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Mathematical sciences

About Us

There is a deep tradition within the mathematical sciences at the University of Newcastle of care and involvement in education at all levels. We have a critical mass of people invested in this tradition, and this page is intended to describe and promote our activities, and hopefully to promote cooperation with other like-minded persons.


Schools Mathematics Enrichment

The University of Newcastle Mathematics Department has a long history of community engagement, including running an enrichment program for talented high school students. This is currently held every fortnight for interested year 9 and 10 students in terms 2 and 3, and covers areas not traditionally addressed in the standard curriculum through mathematical problem solving. Presenters are drawn from the maths faculty, research higher degree students and outside of the university to give a range of perspectives. Feedback from students is generally very positive, and through this program we hope to encourage participants to explore maths further in various ways. The Department is always keen to notify teachers and students of these sessions, so please contact us if you are interested in hearing more about the current maths enrichment series.
Contact: Jeff Hogan

CARMA Young Mathematicians Programme

The CARMA Young Mathematicians Programme is a pilot programme building on the Enrichment Programme which introduces school students to

  1. Thinking as a mathematician
  2. Applications of mathematics
  3. Computer software tools for mathematical explorations
  4. CARMA's research

Contact: Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert

Teaching Mathematics Teachers

Around ten years ago, Malcolm Roberts developed two specialised courses for trainee mathematics teachers. These courses, developed on sound educational principles, introduce students to the processes of mathematics and thinking as a mathematician. They succeed in positively transforming students' attitudes towards mathematics and are amongst the most popular second-year mathematics courses at UoN. We are interested in making these courses, and others like them, more widely available.

Kath Holmes and Elena Prieto run a course for practising teachers who wish to re-training as mathematics teachers.

Contact: Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert, Elena Prieto, Judy-anne Osborn

"Mathematical Rounds"

Mathematical rounds are akin to medical rounds, in which trainees accompany an expert practitioner on their rounds and discuss cases. Mathematical rounds are an implementaion of the Quality Teaching Framework, which was developed by Prof Jennifer Gore at UoN and which is used extensively across NSW in teacher training. Mathematical rounds are similar to techniques used in Finland, renowned for its excellent mathematical education.
Contact: Elena Prieto, Malcolm Roberts, Andrew Kepert, Judy-anne Osborn

Teachers Visit Day Presentations



Mathematics in the Science and Engineering Challenge

The Science and Engineering Challenge is a nationwide outreach program lead by the University of Newcastle in conjunction with various partners and sponsors. The Challenge is designed to inspire students to study science and engineering at a senior level. In 2013, a mathematics activity was introduced, designed by Olivia Smith, Ben Brawn and Roslyn Hickson.
Contact: Ben Brawn

NUMS: Newcastle University Mathematics and Statistics Society

The Newcastle University Mathematics and Statistics Society are well-known for their series of undergraduate mathematics talks, and hold film nights and other social events.
Contact: MAPS executive officer for contact information for the current NUMS president

Mathematicians in Schools

Various people visit primary and secondary schools across Australia, both on their own initiative or as part of the CSIRO's "Mathematicians in Schools" and "Scientists in Schools" programmes.
Contact: Jeff Hogan

Australian Mathematics Competition

Andrew Kepert has been deeply involved in the Australian Mathematics Competition for over a decade, and is interested in its impact on Australian school students.
Contact: Andrew Kepert

Communicating Mathematics in the Media

Contact: Judy-anne Osborn, George Willis

Mathematical Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation

Much of our early mathematical training would have us believe that mathematics is the study of arithmetic, algebra and geometry. While there is no doubt that these ideas are central, mathematics is extremely diverse and has applications in engineering, business, industry and almost every other discipline. In this session we investigate a highly practical area of mathematics known as mathematical modelling, simulation and optimisation. Activities include computing the constant Pi using die, consulting for business decision making, and the mathematics behind nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. This activity is organised by the University of Newcastle's Equity and Diversity unit as part of their "Uni in the Classroom" programme.

Contact: Kirrily Stokes

SMART Program

More information is available on the Faculty of Science and Information Technology's webpage.

Contact: Terry Burns

SSAI Poster Competition

Visit the competition web site for more information.

Contact: Peter Howley


Some of the people and some of our interests:



Date Presenter Title Abstract
16 Aug, 2018 Dr David Collis
The University of Melbourne
Creating a high expectations learning context for university level mathematics teaching [Click to show or hide]
26 Mar, 2018 Mark Mac Lean
The University of British Columbia
Using Comparative Judgment to Support Conceptual Understanding in Mathematics [Click to show or hide]
10 Feb, 2017 Anita Ponsaing
The University of Melbourne
Mathscraft - Doing maths like a research mathematician [Click to show or hide]
22 Nov, 2016 Dr Andrew Kepert
The University of Newcastle
A showcase of home-grown software tools for generating and managing assessment material [Click to show or hide]
8 Mar, 2016
The University of Newcastle
Insights into the BMath from "Conversations: BMath Experiences" - a NUMERIC project [Click to show or hide]
16 Jun, 2015 Prof Bill McBride
The University of Newcastle
Teaching mathematics to engineering students in the USA [Click to show or hide]
12 May, 2015 James Juniper
The University of Newcastle
Applying Diagrams from Category Theory in a more User-friendly Approach to Teaching Advanced Elements of Financial and Economic Analysis [Click to show or hide]
26 Aug, 2014 A/Prof. Jeff Hogan
The University of Newcastle
Forum on assessment as a lens for thinking about teaching [Click to show or hide]
5 Aug, 2014 ARC Laureate Fellow Prof. George Willis
The University of Newcastle
The art of discovering what seems too good to be true [Click to show or hide]
4 Jul, 2014 Prof Kim Beswick
The University of Tasmania
What do great mathematics teachers know and believe? [Click to show or hide]
24 Jun, 2014 Alasdair McAndrew
Victoria University and the University of Melbourne
Open Source Systems for Mathematics and Mathematics Education [Click to show or hide]
13 Jun, 2014 Shaun Belward
James Cook University
Attention where it is needed: strengthening the mathematics experience for pre-service mathematics teachers [Click to show or hide]
3 Jun, 2014 Dr Judy-anne Osborn
The University of Newcastle
Education, Combinatorics and the Modern World [Click to show or hide]
11 Feb, 2014 Jonathan Kress
University of NSW
Online mathematics assignments using MapleTA, at UNSW [Click to show or hide]
11 Feb, 2014 Ben Carter
The University of Newcastle
Online mathematics assignments using MapleTA, at UoN [Click to show or hide]
21 Jan, 2014 Prof Liz Burd
The University of Newcastle
Proposals for the flipped classroom at the UoN [Click to show or hide]
17 Dec, 2013 A/Prof Tristan Perez
The University of Newcastle
Minimum-level of Competency in all Topics - A Requirement for Sitting the Final Exam [Click to show or hide]
12 Nov, 2013 Sue Worsley
Profiles of Mathematics Students [Click to show or hide]
20 Aug, 2013 Dr Manju Sharma
The University of Sydney
The changing face of education: Challenges and opportunities for educators [Click to show or hide]
25 Jul, 2013 Dr Elena Prieto
The University of Newcastle
Discrete mathematics in the school curriculum [Click to show or hide]
11 Jun, 2013 Various Members
The University of Newcastle
Ideas for large class teaching from Eric Mazur [Click to show or hide]
21 May, 2013 Various Members
The University of Newcastle
A joint presentation from members of the Schools of Education and MAPS [Click to show or hide]
19 Mar, 2013 Dr Judy-anne Osborn
The University of Newcastle
On the role of a First Year Experience Coordinator in Mathematics [Click to show or hide]
3 Apr, 2012 Dr Deborah King
The University of Melbourne
An experience of directing a mathematics and statistics learning centre at the University of Melbourne [Click to show or hide]

Educational Research Group

Many members of NUMERIC are also members of the CARMA Educational Research group.

For some related publications, see: