematical biology.

A full description of the position and application criteria can be found at https://external-careers.jobs.unsw.edu.au/cw/en/job/497252/postdoctoral-fellow-in-mathematical-biology. More information on the group’s research is available on the Infection Analytics website at https://kirby.unsw.edu.au/program/iap. Questions can be directed to Deborah Cromer (d.cromer@unsw.edu.au) or Miles Davenport (m.davenport@unsw.edu.au).

Applications close November 23.

The University of Melbourne

The School of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of Melbourne has also recently established two prestigious four-year named research fellowships, for exceptional early career researchers in the mathematical sciences, whose research has the potential to have a significant impact, either in fundamental research or toward practical applications: 

For more information about the application process, see https://ms.unimelb.edu.au/jobs.



Ada Lovelace Day was held on the second Tuesday of October to celebrate women in STEM.

There has also been some recent media discussion around the gender bias in Nobel Prizes:

Have you read an interesting article? Have some news? Have an opportunity available?

Please send items to WIMSIG-news@women.austms.org.au.

Note: Newsletters are usually published on the 1st day of each month (or soon after). The deadline for submitted items is the 27th day of each month.

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