AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awardees 

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Travelling for conferences and research visits is vital for an academic career. The AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards are designed to provide full or partial support for Australian female mathematicians to attend conferences or to visit collaborators, with approximately four Domestic Travel Awards and two International Travel Awards awarded annually. By having more women attend conferences, we also increase the size of the pool from which speakers at subsequent conferences may be drawn, and thus address the persistent problem of the scarcity of women speakers at some conferences. 

The Awards are funded by the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) and are an initiative of the AustMS Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group (WIMSIG), which administers them. Awards are determined on a competitive basis by a selection committee of distinguished mathematicians, appointed by the Executive Committee of WIMSIG. 

The Award rules and application forms can be found on the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards page.

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Prof Cheryl Praeger with some past recipients of AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards and Anne Penfold Street Awards — September 2017 (Photo Credit: Sia Duff) 
L-R: Valentina Wheeler, Joan Licata, Barbara Maenhaut, Cheryl Praeger, Joanne Hall, Catherine Penington, Bronwyn Hajek 


Awardees To Date

2019

Jessica Kasza

Jessica Kasza (Monash) was awarded a Praeger Award in Round 9, 2019.

Huanhuan Li

Huanhuan Li (Western Sydney) was awarded a Praeger Award in Round 9, 2019.

Tanja Schindler

Tanja Schindler (ANU) was awarded a Praeger Award in Round 9, 2019.

Michelle Strumila

Michelle Strumila (Melbourne) was awarded a Praeger Award in Round 9, 2019.

2018

Zahra Afsar

Zahra Afsar (The University of Sydney) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) to attend the Women in Operator Algebras workshop, November 2-9, 2018, Banff, Canada.

Zahra’s Report: I am writing this report to provide details of my trip to Canada that was supported by Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards. I have received this award ($2410) on 21 Jun 2018 to support my attendance at the Women in Operator Algebras conference in Canada in November 2018. However, I also used this opportunity to extend my trip in Canada to visit Prof Mrcelo Laca at University of Victoria.

The Women in Operator Algebras (WOA) workshop was held at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery from 4-9 November 2018. BIRS is a world-wide recognised centre for hosting over 50 prestigious workshops and conferences in the mathematical sciences each year. The main objective of WOA was to tackle gender diversity in the area of Operator Algebra which has historically suffered from a severe gender gap. The workshop WOA included active collaborative research groups of 4-7 and each group had two expert co-leaders which are well known in the area. As a co-leader of one of these groups, I had an outstanding chance to collaborate with Prof Nadia S. Larsen (University of Oslo), Prof Judith Packer and Prof Carla Farsi (University of Colorado Boulder). Our project focused on a problem of simplicity of the operator algebras of a certain kind of semigroup known as the right LCM semigroup. During this workshop, we made very good progress. In fact the workshop helped me not only extend my collaboration to North American universities but also maintain my current collaborations with Nadia Larsen at European Universities. Furthermore, I had the chance to meet other well known mathematicians, such as Prof Dilian Yang (University of Windsor) and many other young mathematicians that could be my future colleagues.

During my trip to Canada, I was accompanied by my supervisor Prof Jacqui Rammage (The University of Sydney). Following her advice, I extend my trip in Canada to visit Prof Marcelo Laca (a very well known operator algebraist) at University of Victoria. Being familiar with Prof Laca’s publications, I was always looking for a way to collaborate with him. So I went to Victoria a week before WOA (29 Oct – 4 Nov). In the first week of my stay, I gave a talk in the Operator Algebras Seminar of the University of Victoria with the title of “The higher-rank non commutative solenoid and equilibrium states”. After this talk, Prof Laca, Prof Ramagge, Dr Camila F. Sehnem and I started to work on a project on a generalisation of the result of my talk. We realised that to established the project, it is better to extend my stay in Canada another week. Therefore I modified my flight to back to Victoria after WOA in Banff for another week (9 Nov – 17 Nov).

I would like to thank sincerely WIMSIG for the generous support of my travel to Canada.

Narjess Afzaly
Narjess Afzaly (Australian National University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) for a visit to Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Narjess’ Report: This is a report on my visit to Stellenbosch University, South Africa. The visit was made possible through a WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award and funding from the Division of Research Development (Stellenbosch University). I thank Dr Howell for inviting and hosting me at Stellenbosch University, for facilitating my stay at AIMS, and for being an excellent collaborator and mentor. It was a very productive visit. I learned a lot by working side-by-side for over a month with a more senior female mathematician. This included several dimensions, from research, teaching techniques to strategies to manage challenges at work including those relevant to female academics.

The main purpose of my visit was to collaborate with Dr Howell on Hierarchical Canonical Labeling. I met Dr Howell at the WIMSIG Conference in 2017 where we had the opportunity to discuss our research interests in detail. During my visit, we prepared a draft paper “A Hierarchical Canonical Labelling and its Application in Generation of Graphs”. On my way back to Australia, I briefly visited IPM (Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences) in Tehran, Iran. During my discussion with Dr Sharifani and Dr Ghareghani, I learned about a project in which our new method of generation can be particularly useful. This led to a plan for another collaboration.

In addition to the collaboration with Dr Howell, I ran a 3-day workshop, “Generation of Graphs”, at Stellenbosch University. In this workshop, we discussed the challenges in generating graphs, efficient methods of generation and their strong bond to graph isomorphism. Attendees were familiarised with the well-known graph isomorphism software, nauty, developed by the Australian mathematician, Prof Brendan McKay.

As part of my collaboration with Dr Howell, I spent 3 weeks of my visit at the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS), South Africa. With talented students from all over Africa and frequent world-wide visitors, AIMS is one of the most inspiring places for scientists I have ever been to. It was a privilege to present my research on isomorph-free generation of graphs at AIMS. I also had the pleasure of joining the fe- male students over the AIMSWIS (AIMS Women in STEM) lunch and later, delivering a short talk on my academic journey. The AIMSWIS program aims to support AIMS female students. I would like to encourage Australian mathematicians to learn more about AIMS and consider a visit. One can read more about AIMS at www.aims.ac.za and www.nexteinstein.org.

All this would have not been possible without the grant provided by the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards, the support from WIMSIG and funding from the Division of Research Development (Stellenbosch University) for which I am very grateful.
Becky Armstrong
Becky Armstrong (The University of Sydney) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 9, 2018) to attend the Women in Operator Algebras workshop, November 2-9, 2018, Banff, Canada.

Becky’s Report: I was very fortunate to receive funding to travel to the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS), where the Women in Operator Algebras (WOA) workshop was held from the 5th to the 9th of November 2018.

The field of Operator Algebras has historically suffered from a significant gender imbalance, even compared to other mathematical research areas, and the aim of the conference was to work towards addressing this issue. The main focus of the workshop was on active collaborative research. Participants were given a list of research leaders and project descriptions several months prior to the workshop, and everyone assigned themselves to a team relevant to their interests.

I joined a project on twisted Steinberg algebras, together with five other females. Our group worked extremely well together, and we were able to achieve a lot throughout the week. We have already begun making plans to meet again in April 2019 to continue our project.

Aside from each team giving a ten-minute presentation at the beginning and end of the conference, there were no talks scheduled, and so everyone was able to focus on their research project for the entire duration of the conference. I believe that this was one of the main factors that resulted in the workshop being a huge success, as was the fact that the projects were planned well before the conference began.

In addition to the copious amounts of research time, there were plenty of opportunities for networking. All of the conference attendees stayed in the same accommodation, and we shared all our meals together. On one of the nights there was a formal group discussion featuring an experienced panel answering questions about academia and discussing issues that were particularly relevant to females. On other nights there were informal networking opportunities, and I was able to form many new friendships.

Overall, I feel very privileged and thankful that I was given the valuable opportunity by WIMSIG and the conference organisers to attend such an enjoyable and fruitful workshop, and to begin a productive collaboration with a group of wonderful researchers from around the world.
Amy Glen

Amy Glen (Murdoch University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) to attended the 41st Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (41ACCMCC), December 10-14, 2018, Rotorua, New Zealand.

Amy’s Report: I attended the 41st Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics & Combinatorial Computing (41ACCMCC), which was held at the Millenium Hotel, Rotorua (New Zealand) from December 10–14, 2018 (https://www.ivvy.com.au/event/NO71BW/).

The ACCMCC is an annual conference, attracting around 100 mathematicians (mostly from the Australasian region) each year. There are usually 7–8 plenary speakers, with a good balance across gender, career level, and research areas, and 2–3 parallel sessions of contributed talks each day. The conference also has a prize for the best student talk, named the CMSA Anne Penfold Street Student Prize in honour of Anne, who was the first President of the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (CMSA), which oversees the ACCMCC annual series.

At the 41ACCMCC, I presented a talk entitled ”On the Stern–Brocot tree, continued fractions, and Lyndon words”. And, as the Vice President of the CMSA, I also attended the final CMSA Council meeting for the year. At the subsequent AGM (held at the end of the first day of talks), I was voted back in as Vice President of the CMSA. I was, however, absent from the AGM because, at the time, I was at the local hospital getting my left elbow fixed up — necessarily so, because it had continued to bleed all day after I tripped over when out on an early morning run and left a chunk of the elbow on the footpath. Not the best start to the week, but it made the conference all the more memorable! Some photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ 4Gf3K3fKzAe81XTy9.

Being the conference in my field within the Australasia region, my attendance at the ACCMCC was important not only so that I could present recent work to fellow combinatorialists, but also for networking and collaboration opportunities. I would like to thank the AustMS and WIMSIG for supporting me on this very worthwhile trip.

Maria Kleshnina

Maria Kleshnina (The University of Queensland) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) to attend GTM 2018 (Russia) and ISDG2018 (France), June-July 2018.

Maria’s Report: I would like to acknowledge the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award, which allowed me to attend two leading conferences in game theory and travel with a research visit to INRIA, France.

I attended and presented at the Game Theory and Management Conference 2018 (St. Petersburg, Russia) and the International Symposium on Dynamic Games and Applications 2018 (Grenoble, France). These conferences provided me great opportunities to present and discuss my research project with leaders in the evolutionary game theory field. I presented a talk on incompetence in evolutionary games, which was followed by a very helpful discussion, and I received valuable feedback. The research visit gave me an opportunity to work in a great research environment at INRIA (Sophia Antipolis, France) and collaborate with Dr. Konstantin Avrachenkov. We are working on the stochastic perturbations in the discrete replicator dynamics and planning to publish a paper based on this work.

I am thankful to AustMS and WIMSIG for the support that made this exciting and productive trip possible.

Mythreye Krishnan

Mythreye Krishnan (The University of Western Australia) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) for the ANZIAM Conference, February 4-8, 2018, Hobart.

Mythreye’s Report: I recently travelled to Hobart, Tasmania, to participate in the Australia-New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) 2018 conference, which exposed me to the latest applied mathematical research and facilitated an opportunity to present my ongoing research work to a larger scientific community.

The conference took place between the 4th of February and the 9th of February 2018. I attended about 30 talks including guest lectures from various invited speakers for the conference. I was fascinated by the amount of applied mathematical work taking place in biological studies. In particular, I was very much interested in the talk given by Dr Alys Clark on “Pregnancy and beyond: how mathematical modelling could improve early life health”, in which she discussed using mathematical models to study the oxygen intake for the new-born babies. I was also interested in the models to study the propagation of virus diffusion and in aiding the cancer cells destruction by Adrianne Jenner in the talk on “The effect of tumour heterogeneity on cancer treatments: the ninja virus”. All the talks enhanced my knowledge in the application of different mathematical modelling methods in studying various biological phenomenon.

In addition, I also presented my ongoing work on “Network using Michaelis-Menton kinetics: an algorithm to find target genes from expression data”. This was my first time presenting my results on an international stage and it helped me appreciate the experience of discussing my results, which I deem as an important factor in further pursuing my career in research.

I also attended the Women in Mathematics Lunch and the Conference Dinner, which again helped me in networking with a scientific community. My attendance at the conference has enhanced my knowledge and experience and it will aid me in the completion of my ongoing paper, my thesis and my research thereafter.

Tianshu Liu

Tianshu Liu (The University of Melbourne) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) to attend XIX ICMP, Canada, July 2018.

Tianshu’s Report: I would like to thank the WIMSIG Cheryl Praeger Travel Award for its support in my recent fruitful trip to Canada. There were a few events of interest happening in July 2018: the workshop on Algebraic methods, the XIX International Congress in Mathematical Physics (ICMP) and its associated Young Researcher Symposium, all held in Montréal.

At these conferences, I was given the opportunity to speak about my recent research on the affine Kac-Moody algebra osp(1|2) and how to construct its minimal models using well-studied theories. The talks were followed by insightful questions and discussions from the audience, which certainly have engaged me to think from different aspects about my research. My knowledge in mathematics and physics were broadened by attending talks given by other speakers. They provided new ideas and directions for my future career. I also took this opportunity to meet my oversea collaborators — we worked efficiently on the paper we were working on together and managed to get it submitted during the meeting.

Melanie Roberts
Melanie Roberts (IBM Research Australia) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 8, 2018) for the ANZIAM 2018 Conference, February 4-8, 2018, Hobart.

Melanie’s Report: I attended the ANZIAM 2018 Conference in Hobart, Tasmania together with the AMSI-AustMS sponsored ANZIAM Early Career Workshop. As a co-organiser of the Early Career Workshop, I arrived at the conference venue on the Saturday morning to assist with the organisation and coordination of the event. As a member of the panel discussion, and through participation in the activities of the workshop, I provided my perspective on working as a mathematician in industry. In particular, providing advice on how to move into a career outside of academia while remaining connected with the academic community.

Following the workshop, which ran Saturday afternoon through to Sunday morning, I attended the ANZIAM Executive meeting, filling in for the Secretary in her absence. As Returning Officer for ANZIAM, I reported on the election and constitutional amendment ballot, as well as participating in general discussion of executive matters. I also performed these roles at the AGM and subsequent Executive meeting (having been re-appointed Returning Officer for 2018) on the Tuesday evening.

The conference provided many opportunities to network and strengthen connections with the applied and industrial mathematics community in Australia and New Zealand, providing me with numerous leads to follow up on after the conference. The seven plenary speakers were exceptional. I found Louise Ryan’s plenary especially interesting, as this focussed in the area of machine learning/data science and how the statistical (and mathematical) communities differ from the computer science communities in this space. This is particularly relevant to me, as my research interests span the intersection of data and mathematical modelling, and I work in a commercial research environment with a strong focus on computer science and artificial intelligence.

I presented a research talk on Fine-grained multi-factor hail damage modelling, research I undertook in collaboration with my colleague Shrihari Vasudevan, as well as chairing a session on industrial mathematics. I received valuable feedback on my research and presentation, which generated interesting discussions.

The ANZIAM conference maintains a strong focus on supporting women in mathematics. Four of the seven plenary speakers were female (two of whom were award winners in 2017), and the speakers committee and Executive have a consistent focus on ensuring women are equitably included in the list of invited speakers. 2018 saw two of the three society medals awarded to female mathematicians, with Prof Yvonne Stokes being awarded the E.O. Tuck Medal and A/Prof Claire Postlethwaite recognised as the JH Michell Medalist. In addition, the TM Cherry prize was jointly awarded to Eloise Trendenick. As with previous years, a Women in Mathematics Lunch was held to highlight the achievements of the female plenary speakers.

I am grateful to WIMSIG and the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards for supporting my participation in ANZIAM2018. This grant significantly assists me in defraying the costs of this conference.

2017

Paige Davis
Paige Davis (Queensland University of Technology) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 6, 2017) to attend the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems, May 21-25, 2017, Snowbird resort, Utah, USA.

Paige’s Report: I was awarded the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award to attend the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems at the Snowbird resort, UT USA. This conference is held every two years and is one of the largest conferences for dynamical systems. I was able to attend the talks of many prolific mathematicians whose works I had read and frequently cited. These mathematicians included Björn Sandstede and Keith Promislow whose writings originally piqued my interest in spectral stability and specifically the absolute spectrum associated with linear operators.

I also spoke as part of a mini-symposium “Recent Advances in the Stability of Travelling Waves” on the 25th May, 2017. My talk, “Absolute Instabilities of Travelling Wave Solutions in a Keller-Segel Model” was attended by many of the mathematicians I had met throughout the week which increased my profile in the mathematical community immensely. My talk was also recorded and posted on the conference page (www.siam.org/meetings/ds17) increasing the accessibility of my work. This work has garnered interest as the Keller-Segel model is well known but by applying existing stability techniques and by locating the absolute spectrum associated with the travelling wave solutions we were able to present new results and have discovered a region of parameter space where solutions are spectrally stable.

By attending both the plenary talks and the mini-symposiums I was made aware of new advances and techniques regarding the stability of solutions to partial differential equations. Many of these techniques are directly applicable to my research. These discussions provided insight into many of the issues I had been having in my current research project and a few potential new avenues forward for my research.

As well as attending talks, I also attended several social events. These events allowed me to network and I participated in a few insightful discussions with both fellow PhD candidates and professors about women in maths, the ratios of female to male professors and techniques for encouraging female undergraduates to remain in mathematics.

As a third year PhD candidate, this was an invaluable experience. I was able to network with many north-American and European mathematicians who do not regularly attend conferences in or near Australia. I discussed the possibilities of post-doctorate positions with several academics and collaborations on my current and future projects with others.

I am immensely grateful to WIMSIG for this opportunity. This was an exhilarating and extremely beneficial experience.

Jie Yen Fan
Jie Yen Fan (Monash University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 7, 2017) to attend AustMS 2017, Macquarie University, December 2017.
Sara Herke
Sara Herke (The University of Queensland) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 7, 2017) to attend the 5th International Combinatorics Conference, Monash University, December 2017.

Sara’s Report: I attended the 5th International Combinatorics Conference (5ICC) from 4-9 December 2017 at Monash University with the support of a Cheryl E. Praeger Travel award.

I presented a talk on the morning of Friday 8 December as part of the Anne Penfold Street Memorial Session. In terms of PhD supervision, Anne Street was my academic grandmother, and I was very pleased to be invited to present within this session. My talk was titled “The worst case for k-independence”. I presented some new analysis of the MAX algorithm for k-independent sets in multigraphs, which has applications to improving the known bounds on the size of coverings (which are a generalisation of designs).

The annual general meeting for the CMSA (Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia) was held on the afternoon of 4 December. I had been nominated for the position of Treasurer of the CMSA for 2018 and was voted into the CMSA Council at this meeting. At the 5ICC I also had the opportunity to connect with some of my current collaborators and potential future collaborators.

I am very pleased to have had my travel supported by a Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award and appreciate the role this travel grant plays in supporting the visibility and promotion of female mathematicians.
Gobert Lee
Gobert Lee (Flinders University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 6, 2017) to attend the 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, July 11-15, 2017, South Korea.

Gobert’s Report: The annual conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) is a leading conference attended by > 2500 researchers, leaders and early-careers each year in all the major fields of biomedical engineering — including biomedical imaging and image processing which is my research area. In 2017, the 39th annual conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society was held in Jeju, South Korea from July 11 to 15. Together with my collaborator from Japan, I co/organised one of the thirty mini-symposia ran during the conference. The mini-symposium was entitled “Emerging Methods in Medical Image Analysis” which included invited talks on the advances in machine learning, computer vision and statistics in conjunction with improvements in medical imaging technology providing ever greater opportunities for breakthroughs in medical image analysis. The mini-symposium was exceptionally well-attended with many great insights from the field leaders and enthusiasm from ECRs. In addition to co/organising the mini-symposium, I also presented an oral paper on the application of statistical theory in medical image segmentation entitled “Statistical Region Merging and Segmentation in Abdominal CT” which described the 3D generalization of the Statistical Region Merging method (Nock & Nielsen, 2004) for 3D images such as CT images.

I would like to thank the support of the prestigious AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award which makes my attending and participation of the EMBC’17 conference possible.
Barbara Maenhaut
Barbara Maenhaut (The University of Queensland) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 6, 2017) to attend the 6th Biennial Canadian Discrete and Algorithmic Mathematics Conference (CanaDAM), June 12-15, 2017, Toronto, Canada.

Barbara’s Report: I attended the 6th biennial Canadian Discrete and Algorithmic Mathematics Conference (CanaDAM) from June 12-15, 2017 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The conference website is https://canadam.math.ca/2017/. CanaDAM is a biennial conference held in each odd year at a university in Canada, attracting approximately 200 mathematicians from around the world. The format of the conference is usually eight plenary speakers, and a selection of invited and contributed mini-symposium sessions throughout the week.

At CanaDAM2017, I presented a talk entitled “Hamilton Decompositions of Line Graphs” in the mini-symposium session in honour of Professor Alex Rosa. Professor Alex Rosa is an emeritus professor of McMaster University in Canada. He has always been very supportive of me when we met at conferences or overlapped on research visits at various institutions, and I have drawn on his expertise by email on several occasions, so I was honoured to be invited to speak in this special session.

In addition to presenting and discussing my work on line graphs, I worked with colleagues Peter Danziger (Ryerson) and Andrea Burgess (New Brunswick) on a problem involving decomposition of complete graphs into circulant graphs, and we are currently in the process of writing up our new results.

I would like to thank the AustMS and WIMSIG for supporting me on this trip. There were many excellent talks at the conference, as well as good networking opportunities, and having a few days of face-to-face time with research colleagues progressed our work far quicker than collaborating via email.
Bregje Pauwels
Bregje Pauwels (Australian National University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 7, 2017) to attend AustMS 2017, Macquarie University, December 2017.
Marcy Robertson
Marcy Robertson (The University of Melbourne) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 7, 2017) to attend Infinity-Categories, Infinity-Operads, and their Applications workshop, Mexico, May 2018.

Marcy’s Report:

Activity: Travel to the BIRS conference Infinity-Categories, Infinity-Operads, and their Applications (18w5147). I gave an invited talk.

Title: Presheaf modules for infinity modular operad

Abstract: Modular operads were originally constructed by Getzler and Kapronov to model operations similar to the gluing of boundaries of a genus g Riemann surface with n boundaries. Variations on this original definition have found importance in various geometric problems. In this talk we give two models for up to homotopy, or ∞, versions of modular operads. This is joint work with Philip Hackney and Donald Yau.

This conference provided a good opportunity to interact with the leaders of my subject area, and lead to two potential collaborations, and three invited talks (US and Europe). I was invited to take an additional two days visiting Omar Antolín Camarena in Mexico City at UNAM.
Valentina Wheeler
Valentina Wheeler (University of Wollongong) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 7, 2017) to attend the 12th Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications, Taiwan, July 2018.

Valentina’s Report: The travel award allowed me to attend two very prestigious conferences over the course of nine days and give three talks. Without the support of WIMSIG the cost of these events would have prohibited me from attending.

The first was “Geometric and Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations in Suzhou” (http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/haotianw/sz18pde.html) held at the Soochow University and the University of Sydney Centre, China, July 2-6, 2018.

There, I gave the talk “A model flow for Ideal Submanifolds” in which I announced a new result just freshly obtained last month and to be submitted online next week. The audience was very interested and I have received many positive comments on various related problems that can be approached with our newly developed method. I hope these will be crystallised later on in collaborations. I am also very happy to have been representing the contributions of female mathematicians, especially at such specialised and prestigious events where there is an obvious gender gap.

The second was the 12th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications, Taipei, Taiwan, July 5-9, 2018 (see http://aimsciences.org/conferences/2018/). This is the first time I attend such a massive event and I was truly grateful for the support of WIMSIG. It was a fantastic experience with over 150 parallel sessions and many interesting talks. I have reconnected with collaborators and colleagues from all over the world: Korea, Germany, United States, New Zealand, France and Italy and many more.

I gave two talks (maximum allowed) in two sessions: “On Chen submanifolds and the Chen conjecture” in the session on Recent Advances in the Calculus of Variations and Elliptic PDE (SS128) and “Mean curvature flow with free boundary supported a double cone” in the session on Geometric Analysis (SS88). Both the talks had a very positive reception. I am hopeful that the follow up discussions will generate new projects and visits/collaborations.

I am grateful to WIMSIG for the support that has enabled me to participate in these events.

2016

Brownyn Hajek
Bronwyn Hajek (University of South Australia) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 5, 2016) for a research visit to Prof Maria Clara Nucci, University of Perugia, Italy, May 2017.

Brownyn’s Report: I am happy to acknowledge WIMSIG’s Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award which facilitated my recent visit to Prof Clara Nucci at the University of Perugia.

Prof Nucci and I explored a problem related to nonclassical symmetry analysis — an extension of Lie’s classical symmetry method, one of the most useful methods for finding exact solutions of differential equations. One technique for finding nonclassical symmetries is to derive and solve the heir equations. During my visit, we derived the heir equations for systems of evolution equations — something that had been done previously for single equations only.

This visit initiated a new collaboration. It was a very busy and productive few weeks and we are currently writing a journal article based on the research undertaken during my visit. We have discussed plans for future areas of research and possible funding opportunities for a subsequent visit.
Joan Licata
Joan Licata (The Australian National University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 5, 2016) to attend the Workshop on Homology Theories in Low Dimensional Topology, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, UK, April-June 2017.

Joan’s Report: I am very grateful for the support offered by a Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award and an Anne Penfold Street Award for my recent travel. I had been invited to join a special semester on Homology Theories in Low-Dimensional Topology at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, UK, and the AustMS awards helped defray the substantial costs involved in the travel. The program itself was invaluable, offering a fantastic opportunity for me to spend several months immersing myself in a research-intensive environment. The theme of the special program is closely tied to my research area, so I was able to talk to many mathematicians working in my field. While in the UK, I gave talks in Glasgow, Cambridge, and on the Isle of Skye. I was also invited to visit Cologne, where I gave a series of research talks and graduate lectures and began a new paper with a pair of researchers there. However, one of the best features of my trip was simply having the opportunity to talk about maths daily at the Institute with other topologists, and I’m excited about a new and on-going collaboration that developed from these conversations. It took us some time to turn mutual interest into a focused project, so the opportunity for an extended stay was particularly helpful. The Anne Penfold Street Award helped with the costs of relocating to Cambridge with my two children, which in turn make the longer visit possible. Thank you!
Catherine Penington
Catherine Penington (Queensland University of Technology) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 5, 2016) to attend the Society of Mathematical Biology Conference, Salt Lake City, USA, July 2017.

Catherine’s Report: Thanks to the generosity of AustMS and WIMSIG, I had the funds to travel to the Society of Mathematical Biology annual conference in Salt Lake City, USA. I’ve never had the chance to attend an SMB conference before, and it was a wonderful opportunity to go to a conference where every talk was aimed in my field, and I was never left behind as speakers moved into details of their work.

I presented a talk on “Quantifying skin and melanoma cell interactions”, and had several useful questions from others at the conference (mostly after the talk session, as 15 minute slots allow very little question time!). I am about to start a continuing position at Macquarie University, so the timing of the conference allowed me to talk about my move and build the research links I’ll need as I start a research group of my own.

Attending this year’s SMB conference was also very useful from a women-in-maths point of view: next year’s SMB conference will be in Sydney, and I will be involved in running a women in maths event during it. Attending this conference helped me to understand how the conference is run and what sort of events attendees find interesting. It also gave me a chance to introduce myself to influential mathematicians in the field, and hopefully I can use that to increase attendance and awareness for next year’s event.
Rachael Quill
Rachael Quill (UNSW Canberra) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 4, 2016) to attend the 5th International Fire Behaviour and Fuels Conference in Melbourne in April 2016.

Rachael’s Report: In April 2016, I attended the 5th Fire Behaviour and Fuels Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre, with the financial support of the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award. The conference was run jointly in Melbourne and Portland, Oregon, with a number of plenary sessions shared between the two locations via video link.

At the Melbourne conference, organised by the International Association of Wildfire Fire (IAWF) in conjunction with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNH CRC), I gave two presentations that were accompanied by extended abstracts to be published by IAWF (to be available at www.iawfonline.org). These presentations allowed me to communicate aspects of my PhD research to the joint academic and operational fire research community and gain valuable feedback, as well as strengthen my professional network within the industry. With approximately 30% of speakers being female at the Melbourne conference, these presentations also allowed me to contribute to the rising profile of women re- searchers and practitioners within a traditionally male dominated field.

The first presentation, Analysing the Impacts of Vegetation and Topography on Wind Fields over Complex Terrain, was presented in the ‘Fire Weather and Climate’ stream on Wednesday 13th April. The second, Evaluation of Operational Wind Field Models over Complex Terrain, was also presented on the Wednesday but in the ‘Fire Behaviour and Fire Behaviour Predictions’ stream. Both talks were well received, provoking in-depth discussion during each allocated question time as well as during conference breaks after the talks. During these discussions, I talked with a number of academics, professionals and practitioners from universities and agencies across Australia including Victoria University, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Tasmanian Fire Service. Since the conference, I have followed up with many of these connections to develop ideas for my PhD project as well as for new projects.

Prior to the conference, I was also invited to submit an article to Wildfire Magazine, published by IAWF. Within this article, I summarised the work I was to present at the conference for a wider audience, from Australian academics to American fire fighters. The April-May 2016 issue of the magazine was circulated to IAWF members prior to the conference as well as being included in the conference packs given to attendees in both Melbourne and Portland. This article is to be re-published in the next issue of Fire Australia, published by the BNH CRC.

Nadezda Sukhorukova
Nadezda Sukhorukova (Swinburne University of Technology) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 4, 2016) to attend the Mathematical Optimisation Down Under (MODU2016) workshop in Melbourne.

Nadezda’s Report: I gave two talks during this conference.

1. A generalisation of de la Vallée-Poussin procedure to multivariate polynomials (July, 21, morning session).

2. Constructive proof for polynomial spline approximation (replacing a co-author who was unable to attend on this day, July, 18, morning session).

This conference was a great opportunity for me to present my findings and discuss them with prominent mathematicians. In particular, I made a good contact with Prof. Constantin Zalinescu (University “Al. I. Cuza” Iasi). Prof. Zalinescu is a one of the leading experts in the area of convex analysis. Convex analysis techniques have proved to be very efficient for solving a wide range of Chebyshev approximation problems, including polynomial splines and therefore Prof. Zalinescu’s feedback is especially valuable.

Prof. Zalinescu also opened for me a rich field of applications for convex analysis to the area of Statistical Mechanics. Initially, I did not plan to discuss this area with him, but it appeared after his presentation and I would like to investigate this research direction as well.

I had a very fruitful discussion with other participants (Prof. A Eberhard, Prof. R. Burachik, Dr. R. Baier, Dr. V Roshchina and many others). These valuable discussions are essential, since they are more productive than e-mails or Skype meetings. Apart from research discussions, we also highlighted a number of strategies to make our collaboration more efficient. In particular, I learnt that I can access most their research seminars via Visinet (can be installed on a laptop). This is something I am going to use when travelling is not an option.

2015

Emma Carberry
Emma Carberry (The University of Sydney) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 3, 2015) to host a research visitor from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Emma’s Report: The funding I received from WIMSIG enabled me to invite my collaborator Prof Martin Schmidt (University of Mannheim, Germany) to visit me in Sydney and to defray the costs of additional childcare during his visit, as I temporarily went from working 3 days per week to working full-time. It was an extremely productive visit and we are now writing up two papers resulting from this intensive research time: Blowing-up Singular Whitham Flows and Constant Mean Curvature Tori in R3. This productivity and recognition has already helped me to achieve further grant success, with the award of a $60,000 Brown Fellowship for next year, which will relieve me of teaching and administration duties for the year as well as provide some research funding.

It was particularly helpful that the grant was available to facilitate a collaborator visiting me rather than only supporting the reverse situation. As a sole parent of one-year-old twins it would not have been feasible for me to travel to Germany. Indeed even if that had been feasible, the situation of a collaborator doing the travel is more efficient in many ways as it allows the grant recipient to take advantage of existing childcare arrangements and support, rather than having to make temporary arrangements in a foreign country, as well as pay for childcare here whilst absent.

Adelle Coster
Adelle Coster (The University of New South Wales) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 2, 2015) to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology in Atlanta, USA.

Adelle’s Report: After a delay due to aircraft maintenance and thus an overnight sojourn in Dallas on the way to Atlanta, I arrived in time to be present at the SMB Executive Board meeting on June 29. I answered some of the committee members’ queries regarding the progress our committee had made towards the 2018 SMB meeting which is to be hosted at the University of Sydney. They were pleased and we are looking forward to hosting a large international contingent at the meeting.

In the area of mathematical biology many times your collaborators and co-authors are biologists rather than mathematicians, so this forum was very useful to network with other like-minded mathematicians. There was quite a reasonable international representation at the meeting, although naturally the largest cohort was American. Indeed there were many antipodeans, showing the active nature of this area of mathematics in Australia.

The plenaries of the meeting itself were excellent with a wide range of topics in mathematical biology covered. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 9 were from female speakers, although the female representation at the meeting as a whole was much higher than many other mathematical conferences. Eve Marder was particularly inspiring – she is a biologist, but is one who sees the absolute necessity of modelling and mathematics in the understanding of how information is processed and decisions are made in biological function. Her presentation about degeneracy in neuronal oscillators touched on the interplay of experiment and modelling, and how individual responses should not always be averaged – difference being an important driver of differential behaviour.

The sessions, two of which I chaired, were also of high quality and ranged over numerous biological topics and mathematical techniques. Of particular interest to me were several sessions devoted to mathematical modelling in diabetes. It was wonderful to be able to see the progress being made on a number of fronts in this area as well as to meet and reconnect with researchers, some of whom I knew previously, but others only from their publications. My presentation was well received and I spoke with a researcher from Pfizer about possible future collaborations. I also followed up a previous meeting with Santiago Schnell (now President of the Society for Mathematical Biology), whom I had briefly met at a workshop in Feb 2014. He and his postdoc had followed through with a suggestion that I had made, and it was most gratifying to see that it had indeed provided a good line of investigation. Santiago is also particularly interested in ways to encourage women researchers, and we had a discussion about the AustMS awards I had received and he thought that these were interesting opportunities that the Society should similarly pursue.

I would like to again thank the AustMS WIMSIG for their invaluable support of the Cheryl E. Praeger and Anne Penfold Street Awards, making my participation in this meeting possible.

Deborah Cromer
Adelle Coster (The University of New South Wales) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 2, 2015) to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology in Atlanta, USA.

Adelle’s Report: After a delay due to aircraft maintenance and thus an overnight sojourn in Dallas on the way to Atlanta, I arrived in time to be present at the SMB Executive Board meeting on June 29. I answered some of the committee members’ queries regarding the progress our committee had made towards the 2018 SMB meeting which is to be hosted at the University of Sydney. They were pleased and we are looking forward to hosting a large international contingent at the meeting.

In the area of mathematical biology many times your collaborators and co-authors are biologists rather than mathematicians, so this forum was very useful to network with other like-minded mathematicians. There was quite a reasonable international representation at the meeting, although naturally the largest cohort was American. Indeed there were many antipodeans, showing the active nature of this area of mathematics in Australia.

The plenaries of the meeting itself were excellent with a wide range of topics in mathematical biology covered. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 9 were from female speakers, although the female representation at the meeting as a whole was much higher than many other mathematical conferences. Eve Marder was particularly inspiring – she is a biologist, but is one who sees the absolute necessity of modelling and mathematics in the understanding of how information is processed and decisions are made in biological function. Her presentation about degeneracy in neuronal oscillators touched on the interplay of experiment and modelling, and how individual responses should not always be averaged – difference being an important driver of differential behaviour.

The sessions, two of which I chaired, were also of high quality and ranged over numerous biological topics and mathematical techniques. Of particular interest to me were several sessions devoted to mathematical modelling in diabetes. It was wonderful to be able to see the progress being made on a number of fronts in this area as well as to meet and reconnect with researchers, some of whom I knew previously, but others only from their publications. My presentation was well received and I spoke with a researcher from Pfizer about possible future collaborations. I also followed up a previous meeting with Santiago Schnell (now President of the Society for Mathematical Biology), whom I had briefly met at a workshop in Feb 2014. He and his postdoc had followed through with a suggestion that I had made, and it was most gratifying to see that it had indeed provided a good line of investigation. Santiago is also particularly interested in ways to encourage women researchers, and we had a discussion about the AustMS awards I had received and he thought that these were interesting opportunities that the Society should similarly pursue.

I would like to again thank the AustMS WIMSIG for their invaluable support of the Cheryl E. Praeger and Anne Penfold Street Awards, making my participation in this meeting possible.

Chaitanya Oehmigara
Chaitanya Oehmigara (The Australian National University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 3, 2015) to attend the MODSIM 2015 conference on the Gold Coast.

Chaitanya’s Report: I was grateful to receive in November a Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award from the Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society. This award supported my attendance at the 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2015).

On Monday 30 November I presented a paper in the Solving Practical Inverse Problems session titled “Reduced Basis Model Reduction for Statistical Inverse Problems with applications in Tsunami Modelling”. I was awarded the Best Student Paper Prize of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand for this paper and my presentation.

MODSIM is a broad ranging conference that attracts attendees from a wide range of disciplines. I attended many presentations on topics related to my own areas of mathematical interest (model reduction and solving inverse problems), but that looked at these methods for a range of applications. This has given me many ideas for my own research. Conversely, I went to many very interesting talks on other mathematical areas with very diverse applications, and often saw how my work could be applied there. I made many new contacts who I look forward to working with in the future.

I would like to thank the AustMS Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group and the selection committee for granting me the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award. Attending MODSIM 2015 has been an extremely valuable experience.

Melissa Tacy
Melissa Tacy (The University of Adelaide) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 3, 2015) to attend a conference on Evolution in Singular Spaces at the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM) in Luminy (France), and for a research visit to Paris.

Melissa’s Report: I used my Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Grant to partially support a research trip to Germany and France. The first two weeks of the visit were spent at Oberwolfach where I was working with my collaborator Julie Rowlett of Chalmers University as part of the Research in Pairs project. The final week of the research trip was spent at Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM) in Marseilles to attend a workshop on evolution equations on singular spaces.

Research in Pairs

The overall goal of our ongoing joint work is to generalise results in harmonic and semiclassical analysis, such as L2 and more general Lp estimates of quasimodes (approximate eigenfunctions), to singular geometric settings. The major difficulty in obtaining such results is that the known techniques from smooth manifolds rely heavily on the underlying regularity. We therefore are working to replace these techniques with ones that rely on the geometric structure instead. While at Oberwolfach we focused on the restriction of eigenfunctions to fractal sets, in particular those given by iterated function systems.

Fractal sets provide a good place to start this analysis as, while clearly not smooth, they have a great deal of structure and the self-similarity at all scales is valuable to us. We have been working on this project since July 2015, however being able to work together intensively greatly accelerated our progress. While at Oberwolfach we developed tools to replace the standard smooth toolkit and obtain L2 estimates restricted to fractals that depend on dimension alone (we already had examples to show that these are in fact sharp bounds). We are currently writing our results from this two week period and plan to continue the work into other non-smooth settings.

While at Oberwolfach we overlapped with the yearly meeting of the “Imaginary” team who develop outreach connected with the institute. As a result of this Julie and I are providing them with some ideas to develop displays on mathematics and music (particularly its connection to harmonic analysis).

Evolution Equations on Singular Spaces

This conference gathered together a number of experts in microlocal and semiclassical analysis to address the issue of moving such analysis to singular spaces. A particular focus is on understanding the effects of boundary and corners. While there I had the opportunity to meet with a number of colleagues and collaborators. In particular with my collaborator Jeff Galkowski from Stanford University, we have previous work on boundary to interior norms of layer potential operators and the effect of boundary geometry of such estimates. During the conference we took the opportunity to discuss further improvements to our work. Following this discussion we are now writing a paper showing under what geometric conditions our previous work can be improved (and where it is sharp).

This conference also offered the opportunity to meet Simon Chandler-Wilde and Euan Spence, two British numerical analysts whose work overlaps my area. Some of my previous results have been of use in controlling error for their numerical techniques and it is becoming increasingly apparent that many of the techniques of semiclassical analysis have much to offer in numerical fields. I have corresponded with Spence before but this is the first time we had met in person. Being able to meet them and learn more about the problems that they are interested in has given me an number of new avenues to pursue in my own research.

Elena Tartaglia
Melissa Tacy (The University of Adelaide) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 3, 2015) to attend a conference on Evolution in Singular Spaces at the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM) in Luminy (France), and for a research visit to Paris.

Melissa’s Report: I used my Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Grant to partially support a research trip to Germany and France. The first two weeks of the visit were spent at Oberwolfach where I was working with my collaborator Julie Rowlett of Chalmers University as part of the Research in Pairs project. The final week of the research trip was spent at Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM) in Marseilles to attend a workshop on evolution equations on singular spaces.

Research in Pairs

The overall goal of our ongoing joint work is to generalise results in harmonic and semiclassical analysis, such as L2 and more general Lp estimates of quasimodes (approximate eigenfunctions), to singular geometric settings. The major difficulty in obtaining such results is that the known techniques from smooth manifolds rely heavily on the underlying regularity. We therefore are working to replace these techniques with ones that rely on the geometric structure instead. While at Oberwolfach we focused on the restriction of eigenfunctions to fractal sets, in particular those given by iterated function systems.

Fractal sets provide a good place to start this analysis as, while clearly not smooth, they have a great deal of structure and the self-similarity at all scales is valuable to us. We have been working on this project since July 2015, however being able to work together intensively greatly accelerated our progress. While at Oberwolfach we developed tools to replace the standard smooth toolkit and obtain L2 estimates restricted to fractals that depend on dimension alone (we already had examples to show that these are in fact sharp bounds). We are currently writing our results from this two week period and plan to continue the work into other non-smooth settings.

While at Oberwolfach we overlapped with the yearly meeting of the “Imaginary” team who develop outreach connected with the institute. As a result of this Julie and I are providing them with some ideas to develop displays on mathematics and music (particularly its connection to harmonic analysis).

Evolution Equations on Singular Spaces

This conference gathered together a number of experts in microlocal and semiclassical analysis to address the issue of moving such analysis to singular spaces. A particular focus is on understanding the effects of boundary and corners. While there I had the opportunity to meet with a number of colleagues and collaborators. In particular with my collaborator Jeff Galkowski from Stanford University, we have previous work on boundary to interior norms of layer potential operators and the effect of boundary geometry of such estimates. During the conference we took the opportunity to discuss further improvements to our work. Following this discussion we are now writing a paper showing under what geometric conditions our previous work can be improved (and where it is sharp).

This conference also offered the opportunity to meet Simon Chandler-Wilde and Euan Spence, two British numerical analysts whose work overlaps my area. Some of my previous results have been of use in controlling error for their numerical techniques and it is becoming increasingly apparent that many of the techniques of semiclassical analysis have much to offer in numerical fields. I have corresponded with Spence before but this is the first time we had met in person. Being able to meet them and learn more about the problems that they are interested in has given me an number of new avenues to pursue in my own research.

Hang Wang
Hang Wang (The University of Adelaide) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 2, 2015) to attend a workshop on Non-Commutative Geometry and Spectral Invariants in Montréal, Canada.

Hang’s Report: It is my great pleasure to acknowledge the support from the AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award. With this award, it was possible to have a very fruitful 3-week research travel to Montréal and Shanghai.

In the first week (29 June – 3 July 2015), I participated in the workshop “Noncommutative Geometry and Spectral Invariants” at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. During the workshop, experts in noncommutative geometry (NCG) communicated exciting developments in this field. Major topics included index theory and higher analogue for groupoids and applications to manifolds with boundary, spectral triples in different settings, quantum groups and NCG in mathematical physics and representation theory. I am familiar with most topics in the conference so I enjoyed learning from the talks. As one of the invited speakers, I gave the talk “Noncommutative geometry, equivariant cohomology and conformal invariants” on 30 July 2015, based on my series of joint papers with Prof Raphael Ponge (one of the organisers of the workshop). Quite a few mathematicians (Prof Bruno Iochum, Prof Piotr Hajac, Prof Paolo Piazza, etc.) got very interested in our work. It should be noted that I was one of the only two female speakers at the workshop. Besides the successful talk, I initiated some very inspiring discussions with Dr Yanli Song, where we tried to study a previous paper of mine in a new setting, and we have planed an exciting joint project together with my colleague Peter Hochs in Adelaide.

In the second and the third week, I visited the Shanghai Centre of Mathematical Sciences at Fudan University in China. This travel was devoted to the collaboration with Dr Kuok Fai Chao, a junior member of the Centre. We made some important progress on our joint paper about Base change and K-theory. In the meantime, I had some very interesting conversations with members and visitors at the Centre and the University. In particular, I established a new collaboration with a visitor there working in mathematical physics. I also gave several talks in Shanghai. On 10 July 2015, I was invited to give a talk with the same title as the Canadian conference in the research seminar of the East Normal China University, hosted by Distinguished Professor Huaxin Lin. There was a Summer School named “Advanced Seminars in Functional Analysis” hosted by the Centre during my stay. In the afternoons of 15 and 17 July I was invited to work together with Dr Zhizhang Xie from Texas A&M University to host the discussion sessions, in which I introduced some interesting examples to the summer school participants, helping them to understand the lectures. It was a wonderful experience to interact with graduate and senior undergraduate students coming to this summer school from top universities in China.

Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation of the support from WIMSIG, making these research experiences possible.

2014

Vivien Challis
Vivien Challis (The University of Queensland) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 1, 2014) to attend ANZIAM2015 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.

Vivien’s Report: A Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award for $600 from the Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society covered most of the registration fee for me to attend the ANZIAM2015 conference on the Gold Coast. I enjoyed attending and giving a talk at this meeting. It was great to have the opportunity to connect with new and old friends within the Australasian applied mathematics community, especially after taking a recent break for maternity leave.

ANZIAM 2015 had an impressive list of invited speakers, including five women. This was really great to see. The Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group held a lunch during the conference (funded by Prof. Nalini Joshi’s ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship). This was an excellent opportunity to hear views of the female invited speakers and highlight issues that are important to female applied mathematicians, as well as to mathematicians with parenting or other caring responsibilities.

Joan Licata
Joan Licata (The Australian National University) was awarded a Praeger Award (in Round 1, 2014) for a research visit at University of Georgia.

Joan’s Report: I am grateful to the Australian Mathematical Society for supporting my recent research trip to the United States and Hong Kong. In December I travelled to the University of Georgia, USA, to visit a collaborator there. We’ve been working on a project together for a year and a half, with only a few opportunities to speak in person. This visit offered us the chance to resolve some technical issues in the first stage of our project, and we expect to have the paper finished early this year. We also laid the groundwork for a new paper on two-parameter families of Morse functions which we will continue to work on remotely. Right after the New Year, I visited the Chinese University of Hong Kong, giving a series of graduate talks and speaking in a special workshop on low-dimensional topology. The Cheryl E. Praeger Award was extremely valuable in defraying the costs which weren’t covered by my hosts. In addition, my two-year-old son travelled with me to Georgia, and the Anne Penfold Street Award covered the cost of his childcare while I was working there. I am extr