CMSA E-Newsletter 39

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Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (incorporated 8th July 1996)
Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (incorporated 8th July 1996)



Thanks to all CMSA 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 (Kevin McAvaney): kevin.mcavaney at

CLOSING DATE for Issue 40: 30 June 2014. (Please email items to the newsletter editor ONLY in plain text.)

Old newsletters can be found here.

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.

Workshop and conference announcements

38ACCMCC December 2014

The 38th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (38ACCMCC) will be held at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1-5 December 2014.

Invited speakers

  • Mike Atkinson (University of Otago, NZ)
  • Simeon Ball (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain)
  • Alice Devillers (UWA)
  • Jaroslav Nesetril (Charles University, Prague)
  • Sergey Norin (McGill University, Canada)
  • James Oxley (Louisiana State University, USA)
  • Andrew Thomason (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Mark Wilson (University of Auckland, NZ)
  • Stefan van Zwam (Princeton University, USA)

More Information

Conference website:
Director: Dillon Mayhew, dillon.mayhew at

Recent news

Australian Academy of Science Speaker Series 2014

In 2014 the Australian Academy of Science celebrates its 60th anniversary with an exciting new speaker series featuring some of the nation’s brightest rising stars of science. Chaired by three prominent public friends of science – veteran science broadcaster Robyn Williams, former Climate Commissioner and prolific author Tim Flannery, and long-time ABC journalist Louise Maher - Science Stars of Tomorrow will showcase young scientists whose work offers astonishing insights into outer space, inner space and the world around us. The Speaker series is held in the iconic Shine Dome — the spiritual home of science in Australia — on the first two weeks of every month with the exception of January and June.

Talks however are not limited to Canberra, as they will be broadcasted live on the internet to the Academy’s growing online audience. Following each event, they will also be available free for download from the Academy’s website,, and YouTube and ITunes channels. The YouTube channel is quickly gaining in popularity, with some talks attracting more than 8,000 views.

Speaker for the month of March, Dr Judy-Ann Osborn from the University of Newcastle would be of interest to CMSA. She spoke on the maths of zombie attacks, as a way to engage a younger audience in the joy and skills that mathematics can bring. You can see her lecture at


At the University of NSW, Assoc. Prof. Henrik Kragh Sørensen (Aarhus University), 1-31 Jan 2014, and PhD student Jan Nykvist Roksvold (University of Tromsø), 1 Mar - 31 May 2014, both to colloborate with Thomas Britz on various combinatorial topics. Henrik and Thomas have made a YouTube video,, proving with LEGO that 1^2 + ... + n^2 = 1/6 n(n+1)(2n+1).


Michael Brand has won the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for the best PhD thesis completed in the Faculty of I.T. at Monash University in 2013. One such medal is awarded in each Faculty, each year, at Monash. He also won the 2013 Faculty of I.T. Doctoral Medal which has criteria for other contributions as well as thesis excellence. The thesis is titled `Computing with Arbitrary and Random Numbers', and is available at . Main Supervisor was Graham Farr, Associate Supervisor was Ian Wanless. Michael graduates in May 2014.

Michael's achievement is all the more remarkable for the fact that he completed in three years part-time. His day job as a data scientist attracted some media coverage recently, in the Feb 2014 issue of In the Black. The part quoting Michael is a piece about data science called "The World's Hottest Job", and is the fourth part of a feature on "6 Big Issues to watch in 2014". For the online version, go to and scroll down to the item headed "4. The world's hottest job". The print version also has a photo of Michael. We're reliably informed that they got some details about Michael wrong, but the article gives an interesting view of data science from a business viewpoint.


  • University of Auckland

There are currently a good number of scholarship opportunities for any students interested in doing a PhD at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. These include a new "Sir Vaughan Jones" PhD scholarship, as well as others funded from research grants. See for further details and links to other information.

Also a colourful poster advertising the scholarships is available for download from for anyone wishing to advertise them.

Academic staff in the Department with interests/expertise in combinatorics (to varying extents) are Marston Conder, Dimitri Leemans, Ben Martin, Arkadii Slnko. See for more details about our research interests and recent student projects.

  • University of Western Australia

A 2-year postdoc position is available to work on problems relating to the real chromatic roots of graphs and matroids. Details can be found at Applications are invited from students completing their PhDs in this sort of mathematics and/or statistical physics (partition function of the q-state Potts model etc). Professor Gordon Royle, School of Mathematics and Statistics.


Scott Vanstone FRSC, FIACR, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Canada, died at age 66 on 2 March 2014 at his home after a short illness. Scott was a well known cryptographer. An obituary, written by close colleagues, can be found at

The Australasian Journal of Combinatorics

The website for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics is

The Journal is now online only, free for readers and authors (so it is a "diamond open access" journal). There are three volumes per year, with each volume closing in February, June and October, matching the time of publication of the old paper volumes. Volumes are currently being uploaded in three batches. Volume 59 part 1 was published on 10th March 2014; Volume 59 closes at the start of June 2014.

Visit and sign up to subscribe to email notices whenever new papers are published. The contents of all volumes, 1 to 59(1), are listed at the above web page.

Submissions to the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics may be sent to Only pdf files are required at submission stage.

The Journal is now indexed by Scopus from Volume 13 (1996) onwards.

ISSN: 2202-3518 (online only, from 2014); 1034-4942 (paper, to end 2013).


Kevin McAvaney, Australia.
Email: kevin.mcavaney at