-- Main.warwooca - 09 Mar 2020

February 2020

Graduate Meeting

There was no graduate meeting in February. The first graduate meeting will take place in CO431 on the 4th March at 12pm. Minutes will be sent out and attached to the next newsletter.

CO540 Renovation

The renovations in CO540 will be completed in the first week of March. It is expected we will be able to start moving Statistics and Data Science students into this room around then.

Please let Caitlin know if you have any special requirements for this move.

Recreation Centre Timetable T1

The Rec Centre have released their updated class timetable for T1 starting on the 17th Feb. You can view the timetable here.

Grants Management System Access

The University is updating our processes to be paper free. One of these processes is applications to access the Grants Mangement System. If you are the recipient of a grant/scholarship or thinking about applying for a grant/scholarship - you will need access to this system. Some of our grant applications cannot be processed without you having an active account (such as the Faculty Strategic Research Grant). To apply for access please use the following steps:
  1. Login to the Service Center with your VUW login
  2. Select "Finance" from the left-hand menu
  3. Select "Grants Management System"
  4. Select "GMS access"
  5. Fill in the form:
    1. Select "RT Self Service - GMS User" for your access requirements
    2. Enter "Ginny Whatarau" as the authorising manager
If you have any difficulties with completing the form, please visit Caitlin in the SMS office or send her an email.

Professor Julia Wolf (University of Cambridge) - Forder Lecturer


Professor Julia Wolf is visiting the University during March and will be presenting 2 talks - one for staff and grads and one to the public. The details for each talk are as follows:

Staff Talk: What Fourier analysis can and cannot tell us about the integers

Wednesday, 18th March, 11am-12pm CO350

It is surprisingly straightforward to count the number of solutions to simple equations such as x+y=2z or x-y=z^2, where x, y and z lie in a "random-looking" subset of the integers. The discrete Fourier transform provides a natural way of quantifying what we mean by random-looking, but fails us once we start to consider arithmetic progressions of length greater than three and other more sophisticated structures. This failure opens the door to a rich and still evolving theory of higher-degree Fourier analysis, which we shall try and catch a glimpse of in this talk.

Graduates are welcome to attend this talk.

Public Talk: The usefulness of useless (mathematical) knowledge

Wednesday, 18th March, 6pm-7pm RHLT1

The talk's title is a play on the title of a famous essay by Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Written in 1939--and recently supplemented by a companion piece written by the Institute's current director Robbert Dijkgraaf--its central thesis is that 'the search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs'. In a world dominated by the desire for immediate impact and quick returns, this premise has (again) become acutely relevant as funding for the basic sciences is being called into question. This talk elaborates on this theme in the context of mathematical research in number theory, combinatorics and harmonic analysis, drawing on striking examples from across the centuries.

Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Fellow in Statistics - University of Otago

The postdoctoral fellow will deal with the challenging task of developing new methods for disentangling fixed and random effects in spatial point patterns. This is a fundamental and important problem in the interpretation of data in a wide variety of research fields, including epidemiology, ecology, and archaeology to name a few. In the absence of solution to this problem, researchers are unable to determine whether a cluster of disease cases, for example, is likely explained by a single contaminating source or by contagion between infected individuals.

The position is available as part of a prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund Research Grant recently awarded. The fellow will be supervised by Principal Investigator Dr. Tilman Davies alongside Professor Martin Hazelton and Professor Adrian Baddeley, working on their project “A new generation of statistical models for spatial point process data”.

Applications close 31st March 2020

For more information, check out the job listing on CareerHub.

Ankit Patel - Now Married!

On February 25th, Ankit got married to his fiance Madeleine in a beautiful traditional Indian wedding. Ankit has just submitted his thesis titled:"Rating Ratings: A Quantitative Framework for Constructing Human-Based rating Systems." What a great way to finish of your PhD - congrats to both of you and all the best for your future together.

ankits wedding 2.jpg Ankits wedding 1jpg.jpg

Level 5 & Level 3 Kitchens - Cotton Building

Level 5 Kitchen users, please note that this is not and SMS kitchen. You should use the level 3 kitchen if you can. Please be respectful that this is an area used by and paid for the Antarctic research centre. If you must use the kitchen make sure you wash and clean your dishes and leave the area tidy. This also impacts those in the office nearest to the kitchen, so please be aware.

Cotton level 3 will be getting a new boiling water heater shortly to replace the broken sink mounted taps. There will be an element of disruption whilst the old unit is removed and cabinetry, piping, and electrical installed for the new zip. Subject to usage of the space contractors will be installing this by mid-March.


The Scholarships Office has released a bimonthly newsletter. You can view the February - March newsletter here. Scholarships of interest in this newsletter are:

Maori Education Trust Scholarships

The Maori Education Trust has opened their scholarship round for 2020. They have announced a few new postgraduate scholarships for this year so make sure to check out their website. Applications for all scholarships close on at 4:30pm on Friday 3rd April 2020. All forms are availiable on their website too. A few of the available scholarships are listed below:
Hapū and Iwi Scholarship:

Available to Maori postgraduate students who are studying a field that will support the strategic interests and direction of their hapū or iwi
  • 5 available
  • $7,500 each
STEM Scholarship

Available to Maori postgraduate students studying science (biology, chemistry, and physics), technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • 6 available
  • $7,500 each
Queen Elizabeth 2 Postgraduate Fellowship

Available to Maori & non-Maori graduates with excellent academic abilities, planning to do postgraduate research in a field that will be beneficial to Maori.
  • 1 available
  • $5,000
Rangiriri and Mātene Te Whiwhi Winiata Scholarship

Available to Maori and non-Maori graduates to enable them to complete their postgraduate studies. Pre-requisite is a completion of a master's degree.
  • 6 available
  • $7,500 each
Rose Hellaby Postgraduate Scholarship

Available to Maori students with a record of proven academic excellence undertaking MSc or PhD in the fields of engineering, mathematics, science, technology or medicine. This scholarship is applicable to study taking place within New Zealand or at an international institution.
  • 2 available
  • $30,000