December 2015 Newsletter
Mathematics and Statistics
Looking Back at 2015
Well done, everyone, for another excellent year. We have had a number of great successes in teaching and
research. The School has seen an increase in student numbers, the arrival of many new postgraduate
students, and the opening up of some exciting new research areas.
I hope you all have a well-earned break over Christmas and the New Year, and can spend time with your
families and friends. I am looking forward to the year ahead.
- Jennifer Brown
UC Innovation Medal Presentation
Congratulations to Rick Beatson who was presented with his
UC Innovation Medal by the Chancellor, John Wood, at an
awards dinner on 20 November.
Worsley Early Career Research
Congratulations to Blair Robertson who
was awarded the Worsley Early Career
Research Award at the NZSA
conference in Christchurch on 24
November. Well done, Blair!
(Conference details on page 2.)
2015 School Prizewinners
Congratulations to the following:
Peter Bryant Memorial Prize (100 level): Melody Zhu
Peter Bryant Memorial Prize (200 level): Liz McGeorge
Gordon Petersen Memorial Prize (200 level): Matt Gordon
Page Memorial Prize (300 level): Aaron Stockdill
Cook Memorial Prize (400 level): Louis Warren
Helen Wily Memorial Prize (300-400 level): Grace Davison
Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!
Conferences and Visits
Paul Cordue: 39
Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing, University of
Queensland, Brisbane, 6 – 12 December 2015.
Daniel Gerhard: Eco-Stats 15 Conference, University of NSW, Sydney, 7 – 10 December 2015.
Maarten McKubre-Jordens: Marsden travel to cover Maarten and invited speakers (Bridges and Schwitchenberg),
Frontiers of Non-Classicality Conference hosted by Maarten, Auckland, 26-29 January 2016.
Jeanette McLeod: 39
Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing, University
of Queensland, 6 – 12 December 2015.
Rua Murray: Continuation Methods Workshop, University of Auckland, 18 – 19 January 2016.
Gunter Steinke: SCD016 (Symmetries and Covers of Discrete Objects), Queenstown, 14 – 19 February 2016.
Maojun Wang: Eco-Stats 15 Conference, University of NSW, Sydney, 7 – 10 December 2015.
The 2015 Joint NZSA+ORSNZ Conference took place on 24-26
November in Christchurch, hosted by the University of Canterbury. There
were over 100 participants from all over New Zealand, many of them
students, with many excellent talks on a wide variety of applied and
theoretical topics. The Conference Dinner with Christchurch post-
earthquake cuisine (aka food trucks) in Staff Club grounds proved to be a
huge success. - Elena Moltchanova
Photo L to R: Postgrad participant Maojun and presenters Abi, Isuru and Yan
Photo L to R: PG Participant Maojun with presenters Abi, Isuru and Yan.
NZ Mathematical Society Colloquium 2015
The School hosted the 50th NZMS Colloquium from November 30 – December 3. This year’s event was the
first standalone colloquium on a university campus since 2012 and was opened by Prof. Jan Evans-Freeman.
Approximately 80 NZ-based mathematicians and postgraduate students attended, and were joined on Tuesday
by 20 local high school teachers for an education afternoon. Invited lectures were given by Rick Beatson (UC),
Adam Day (VUW), Ian Frigaard (UBC), Catherine Greenhill (UNSW) and Claire Postlethwaite (UoA). Rick held
the honour of being the NZMS Colloquium Lecturer, and Claire was the ANZIAM speaker. Adam Day was the
inaugural Butcher-Kalman lecturer, and was introduced by John Butcher himself. The organising committee
was: Rick, Brendan, Hannes, Maarten, Jeanette, Rua, Charles and Phil. Penny was supremely helpful with
finances throughout the entire year, and Helen, Paul and Pauline calmly handled a number of last-minute jobs.
Thanks to everyone. - Rua Murray
Raaz Sainudiin with BLS
Prakasa Rao and Estate
Khmaladze at the 5
Wellington Workshop on
Probability and Mathematical
Statistics, 19-20 November
2015. Those with sharp
eyesight will also spot Peter
Smith on the stairs.
Cleary, S., Fischer, M., Griffiths, R.C. & Sainudiin, R.: Some Distributions on Finite Rooted Binary Trees, Research Report
UCDMS2015/2, 16 pages, 2015.
Sainudiin, R., & Welch, D.: The Transmission Process: a Combinatorial Stochastic Process on Binary Trees over the
Contact Network of Hosts in an Epidemic, Research Report UCDMS2015/4, 28 pages, 2015.
Sainudiin, R., & Veber, A.: A Beta-Splitting Model for Evolutionary Trees, Research Report UCDMS2015/3, 20 pages 2015
Watson, N.A.: The two versions of the Dirichlet problem for the heat equation, New Zealand Journal of Mathematics.
At the annual postgraduate conference held last month in Taupo, Duy Ho won the prize for best Pure Maths
talk, Timm Treskatis won the prize for the best Applied Maths talk, and Lisa Hall got honorable mention for her
Stats talk. Congratulations, Duy, Timm and Lisa!
2015 Postgraduate Conference Success
Elephant Delta Conference
Photo: Hilary Seddon and Liz Ackerley soaking up the South African
sunshine at the 2015 Elephant Delta Conference in November at Port
Elizabeth, South Africa.
These Southern Hemisphere Conferences on the Teaching and Learning of
Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics have been taking place, under
varying names, since 1997 in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and
Argentina. Otherwise known as Delta conferences, the theme of the 2015
and tenth conference was “Think Big!”
Visitor University Host From To Room Extn
Kim Plofker Union College NY C Montelle 7/9/15 17/12/15 714 7687
Marta Casanellas Rius Barcelona M Steel 8/9/15 6/12/15 616 8876
Simone Linz Auckland C Semple 30/11/15 4/12/15 605 8028
Luc Devroye McGill R Sainudiin 13/12/15 31/12/15 607 8875
Congratulations to the following staff who have been successful in the latest round of promotions:
Associate Professors: Elena Moltchanova, Rua Murray, Michael Plank and Carl Scarrott.
Senior Lecturer: Jeanette McLeod.
Discovering De Jong Exhibition
Discovering De Jong is a new exhibition in the Puaka-James Hight Library that has been co-ordinated by
Clemency Montelle and Joanna Condon (MacMillan Brown Library). It showcases items from the private
research library of the late Professor Jan Willem De Jong, a distinguished professor in Buddhist Studies who
travelled all over Asia amassing a fascinating collection of rare books, manuscripts and scholarly
correspondence. The exhibition, which opened on 27 November, runs to 13 December in conjunction with the
Biannual New Zealand Asian Studies Conference held at UC.
The School's summer project programme is off to a good start this year. We have 20 summer students in all (12
in the School's programme and 8 on UC summer scholarships), and 15 academics supervising projects. On
Tuesday November 24
, we officially opened the School's summer programme with an introductory session for
students (jointly run by Jeanette, John and John Arnold) followed by afternoon tea for students and supervisors.
The students are based in Erskine 443 and 437, so please make them feel welcome over the summer. A big
thank you to everyone taking part in the programme this year, it's great to see so many students engaged in
mathematics and statistics over the summer. - Jeanette McLeod
Congratulations to Hannes, Sarah and Ella Diener
on the birth last month of Oliver Patrick Diener.
The Erskine Singers, directed by Jan Evans-Freeman,
presented a concert on 27 November. In addition to items from
the full choir, the performance included the flower duet from
“Lakme” by Delibes, sung by Clemency Montelle and Jan, and
organ solos from Tim Bell.
News from the Library
Library Liaison Officer for Mathematics and Statistics, Assoc. Prof. Marco Reale http://bit.ly/1zwYHKa
New titles for Mathematics and Statistics http://bit.ly/NVj1hV; for Mathematical Statistics http://bit.ly/MIS2WA; new-titles-
list generator http://bit.ly/1brTI3E
Article Processing Charges:Funding Availability http://canterbury.libguides.com/scholarly/OA
From the Web:
1. More Students Earning Statistics Degrees, But Not Enough to Meet Surging Demand for Statisticians (American Statistical
2. Mathematicians Find ‘Magic Key’ to Drive Ramanujan’s Taxi-cab Number (eScienceCommons, Emory U)
3. The Biggest Mystery in Mathematics: Shinichi Mochizuki and the Impenetrable Proof (Nature News & Comment)
4. That Time Terrence Tao Won $500 from Paul Erdős (Blog on Math Blogs) http://bit.ly/1PMcEef
5. A Number of Mathematicians (3quarks