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54th Annual AustMS Meeting You are at the School of Mathematics and Physics website

Education Afternoon

As part of the 54th annual conference of the Australian Mathematical Society there will be a special Education Afternoon, aimed at mathematics teachers at secondary school level.

Please click on the relevant links to download a flyer of the program and short  bibliographies of the speakers and panel members.


2:00 pm till 7:30 pm Tuesday the 28th of September.


St Lucia Campus, Parnell Building (7), Room  222.

Parking is available on campus. Please check the UQ Website for details regarding parking zones, costs and locations.

How to Register

Registration for the afternoon is free. To register, please go to the registration page.

Program Outline

1:30 pm – Registration opens in Parnell Building (7), Room  222.

2:00 pm Prof. Bill Barton, The Klein Project.

2:45 pm Prof. Hugh Possingham, How Maths is saving species.

3:15 pm Afternoon tea in the Alumni Court.

3:45 pm Dr Michael Evans and Ms Janine McIntosh, The Improving Mathematics Education in Schools (TIMES) Project.

4:30 pm Interactive panel discussion – Catering for bright minds.

Panelists are Prof. Bill Barton, Dr Michael Evans, Mr Jim Lowe and Mr Wayne Stevens. The session will be chaired by Prof. Merrylin Goos.

5:30 pm Reception for all attendees in the Alumni Court.

6:30 pm Public lecture The life of π  by Professor Jonathan Borwein, The University of Newcastle. The public lecture will be held in the Abel Smith Lecture Theatre (23).

Program Details

Prof. Bill Barton
The University of Auckland

The Klein Project

Over a century ago, in 1908, Felix Klein's lectures on mathematics for secondary teachers were first published (in German). This comprehensive view of the field challenged both teachers and mathematicians to consider the relationship between mathematics as a school subject, and mathematics as a scientific discipline. IMU and ICMI have commissioned a project to revisit Klein's intent, and produce a book and related materials that will help senior secondary teachers understand the links between what they teach and research mathematics. We have witnessed many changes in mathematics in 100 years: the crises in Foundations, the advent of computing, emergence of new fields, and resolutions of some major mathematical challenges. It has become more and more difficult for teachers to have a sense of the divergent but linked discipline of mathematics in all its manifestations. The project seeks to produce a stimulating book that will engage teachers in the living and exciting field of mathematics. The Klein Project is also a forum for mathematics teachers and mathematicians to come together. I will report on how it is progressing, give some examples of new ideas for teachers, and seek your involvement in the project.

Prof. Hugh Possingham,
The University of Queensland

How Maths is saving species

Mathematical thinking and tools eventually imposes itself on almost all areas of human endeavour. My group uses mathematics in the most unlikely of places biodiversity conservation research. I will outline a few of the problems where we use optimization tools and thinking to pose and solve biodiversity conservation issues. Some of the work is being used to build the world's marine reserve systems changing the face of about 10% of the world's surface. Recently we have formulated the problem of allocating conservation funds to countries to advise non-government organizations about where they can save us much biodiversity as possible for their hard-earned green dollar.

Dr Michael Evans and Ms Janine McIntosh

The Improving Mathematics Education in Schools (TIMES) Project

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute works with teachers to enhance their mathematics programs. The development of the ICE-EM mathematics textbooks for Years 5 to 10 has been central in our schools program. In this session, we will outline the development and use of new careers materials and modules covering the mathematics required in the school curriculum up to and including year 10. The modules are being written to support the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum Mathematics.

Prof. Merrilyn Goos

Prof. Bill Barton
Dr Michael Evans
Mr Jim Lowe
Mr Wayne Stevens
Panel discussion: Catering for bright minds

Student participation in higher level mathematics in the senior secondary years has been in decline for many years. As a consequence, the number of mathematics students in universities has reached a critically low level, leading to shortages of graduates who are mathematically qualified to work in scientific and technical fields, or to undertake further studies in mathematics leading to research or teaching careers. This interactive panel discussion will engage the audience in identifying issues, challenges and strategies for nurturing bright minds in mathematics at all levels of schooling.