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ACEMS PhD Student Provides "Rigorous Evidence" to Landmark Study Involving Aboriginal Australians

A new study, just published in Nature, uses genetics, backed up by statistics, to reinforce Aboriginal communities strong connection to country. It reveals that Aboriginal populations have been continuously present in the same regions for up to 50,000 years.

Adam "Ben" Rohrlach is an ACEMS PhD student at The University of Adelaide and is one of the lead authors in the study. Ben says he was able to develop the necessary statistical methods for exploring the genetic data used in this study.
ACEMS MEDIA RELEASE: How Ben used statistics to strengthen the results of this important study
All ACEMS Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Fellows associated with ACEMS Chief Investigators and Associate Investigators are encouraged to attend an ACEMS Postdoc Workshop at The University of Queensland.

The aims of the workshop are to provide a forum for exchange of research, to encourage networking and potential research collaboration between ACEMS members, and to inform about, engage with and contribute to the broader vision and strategies of the Centre.

CLICK HERE for more information or to register.
Introduction to the Tidyverse
Microsoft Innovation Centre
Brisbane, 13 March

Applied Probability @ The Rock
An international workshop celebrating ACEMS Chief Investigator Phil Pollett's 60th Birthday
Ayers Rock Resort, Northern Territory, 17-21 April
2-Day Workshop on Approximate Bayesian Computation and its applications
Monash University, Clayton Campus
31 May - 1 June

More info to follow
Sports & Stats Workshop
By: Jessie Roberts, ACEMS Stakeholder Engagement Officer

When people think about statistics, they often think of sports.

On Friday 3 March, ACEMS hosted a workshop at QUT titled, "Maths and Stats for Sports Research."

The workshop brought together over 30 participants including sports scientists from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), Fusion Sports, as well as mathematics and statistics academics from QUT, Monash University, Griffith University, The University of Adelaide, as well as ACEMS visitor Professor Jim Albert (pictured above) from Bowling Green State University in the USA.

Overall the workshop was a great success and we hope this will be the beginning of a collaborative community dedicated to innovation in mathematical and statistical methods for Sports Research. The workshop discussion covered many issues including: current methodological challenges in sport science, training opportunities that sports scientists are interested in, and opportunities within wearables, nutrition supplements, personalised medicine, peak performance, sports psychology and sports technology. Please see the GitHub Repo for a list of the issues that were raised in the workshop.

AIS, QAS and Fusion Sports are interested in exploring internship opportunities with undergraduate and HDR students. If any ACEMS members are interested in more details about this, or have sports enthusiasts amongst your ranks, please get in touch with Jessie Roberts to discuss further.
Professor Scott Sisson (UNSW) replaces Professor Jan de Gier (Melbourne) on the ACEMS Executive Committee.

Jan decided to step down as ACEMS Deputy Director after accepting the appointment as Head of School for The University of Melbourne's School of Mathematics and Statistics. 

"I’d like to thank Jan for his enormous contribution to ACEMS. It is not overstating things to say that, without Jan, ACEMS would not exist," said ACEMS Director Peter Taylor.

Jan will continue with his role in ACEMS as a Chief Investigator. 

Scott will replace Jan as Deputy Director, with his focus on media and communications.

New Chief Investigator Receives Prestigious Award at ANZIAM

ANZIAM awarded new ACEMS Chief Investigator Kate Smith-Miles one of its top awards – the EO Tuck Medal at its recent conference in South Australia.

The EO Tuck Medal is a mid-career award that recognises outstanding research and distinguished service to the field of applied mathematics, and is named in honour of the late Ernest Oliver Tuck. Kate (pictured on the left) received the award from Tuck's wife, Helen.

READ THE FULL STORY, including what Kate thinks about this question: "what makes good applied mathematics in the modern era?"


The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) awarded ACEMS Research Fellow Chris Oates (UTS) its prestigious 2017 Research Prize.

The RSS highlighted his research, saying that it is playing a major role in the development of Probabilistic Numerical Methods, which Chris says has only recently emerged as a coherent research field.

READ THE FULL STORY including Chris' comments on why he is so excited about this relatively new research field.
VIDEO:  ACEMS Deputy Director Kerrie Mengersen recently appeared on Scope TV, talking about her conservation project in Peru, where she's using statistics and virtual reality to try to save the jaguar population. Her story is about one minute into the show.

Mathscraft on the Move

Armed with a new name, and an influx of teachers, the ACEMS outreach program known as 'Mathscraft' hopes to take a big step forward in 2017.

The goal of the program is simple: to show students that maths isn't just about learning the tool(s) to get a right answer. Rather, maths is about exploring, asking questions, and noticing patterns. It's a process that can be both fun and engaging, where one problem or question can lead to others.

It's the process that a research mathematician goes through, and that's why the program was originally called "Doing Maths Like a Research Mathematician." The program targets students in Years 7-10 through a day-long workshop.

ACEMS adopted the workshops as part of its outreach program in 2015. The workshops were held at several ACEMS node universities by ACEMS Affiliate Member Anthony Harradine (pictured left), from Prince Alfred College in South Australia.

 VIDEO: What a Mathscraft Student Workshop Looks Like

To grow the program, though, ACEMS needed more people to facilitate the Mathscraft workshops. So at the end of 2016, ACEMS brought 17 teachers from around the country (pictured above) to the MATRIX mathematical research institute in Creswick, Victoria, for a five day workshop.

VIDEO: Mathscraft Teachers Workshop

The teachers were shown how to lead a Mathscraft workshop. Those teachers will now facilitate at least two workshops of their own in their home state. 

The first Mathscraft workshop of the year was just held in Mackay, QLD. We look forward to seeing this program grow!

For more information on Mathscraft, check out the ACEMS Website page on the program.


ACEMS was proud to host 23 internationally-renowned speakers (pictured above) and more than 100 delegates at the conference to honour ACEMS Founding Director director Peter Hall.

The conference was held at The University of Melbourne in December. ACEMS Associate Investigator Davide Ferrari captured the event for the upcoming ACEMS annual report.  You can read his story here.
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