WIMSIG Business Meeting and Dinner

The WIMSIG Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner will be held on Monday 3 December as part of the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society at The University of Adelaide. 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 2018 female plenary speakers, to discuss issues concerning women in mathematics in Australia, and to network with fellow WIMSIG members and supporters.

Due to space restrictions, there are only a limited number of tickets available, so make sure to register early if you wish to attend, and please only register for the Dinner if you are planning to attend. Further details are available on the associated events page.

The annual WIMSIG Business Meeting will also be held on Monday 3 December, just prior to the Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner. As with the Dinner, anyone interested in WIMSIG activities is welcome to attend.

Award to Support International Female Postgraduate Students

Subject to formal approval by the Council of the Australian Mathematical Society, a new award will be offered next year to honour the late Professor Maryam Mirzakhani.

This award is designed to support international female students pursuing a postgraduate degree in mathematics in Australia and there will be at most one of these awards per year. If approved by the end of the year, there will be a call for applications early next year, in time for a first award in April-May of 2019.

Choose Maths Awards

Choose Maths is a program designed to encourage more girls to choose to study maths. One of the aims of the program is to highlight excellent teachers and learning environments. Congratulations to Corinne Vingerhoed of the Hunter School of Performing Arts who was the recipient of the 2018 Mentoring Girls in Maths Award. The Award provides $20,000 for professional development and to support the school’s mathematics program.

Read the biographies of the wonderful teachers who have received awards in the 2018 Choose Maths awards. You will be inspired to be a better teacher.

Decadal Plan for Women in STEM

The Australian Academy of Sciences is making a Decadal Plan to inform the Women in STEM National Strategy. Submissions opened on September 17, and close on October 8. Due to this short time frame, WIMSIG will not be writing a formal submission. However, AustMS President — Kate Smith-Miles (Melbourne) — is currently preparing a submission for the AustMS. If members would like to send Kate their comments, instead of making their own submission, Kate can include them in the AustMS submission, as long as she receives them by Monday 8 October.

Impact of High School mathematics choices on Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

Research by Joanna Sikora (ANU) and David Pitt (Macquarie) shows that, in 2011 in NSW, the study of more advanced mathematics did not necessarily help students secure higher ATARs as is commonly assumed. Moreover girls (of comparable ability) who took the most basic course received the same increment to their ATAR as girls who took the extension course. This gives girls weak incentive to choose the more advanced courses.

Sikora, J., and D. G. W. Pitt. 2018. “Does Advanced Mathematics Help Students Enter University More Than Basic Mathematics? Gender and Returns to Year 12 Mathematics in Australia.” Mathematics Education Research Journal (https://rdcu.be/7wXv).


Special Semester on Mathematical Thinking at UON

The University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Computer-Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA) will host a Special Semester on Mathematical Thinking from November 5 this year to May 31 next year.

The Special Semester aims to bring together researchers to study the conceptual and neurological basis of mathematical thought and creativity, different aspects of which are associated with brain structures evolved for different purposes. The program will explore links to machine learning, which plays a critical role as a model for cognition, as well as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and pure and applied mathematics.

In November 2018, Special Semester activities will include:

  • Workshop on Diagrammatic Reasoning in Higher Education, November 9–11  
  • Effective Visualisation in the Mathematical Sciences — EVIMS3, November 13  
  • Workshop on Mathematical Thinking, November 14–16

There will be many world-renowned national and international keynote speakers on the program. Please visit CARMA’s website for more details about the Special Semester.

Other upcoming CARMA-sponsored events can be found at https://carma.newcastle.edu.au/events/. In particular, CARMA will also host the following two applied mathematics conferences in November.

  • NSW-ACT ANZIAM Annual Branch Meeting, November 19–20
  • Computational Techniques and Applications Conference (CTAC), November 27–30

WIMSIG Conference 2020

Following the success of the first WIMSIG conference in September 2017, we are in the initial stages of organising a second WIMSIG conference, which will likely be held in early October 2020 — more details will be provided at a later date. For now, we are looking for people who would be keen to help organise the conference. If you would like to be part of the organisational committee of the second WIMSIG conference, please email Jessica Purcell (jessica.purcell@monash.edu). We look forward to working with you.



Nominations are being sought for the following ANZIAM Medals.

Nominations can be made by any member of ANZIAM other than the nominee. Your friendly WIMSIG Executive Committee can help you with a nomination for yourself or a colleague. The closing date for these awards is Monday 5 November 2018.

PhD Opportunity (UNSW)

Infection Analytics Program: Mathematical modelling in infection and immunity

The Infection Analytics Program at the Kirby Institute (UNSW) is looking for talented students with a strong interest in applying quantitative approaches to solving major challenges in infectious diseases, health and immunity. Scholarships of up to $34,000-$37,000 p.a. are available for a duration of up to 3.5 years (depending on undergraduate performance). For students to commence in Semester 1 2019, applications are due on Friday 12 October 2018. Further details can be found at https://kirby.unsw.edu.au/research-opportunities.

The University of Queensland

The University of Melbourne


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