May 2021

Minimum Resources Agreement Consultation

The Minimum Resources Agreement (MRA) that is currently in use was an interim and now outdated agreement. It has taken some time but PGSA, FGR and Building Services have put out a draft document for consultation. Caitlin is collating feedback from graduates to send through to the consultation team. If you would like to comment on the document, please send your feedback through. If you would like to review the old and new Resource Agreement - please email Caitlin and she can send through a copy, or pop down to the School Office for a hard copy.

The main changes to the agreement include:
  • a broadening of the scope of this document beyond simply enumerating the minimum resources available to a thesis student (hence the removal of the word ‘minimum’ from the title)
  • adding more detail about the staff involved (Section 1), in particular noting the role of the school manager
  • adding a completely new section (Section 3) on the design of new office space for thesis students that outlines the best practice for such space and identifies both essential and desirable features
  • refining the list of guaranteed minimum resources (Sections 4 and 5)
  • introducing the concept of a guaranteed desk and specifying those situations in which it is expected that a student will discuss relinquishing that guarantee (Section 4)
  • expanding the section on Health and Safety to include all relevant University policies (Section 6)
  • refining the protocol for addressing concerns (Section 8)
  • updating a small number of other items to reflect actual practice.
If you would like to send your own feedback you can do so - in fact, we encourage you to do so. Please send any comments through to Hannah Hollamby. The feedback deadline is the 26th of June. As Caitlin is on leave during that week, please send through any feedback you might have by Friday 11th June.

Jasmine's Outreach Activities Up North

Jasmine has kindly kept the School up to date on some of the work she is doing as part of our Māori and Pasifika outreach. See below for what she has been up to lately:

As part of the Bevan Werry Speaker position, I’ve recently returned from a month in the Far North, where I ran outreach at numerous schools and gave talks on maths education. I was the keynote speaker for two teacher conferences, sharing my thoughts on why the maths curriculum needs to change, as well as running workshops for teachers sharing some engaging maths games (including NIM and Brussel Sprouts). The most rewarding part of the trip was the outreach, which was group focussed. I played games with 250 Māori and Pasifika Y7-Y10 students, many of whom struggled or were disengaged with school maths, but loved the games. The majority of students continued playing through the breaks, and I even managed to get a big group of disruptive Y10 boys (who were wagging class and on their way to Maccas) to join in, and they stayed for two hours! Feedback from both the student and teachers was brilliant. I’m looking forward to going back again next year and reaching more schools!

Some teacher feedback:

Was amazing to see how engaged our students were, and how they loved the activities, and then to see the “realization” on their faces that they are actually using math skills, and doing math without realising it. Great workshop!!

Our students really enjoyed the activity. I was surprised to see their perseverance and engagement for such an extended period. We also had comments that “This is much better than maths” Jasmine shared some very powerful messages about students' ability to do maths and related well to students.

I thought the sessions were wonderful. Jasmine set games/challenges that had the students totally engaged and focussed on coming up with a winning strategy. The questioning and prompts she used were really good and it was lovely to see how easily and seamlessly she extended those students who needed it or who “finished early”. Good to see the use of hands on materials too.

Upcoming Events

Seminar: Conformal Geometry and Taming Infinity - Prof Rod Gover (University of Auckland)

Wednesday 9th June, 2pm-3pm in CO350

The world around us appears to involve lengths and angles. From these emerge the classical notions of shape and symmetry configured in 3 dimensions. Our mathematical ancestors realised that these notions should be important, not only for construction and surveying, but also for understanding “life, the universe and everything”. In the process of simplifying complicated structures it turns out that an important role is played by conformal geometries – these are spaces where there is a notion of angle but not length.

We will discuss some elegant tools for working with these less than rigid geometries and how they help treat other problems such as writing massive particle equations and taming non-compact spaces.

NZIP & Physikos 2021 Conference 12-14 July (Queen Margaret College, Wellington)

This conference ties together the NZ Institute of Physics and the New Zealand Physics Teachers Conference. If you have an interest in physics and physics education - this could be the event for you. The conference is taking place over three days and has a broad range of physics topics, education adn research including:
  • nanotechnology
  • quantum optics
  • space physics
  • astrophysics
  • climate physics
  • medical imaging technology and materials
If you would like to check out the programme in more detail, check out the conference webpage. If you are interested in attending, have a chat to your supervisor about available registration support.

Scholarship Opportunities

Raewyn Good Study Award for Māori and Pasifika Social Science Research

This study award, tenable at any New Zealand university/wānanga for one year is available to students, who at the time of application, are engaged/enrolled in or applying for a Master’s degree which involves social sciences research. The award is for $6 000 for Māori and Pasifika Postgraduate students involved in social science research. For more information on the award and the application, please visit the Royal Society webpage.

Sir Hugh Kawharu Masters Scholarship for Innovation in Science

The goal of this scholarship is to support and encourage masters level study by Māori students in the science. The award is for $10 000 to go towards masters level studt in any scientific field. If you would like more information on the application or scholarship, check out the Royal Society webpage.

Betty Loughhead Soroptimist Scholarship 2022

Soroptimist International exists to inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls. The Betty Loughhead Soroptimist Scholarship provides financial assistance to women who are studying for a qualification to:
  • enter or re-enter the workforce; or
  • change occupation
Who can apply?

Women who are:
  • New Zealand citizens
  • At least 25 years old on 1 September 2021
  • Enrolled in an NZQA approved education programme, undertaken in NZ
  • Have a proven record of academic achievement
  • Able to use the scholarship in the 2022 academic year
Download an application form at:

Applications open on 1 June 2021 and close on 31 August 2021

Job Opportunities

NCEA Level 3 Calculus and Physics Tutor Wanted

  • Loves subjects and can communicate with year 13 student
  • Previous tutoring experience (but not essential)
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Referee will be required i.e. lecturer or previous employer
  • Immediate start - $30 per hour
Student can come to University Library or other public study space.

Phone Fiona on 021 771 913

Data Science/Statistics Tutor Wanted

Rosi Merz is looking for a data science and statistics tutor as part of some professional development and skilling up.

Looking for someone who:
  • well experienced in data analysis
  • is good at explaining and has patience.
About myself and my data:
  • I completed STAT193 and STAT202 over 7 years ago /rather rusty in Statistics.
  • Currently I mainly use sheets for simple summaries.. (willing to learn how to use R but it's not my main focus of this).
  • My data sets are fairly small and a mix of numerical and categorical data. Mainly trapping data. .
  • Tutoring session I can do during work hours (8.30am- noon most days except for Fri, Sat, Sun).
$27/per hour (will require an invoice for this)

Email Rosie: