[ASC-media] Media release: Mathematicians the new stars in technology-driven world

Diana Wolfe (03) 9372 5305 diana at wolfewords.com
Wed Sep 28 00:36:33 EST 2005

Media release - for immediate release
Wednesday 28th September 2005

Mathematicians the new stars in technology-driven world
Leading international mathematicians are 
converging on Perth today to share major advances 
in the maths-based technology that affects our 
daily lives, and tackle key issues in 
mathematical science and education.
At the 49th Annual Australian Mathematical 
Society Conference, speakers from 21 countries 
will delve into the mathematical advances behind 
new generation technology from mobile phones to 
Google, air travel to radar, and banking to 
weather forecasting.
Key speakers include Professor Robert Calderbank 
from Princeton University in the US. Professor 
Calderbank is one of the inventors of 'space-time 
coding', a breakthrough in mobile phone antenna 
technology that will significantly improve phone 
signals and feature in more than a billion mobile 
phones worldwide over the next five years.
Professor Calderbank, who is Director of Applied 
and Computational Mathematics at Princeton, is 
collaborating with leading Australian 
mathematical engineers on improved radar 
technology with potential global applications in 
defence and environmental management. His 
presentation is at 2pm today.
Canadian researcher, Professor Jonathan Borwein, 
uses mathematics to improve communications 
between far-flung colleagues and organisations. 
His groundbreaking work at Dalhousie University 
is transforming teleconferencing and will help 
transcend the need for constant long-distance 
travel, by developing easy and low-cost ways to 
speak, see, and interact with others 
electronically, in real-time and without the 
current glitches.
Also being announced at the conference is the 
winner of the Australian Mathematical Society 
Medal, Professor Terence Tao, an Adelaide-born 
mathematics prodigy who in 1988 became the 
youngest-ever gold medal winner at the 
International Mathematics Olympiad.
Now based in the US and only 30 years old, 
Professor Tao is already world-renowned for his 
mathematical discoveries, including an answer to 
a thousand-year-old mathematical problem 
involving arithmetic progressions and prime 
numbers, the theory of which forms the basis of 
all modern banking systems (such as ATMs, 
internet banking, and electronic transaction 
The conference will also address key issues in 
mathematics education through a series of teacher 
talks and a panel discussion on the controversial 
outcomes-based assessment model proposed for WA 
high schools.
International Centre of Excellence for Education 
in Mathematics (ICE-EM) Director, Professor Garth 
Gaudry, said that the new Federal 
Government-funded ICE-EM Mathematics pilot 
program would involve a number of WA schools. He 
said in 2006/07 teachers would use and help 
further develop a new series of textbooks 
designed to strengthen the teaching of 
mathematics throughout Australia.
He said the conference today would feature a 
series of talks by distinguished mathematicians 
especially for teachers.
"These talks will give WA teachers insight into 
some of the latest developments in mathematics 
and its contemporary applications," Professor 
Gaudry said.

Conference organiser and Chair of Mathematics and 
Information Science at the University of Western 
Australia, Professor Lyle Noakes, said Australian 
mathematicians and statisticians were recognised 
worldwide for their groundbreaking work with 
algebra, analysis and geometry, and the 
applications of sophisticated mathematical 
methods in fluid mechanics, physics, finance and 
"It's an exciting time for mathematics in 
Australia and worldwide. We're acknowledged as 
producing top-class mathematicians, and by 
working with mathematics teachers we aim to help 
inspire the mathematicians of the future," 
Professor Noakes said.
"It is the first time in 13 years that this 
conference has been held in WA, and we're 
honoured to host this important event in the 
mathematical calendar."
Founded in 1956, the Australian Mathematical 
Society is the national professional body for 
mathematicians. Its aim is to promote and extend 
mathematical knowledge and its applications in 
49th Annual Australian Mathematical Society (Aust MS) Conference
Tuesday 27th to Friday 30th September (inclusive)
School of Mathematics & Statistics, The University of Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia 6009
Website: www.maths.uwa.edu.au/~austms05/index.html


Media note: Key speakers are available for 
interview. For a conference program, speaker bios 
and abstracts, photo opportunities and interview 

Sandra Devahasdin		P: (08) 9226 5666
Devahasdin Public Relations	M: 0408 896 496	E: sandra at devahasdinpr.com.au

Hayley Hinchliffe		P: (08) 9226 5666
Devahasdin Public Relations	M: 0401 027 161	E: hayley at devahasdinpr.com.au


Post-conference media inquiries: Diana Wolfe, Wolfe Words (03) 9372 5305

Wolfe Words
PO Box 1117
Kensington   Victoria   3031
Phone & fax: (03) 9372 5305
Mobile: 0419 547 270

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