[The University of Newcastle, Australia]
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Priority Research Centre for Computer-Assisted
Research Mathematics and its Applications

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International Number Theory Conference in Memory of Alf van der Poorten, AM

Venue: Noah's On the Beach, Newcastle

12-16 March, 2012

Hosted by CARMA, the University of Newcastle, Australia

Financial support from the University of Newcastle and the Faculty of Science and IT is gratefully acknowledged

[Group photo]

A message from the organisers:

Dear Participants,
the submission website is now active:
(I think you need to register before you are able to submit).
It is highly recommended that you format your manuscript according to these instructions:
We apologize in advance for possible (and impossible...) technical glitches.
Once again, thank you for coming to Newcastle and making the conference so successful.
Best wishes,
Jon Borwein,
Igor Shparlinski,
Wadim Zudilin

NOTICE: Photos

Some photos from the conference can be seen here.

NOTICE: Presentation PDFs

PDFs for most talks are now available below.

NOTICE: Placemat PDF

A PDF version of the placemat from the conference dinner is available below.

Thanks to AMSI and the Australian Mathematical Society for their support

The purpose of the conference is to celebrate and promote number theory research in Australia and to commemorate the research and legacy of Alf van der Poorten, AM. Brief biographies can be found here and here and a memorium here.

Organisers: Jon Borwein, Igor Shparlinski and Wadim Zudilin.

Invited Speakers

  • Yann Bugeaud (Univ. Louis-Pasteur, Strasbourg):
      On the continued fraction expansion of algebraic numbers
  • John Coates (Univ. of Cambridge):
      On the enigmatic Tate-Shafarevich group
  • John Friedlander (Univ. of Toronto):
      The spin of prime ideals (joint work with H. Iwaniec, B. Mazur, and K. Rubin)
  • Frank Garvan (Univ. of Florida)
      The smallest parts partition function
  • Roger Heath-Brown (Univ. of Oxford)
      Burgess' Bounds for Character Sums
  • Harald Helfgott (ENS, Paris):
      The diameter of permutation groups (joint work with A. Seress)
  • Carl Pomerance (Dartmouth College)
      Sums and products of integers
  • Jeffrey Shallit (Univ. of Waterloo):
      Alf van der Poorten and Continued Fractions
  • Cameron Stewart (Univ. of Waterloo)
      Divisors of terms of recurrence sequences
  • Michel Waldschmidt (Univ. Paris 6):
      Some families of Diophantine equations with finitely many integer points (joint work with C. Levesque)
  • Hugh Williams (Univ. of Calgary):
      Some extensions of the Lucas functions


The final version (12 Mar 2012) of the conference programme is now available.

Dinner Placemat

A PDF version of the placemat used at the conference dinner can be downloaded from here.


PDF versions of most of the presentations from the conference are available. Click on the talk title to view or download.


We plan to publish of a volume of conference proceedings with Springer. In full agreement with the publisher this volume will be open for submissions from all participants and also from those who were not able to attend but would like to contribute to the volume. The submission deadline will be 1 May, 2012. Details of the submission procedure will be available later.

Registration Fees

CategoryEarly bird
(paid by 1 Feb, 2012)
(paid after 1 Feb, 2012)
Members of the Aust. Math. Soc.:$200$240
Ph.D. students:$100$120
Retired members of the Aust. Math. Soc.:$100$120
Conference dinner tickets:$70$70

There are also limited funds to support PhD students and recent postdocs.

Click here for the registration form. [Updated 15 Sept, 2011]


The workshop will be held at Noah's on the Beach. Noah's on the Beach Newcastle is located opposite spectacular Newcastle Beach, Newcastle's most renowned surf and swim beach, in the heart of the Newcastle East heritage precinct. Newcastle's central business district, entertainment venues, Newcastle Harbour and the revitalised Honeysuckle foreshore are all only a short walk or ride away on the free inner-city bus network.

The hotel website can be found here.

View Larger Map


We have arranged special conference rates at Noah's on the Beach. For arrival on Sunday, 11th March, and departure on Friday, 17th March, the following rates are available:

  • Standard room: $160 per night
  • Harbour View room: $175 per night
  • Ocean View room: $195 per night

To book at these rates, quote booking number 40700 at the time of booking. They are available until 11th February, 2012.

Other accommodation within walking distance of the conference venue includes:

For further options and information about Newcastle please visit www.visitnewcastle.com.au.


Sydney Airport to Newcastle

For those arriving at Sydney Airport we recommend taking the train to Newcastle. Take the Airport & East Hills train from Domestic/International Airport Station to Central Station and then the Newcastle and Central Coast train from Central Station to Newcastle Station. From Newcastle Station it is an easy walk to the recommended hotels. For more information and/or to plan your exact trip times see the CityRail website at www.cityrail.info.

Alternatively, there is the Happy Cabby Airport Shuttle Service which you will need to book in advance.

Newcastle Airport to Newcastle

For those arriving at the Newcastle Airport we recommend taking a taxi to Newcastle. The taxi rank is adjacent to the arrivals area of the terminal. Newcastle Taxis can be contacted directly, free-of-charge, on the dedicated taxi phone located in the arrivals end of the terminal.

Alternatively, you can catch the 130 or 131 bus from the Newcastle Airport to the Newcastle Station. From Newcastle Station it is an easy walk to the recommended hotels. For more information and/or to plan your exact trip times see the CityRail website or the Port Stephens Coaches timetables.

Local Transportation in Newcastle

Newcastle Taxis: bookings can be made online or by calling 133 300 within Australia.

Newcastle Buses: the free green 555 Newcastle Shuttle Bus runs every 20 minutes, seven days a week, on a continuous loop around the city centre.

Car Parking

Car parking is available at the venue.

Local Directions

It is about a ten-minute walk from the Newcastle Railway Station to any of the aforementioned hotels. For more information please see the map above.

Workshop at Macquarie University

There will be a follow-up workshop on Number Theory and its Applications at Macquarie University, 19-20 March, 2012. Visit their website.

Social Events

Some social events from the list below will be available in the afternoon of Wednesday 14 March. Options will be available depending on level of interest. Transport to each option will be arranged depending on level of interest.


Nova Cruises offer a 3-hour ocean cruise to witness the annual migration of the humback whale. Travel 10 minutes down the harbour to Lee Wharf. Cruise boards at 1:20pm, departs 1:30pm, returns at 4:30pm. Afternoon tea provided.

Native Mini-Zoo Experience and Optional Short Bushwalk

Blackbutt Reserve, is about 20 minutes drive inland from the conference venue, is home to a small zoo of native animals. See kangaroos, emus, wombats, koalas and a variety of birdlife. Public koala encounters happen at 2pm, for a limited number of participants. Entry to the zoo is free, but koala encounters are $4 per person. There are also a variety of short walking trails through the bushland in the reserve.

Hunter Valley Wine Tour

Within about one and a quarter hours' drive is the Hunter Valley, one of Australia's premier wine-growing regions. Visit as many wineries as your guide can manage in the time! Payment may be required for tasting at some wineries. Return to hotel by 6:15pm.

Harbour Walk

Take an easy walk along the Newcastle harbour-front, from the docks to the lighthouse, to the ocean baths. A flat and well-paved walk, route and distances can be decided to suit participants.

Clifftop Walk

Walk along the coast from the hotel up along the cliffs to the south. The walk is well-paved, but hilly. With luck, see whales without getting seasick! Surfer sightings are guaranteed. Distances can be decided to suit participants.


Glenrock Reserve, about 20 minutes drive from the conference venue, contains numerous walking trails, through a variety of bushland types, with views of the ocean, and the option of walking down to the beach. Both easy and hard walking options are available, but surfaces are typically uneven.

Tour of Fort Scratchley

Why even leave the conference venue? Get great views of Newcastle and a taste of Australia's wartime history with a self-guided tour of Fort Scratchley, open until 4pm. Guided tours of the tunnels leave regularly until 2:30pm, and cost around $12-15 per person. Tickets are available from the Artillery Store (shop) at the Fort.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact

Juliane Turner
Telephone: (02) 492 15483
Facimile: (02) 492 16898