# Department of Mathematics and Statistics

## Discover how prized achievements around the world rely on mathematics and statistics

Mathematics is humanity's most powerful tool for comprehending the universe and is essential for many fields of modern endeavours such as science, technology, engineering and finance.

The study of Mathematics and Statistics at UWA involves data analysis, forecasting, decision making and detailed problem solving, while determining creative ways to improve modern life with mathematical tools and techniques.

The expertise of the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation research cluster covers matrix groups and computational group theory, permutation groups, graph theory, finite geometry and buildings and matroid theory.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics was awarded 5 out of 5 in Excellence of Research Australia in Mathematical Sciences (Pure and Applied Mathematics).

## Our course

## Selecting an Honours project and supervisor

The project and dissertation is a pivotal element of the Honours year.

Your first task should be to find a supervisor and project you think will suit you.

Most staff work on a first-come-first-served basis, so we recommend you get in early.

**Role of the supervisor:**

While your Honours supervisor is your first contact when you have any issues, your project is ultimately your own responsibility and a degree of independence in your part is expected.

You should clarify early in the year the pattern of contact that you and your supervisor are going to have.

Support from your project supervisor includes:

- Supervision meetings - student and supervisor usually meet weekly or fortnightly. Frequency of meetings increases as the project submission date approaches.
- Reading of drafts - your supervisor will read a couple of drafts of your final dissertation providing you provide sufficient time for them - they may need three days to a week to read your draft and make comments.
- Honours Seminar advice - your supervisor will provide advice for your Honours Seminar presentation in the Scientific Communication course.

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**Supervisors and project topics:**

## Our Reseach Areas

## Research Clusters associated with the Department

## Community and industry engagement

### WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad

UWA works with the Western Australia Mathematical Olympiad Committee to host the annual WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad for exceptional Year 7, 8 and 9 students.

The competition seeks to find the youngest mathematical minds in the state. Prizes include an award for the most outstanding Year 9 and Year 8 student, as well as prizes for the best mathematic team. A number of Western Australian universities sponsor the prizes, along with the Department of Education, New Edition Bookshop and Data Analysis Australia.

### Blakers Mathematics Competition

#### The 2020 Blakers Mathematics Competition is now open and will close Friday 7 August.

The Blakers Mathematics Competition was established with a bequest from the family of Professor Larry Blakers after his death in 1995.

The first Competition was a local event, for UWA students only, in 1996. Since 1997, the Competition has been held annually, open to first to third year students at any Western Australian university.

Professor Blakers was a Professor of Mathematics at UWA for 30 years and Head of Department for 29 of them. He played an important role in the foundation of the Australian Mathematical Society, the Australian Association of Mathematical Teachers and the Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA), and was a founder and long term Director of the National Mathematics Summer School for gifted high school students which takes place in Canberra each year.

The UWA Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers $300 in prizes.

Eligible candidates for the 2020 competition are all undergraduates in first, second and third years at a WA university.

See honour roll of previous winners, and problems and solutions of previous years, here.

## The Centre for Applied Statistics

The Centre for Applied Statistics provides expert training and consultancy in statistics to enable the University, industry and government to produce excellent research.

Visit the Centre here

## Spotlight on our people

## Awards, Grants and Prizes

- Prof Enrico Valdinoci (2002), Prof Cheryl Praeger (1973), Prof Michael Giudici (2002) and Prof Gordon Royle (1987) appear on the MathSciNet database as the most cited mathematicians in their graduating year.

- Prof Inge Koch, who has accepted an invitation to be one of the Australian 'Women in Mathematics' and to feature in their exhibition and Prof Cheryl Praeger who is also featured in the exhibition.

- Alex Bors who received a 2018 Kirkman Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications. Kirkman Medals recognise excellent research by Fellows or Associate Fellows of the ICA early in their research career, as evidenced by an excellent body of published research. According to the citation he "has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of combinatorial and quantitative problems on finite groups. He addresses fundamental theoretical questions, some of which are motivated by practical applications. He seeks characterizations that support efficient algorithmic decidability".
- Prof Snezhana Abarzhi features in the August PNAS Podcast, Science Sessions, 'Interfaces and Mixing'. Listen here or download the transcript here.

## News

### Brilliant mathematician wins Australia's top prize for science

The University of Western Australia’s Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger has won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – the first Western Australian to receive the award.

Read more### UWA student awarded 2019 Rhodes Scholarship

A mathematician, choral singer and pianist from The University of Western Australia has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Read more### UWA maths prodigy wins international award

Professor Akshay Venkatesh, is only the second Australian to have been awarded the Fields Medal.

Read more