CMSA E-Newsletter 13

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Thank you to the members who have sent information for this newsletter. Please send news as soon as you have anything of possible interest to CMSA members and the Combinatorial Community, even if no newsletter is imminent! Please email the Newsletter Editor at p.manyem at

CLOSING DATE for Issue 14: January 31, 2004. (Items should be emailed to me ONLY in plain text.)



CMSA CONFERENCE HISTORY PAGE (all past conferences organised under the CMSA; thanks to Kevin McAvaney for starting this page)


   * AIMS of the newsletter
   * Brendan McKay, new CMSA President
   * An XML format for block designs
  • Integers Conference 2003 Carrollton, Georgia, USA, OCT.31 - NOV.2, 2003
  • Groups and Combinatorics conference University of Western Australia, DECEMBER 6, 2003
  • Workshop on Incidence Geometry University of Adelaide, DECEMBER 9-12, 2003
  • 28ACCMCC Deakin University, Burwood campus, Melbourne, DECEMBER 15-19, 2003.
  • Workshop Jan 04: Working Applications of Discrete Mathematics University of Queensland, Brisbane, JANUARY 14-16, 2003.
  • Computing: The Australasian Theory Symposium (CATS 04) Dunedin, Otago, NZ, JANUARY 18-22, 2004.
  • The 15th Australasian Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms (AWOCA 2004) Ballina Beach Resort, New South Wales, Australia, JULY 7-9, 2004.
  • 29ACCMCC and the 2004 NZIMA Conference in Combinatorics Copthornes-Manuels, Lake Taupo, New Zealand, DECEMBER 13-18, 2004.
  • Alex Rosa receives honorary degree in September this year.
  • Brendan McKay wins Eureka Prize for Critical Thinking.
  • Chris Charnes joins the mathematics group at Deakin.
  • Andrew Blinco receives PhD at UQ and moves to Illinois State.
  • Victor Scharaschkin joins the Maths Dept at Queensland
   * New Book on Graph Algebras and Automata
   * Position Open: Research Scientist in Information Security and Privacy
   * Six-month thematic programme on COMBINATORICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS,  New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA),  July-Dec, 2004
     AIMS of the newsletter:
  • to promote combinatorics within Australasia
  • to provide a forum for sharing combinatorial and related information
  • to keep CMSA members informed and in touch with combinatorial and related matters
     New CMSA President
     Brendan McKay has taken over as the new CMSA President from Nick Wormald.  A hearty thanks to Nick for his service. An XML format for block designs
     A standard format for block designs and their properties
     (A proposal and an invitation for public debate)
     At we are developing a web-based Design Theory Resource Server for combinatorial and statistical design theory. These resources will include an online database of designs, an Encyclopaedia of Design Theory, and software packages for the generation and analysis of designs. We hope to address the needs of both researchers and practitioners of design theory.
     One critical element is our XML format to represent designs and their properties in a standard platform-independent manner. This will allow for the straightforward exchange of designs and their properties between various computer systems, including databases and web servers, and combinatorial, group theoretical and statistical packages. The XML format will also be used for outside submissions to our design database and to store designs in perpetuity.
     Our initial development is in the area of block designs, and we invite you to read and comment on our proposal for the External Representation of Block Designs, available online at:
     Please send your comments (and follow-ups) exclusively to:
     This is a mailing list to which you are welcome, although not required, to join. Alternatively, you can follow the discussions through the public archives of the list. For further details, please visit:
     We will finalize the XML format for block designs after sufficient public debate, after which we shall release GAP [1], R [2], and Python [3] software for block designs. We are committed to the open source model and all products of our development will be released to the public free of charge.
     We shall also start developing a database of block designs, and look forward to your contributions (in the XML format) to this database.
     Please feel free to forward this announcement to anyone you think may be interested.
     [1] GAP - Groups, Algorithms and Programming:
     [2] The R Project for Statistical Computing:
     [3] The Python programming language:

     On the Occasion of the 65th Birthday of Tom Brown
     October 31 - November 2, 2003, Carrollton, Georgia, USA
     The Department of Mathematics at the State University of West Georgia is pleased to announce the Integers Conference 2003 in combinatorial number theory. The purpose of the conference is to bring together mathematicians, students, and others interested in combinatorics and number theory. We will also be honouring Professor Tom Brown, on the occasion of his 65th birthday, for his significant contributions to the field.
     Registration: There is no registration fee. However, all participants must register in advance due to limited seating. To do so, send an e-mail message to, no later than Monday, September 29, requesting your name be included in the list of registrants for the conference. You will receive a reply to your e-mail; if the reply states that you are registered, then this confirms your registration (we hope we are able to accommodate all who wish to attend).
     Among the Plenary Speakers will be
     Ronald Graham (UC-San Diego),
     Carl Pomerance (Dartmouth),
     Melvyn Nathanson (Lehman College, CUNY) and
     Jaroslav Nesetril (Charles University, Prague).
     There will also be many Invited Papers; if you would like to present an invited paper, send the title and an abstract ( .tex or .pdf file) no later than Monday, September 29. We welcome talks from any of the mathematical subject areas covered by the journal Integers: Electronic Journal of Combinatorial Number Theory. Aside from the Plenary talks, all talks will be scheduled for 20-minute time slots. (Note: as there is a ceiling on the number of speakers we are able to accomodate, we recommend you get this information in as soon as possible - requests to present papers will be honored in the order in which they are received; we cannot guarantee that all requests to present papers will be honoured).
     Proceedings: Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of Integers: Electronic Journal of Combinatorial Number Theory. Completed texts must be submitted by January 8th, 2004, and will be handled according to the journal's usual refereeing process.
     Schedule: The conference talks will take place within the hours of
     Friday, October 31, 9:30AM-5:30PM;
     Saturday, November 1, 9:00AM - 5:30PM; and
     Sunday, November 2, 9:00AM-2PM.
     Location: The conference will be held on the campus of the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton. The city of Carrollton is about 45 miles west of Atlanta. Those coming by air should fly to Atlanta.
     More Information: Please contact Bruce Landman.

     Groups and Combinatorics - WA03
     There will be a one day Groups and Combinatorics conference, hosted by the Mathematical and Information Sciences Discipline Group at the University of Western Australia on Saturday, December 6, 2003.
     This meeting is scheduled before the Workshop on Incidence Geometry in Adelaide, and the 28ACCMCC at Deakin University in Melbourne, to enable participants in these conferences to attend.  Speakers include
  • Martin Liebeck, University College, London
  • Peter M. Neumann, Queens College, Oxford
  • Jan Saxl, Caius College, Cambridge
     For further information see the conference web site:
     Tim Penttila ( or
     Cheryl Praeger (

     Workshop on Incidence Geometry
     The Institute for Geometry and its Applications at the University of Adelaide is hosting a Workshop on Incidence Geometry at Adelaide, South Australia, during December 9-12, 2003.  Speakers so far include:
  • Hendrik Van Maldeghem (Ghent),
  • Tim Penttila (Western Australia) and
  • Jef Thas (Ghent).
     For more details, visit the website
     or email the organisers:
  • Sue Barwick:, or
  • Matthew Brown:

     The 28th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing will be held from December 15-19, 2003, at Deakin University, Burwood campus, Melbourne.
     Principal organiser:   Lynn Batten (
     Program Committee:   Lynn Batten, Elizabeth Billington, Peter Gibbons, David Glynn, Tim Pentilla, Cheryl Praeger, Nick Wormald.
     Invited speakers include
  • Peter Adams, The University of Queensland (Bio-algorithms and Applications)
  • Laura Bader, University of Rome (Flocks of Cones)
  • Aaron Gulliver, University of Victoria (Self Reciprocal Polynomials)
  • Shreedhar Inamdar, Indian Statistical Institute (Finite Projective Planes)
  • Josef Siran, Slovak University of Technology (Highly Symmetrical Maps)
  • Hendrik Van Maldeghem, University of Ghent (Buildings)
  • Ian Wanless, Australian National University (Atomic Latin Squares)
     For updates and more information, visit the website:

     Workshop Jan 04: Working Applications of Discrete Mathematics
     University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,  JANUARY 14-16, 2004.
     Preliminary Notice
     A workshop on Working Applications of Discrete Mathematics will be held at the University of Queensland during January 14-16 (Wednesday-Friday), 2004.
     We will have people speaking on applications of their work, including some from industry in the field. Topics covered are expected to include applications in areas such as cryptography, optimisation, and bioinformatics.
     The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) is providing some support for the Workshop, and we also have a contribution from the ICA (Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications). This will provide some support for students in particular, as well as a limited amount for others, towards accommodation and travel costs.
     Please email your interest at this stage, or let me know if you wish to receive further information on the Workshop. Please also pass this information on to students and colleagues in the area. Contributed talks on pertinent applications are welcome.
     In the event that a request for seed funding for a proposed ARC network is successful, there will be more assistance for expenses for those who have earlier stated an interest in this Network. However, the AMSI and ICA funds are not dependent upon this network seed funding request.
     There is a skeleton web page being set up at which will be updated soon.
     Organisers:  Liz Billington,  Diane Donovan,  Peter Adams,  and others.

     Computing: The Australasian Theory Symposium (CATS 04)
     Dunedin, Otago, NZ,  JANUARY 18-22, 2004.
     CATS is the premier theoretical computer science conference in Australasia. It is held annually as part of Australasian Computer Science Week (ACSW) which comprises many other conferences and is overseen by the Computer Science Association. In 2004 ACSW takes place in Dunedin, New Zealand, 18-22 January.
     The symposium will consist of invited talks, formal paper presentations and informal presentations. The topics covered include logic, reasoning and verification; formal specification techniques and program semantics; formal development methods, program refinement, synthesis and transformation; concurrent, parallel and distributed system theory; algorithm design and data structures; streaming data computation; computational biology, geometry, and number theory; complexity and computability; automata, types and category theory; tools for automated reasoning, and program analysis and development.
     Formal paper submissions to CATS 2004 should be sent to the Programme Chair (, to arrive no later than Friday, 29th August, 2003.   Further details about CATS and ACSW may be found at
     Mike Atkinson

     AWOCA 2004,  Ballina Beach Resort, NSW, Australia
     The 15th Australasian Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms,  July 7-9, 2004.
     Topics include: Algorithms and Data Structures, Complexity Theory, Graph Theory and Combinatorics, Cryptography, Algorithms on Strings, Graph Algorithms, Graph Drawing, Computational Algebra and Geometry, Computational Biology, Communications Networks, Probabilistic and Randomized Algorithms, and New Paradigms of Computation.
     Organising Committee: Peter Eades, Seokhee Hong, Barbara Munday, and Prabhu Manyem.
     Program Committee: Diane Donovan, Peter Eades (co-chair), Seokhee Hong (co-chair), Andrei Kelarev, Thierry Lecroq, Prabhu Manyem, Mirka Miller, Kunsoo Park, Jamie Simpson, Josef Siran, Bill Smyth, and a few others.
     Important dates:
     Submission: April 30, 2004
     Accept/reject: May 21, 2004
     Final version date: June 11, 2004
     Conference dates: July 7-9, 2004.
     Conference Location: Ballina Beach Resort, NSW, Australia.
     Please see the webpage at for details.
     Peter Eades (Chairman, Organising Committee):

     The 2004 NZIMA Conference in Combinatorics and The 29th Australasian Conference in Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (29th ACCMCC) (Joint Conferences)
     Copthornes-Manuels, Lake Taupo, NZ,  DECEMBER 13-18, 2004.
     Topics include:   Graph Theory, Matroid Theory, Design Theory, Coding Theory, Enumerative Combinatorics, Combinatorial Optimisation, and Combinatorial Computing and Theoretical Computer Science.
     Organising Committee:
  • ACCMCC: Brendan McKay and Ian Wanless,
  • NZIMA: Geoff Whittle and Paul Bonnington.
     Accomodation options range from Backpackers/lodge-style (~FREE to NZ$30 per night), 1 and 2 bedroom Motels units (~NZ$90-$120 twin share per night) through to Luxury Studio (~NZ$160 per night)
     All enquiries to Paul Bonnington.
     Conference Webpage:

     A very useful website giving upcoming conferences in Coding, Cryptography and Effective Algebra AND their deadlines is .
     Alex Rosa of McMaster University, Canada, received an honorary degree from Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia this September (2003).  (News from Curt Lindner, Auburn University)
     Brendan McKay of Australian National University won the Eureka Prize for Critical Thinking.  Check out this webpage for more details:
     Chris Charnes, PhD Cambridge, 1990, has joined the mathematics group at Deakin this semester. Chris works in coding theory and cryptography and has over forty publications in these areas.  (News from Lynn Batten)
     Andrew Blinco was awarded his PhD by the University of Queensland on July 7, 2003.  His thesis title was Theta graphs, graph decompositions and related graph labelling techniques, supervised by Elizabeth Billington.  He is currently spending a semester at Illinois State University, working with Saad El-Zanati, Heather Gavlas and Roger Eggleton.
     Victor Scharaschkin is a new Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics within the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Queensland.  He was appointed in July this year.  His field of research is algebraic number theory and cryptology.

     New Book on Graph Algebras and Automata
     The following book has just appeared. It contains lots of interesting examples and useful exercises on various topics like automata theory, coding and even cryptography. It can be used as supplementary text for undergraduate courses in discrete mathematics and computing, or as a source of examples and exercises for instructors.
     Andrei V. Kelarev, Graph Algebras and Automata, Marcel Dekker, 2003, ISBN 0-8247-4708-9.

     Position Open: Research Scientist in Information Security and Privacy
     CSIRO ICT Centre - Australian National University, ACT
     $72k - $97k
     In this role, you will have the opportunity to conduct research in the areas of computer system security and network security and privacy. Your responsibilities will include: participating in, and possibly leading, computer and network security research projects as a member of a multi-disciplinary project team; designing and overseeing the implementation of secure networks; and providing security research and consulting services for clients.
     View the job description and selection criteria, and apply online at (in the DIVISION field, select "CSIRO ICT Centre" and click on "Find Jobs Now!").  Deadline is October 7, 2003.
     For more information, contact A/Prof Christine O'Keefe
     (or by phone +61 2 6216 7021).

     New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA), July-Dec, 2004
     Last year the New Zealand government established five Centres of Research Excellence. This initiative was to encourage world-class research by establishing centres of research excellence to contribute to New Zealand's development.  The New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications (NZIMA) is one of the new Centres of Research Excellence, formed as a partnership between the University of Auckland (its host) and the NZ Mathematics Research Institute (Inc.), with the aim of promoting mathematical research in NZ.
     The key activity of the NZIMA is the organisation of 6-monthly programmes on themes drawn from a range of fields of significant interest.  The programmes are modelled on similar programmes conducted by the Fields Institute in Toronto.  These programmes include
     * participation by overseas experts and mathematical scientists in NZ
     * associated workshops held at various locations around New Zealand
     * postdoctoral fellowships in the theme area
     * postgraduate research scholarships in the theme area.
     We are pleased to announce that the NZIMA will run a special 6-month thematic programme in Combinatorics and its Applications, July-December 2004.  This programme will involve a concentrated period of activity centred around a workshop at the University of Auckland in July (12-17 July 2004) and a conference in December (see announcement elsewhere in this newsletter), participation by visiting lead experts, and the appointment of a two-year postdoctoral fellow and a number of postgraduate research students.
     All enquiries to:  Paul Bonnington,  or   Geoff Whittle,   Co-directors, NZIMA programme.

     The web page for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics is at .
     This has a search facility for past authors and for keywords in the titles of papers.
     Instructions to authors are also available at this web site.
     The contents of all volumes, 1 to 28, are listed at the above web page.  If you visit this page, you'll see that we are now starting to upload copies of older volumes for free public access.  We expect all but the last five years to be available before the end of this year.
     Volume 28 is now printed and being mailed.
     Submissions to the AJC may be sent to  Electronic submissions are encouraged.  For paper submissions, please check the web page.
     The Australasian Journal of Combinatorics is published by the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia Inc.

     Deadline for the next issue of this Newsletter:  January 31, 2004.
     (Items should be emailed to me ONLY in plain text.)
     Prabhu Manyem,  School of Maths and Stats,  University of South Australia.
     Phone:   +61 8 8302 3966.
     Fax:   +61 8 8302 5785.
     Email:  p.manyem at