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 firstcomefirstserved 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.
Supervisors and project topics:
 Applied mathematics and complex systems

 Snezhana Abarzhi: Applied Mathematics  applied analysis, partial differential equations, dynamical systems, data analysis; Applied and Theoretical Physics  dynamics of plasmas, fluids, materials. Please see details of available projects here
 Debora Correa: Music information retrieval with nonlinear time series analysis and complex networks. Please see details of available projects here
 Neville Fowkes: Modelling industrial and scientific problems. Please see details of available projects here
 Des Hill: Fluid mechanics, Differential equations, Dynamical systems
 Jenny Hopwood: Atmospheric modelling
 Thomas Jungling: Echostate networks for nonlinear timeseries analysis.Please see details of available projects here
 Miccal Matthews: Theoretical mechanics
 David Pfefferlé: Mathematical physics: applications of differential geometry, Lagrangian/Hamiltonian dynamics, reduction by symmetry (LiePoincaré); Numerical methods: symplectic and structurepreserving integrators, finiteelement, particleincell, MonteCarlo; Plasmas: Magnetohydrodynamics, kinetic theories and collisional fluid closure
 Leonardo Portes: Unveiling the hidden stories within data: nonlinear time series analysis, complex systems, big data visualisation.
 Michael Small: Complex systems, dynamical systems, nonlinear time series analysis, complex engineering systems.Please see details of available projects here
 Thomas Stemler: Complex systems, dynamical systems, nonlinear time series analysis
 David Walker: Complex systems data analysis, applications of complex networks. Please see details of available projects here
 Ayham Zaitouny: Positioning,navigating and tracking moving objects. Please see details of available projects here
 Pure mathematics and discrete mathematics

 John Bamberg: Please see details of available projects here
 Alice Devillers: Permutation groups, graphs, geometries
 Serena Dipierro: Mathematical analysis, partial differential equations, calculus of variations, nonlinear analysis, free boundary problems
 Michael Giudici: Permutation groups,group theory,graph symmetry. Please see details of available projects here
 Lyle Noakes: Applications of differential geometry
 Cheryl Praeger: Group Theory, geometry and combinatorics
 Gordon Royle: Algebra, geometry, graph theory
 Phil Schultz: Algebra, history of mathematics
 Luchezar Stoyanov: Fractal geometry, topological dynamics, differential dynamics and inverse spectral problems
 Enrico Valdinoci: Partial differential equations, nonlocal equations, free boundary problems, dynamical systems, atom dislocation in crystals, mathematical biology, differential geometry
 Mathematical statistics and applied statistics

 Ed Cripps: Bayesian statistics, computational statistics, mixture models, model uncertainty
 Nazim Khan: Probability and stochastic processes, Medical and Biological statistics, Mathematics education. Please see details of available projects here
 John Lau: Bayesian statistics, computational statistics, mixture models, Time series
 Robin Milne: Stochastic processes, statistical inference, industrial statistics, history of probability and statistics
 Gopal Nair: Stochastic Modelling, Queuing theory, Spatial point processes, Probability Theory
 Tony Pakes: Probability and stochastic processes
 Adriano Polpo: Bayesian methods; Functional data analysis; Hypothesis test; (multi)bivariate data; Regression models (Categorical, Longitudina, Nonlinear, Penalised, Quantile); Reliability theory (survival analysis); Semiparametric models; Time series
 Berwin Turlach: Computational statistics, smoothing techniques, model selection
 Other topics currently available
 Statistical assessment of pile design approaches: Prof Barry Lehane and Prof Berwin Turlach
Our Reseach Areas
 Applied Mathematics

Applied Mathematics is about using the theory and techniques of mathematics and statistics to understand and deal with the real world.
Biological and physical sciences, computing, commerce, medicine, manufacturing industry and environmental management are some of the fields which need to connect with mathematics and its the job of the applied mathematician to make the connections.
Our researchers:
 David M. Walker  Complex networks, Nonlinear time series, Dynamical systems, Modelling animal behaviour, granular media and other physical, ecological and biological systems
 David Pfefferle  Kinetic theory, Fluid and plasma dynamics, Hamiltonian/Lagrangian mechanics, Numerical methods
 Debora Correa  Nonlinear time series, Machine learning, Dynamical systems, Complex systems
 Miccal Matthews  Theoretical mechanics, Differential equations, Mathematical modelling
 Michael Small  Complex systems, Complex networks, Nonlinear dynamics, Complex data modeling
 Nev Fowkes  Industrial modelling, Theoretical mechanics
 Snezhana Abarzhi  RayleighTaylor interfacial mixing
 Thomas Jungling  Synchronisation, Reservoir computing, Complex systems, Dynamical systems
 Thomas Stemler  Complex systems and networks, Nonlinear time series analysis, Dynamical systems, Paleoclimate proxy analysis and traffic modeling
 Leonardo Portes  Complex systemsdriven data science, Differential network analysis, Synchronisation, whatever is neccessary to find a needle in a haystack of data
 Ayham Zaitouny  Positioning and tracking, Complex systems, Nonlinear time series, Dynamical systems, Geological, ecological and biological systems
 Shannon Algar  Swarming, Reservoir Computing, Time series analysis
 Pure Mathematics

Pure Mathemathematics is about understanding the fundamental properties of mathematical concepts and objects whose original motivation may have come from problems in the real world.
Topics can be categorised roughly as “algebra”, “combinatorics”, and “analysis”. Algebra and combinatorics have a discrete feel to it (like constructing or breaking codes), whereas analysis has a continuous flavour (like studying properties of mechanical systems).
Our researchers:
 John Bamberg  Incidence geometry, Combinational computation
 Alice Devillers  Graph theory, Incidence geometry, Combinational designs
 Serena Dipierro  Partial differential equations, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, Nonlocal equations
 Michael Giudici  Group theory, Graph theory
 Stephen Glasby  Group theory, Group algorithms
 Jesse Lansdown  Incidence geometry, Combinational computation
 Luca Lombardini  Minimal surfaces, Calculus of variations, Nonlocal analysis, Partial differential equations, Geometric analysis
 Lyle Noakes  Variational problems in differential geometry, and applications in approximation theory
 Giorgio Poggesi  Partial differential equations, Geometric properties of solutions to PDE's, Geometric and functional inequalities, Shape optimisation, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, and applications
 Gordon Royle  Graph theory, Matroid theory, Combinational computation
 Luchezar Stoyanov  Dynamical systems and ergodic theory, geometry, scattering theory
 Cheryl Praeger  Group theory, Graph theory, Combinatorial designs, Group algorithms
 Enrico Valdinoci  Partial differential equations, Free boundary problems, Calculus of variations, Nonlocal equations
 Statistics

The study of mathematical statistics involves quantitative skills and knowledge of statistical methods, both their practical application and their mathematical foundations.
Applied statistics is concerned with the application of statistical methods. These applications can be in a huge variety of areas, such as medicine, business, finance, science and industry.
Research includes practical experience using computer systems to analyse data, and the ability to understand and criticise arguments based on numerical data or mathematical reasoning.
Our researchers:
 Inge Koch
 Adriano Polpo de Campos
 Berwin Turlach
 John Lau
 Edward Cripps
 Gopalan Nair
 Nazim Khan
 Alethea Rea
 Matthew Tuson
 Martin Firth
 Michelle Trevenen
 Matthew Knuiman (School of Population and Global Health)
 Kevin Murray (School of Population and Global Health)
 Katia Stefanova (Institute of Agriculture)
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 closed.
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
The Cheryl Praeger Mathematics Academy
The Cheryl Praeger Mathematics Academy is an initiative of Joseph Banks Secondary College
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 moreUWA 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 moreUWA maths prodigy wins international award
Professor Akshay Venkatesh, is only the second Australian to have been awarded the Fields Medal.
Read more