Archived Newsletters can be accessed here.

March 2020

COVID-19 Updates

This has been a challenging few weeks around the world and within the University. We appreciate your patience and cooperation while we set up remote working. There is a lot to cover off in regards to your study and preparation - if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, the office, your supervisors or course coordinators.

We have moved into a alert level 4 which has resulted in a full shut down of campus. This is a massive change for all of us and we hope to work with you to create a work environment that you are comfortable with.

Available Help Services

There are a range of resources availiable if you do feel overwhelmed including:
  • Te Haika (A Wellington-based counselling line) on 0800 745 477
  • 1737 is also a NZ-wide version of this service availiable over text
  • The Bubble is an on campus peer mentored space if you want an informal chat to decompress - located on 2 floor Student Union building
  • Student Health also has various services available too
We also highly recommend keeping in touch with your colleagues, supervisors and support staff. We are here to answer your questions and generally chat if you need it.

A facebook group has been created to form a more casual space for everyone. You can access the page here. Feel free to invite anyone from our SMS graduate cohort that isnt in the group. If you would like another social medium created e.g. whats app etc - just let Caitlin know.

Graduate Meeting

The graduate meeting was held on the 4th March in CO431 from 12pm. There was great attendance for our first meeting and we hope to see you at subsequent meetings throughout the year. We were lucky enough to have a last minute guest attend the meeting - Elizabeth Olsen from the PGSA. She talked about the MRA and where the new agreement is at in its current development.

For more information you can view the meeting minutes here.

Please note: Action points from this meeting may now be temporarily on hold given recent developments in the COVID situation.

Postgraduate Students Association

Following the graduate meeting, there have been a few questions regarding the PGSA. If you would like more information on the events they hold or if you would like to join, you can find all that info on their page here. They also have a monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to.

If you would like to raise anything with the PGSA or are just looking for a bit more information, Greg Williams is the PGSA representative for taught courses in MATHs but also makes for a great port of call for general queries. He has kindly passed on his email address if you wish to contact him - williagreg@myvuw.ac.nz.

Jordan Barrett Research Presentation

Jordan and Martino presented on their summer research project on the 11th March. Jordan found his talk to be well received. A summary of the project and talk is below.

Partition Regularity of Diophantine equations

Abstract: An old question in Ramsey theory asks whether, given a Diophantine equation, we can find a monochromatic solution in any finite colouring of the natural numbers. Rado completely solved the linear case in 1933, but the nonlinear case has proved much harder. In recent years, nonstandard analysis, as well as ergodic theory, have been applied fruitfully by Di Nasso and others to yield new results in this area. I will give an overview of recent breakthroughs obtained by myself, Lupini and Moreira by applying nonstandard methods to the partition regularity problem.

Volunteer Day

On Thursday 5th March, a small team of SMS & ECS staff took on some volunteer work at the Wellington Central Park with Upstream. Malcolm Jones joined us for the day. Together we helped weed out the spiderwort that is creeping through much of the natice gardens. We made for a super productive team and completed much more work than Upstream anticipated.

Thanks Malcolm for joining us on the day.

Upstream meet up on the last Sunday of every month at 10am to do work in the Central Park.

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R Tutor Wanted

The school has been contacted by Rosi Merz, who is looking for someone to tutor them in R. They are looking for someone who:
  • Is good at explaining and has patience
  • is well experienced in data analysis
Rosi's prior experience includes:
  • Completing both STAT193 & STAT202 (7 years ago - so they feel a tad rusty in stats now)
  • Currently using sheets for simple summaries of numerical and categorical data
  • Would like to develop skills in R using these data sets
  • Data is focused on trapping information from Biological Field Research
Rosi is happy to undertake tutoring during work hours (8:30am-noon most days excl. weekends).

The successful candidate will receive $27/hour.

If you are interested, please email Rosi at onceuponanecologist@gmail.com.
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