Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

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Past Seminars

MUMS holds seminars throughout the year on a wide variety of topics that are mathematically related. Past seminars have covered such topics as chaos theory, Fermat's Last Theorem, coding theory, and performance of algorithms. They are aimed at a general mathematical audience, and do not require any specific background.

Below is a list of previous seminars presented. Some are also linked to pages with further information concerning that seminar.

Seminars for 2017

  • 13th October(spooky): Dr Douglas Brumley - '(Fluid) Dynamical Systems'
  • 6th October: Dr Jesse Gell-Redman - 'Quantum Ergodicity'
  • 15th September: A/Prof Paul Zinn- Justin -"Tilings and Schubert Calculus'
  • 8th September: Dr Jennifer Flegg - "Statistical modelling of the emergence and spread of antimalarial resistance
  • 1st September: Jan De Jier - "Polynomial roots, dragons and feathers"
  • 18th August: Dr Ting Xue - "Hidden Connections in Representation Theory"
  • 4th August: Dr Michael Wheeler - "The problem you could (not) have solved in fifth grade"
  • 19th May: Prof Thomas Quella - ""From the indistinguishability of particles to topological quantum 
    computation"
  • 5th May: Prof James Mccaw- "Mathematical models for population health decision making"
  • 10th March: Giles Adams - "Probability Paradoxes"

Seminars for 2016

  • 23rd Sept: A/Prof Sanming Zhou - "Cores of Graphs"
  • 16th Sept: Prof Peter Taylor - "Parrondo’s games: when two losing games can be combined to create a winning game."
  • 2nd Sept: Paul Nguyen- "The Strange personality of Probability."
  • 26th Aug: Dr Anthony Mays - "A Juggling Guide to Mathematics"
  • 12th Aug: John Banks - "Lindenmayer Grammars"
  • 20th May: Dr Marcy Robertson - "Introduction to Topological Data Analysis"
  • 13th May: Professor Arun Ram - " Does BSTR Reduction Produce Branes?"
  • 6th May: Dr Michael Wheeler - "A Survey of 100 Prisoner Problems"
  • 29th Apr: Joe Chan - "The Top Mathematicains...were arguable also Physicists"
Seminars for 2015
  • 4th Sep: Lawrence Reeves - "The Banach-Tarski Paradox and Amenability"
  • 28th Aug: Anthony Morphett - "Randomness, computation and the unknowable"
  • 14th Aug: Paul Nguyen - "2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29, ..."
  • 31st Jul: Dougal Davis - "Deformation theory and hidden symmetry"
  • 22nd May: Paul Norbury - "Dirac’s belt trick"
  • 1st May: Joe Chan - "Grassmannians and Amplituhedrons"
  • 17th Apr: Giles Adams - "The Art (and Mathematics) of Shuffling"
  • 27th Mar: Nora Ganter - "A Refined Monster"
  • 20th Mar: Michael Assis - "The Mathematics of Origami Design"
  • 13th Mar: Jan de Gier - "Incomprehensibly large integers"
  • 6th Mar: Arun Ram - "The Glass Bead Game"

Seminars for 2014

  • 17th Oct: Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo - "Measuring the Connectedness of the Global Economy"
  • 10th Oct: Richard Brak - "An unexpectedly complicated way to calculate n!"
  • 26th Sep: Omar Foda - "String Theory: From Strong Interactions to Spin Chains"
  • 19th Sep: Alex Ghitza - "To err is human; to detect, divine."
  • 5th Sep: Joe Chan - "How Feynman Became a Physicist, Principle of Least Action."
  • 29th Aug: Andrew Robinson - "Applied Statistics in Biosecurity: Saving Nations Everywhere"
  • 22nd Aug: Guoqi Qian - "Is Global Warming a Myth or Reality? Can Statistics Help Crack the Mystery?"
  • 15th Aug: Owen Jones - "How to make money on the horses, when you know nothing about horses!"
  • 8th Aug: Peter Forrester - "Probability Theory and Random Matrices"
  • 1st Aug: Andrey Kan - "Attacking Pathogens with Numbers"
  • 30th May: Trithang Tran - "Go and Mathematics"
  • 16th May: Edmund Crampin - "What is Systems Biology?"
  • 2nd May: Bill Moran - "Godel's Theorem: History and Impact"
  • 11th Apr: Jessica Purcell - "Hyperbolic Geometry and its Applications"
  • 4th Apr: Kerry Landman - "How the Leopard Got Its Spots"
  • 28th Mar: Andrew Elvey Price - "Constructing a Timetable with Pure Mathematicians"
  • 21st Mar: Peter Taylor - "A model for the BitCoin block chain that takes propogation delays into account"
  • 14th Mar: Vanessa Teague - "How to use Maths to count Encrypted Votes"
  • 7th Mar: Arun Ram - "The Proof Machine"

Seminars for 2013

  • 25th Oct: Matthew Mack - "Mathematics in Music Analysis"
  • 18th Oct: Richard Brak - "The Mathematics of Gear Ratios"
  • 11th Oct: Lawrence Reeves - "The Banach-Tarski Paradox"
  • 27th Sep: Kostya Borovkov - "Random Walks Meets the Heat Equation"
  • 20th Sep: Arun Mani - "Mathematics of Computing"
  • 13th Sep: Antoinette Tordesillas - "Seeing worlds in grains of sands"
  • 6th Sep: Nora Ganter - "196883 + 1 = 196884"
  • 30th Aug: Jan de Gier - "Mean faces, face space and eigenfaces"
  • 23rd Aug: Jon Xu - "Jedi Training - What is it like to be a postgraduate research student in mathematics?"
  • 16th Aug: Nathan Ross - "Google's Pagerank Algorithm"
  • 9th Aug: Guoqi Qian - "Is statistics useful, and where is it used?"
  • 2nd Aug: Peter Forrester - "The Golden-Thompson inequality and random matrix theory"
  • 31 May: Tony Guttmann - "Random and Self-Avoiding Walks in a Rectangular Domain"
  • 10 May: Federico Frascoli - "The mathematical brain: how can we model brain activity using maths?"
  • 9 May: Kristijan Jovanoski - "This is madness: the lives of famous mathematicians - History of Maths III"
  • 3 May: Peter Taylor - "Queueing theory and 'ideal hospital occupancy'"
  • 2 May: Jinghan Xia - "A tale of three little triangles and the big bad postulate - History of Maths II"
  • 26 April: Henry Segerman - "Fractal curves, 4-dimesional puzzles and unlikely gears"
  • 19 April: Richard Huggins - "Beyond the birthday problem"
  • 18 April: Dougal Davis - "Algebraic geometry: from Ancient Greece to Riemann - History of Maths I"
  • 12 April: Jan De Gier - "Polynomial roots, dragons and feathers"
  • 22 March: Matthew Mack - "Music: two mathematical bases"
  • 8 March: Motohico Mulase - "From Catalan numbers to the frontier of mathematical research"

Seminars for 2012

  • 26 October: Hyam Rubinstein - "Solution of the Poincaré conjecture"
  • 19 October: Mark Fackrell - "The single server queue"
  • 5 October: Sanming Zhou - "Distance labellings of graphs"
  • 14 Septemeber: Richard Brak - "An unexpectedly complicated way to compute factorials"
  • 7 September: Alex Ghitza - "Transcendence and irrationality"
  • 31 August: Craig Westerland - "The cobordism story"
  • 24 August: Dougal Davis - "A (very) short history of geometry"
  • 17 August: Lawrence Reeves - "The group theory of Rubik's cube"
  • 10 August: Aihua Xia - "Uncorrelation and independence"
  • 3 August: Arun Ram - "Flags, cohomology and positivity"
  • 27 July: Han Liang Gan - "Paradoxical musings"
  • 25 May: Paul Norbury - "Mathematics of string theory"
  • 11 May: Jan De Gier - "Self-avoiding bees and discrete complex analysis"
  • 20 April: Norman Do - "Constant curiosity"
  • 30 March: Tony Guttmann - "Self avoiding walks"
  • 23 March: Trithang Tran, Han Liang Gan and Jason Nassios - "PhD talks"
  • 16 March: Emily Hackett-Jones - "Mathematics and ecology"
  • 9 March: Henry Segerman - "Some mathematical sculptures"
  • 2 March: Ian Gordon - "Rubbish"

Seminars for 2011

  • 28 October: Alex Ghitza - "30 years of LLL"
  • 21 October: Marieke Quant - "A tour in game theory"
  • 14 October: David Wood - "What do African rhythms and the Hebrew calendar have in common?"
  • 7 October: Peter Forrester - "Random Matrices"
  • 16 September: Kerry-Anne Landman - "Maths in Biology"
  • 9 September: Heng-Soon Gan - "An Introduction to LP/IP/MILP Modelling"
  • 2 September: Hyam Rubenstein - "The Steiner Saga"
  • 19 August: Lawrence Reeves - "Solving a quintic by radicals. Or not."
  • 12 August: Peter Taylor - "Parrondo's games"
  • 5 August: Norman Do - "Variations on Vertices and Vortices"
  • 29 July: Arun Ram - "Reverse Mathematics"
  • 8 April: Richard Brak - "The Catalan Family and Embedded Bijections"
  • 1 April: Anthony Mays - "(Some) Mathematics of Juggling"
  • 25 March: Kostya Borovkov - "The Princess and Monster Game & Choosing Points at Random"
  • 18 March: Sanming Zhou - "How Symmetrical is Your Graph?"
  • 11 March: Trithang Tran - "Hex & the Brouwer fixed-point theorem"
  • 4 March: Han Liang Gan - "Maximum Hangover"

Seminars for 2010

  • 15 October: Norman Do - "Dominoes, dimers and determinants"
  • 8 October: Nathan Clisby - "On Hales' proof of the Kepler conjecture"
  • 17 September: John Groves - "The spine of an amoeba and other tropical curiosities"
  • 10 September: Antoinette Tordesillas - "The wonderment of the finger and D'Alembert's dream"
  • 3 September: Henry Segerman - "The Mathematics of Juggling"
  • 27 August: Hyam Rubenstein - ""Algorithms to recognise knots, links and 3-dimensional spaces"
  • 20 August: Arun Ram - "Symmetry and identities"
  • 13 August: Lawrence Reeves - "Max Dehn, decision problems and curvature in group theory"
  • 6 August: James Zhao - "Primes and Permutations"
  • 30 July: Han Liang Gan - "How to get a Knighthood with Statistics"
  • 14 May: Craig Westerland - "Random finite abelian groups"
  • 7 May: Sandy Clarke - "Statistical Consultant: the dream job of our time"
  • 30 April: Tharatorn Supasiti - "Pizza, crust and other things"
  • 16 April: Andrew Robinson - "Quarantine Inspections: How Risky a Business?"
  • 26 March: Peter Forrester - "Calculating the date of Easter"
  • 19 March: Marty Ross - "Irrational Thoughts"
  • 12 March: Jan de Gier - "Alternating sign matrices, fully packed polygons and symmetric plane partitions"
  • 5 March: Yi Huang - "Getting Real with R"

Seminars for 2009

  • 27 October: Arun Ram - "Today I feel like a mathematician -- personality, music and geometry"
  • 23 October: Owen Jones - "Fractals and Dimension"
  • 16 October: Marty Ross - "Mathematicians, Movies and Murder"
  • 11 September: John Groves - "The roots of Galois Theory; solving polynomial equations in the early days"
  • 4 September: Raj Dahya - "The World of Set Theory and Its Use"
  • 28 August: Aihua Xia - "On the distributions of run statistics"
  • 29 May: Terry Mills - "Forecasting the incidence of cancer"
  • 7 May: Craig Westerland - "Fun with Configuration Spaces"
  • 30 April: Peter Milley - "Right-angled Hexagons: Hyperbolic Geometry and Topology"
  • 24 April: Yi Huang - "Jade and Jurisprudence"
  • 20 March: Alex Ghitza - "The Double Life of Primes"
  • 6 March: Nora Ganter - "On Secret Messages and why big Prime Numbers are worth a lot of Cash"

Seminars for 2008

  • 31 October: Dr. Marty Ross - "Can you Hear the Shape of a Drum?"
  • 24 October: Norman Do - "The Mathematical Art of Tiling" - Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 19 September: Arun Ram - "Generalising Pascal's Triangle"
  • 29 August: Dr. Chris Ormerod - "Solitons: The Weird and Wonderful World of Discrete Waves" - Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 15 August: Dr. Marty Ross - "Strange Harmonies: Mathematics and Music"
  • 8 August: James Saunderson - "Coding Theory 111000111"
  • 1 August: Sam Chow - "733t Advice 4 n00bs: How to P.own at Classic 2 Player Games" - Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 11 March: Dr. Marty Ross - "Pulp Fractions: Mathematics Goes to the Movies"
  • 18 March: Dr. John Groves - "Newton & Brazil: Tropical Geometry for Beginners"

Seminars for 2007

  • 18 October: Dr. Andrew Robinson - "Research Projects - A Purposive Sample"
  • 11 October: Prof. Kerry Landman - "Research Projects - Modelling Opportunities"
  • 5 October: Prof. Peter Forrester - "Research Projects - Discrete Maths and Mathematical Physics"
  • 16 August: Dr. Ken Sharpe - "When Atheletes God Bad, Call a Statistician"
  • 9 August: Nick Sheridan - "The Variational Principle"- Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 3 August: Prof. Terry Mills - "A Mathematician Goes to Hospital"
  • 28 July: Maurice Chiodo - "Hiking in the Hyperbolic Plane"- Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 27 July: Dr. Marty Ross - "Gauss's Egregious Theorem"- Click here for the seminar slides.
  • 27 April: James Saunderson - "My Favourite Pseudo-number Generator"
  • 30 March: Dr. Ian Wanless - "Euler Played Sudoku Too!"
  • 9 March: Norm Do - "How to win at tic-tac-toe"
  • 2 March: Dr. Marty Ross - "The Joy of Gambling"

Seminars for 2006

  • 20 October:Prof. Greg Hjorth - "The Set Theoretical Foundations of Mathematics"
  • 13 October:Dr. Bruce Gardiner - "How to build a mutant fly"
  • 6 Ocotber:Alison Thomson - "Groups, Graphs and Designing Computer Networks"
  • 1 September: Michael Nash and Prof. Ary Hoffmann - "Mathematics, Statistics and the Genetics of Insects"
  • 18 August: Nick Sheridan - "When Two Become Three"
  • 12 May: Andrew Kwok - "Mandelbrot, Mutations and Monkeys"
  • 28 April: Dr Marty Ross - "The Da Vinci Code and Other Mathematical Nonsense"
  • 31 March: Dr Anthony Wirth - "Comments On Communication Complexity"
  • 24 March: Norman Do - "Constant Curiosity" - Click here for the lecture slides
  • 17 March: Daniel Yeow - "Victoria's Secrets" - Click here for the lecture slides
  • 10 March: Peter McNamara - "Cake Cutting Algorithm"
  • 3 March: Dr Marty Ross - "Evil Infinity?"

Seminars for 2005

  • 28 October: Daniel Yeow - "Solving the Rubik's Cube"
  • 21 October: Dr Andrew Robinson - "Lumpers of the World, Unite" - Click here for information on equivalence testing
  • 7 October: Maurice Chiodo - "Braid Theory: The Mathematics of Hair Styling"
  • 26 August: Video Screening - "Fermat's Last Tango - Part 2"
  • 19 August: Video Screening - "Fermat's Last Tango - Part 1"
  • 12 August: Professor Richard Huggins - "Modern Statistical Techniques In Biostatistics"
  • 5 August: Daniel Yeow - "Beauty and Zen of Mathematics"
  • 20 May: Maurice Chiodo - "Beauty in Mathematics"
  • 6 May: Dr Marty Ross - "To Infinity and Beyond: Mathematics in the Movies"
  • 18 March: Dr Marty Ross - "Irrational Thoughts"

Seminars for 2004

  • 25 October: Dr Ole Warnaar - "The Lost Notebook"
  • 22 October: Dr Iain Aitchison - "Clay Prizes and the Harmony of Spheres"
  • 18 October: Associate Professor Kerry Landman - "The Mathematics of Life"
  • 15 October Norman Do - "The Mathematics of Voting"
  • 8 October: Professor Tony Guttmann - "How to Win an Olympic Gold Medal in Running" - Click here for the lecture slides.
  • 13 September: Dr Burkard Polster - "Escher and Beyond: Art, Mathematics and Magic"
  • 3 September: Paul McCormick - "Combinatorics: What sort of maths is that anyway?"
  • 20 August: Professor Peter Forrester - "The Riemann Hypothesis and Random Matrices"
  • 30 July: Maurice Chiodo - "The Chromatic Number Problem"
  • 14 May: Dan Mathews - "Evariste Galois: The Man and his Mathematics"
  • 7 May: Video Screening - "Outside In"
  • 23 April : Geordie Zhang - "What is a Real Number?"
  • 2 April : Dr John Groves - "Which Polygons are Constructible?"
  • 26 March : Video Screening - "CHAOS: The Theory which Imposes Order within Disorder"

Seminars for 2003

  • 13-14 November: Honours Project Talks - programme and abstracts
  • 29 October : Dr Ian Gordon (Director, Statistical Consulting Centre) - A Box Plot of Statistical Consulting
  • 22 October : Paul McCormick - Anthrax and Gossip: Alternative Applications of Networks
  • 17 September : Vivien Juan - Bridges, Maps, Computer Networks and Graph Theory
  • 10 September : Geordie Zhang - Number Theory, Graph Theory, Linear Algebra, Analysis and the Markov Chain Ergodicity Theorem
  • 27 August : Maurice Chiodo - Coffee Cups, Doughnuts, And The Four Dimensional Sphere
  • 23 May : Daniel Mathews - Poincaré's Problem and Perelman's Purported Proof
  • 16 May : Dave Sweeney - Why YOU Need To Know Logic
  • 9 May : Paul McCormick - Maths & Art
  • 2 May : Maurice Chiodo - Introductory Knot Theory
  • 11 April : Geordie Zhang - The Art Of Counting
  • 4 April : Dr Marty Ross (School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University) - The Joy Of Gambling
  • 28 March : DVD Screening - "Fermat's Last Tango" (A musical fantasy inspired by Andrew Wiles and his encounter with Fermat's Last Theorem)
  • 21 March : Dr Paul Norbury - Champagne Problem In Geometry

Seminars for 2002

  • 25 October : Zaeem Burq - Foundations Of Probability Theory
  • 18 October : Harald Sondergaard (Computer Science and Software Engineering, Melbourne Uni) - Staged Computation: Kleene's "Smn" Theorem in Practice
  • 6 September : Dr. Natashia Boland (Department of Maths and Stats, Melbourne Uni) - The MLC Problem in Cancer Radiation Therapy
  • 30 August : Aihua Xia (Associate Professor, Maths and Stats, Melbourne Uni) - Coupling, Probability Approximation And The Stein-Chen Method
  • 23 August : Daniel Arber - Peas And Rice
  • 16 August : Daniel Mathews - Mathemagical Games
  • 9 August : Geordie Zhang - History of the Parallel Postulate
  • 30 May : Video Screening - N is a Number
  • 17 May : Dr Burkard Polster (School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University) - Mathematical Origami
  • 22 March : Daniel Mathews - Parachuting and abseiling down quadratic landscapes

Seminars for 2001

  • 21 September : Tryon Schnabl - A Journey Through Hyperspace
  • 31 August : James Ong - Do war-makers really need analysts?
  • 18 May : Daniel Ford - Ramsey Theory
  • 11 May : Norman Do - Art Gallery Theorems

Seminars in 2000

  • 13 October : Simon Pampena - Order and Choice
  • 6 October : Dr. Margreet Kuijper - Interpolation-based decoding of Reed-Solomon codes and connections with linear system theory
  • 8 September: Chaitanya Rao - Maths Olympics questions of old
  • 1 September: Norman Do - Mathematical Titbits
  • 18 August: Samantha Richards - Buffon's Needle: A Simple Monte Carlo Method for the Estimation of Pi
  • 11 August: Desmond Lun - Pulsar Emission Theory
  • 26 May : Christian Mercat - Celtic Knotwork
  • 12 May : Burkard Polster - The Mathematics of Juggling
  • 14 April: Michael Volpato - A dozen years is but a day
  • 31 March: Simon Pampena - Japanese Temple Mathematics
  • 17 March: Chaitanya Rao - A look at Cauchy's equation

Seminars in 1999

  • 26 November: Honours Workshop - programme and abstracts
  • 29 October: Michael Volpato - P-adic numbers
  • 15 October: Daniel Grixti - Multivalued linear operators
  • 10 September: John FitzGerald - An overview of Image and Speech Processing
  • 27 August: Maziar Nikpour - Topics in Signal Processing
  • 6 August: Michael Volpato - Elliptic Curves
  • 21 May: Ian Wanless - Latin Squares
  • 14 May: Robert Merkel - Generating Test Strings
  • 30 April: Simon Petris - Phase Behaviour in Colloidal Dispersions
  • 23 April: Eva Swierczak - Maths in Finance - An Introduction to Usage of Mathematics in Financial Derivatives
  • 16 April: Natalie Roberts - Analysis of the Age Distribution of Children at Risk of Diabetes
  • 26 March: Ian Gordon - Statistical Consulting, a Job for the Curious
  • 5 March: Tony Wirth - Shortest Path Graph Algorithms

Seminars in 1998

  • 27 November: Honours Workshop - programme and abstracts
  • 30 October: Walter Neumann - Napoleon, My Father and Me
  • 23 October: Ben Burton - Cryptanalysis on the Front Line
  • 16 October Daniel Grixti - The Generalisation of Conic Sections to Hyperbolic and Spherical Space
  • 9 October: Tim Ebringer - The Mathematics and Politics of Electronic Cash
  • 28 August: Adam Cagliarini - On the Merits of Boxer Shorts
  • 21 August: Terry Speed - Mathematics, Statistics and Genomics
  • 14 August: Tony Wirth et al. - LaTeX seminar - slides
  • 29 May: Graham Weinberg - Geometric Approximation for Markov Hitting Times
  • 15 May: Tim Gould - Density Functional Theory
  • 12 May: Michael Barnsley - Basic Easy IFS Theory
  • 24 April: James Ong - Maths, Intuition and Truth
  • 3 April: Tony Wirth - Fast Multiplication Algorithms