Archived Newsletters can be accessed here.

September 2020

DATA690 code

From early 2021, the DATA690 code will be available. If you are currently enrolled in either MATH690 or STAT690 and feel you are better suited to a DATA code, talk to your supervisor about changing your course code.

St Bernards Revision Outreach

Throughout August and September, SMS postgrads helped out at St Bernards College with their mathematics exam revision. Malcolm Jones, Virginia LIstanti, Pawaneet Kaur, Linus Richter and Nitay Ben-Shachat all helped out with mentoring students. These sessions were for Maori NCEA level 1 students who were coming into their first year of external assessments. The aim of these sessions was to let students know what to expect in an exam setting and to give them a chance to tackle exam style problems with mentors around.

We will catch up with these students in November as the Marae has invited them on to campus to touch base on how the exams went and to show them campus life.


Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship

Each year the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and 180 other countries. These scholarships are aimed at yound researchers from abroad who have completed a masters degree or PhD. There are 3 types of scholarships offered:
  • Research Fellowship (12 months): Intended for highly qualifie postgraduate researchers from all axcademic fields as well as young medical doctors
  • PhD Scholarship (12-36 months): Intended for highly qualified PhD students from all academic fields
  • Post-doctoral Scholarship (12 months): Intended for highly qualified post-doctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic career from all academic fields
The application deadline is 13 November 2020. For more infromation and to get an application package, visit the Embassy of Switzerland in New Zealand website.


Postgraduate Seminar - 12th October, 3:10pm - 4pm, CO431

Josh Baines: The Painlevé-Gullstrand Form of Various Spacetimes

Every spacetime is defined by its metric, the mathematical object which further defines the spacetime curvature. From the relativity principle, we have the freedom to choose which coordinate system to write our metric in. Some coordinate systems, however, are better than others. In this talk, we begin with a brief introduction into general relativity, Einstein's masterpiece theory of gravity. We then discuss some physically interesting spacetimes and the coordinate systems that the metrics of these spacetimes can be expressed in. More specifically, we discuss the existence of the rather useful Painlevé-Gullstrand coordinate system in these spacetimes. Using this useful coordinate system then allows us to conduct further analysis of these spacetimes, which we discuss.

NSUCRYPTO 2020 7th International Olympiad in Cryptography

NSUCRYPTO is the unique cryptographic Olympiad containing scientific mathematical problems for school students, university students and professionals from any country. Its aim is to involve young researchers in solving curious and tough scientific problems of modern cryptography. Every year there is about 1000 participants of NSUCRYPTO from more than 50 countries. This year Olympiad will start with the short crypto-lecture (in video format) given by the leading specialist of the field.

The First round (duration 4 hours 30 minutes) is individual and consists of two sections: A and B. Theoretical problems in mathematics of cryptography are offered to participants. The Second round (duration 1 week) is devoted to research and programming problems of cryptography solved in teams.

You could find more information (the rules of the Olympiad, the problems of the previous NSUCRYPTO and their solutions) at the Olympiad website.

VUWWIT's STEM Ball - 24th October, Hunter Lounge

🍭 VUWWIT's Annual Ball is back with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme at the Hunter lounge. We've also got a quiet room in case you need a breather. Join us in finishing off this chaotic year on a sweet note and invite all your friends. Any major, gender, or student from any uni, and even recent alumni are welcome!! Tickets are only $58 for individuals or save $5 when you buy two (for reference ball tickets are normally in the $80 to $100 range).

Head to for more info or straight to the ticket link at 🍭

WITCon20 - Thursday 12th November, 9am-4pm, SUMT228

Set yourself up with success for internships by attending WITCon, where half of the attendees are industry members! WITCon is a student-led, affordable conference that intends to bring together industry and students to discuss social and technical topics surrounding STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Math). WITCon20 will be held on 12th November, on Kelburn Campus at Victoria University of Wellington.

Our sponsors this year include CatalystIT, IntegrationWorks, FNZ, ZX Security, PikPok, InternetNZ, Altrusa Ohariu, EY, and more! Tickets start from as little as $12 for students and include a free conference bag and lunch! Talks this year range from neurodiversity to how to plant trees remotely with smartphones to how our technology is racist! You’re not going to want to miss out this year, so get in QUICK because we cannot make exceptions if you miss out!

We also have a very limited number of sponsored tickets so don’t let your financial situation stop you. Flick us an email at and we’ll give you FREE TICKET but it is first-in-first-served.

Open to: ALL genders; students and industry members alike.

WITCon20 counts as a Category C, Career Development workshop for Wellington Plus. Please take along a Workshop Verification form and get it signed off by one of the organisers.

For more information on talks and tickets, visit the WITCon Website.

New Zealand Mathematics and Statistics Postgraduate Conference - Thursday 26th November, Online

We are fast approaching the end of the year 2020, and it has been an eventful one. One of the highlights of the year for postgraduate students in New Zealand's Mathematics and Statistics departments is the NZMASP conference.

This year the conference will be held online, on 26th November with an option to extend to November 27th. The online conference gives you two big benefits. First, all the money sponsored by NZMS, ANZIAM and NZSA is all available for prizes, coming to over $2000 worth. Secondly, registration is free. Thus, the expected value of your financial return is $2000/N where N is the number of registrants. Furthermore, NZMS will be awarding the prestigious Aitken prize based on the talks at the NZMS conference. In addition to the contributed talks, we are having international plenary speakers and online social events.

Talks will be short, 5-minute presentations, followed by a 3 minute Q and A. Giving a shorter, online talk is an opportunity to push yourself as a presenter and be creative, making full use of Zoom's screen-share functionality to get your ideas across.

You can register at our website: or fill in this form.

Any questions can be sent to

Job Opportunities

Postdoctoral Researcher at The University of Adelaide

This research position will provide key mathematical modelling for the ARC Discovery Project “Prediction of inertial particle focusing in curved microfluidic ducts”. The successful applicant will join a thriving team developing mathematical models to give quantitative understanding of the fundamental physics of suspension flows in curved microfluidic ducts. The work will provide valuable understanding for design of microfluidic sorters, whose uses include the separation of circulating tumour cells from a routine blood sample.

The successful applicant will be based at the University of Adelaide, the home University of the project leader Prof Yvonne Stokes. The work will also require collaboration with the co-investigators Dr Brendan Harding, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ), and Prof Andrea Bertozzi, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). There will be opportunity for involvement in experimental validation of the modelling to be done at the bioengineering laboratory of Prof Di Carlo, UCLA.

To be successful you will need:

  • A PhD in Applied Mathematics, or a relevant discipline, by the date of appointment
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake high quality research in mathematical modelling.
  • Demonstrated experience in numerical solution of differential equations, including the development of computer programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, both orally and in writing, and to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion

The position is fixed term for 3 years. Applications close 11:55pm 11th October 2020. For more information, visit the job listing on the University website.

Internship Opportunities

Technology Developer - Monkeytronics Ltd (Wellington, NZ)

Monkeytronics is a Wellington-based IoT product development company. We are a social enterprise producing tiny low-power IoT devices that tell you when the spaces where you live, work and study are making you sick. We are on a mission to make New Zealand families happier and healthier.
We want to bring on a talented student or recent graduate who loves science and technology. You will be given the opportunity to contribute from day one. At Monkeytronics there is no red tape or bureaucracy: just Lean Agile business. If you have solid skills in any one of the following areas, we'd love to hear from you:
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Statistical Modelling and Reporting in R
  • Science and the Scientific Method
  • Software skills in any of i) Angular ii) Embedded C or 3) node.js within AWS.
Are you keen to learn about product development? Can you think scientifically and not let your assumptions get in the way of finding the right answer? Are you goal focussed? If yes, please get in touch. If it doesn't sound like your thing but you know the person we just described, put them in touch!

Applications close 16th October 2020.

See the CareerHub listing for more information.
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