A summer of maths

20 January 2017

For the second time in its history, the annual AMSI Summer School is being hosted at the University of Sydney, offering specialised courses and events for postgraduate students.

AMSI Summer School attendees

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is hosting the 2017 AMSI Summer School from January 9 to February 3. This is the second time this annual event has been held at the University of Sydney in its 15-year history.

The Summer School was officially opened on the morning of Monday 9 January by Professor Pip Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), and Dr Ron Sandland AM, chair of the AMSI board and former Deputy Chief Executive of CSIRO.

It's such a joy to have these highly able, highly motivated students in the class.
Mary Myerscough

AMSI, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, is a collaborative enterprise of Australian universities and learned societies, of which the University of Sydney is a full member. The AMSI Summer School is one of its flagship events, and is the largest annual event for Australian students in the mathematical sciences, comprising four weeks of intensive postgraduate-level coursework.

A record 170 elite mathematical science students from all around the country, including 30 of the University of Sydney’s own students, are enrolled in this year’s Summer School. 22 Australian universities are represented.

AMSI Summer School attendees at the opening ceremony

Professor Mary Myerscough from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney has been presenting as part of the school "It's such a joy to have these highly able, highly motivated students in the class.   It's a pleasure to see them getting to know each other and working together to develop their understanding of the course material.  I'm having fun and I hope they are too!”

The eight courses run during the school range widely over fundamental areas of mathematical and statistical theory as well as their applications in computing, design and medicine. Particularly popular topics this year are Mathematics and Statistics of Big Data and Category Theory and Computer Science, both illustrating the large demand for graduates who can apply mathematics to the modern challenges of data and computing. Exposing students to the many topics within the mathematical sciences.

It was a great opportunity to meet other women in the field
Courtney Darville
AMSI Summer School attendees at the opening ceremony

Dr Anne Thomas from the University of Sydney is proud to part of the academic team teaching the courses: "The summer school started the year after I did honours, and I wish it had existed when I was a student.  It's great to bring together these talented students from all over the country, and expose them to a wide range of active research areas.”

The lecturers of this year’s Summer School courses come from Australian National University, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO Data61 as well as our own School of Mathematics and Statistics. The event is a model of how Australian universities can effectively combine resources to provide advanced education to a greater number of students. 

AMSI Summer School attendees at the opening ceremony

Summer School attendee Courtney Darville particularly enjoyed the school's focus on women in mathematics – "there was a special event where all the women from the school came together and shared advice and stories about being a woman in mathematics. It was a great opportunity to meet other women in the field from all around Australia, from undergraduate level all the way to the Head of Maths at the University of Sydney. It was a hugely fun night which was both inspiring and eye-opening.”

A special public lecture, Networks for Big Biomedical Data, is being presented as part of the Summer School, focusing on the potential for big data and statistics to unlock causes and cures for cancer and other neurological diseases. Presented by Professor Genevera Allen from Rice University, the lecture takes place on Tuesday 31 January. Registrations are open now.

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