CMSA E-Newsletter 7

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CMSA E-Newsletter Number 7 (October 2001)


Many thanks to the members who have sent information for this newsletter. And congratulations to several members who have had success with ARC grants and Fellowships (see below). If I've omitted anyone from the list, please let me know and I'll correct this.

Please remember to email me with information of interest to CMSA members as soon as you hear of anything! I'd especially like news of visitors, preferably in advance, with dates etc, so that possible interstate visits can be organised if appropriate.

CLOSING DATE for Issue 8: 31 January 2002. Email with all your news and information.

CMSA WEB PAGE: Note the new location!


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

A useful combinatorial site is the British Combinatorial Committee's web page: (Conference listings in combinatorics are also available from that page.)


   * AIMS of the newsletter
  • MCCCC 2001 15th Mid-West Conf on Combinatorics, Cryptography & Computing, 18-20 OCT 2001.
  • VAC - 19th Victorian Algebra Conference, RMIT, 22-23 NOV 2001.
  • AAECC-14 RMIT, 26-30 NOV 2001.
  • Internat. Conf. on Stats., Combinatorics & Related Areas University of Wollongong, 19-21 DEC 2001.
  • Internat. Conf. on Algebra & its Applications Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 18-20 MARCH 2002
  • 27ACCMCC Newcastle, 9-13 DEC 2002.
   * RECENT NEWS OF CMSA MEMBERS (and ARC successes!)

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


The Student Prize for the best student talk at the annual CMSA conference was awarded for the first time at the 26th ACCMCC at Curtin University in July this year. The panel of three were impressed with the quality of all the student talks, and finally awarded the prize of $300 (Australian) to Dillon Mayhew from Victoria University of Wellington for his talk entitled "Inequivalent representations of matroids having no U3,6 minor".

The aims of the prize are

  1. to foster student interest and involvement in the ACCMCC conferences, and
  2. to encourage good presentation of student talks.

For more details please contact the President of the CMSA, Professor Nick Wormald, at

RECENT CONFERENCE REPORTS: REPORT ON THE 26th ACCMCC at Curtin University of Technology, 9-13 July 2001.

The 26th Australasia Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (26th ACCMCC) was held at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, from 9-13 July 2001. We had a total of 52 registered participants, plus a number of students.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous sponsorship given by:

   * Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Curtin University of Technology
   * Division of Engineering and Science, Curtin University of Technology
   * The Western Australian Centre of Excellence in Industrial Optimisation (WACEIO)
   * Australian Telecommunications Research Institute (ATRI), Curtin University of Technology
   * The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications (ICA)
   * Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Western Australia

The conference's Invited Speakers were:

   * Richard Anstee (University of British Columbia, Canada)
   * Elizabeth Billington (University of Queensland, Australia)
   * Curt Lindner (Auburn University, USA)
   * John Moon (University of Alberta, Canada)
   * Cheryl Praeger (University of Western Australia)
   * Wal Wallis (Southern Illinois University, USA)

The excellent presentations from the invited speakers were well supported by 34 contributed talks covering a wide range of topics in the area of combinatorial mathematics, combinatorial computing and combinatorial optimisation.

Prior to the conference the CMSA Council decided to award a Student Prize ($300 Australian) for the best student talk at the conference. The prize committee was given the challenge of awarding this prize from the many eligible candidates. The inaugural prize was awarded to Dillon Mayhew from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

The social program included:

   * An informal pre-conference reception at Curtin University on the Sunday evening.
   * A full day excursion on Wednesday. The excursion was a bus trip through Perth, Fremantle and the Swan Valley Wineries. We lunched at Fremantle's Fisherman's Harbour and tried some serious wine tasting at the Houghton's and Sandalford Wineries. The day ended with coffee and cake of the day at Sandalfords.
   * The conference dinner was held on Thursday at The Boatshed Restaurant, located on the banks of the Swan River. In addition to fine food and local wines, delegates were able to enjoy the magnificent city views across the river. 

I would like to thank the sponsors for their generous support, our departmental office staff Anita Littlewood and Carey Ryken-Rapp for their support and for attending to all the many things that matter, all conference speakers for their excellent talks and to all participants for making the week an enjoyable one for everyone. Thanks. It was a great pleasure and privilege for us to host the 26th ACCMCC.

Lou Caccetta

REPORT ON THE SPECIAL SESSION ON APPLICATIONS OF DISCRETE MATHEMATICS 45th ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AUSTRALIAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY ANU CANBERRA SEPTEMBER 22-26 2001 Of the fifteen speakers originally scheduled, only one was unable to make it to the meeting because of Ansett woes. Unfortunately, this was my co-organizer Ian Roberts!

The sessions were excellent, including a student session in which all three students were competing for the Neumann prize, a session on security, one on designs, and one on algorithms. In addition, Paulette Lieby held three very well attended Magma demonstrations in a computing lab for all conference participants.

Although none of the students in our session was awarded the Neumann prize, two of them, Nicholas Cavenagh and Michelle Davidson, were responsible for their table winning the ad-hoc after (conference) dinner competition. This was a fun event, far superior to after dinner speeches, and followed a congenial evening of wining and dining at University House on the ANU campus.

The conference was a great success, aided by the proximity of the annual flower show, the art gallery and museum and some excellent restaurants.

Thanks again to all the participants in this special session.

Lynn Batten

FUTURE WORKSHOP AND CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS: MCCCC 2001 The Fifteenth Mid-West Conference on Combinatorics, Cryptography and Computing (MCCCC) will be held at University of Nevada, Las Vegas during October 18-20, 2001. Web page: Five confirmed invited speakers are:

   * E.J. Billington, University of Queensland, Australia
   * Tom C. Brown, Simon Fraser University, Canada
   * William Y. C. Chen, Los Alamos National Lab, USA and Nankai University, China
   * Chris A. Rodger, Auburn University, USA
   * Walter D. Wallis, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA 

There will be a special session on Thursday on "Attempting to Construct a 2-(22, 8, 4)-design". The session will be chaired by Clement Lam of Concordia University.

Organisers: Peter Shiue Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 89154-4020 Office: (702) 8953748 Fax: (702)8954343

Michelle Schultz Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 89154-4020 Office: (702) 8950363

Ebrahim Salehi Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 89154-4020 Office: (702) 8950390

Wal Wallis Department of Mathematics Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois Office: (618) 4536513 Fax: (618) 4535300

VAC - 19th VICTORIAN ALGEBRA CONFERENCE This immediately precedes AAECC-14 (see immediately below); it is 22-23 NOVEMBER, 2001, and is also at RMIT. For details contact Graham Clarke at the Department of Mathematics, RMIT:

AAECC-14 AAECC-14, the 14th International Symposium on Applied Algebra, Algebraic Algorithms and Error-Correcting Codes, will be held from 26-30 NOVEMBER, 2001, in Melbourne at RMIT.

Invited Speakers:

   * Robert Calderbank, AT&T Labs (Coding Techniques),
   * James Massey, Copenhagen (Cryptography),
   * Vera Pless, U. Illinois at Chicago (Coding Theory),
   * Amin Shokrollahi, Digital Fountain Inc. (Coding Theory)
   * Madhu Sudan, MIT (Algebraic Algorithms)

Contact: Kathy Horadam, Serdar Boztas or Asha Baliga

See the conference website Registration/accommodation details will soon be posted on the web.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON STATISTICS, COMBINATORICS & RELATED AREAS The Forum for International Mathematics will sponsor its eighth International Conference on Statistics, Combinatorics and Related Areas at the University of Wollongong, 19-21 DECEMBER, 2001.

The Conference site is Abstracts' submission site: Abstracts can be viewed at:

Professor Wal Wallis has been invited to conduct a special session on Graph Theory. Anybody interested should contact him at

ICAA 2002 An International Conference on Algebra and its Applications will be held at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand from 18-20 MARCH 2002.

The conference will consist of plenary lectures by world renowned mathematicians and parallel sessions of contributing papers. The following is the list of invited speakers:

   * K. DENNECKE (University of Postdam, Germany)
     News on the Lattice of Varieties of Semirings
   * J.M. HOWIE (University of St. Andrews, U.K.)
     Semigroups, Past, Present and Future
   * M. ITO (Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan)
     Languages and Automata
   * Y. KEMPRASIT (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
     Quasi-ideals and Bi-ideals in Semigroups and Rings
   * C.E. PRAEGER (University of Western Australia, Australia)
     Finite Arc-Transitive Graphs and Their Automorphism Groups
   * A.H. RHEMTULLA (University of Alberta, Canada)
     Orderable Groups - Recent Results and Open Problems
   * V. SANH (Khon Kaen University, Thailand)
     On Generalizations of Injectivity and Their Applications in Characterizing Some Class of Rings
   * K.P. SHUM (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
     Abundant Semigroups and Their Generalizations
   * F. WINKLER (University of Linz, Austria)
     Advances in Algebraic Geometric Computation
   * Y. XU (Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China)
     New Direct Product Rings and Infinite Matrix Rings 

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract by mail or fax to P. Udomkavanich, Department of Mathematics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand, Fax: (662) 2552287.

IMPORTANT DATES: 1.  : October 31, 2001: Deadline for abstract submission. 2.  : November 30, 2001: Notification of abstract acceptance. 3.  : January 15, 2002: Deadline for full paper submission.


The 27th ACCMCC The 27th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (27ACCMCC) will be held at Newcastle University, NSW, from 9-13 DECEMBER 2002. It is usually very nice and warm in Newcastle around that time, and Nick [ed: is this Nick in Melbourne?!] suggested we include a surfing session... (we are also considering a wine-tasting session in the nearby vineyards). The confirmed invited speakers at the moment are

   * Mirka Miller (University of Newcastle, NSW),
   * Alex Rosa (McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
   * Jozef Siran (Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia) .

We are still looking for speakers, so please let me know if you plan to have international visitors at that time

Ljiljana Brankovic

A very useful website giving upcoming conferences in Coding, Cryptography and Effective Algebra AND their deadlines is .


Nick Hamilton writes from Belgium:

I'm collecting recent theses in Finite Geometry and making them available from here: The idea is that I'm usually too lazy to request a thesis from a foreign library, or have lost interest by the time it arrives, so I wanted to make recent theses available quickly to myself and other such lazy people.

My interpretation of "Finite Geometry" is not very strict, if a thesis mentions results in finite geometry, or uses finite geometries in a way that might be of interest to finite geometers then it'll probably be fine for the web page. There is more information on how to submit a thesis to me on my home page at I've only just started collecting theses, so I only have 12 so far, but hopefully the number will grow soon.

[Check Nick's home page, above, with lovely pictures of Nick, Jillian and son Edan.]

Charlie Colbourn writes:

Please note

1. my change of email address to

2. my change of real address to Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering Arizona State University PO Box 875406 Tempe, AZ 85287-5406 U.S.A.

News from Kathy Horadam at RMIT:

Congratulations to Dr Asha Baliga who has been promoted to Senior Lecturer. And congratulations also to Dr Serdar Boztas who has been promoted to Associate Professor of Information Security.

Also Dr Kristine Lally has joined the Information Theory and Security Group as Lecturer in Information Security. She has come from the National University of Ireland - Cork, where she obtained her PhD under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Pat FitzPatrick and has been lecturing in their Masters course in information security.

ARC news

Brendan McKay at ANU has been awarded an Australian Professorial Fellowship for 5 years, in connection with the project "Practical and theoretical aspects of structure enumeration".

Nicholas Wormald at the University of Melbourne has been awarded an ARC grant for three years for the project "Random structures and asymptotics".

Darryn Bryant of the University of Queensland has been awarded a 5 year QEII Fellowship.

Darryn Bryant, Peter Adams and K. Mitchelson of the University of Queensland have been awarded an ARC grant for 5 years for the project "Mutagenesis and combinatorial algorithms for sequencing problematic genomic regions".

George Havas, Darryn Bryant, Peter Adams and Anne Street of the University of Queensland have been awarded an ARC grant for 3 years for the project "Emerging applications of advanced computational methods and discrete mathematics".

Congratulations to all the above!


(Please send in details of future visitors and dates in time for contacts to be made with the visitors. Ed.)


There is now a web page for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics, and it has a search facility for past authors and for keywords in paper titles. See . Instructions to authors are also available from this web site.

Volume 24 appeared last month, September 2001. See contents lists of each volume, at the web page.

Submissions to the AJC may be sent to . Electronic submissions are encouraged. For paper submissions, please check the web page.

REMINDER: Deadline for next issue 31 January, 2002. Elizabeth Billington, Dept Maths, University of Queensland, Qld 4072. Fax: +61 7 3365 1477