October 2019

Postgraduate Meeting

The next postgraduate meeting is booked to take place on Friday 25th October at 1pm. Once minutes have been completed they will be added to the newsletter.

UPDATE: Meeting minutes can be found here.

Postgraduate Policy Changes

This month the postgraduate coordinator and administrator meeting took place. This mainly focused on PhD policy as covered by FGR. There have been quite a few changes in FGR over the last few months including some staffing changes:
  • New Dean: Prof. Neil Didgson
  • New Deputy Dean: Prof. Samantha Owens
  • New Graduate Research Administrator: Ms. Alex Barton
  • New Executive Assistant: Hannah Holenbe
  • New Scholarships & Admissions Manager: Amanda Fraser
As part of these staffing changes there has been a bit of an overhall in FGR policy, some of these changes will be confirmed in November after FGR have their Faculty meeting. We will keep you in the loop with any policy changes that may effect us.
CDP's

CDP's have had a bit of a change this round. Some of the questions have been restructured and the format shifted to streamline the process. A hardcopy of the new CDP format has not been provided so we recommend checking it out early once they are availiable. Caitlin will send out a reminder to everyone once they open on November 1st.

There will be a new process for students with a revise and resubmit theis outcome. These students will no longer be a part of the CDP process, they will not be required to complete a 3 month reporting process with the PhD exams team.

Provisional Registration

When completing provisional registrations, it is now required to have a secondary and administrative supervisor. If this is not completed, the provisiponal registration will not be accepted by Science Faculty - this may result in the students enrollment being suspended if not completed on time. Please make sure these roles are completed on your Provisional Registration form.

Research Proposals

It is now recommended that supervisors and students aim for the 10 month mark to complete proposals. This will ensure there is enough time for the proposal to be reviewed by the School Research Committee and any edits to be made before submission to FGR at the 1 year mark. Please take this into account when planning a research timeline with your supervisor.

Summary of additional changes to be ratified by FGR in future:
  • Other languages for thesis submission will require Dean approval. This approval will need to be given in the research proposal stage of the project
  • There are expected to be changes to restrictions around published works (including the students own), permission will be required for their use
  • No minimum word limit on submission
  • Enrolments no longer to be back dated, students need to be here in Wellington and on Campus prior to the 1st of the month when their enrollment starts. Otherwise, they may be charges enrollment fees even if they have started studies yet
  • Suspensions will still be given in one month lots, but will no longer be back dated to the first. They will start when the application for a suspension is accepted.
  • Research away will only be accepted for research not possible to complete on campus. Things like going overseas during the writing stage will not be accepted
  • Corrections and ammendments will be split into:
    • Required: The student must implement these corrections and ammendments into their work
    • Suggested: The corrections and ammendments are recommended but not essential to completing the thesis
  • Library submissions will be the examined thesis, not the corrected one.
  • Advanced graduations will now be processed by FGR
Please let Caitlin know if any of these changes may have an impact on your thesis. I will be able to get more information on the policy for you so we can address any potential issues ASAP.

Congratulations Jasmine Hall - Bevan Werry Speaker 2019

At this months NZAMT conference, it was announced that Jasmine Hall has been awarded the position of Bevan Werry Speaker for 2019. The Bevan Werry award is inspired by Bevan Werry - a mathematician and educator who spent his life developing the mathematics curriculum in New Zealand, making recommendations to UNESCO, contributing to Mathematical Digest and other publications.

Jasmine gave her inaugral talk on the NCEA mathematics curriculum and the need for it to change. The talk covered Jasmine's upbringing with her mathematician father, a passion for "Murderous Maths" books and Esher's tesalations and how this lead to her current PhD research in Graph Theory, Image Recognition and Tangles. She further highlighted the challenges of the NCEA curriculum - limited applicability, idolising calculus over the wide range of mathematics and the absurdly framed problems to name a few issues. The talk culminated in her recommendations for the future: a compulsory logic based curriculum and an optional curriculum focused on each students interests and strengths. While she addressed a big topic, her talk was accessible to the wide range of audience members from secondary teachers, current professors at the university, current students and even some professional staff who were in attendance.

While it is yet to be seen if her recommendations will be adopted by NZQA, we are incredibly proud of Jasmine and her achievement. Jasmine is now availiable to book as a speaker around the country (and so are the other Bevan Werry Speakers - including our own Dillon Mayhew). Jasmine may be in for a busy year ahead!

Congratulations Jasmine!

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NCEA Scholarship Revision Workshops

Earlier in the month SMS worked alongside the Science Faculty to hold a series of revision workshops for NCEA Level 3 scholarship students. With the help of David Cox and Dillon Mayhew were are able to run two successful Statistics and Calculus workshops. Both workshops were well attended with the rooms packed full on each day. We had a range of activities including problem solving presentations, talks from both staff and post-docs on their work and even some games. The day would have not been possible without the support of both postgrads, undergrads and teaching staff who gave up their time to both tutor the students and listen to their presentations. It was a great day with every group working well together.

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End of Semester Tutor Lunch

We had an opportunity to recognise the hard work of our tutors, markers and class reps at the end of semester tutor lunch. After a few hiccups with getting the food out on time, it proved to be a very successful morning tea with alot of chatter about the semester passed. Thank you to all of our tutors that help spread the workload and get everything out to our students in a timely manner - without you all we would never get through the mountain of marking and teaching each semester.

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Upcoming Events

PhD Visa Workshop - 31st October 3-4:30pm 31 October MCLT102

The final year(s) of a PhD can be stressful – especially if you are an international PhD student whose scholarship (or other funding) runs out before your thesis is ready for submission. Having to renew your student visa during this time can be an additional source of stress and anxiety, as the process involves paperwork, certificates and financial requirements. However, this stress can be reduced by planning ahead and thinking about possible solutions before your visa expires. Even if you still have 12 months or more left and think you might submit on time, we encourage you to attend this session, as preparation needs time.

This session will help you to plan ahead for the time when your scholarship ends, and/or your visa is due for renewal. At the end of this session you will:
  • Understand the process of your visa renewal and documents you will need
  • Be aware of insurance obligations, including family insurance
  • Know possible funding options
You will also have the chance to ask questions and connect with other international PhD students in a similar situation.

This workshop will be run by Dr Catherine Guo (International Student Advisor- Visa), Crystal Li (International Student Advisor- Insurance), Nadia Henare (Student Finance – Team Leader).

Academic Showcase 2019 - Centre for Science in Society - 24th October 3-5pm TTR205

Have you ever wondered about the research interests of the staff in the Centre for Science in Society? Are you curious about the conversations that happen in our hallways? Are you looking for collaborators or supervisors who are committed to critical thinking around some of society and sciences’ pressing questions? Want to know more about our interdisciplinary projects and methodologies? If so, do join us for short informal presentations by our academic staff highlighting their research areas and methodological focus.

Faculty of Graduate Research Workshops

FGR PhD Workshop: Threshold concepts in learning to be a researcher, Dr Margaret Kiley, October 29, 9.30am-12.30pm, Murphy 632

In this workshop, we will examine different understandings of research, the concepts that underpin them and ways such understandings can influence candidates' and supervisors' approaches to research. The workshop will consider threshold concepts such as theory and theorising and propose strategies to help address such “troublesome” concepts. For more information, and to register, click on the link below:

https://vuw.libcal.com/event/5217066
FGR PhD Workshop: What are examiners thinking when they examine your PhD? Dr Margaret Kiley, October 29, 1.30pm-4.30pm, Murphy 632

What are examiners looking for when they examine a PhD thesis? In this workshop, we will consider how examiners approach the examination of written doctoral theses and what they are thinking as they make their decisions. We will also consider how doctoral examiners are selected and how you might prepare for the oral defence. For more information, and to register, click on the link below:

https://vuw.libcal.com/event/5209581
FGR PhD Workshop: Being strategic about publishing, Aubrey Kirkpatrick and Ruth Graham, November 20, 10am-12.00pm, Murphy 632

In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss and explore strategies for publishing your research, understanding the publication landscape and finding a good fit for your output. Please bring a completed or partial journal manuscript title, abstract and/or keywords. We will use these to search and analyse the literature. Please bring your own laptop. For more information, and to register, click on the link below:

https://vuw.libcal.com/event/5219828

Conferences

2019 AUT Mathematical Science Symposium

The Mathematical Sciences Research Group (MSRG), Department of Mathematical Sciences, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology is hosting a Symposium over the period Thursday 21 November - Friday 22 November 2019.

Location: Auckland University of Technology, WF Building, AUT City Campus, Auckland Central, Rooms WF710 and WF711

Invited Speakers: The following invited speakers have been confirmed:
  • Boris Choy, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Simona Fabrizi, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Rachel Fewster, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Andreas W. Kempa-Liehr, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Fabien Montiel, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Thomas Yee, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Contributed Talks: We welcome contributed talks (20 minutes) from the mathematical sciences community. Abstracts (up to 250 words) should be submitted through the Symposium website by Monday 11 th November 2019.

Topics: statistical programming, statistical methodology, stochastic modelling, data science, computational and mathematical modelling, financial analytics, financial mathematics, decision analysis, and structural dynamics

Registration: All participants are required to register on the Symposium website by Thursday 7 th November 2019. There is no registration fee. Morning tea and afternoon tea will be provided.

Symposium website: https://www.aut.ac.nz/events/2019-aut-mathematical-sciences-symposium

Mathematical Physiology - Better Health Through Mathematics (November 2019 - Centre De Recherchers Mathematiques, Montreal, Canada)

The nature of heath care is now dramatically changing. The driving force is the powerful computational capabilities of the personal cell phone. Acting together with developments in sensors, cell phone apps can not only continuously monitor key physiological variables (temperature, activity, blood sugar), but automatically alert health care workers when attention is necessary. It is not difficult to imagine that soon cell phones apps will become an essential component of health management thus providing a patient-centrist approach to individualized medicine.

In November 2019, researchers will gather at the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) in Montreal to identify the mathematical problems that must be solved in order to translate theoretical insights of disease mechanism into patient care deliverables. The participants include not only bio-mathematicians and biostatisticians, but also health care workers, educators, computer scientists and representatives from industry.

This month long CRM event is organized into three one-week long workshops. Attendees will typically come for one of the weeks; however, some attendees may arrange their schedule to attend part or all of two or more of the workshops. Each workshop day is organized in a similar manner. Each morning there will be three formal lectures designed to stimulate discussions later in the day. The afternoons are organized to encourage interactions between members from industry and the participants, for example problem solving sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, visit their page here.

Scholarship Opportunities

Zonta Club of Wellington - Biennial Science Award

The Zonta Science Award was established to further the status of women in scientific fields. The Award is for an emerging woman scientist (i.e., a recent PhD graduate rather than a woman well established in the science field).

Priority will be given to a woman working in area of science where funding is not readily available.

The aims of the Award are to:
  • encourage women to pursue a career in science
  • actively promote science as a career for women
  • recognise and encourage others already in the scientific field, and
  • acknowledge the valuable contribution of women scientists.
The applicant must be a woman who:
  • has a PhD (usually within 7 years of graduation)
  • has excelled in the fields of pure or applied science (excluding clinical medicine i.e. medical research that involves direct contact with patients),
  • is a NEW ZEALAND RESIDENT and resides in New Zealand,
  • is studying for further post doctorate qualifications or is involved in research that has widespread benefits.
We are looking for an ‘all round’ woman, who:
  • contributes to her community,
  • appreciates the role of women in science,
  • is/will be an advocate for these women, and,
  • for whom this Award would be a means to further advancement.
The Award recipient receives:
  • $15,000 cash to fund travel expenses and/or research material and equipment
  • $3,000 for return air travel to Europe or the USA flying economy class (to be used to attend professionally related conferences or places of further study), and a
  • Commemorative medal and certificate of achievement.
Applications close Monday 3rd February 2020. For more information, visit their page.

Ministry of Primary Industries Postgraduate Scholarships

MPI’s Postgraduate Science Scholarships provide financial support for PhD and master’s candidates doing primary industry research.

Each scholarship is worth up to:
  • $50,000 for PhD students
  • $12,000 for master’s students.
Our winners also benefit from the support of an MPI mentor and professional development to grow their networks.

Applications for the 2020 scholarships are open between 14 October and 8 December 2019. Winners will be announced in February 2020.

These scholarships help MPI build capability for the primary industries, particularly where there are skills and science gaps.

New Zealand’s primary industries offer diverse and exciting career opportunities. You can help:
  • feed the world
  • build a sustainable future
  • find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems like biosecurity risks, animal welfare, and climate change.
Applications are open now - closing on the 8th December. For more information check out their page.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships enable outstanding emerging leaders from all over the world to pursue one-year master’s degrees in the UK. Whilst there is no ‘typical’ Chevening Scholar, we are looking for the kind of people who have the passion, ideas, and influence to provide the solutions and leadership needed to create a better future.

Because these scholarships are fully-funded (flights, accommodation, and course fees are all included), you are free to focus on achieving your professional goals and maximising the experience of a lifetime. You will live and study in the UK for a year, during which time you will develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. On completing your studies, you will leave the UK equipped with the knowledge and networks necessary to bring your own ideas to life.

The admission criteria for this scholarship are very broad - check out details on their website. Applications close 5th November.

Research Opportunities

Simons CRM Scholar-in-Residence Program

If you are finishing your PhD in the coming year, the Centre De Recherches Mathematiques in Montreal, Canada has now opened applications for the CRM Scholar-in-Residence programme. This program is directed towards both Junior and Senior researchers. Junior scholars chosen for the programe will participate in and enrich the CRM thematic programs. They will also contribute to the collaborative research activities of the thirteen CRM research laboratories.

Visits on this programe are between two and six months in length. There is support availiable to cover the costs of round trip travel, local accommodation (including family accommodation if needed). Applications should be sent to nomination@crm.umontreal.ac with a cover lett, CV and a support letter from a CRM affiliateed individual, group or event organizer where appropriate. For more information visit the webpage here.

So far the listed topic of interest for 2020 is "Special Geometries on Riemannian Manifolds". Previous topics from 2019 include:
  • New Developments in Free Probability and Applications
  • Topological and Rigourours Computational Methods for High Dimensional Dynamics
  • Faces of Integrability
  • Data Assimilation: Theory, Algorithms and Applications
  • Homological Algebra, Microlocal Analysis and Symplectic Geometry
  • Expansions, Lie Algebras and Invariants
  • Quiver Varieties and Representation Theory
  • Low Dimensional Topology
  • Mixed Integer Nonlinear Programming: Theory and Computation

Job Opportunities

Lecturer in Computational Mathematics and Statistics - VUW SMS

We seek a dynamic academic with a developing record of research in some branch or branches of a computational field within Mathematics, Statistics and/or Data Science. The successful applicant will contribute to the further development of Data Science at Victoria University of Wellington, interacting with disciplines across the university who are users of Data Science, including bioinformatics, health sciences, and the humanities. The successful applicant will also contribute to the School’s engagement with the wider Data Science community in the capital city and NZ-wide.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is well connected within the University, supporting opportunities to work with colleagues in biological, physical, health, social, earth and information sciences, engineering, business and the humanities. It also sustains strong connections with employers and researchers in the government, private and not-for-profit sectors, enabling work placements for students in our programmes.

The appointee will undertake undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in applied mathematics, statistics and/or data science at all levels. They will promote learning among students with a wide range of applied and computational domains within the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics. They will undertake supervision of postgraduate research students on both theoretical and applied topics, including students in the workplace seeking to advance their qualifications. They will conduct an on-going research activity of international standard, in keeping with the university’s emphasis on high-quality scholarship and will contribute to building on the University’s engagement with stakeholders, including through externally funded research.

The university is committed to building a diverse workforce and the School encourages applicants who are women, Māori, Pasifika and from other groups under-represented in the STEM sector.

If you are interested in this position, view the listing on the Universities Current Vacancies page or get in touch with Ginny Whatarau.

Applications close 15 November 2019
Assistant Professor - New Mexico State University Department of Mathematical Sciences

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at New Mexico State University invites applicants for a tenure-track faculty appointment to be filled at the Assistant Professor level beginning August, 2020. The position will support research and teaching needs in the department, with research focus in Foundations of Mathematics. Individuals interested in contributing to a diverse academic community are particularly encouraged.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Mathematics or related area prior to August, 2020 and are expected to demonstrate outstanding research potential, excellent communication skills, and a commitment to excellence in teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Expected duties include graduate and undergraduate teaching, sustained research, supervision of graduate students, submission of competitive external funding proposals, and some university service.

Candidates must submit basic application materials, including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, publication list, and unofficial transcripts through the following link: http://jobs.nmsu.edu/postings/36714. A minimum of four letters of reference, at least one of which addresses teaching, an AMS Cover Sheet, and teaching and research statements should be submitted online through www.mathjobs.org. Inquiries should be addressed to: mathsearch@nmsu.edu The closing date for applications is December 15, 2019.

NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent on the university’s verification of credentials, individual’s eligibility for employment in the United States and other information required by federal law, state law, and NMSU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a criminal history check.

All applications require:
  • Research Statement
  • Teaching Statement
  • 4 Reference Letters
First Year Coordinator - Australian National University Mathematical Sciences Institute

The Mathematical Sciences Institute is seeking to appointment a First Year Co-Ordinator, at Academic Level B, C or D (Level B equates to the position of Assistant Professor, Level C equates to the position of Associate Professor and Level D equates to Professor within the United States of America).

The successful candidate will be joining an internationally recognised team of world leading academics with a focus on achieving excellence in teaching and research. The First Year Co-ordinator position is an education intensive role, designed for academics wanting to specialise in education and devote more of their time to delivering high-quality education. This position has been established as an integral role in assuring the quality of the student experience for the first-year mathematics students, including the new degree program, the Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences.

Applicants should have experience with large first year courses, a strong commitment to innovative approaches to education/teaching activities, assessments, curriculum design and evaluation. The First Year Co-ordinator will monitor student progression and achievement, provide appropriate pastoral care and guidance to a broad range of students.

This position has a higher than usual education commitment, contributing to the MSI undergraduate teaching program. The First Year Co-ordinator vacancy will appeal to applicants with a passion for educational excellence. The successful candidate will be expected to successfully drive academic excellence within the University’s teaching and learning community.

The level of this appointment, Academic Level B, C or D, is to be determined by the appointee’s current research and teaching expertise.

Applicants are expected to have an outstanding record in teaching, administration and research relevant to the level of their application. The position involves teaching both in the candidate’s area of specialisation and standard mathematics undergraduate courses. The successful candidate will have access to a four-year start-up grant.

The Mathematical Sciences Institute sits within the ANU College of Science. To see what the Science at ANU community is like, we invite you to follow us on social media at https://www.instagram.com/scienceanu/ and https://www.facebook.com/ScienceANU/

Applications close 30 November 2019