The Statistical Society of Australia and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) enjoy a mutual membership to cement and extend the already strong links between the statistical community and AMSI.
AMSI Media Release 6 December 2018
Announced today, Professor Tim Brown will commence as Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) in January 2019.
Currently Professor of Data Science at the University of Melbourne, Brown brings extensive experience with academic and leadership roles at a number of AMSI’s membership institutions.
His previous roles include Foundation Director of the University of Melbourne’s Statistical Consulting Centre, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia, Head of Department of Statistics and later Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne, Dean of the Faculty and later College of Science at ANU and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at La Trobe.
With a PhD in theoretical probability from the University of Cambridge, Professor Brown is considered a pioneer in the development of statistical consulting as an important feature of the tertiary mathematics landscape. With research spanning probability theory, statistics and its application to important problems, he has had over 50 publications in refereed journals, numerous reports for various organisations and two school mathematics textbooks.
A passionate collaborator, including with Universität Zürich’s Andrew Barbour and the University of Melbourne’s Aihua Xia, Brown’s applied work has impacted occupational health, car construction and finance for worker’s compensation. Perhaps most significant, however, have been his contributions to Year 12 and tertiary entrance assessments in Victoria and the system for ATAR.
Responding to his appointment, Professor Brown said he was looking forward to working with AMSI, its membership, stakeholders, government and funding partners to further its mission to secure the future health of mathematical sciences education, research and applications in Australia.
“AMSI’s strength is its breadth and depth across education, research and industry. Together with its members, partners and sponsors, the Institute is well positioned to continue helping shape Australia’s future prosperity through even better education, research and mathematical innovation,” he said.
Strengthening mathematics, he believes, starts in the classroom. Reflecting on his own mathematical journey, Professor Brown said it was the influence of a beloved teacher Ken Evans that had profoundly impacted his engagement and love of the subject.
“Teachers have a critical role to inspire student understanding of the universality of mathematics and its applications. I well remember Ken showing us the beauty of abstraction and logic in Year 11 and 12. To be prepared for the next 50 years of work, today’s students need understanding of fundamental concepts equally with context and applications,” he said.
Chair of the AMSI Board, Dr Ron Sandland AM, said the Institute was excited to welcome Professor Brown as Director at what is an important time for AMSI, its membership and the Australian mathematical sciences.
AMSI Media Release 4 December 2018
Close of Play for AMSI's Longest Serving Director
The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s (AMSI) third and longest serving director, Professor Geoff Prince will retire on 21 December.
Professor Prince’s retirement marks the end of 14 years with AMSI, including as Deputy Director under founding director, Professor Garth Gaudry and roles as Executive Director and Acting Director until 2007. He stepped into the role of Director in September 2009.
Professor Prince said he was proud of his legacy at AMSI and the impact the Institute has had on strengthening Australian mathematics.
“AMSI has an important role to play as the national voice and advocate for the mathematical sciences at all stages of the pipeline, it has been a privilege to lead and shape this agenda over the past nine years,” said Professor Prince.
AMSI Board Chair, Dr Ron Sandland AM, praised Professor Prince for his leadership of the Institute and outstanding advocacy of the mathematical sciences.
“Geoff has been an outstanding champion for the discipline, helping steer the Institute’s impact across the pipeline from school education and adult numeracy to research and industry engagement,” Dr Sandland said.
Under Professor Prince’s leadership, the Institute has cemented its widely regarded status as the peak body for the mathematical sciences, providing authoritative advice and thought leadership to both public and private sectors.
During his tenure AMSI has undergone significant transformation, with its staff growing more than four-fold. He has assembled a high-quality team with a clear focus on gender equity with over half the Executive team female and seven of the Institute’s eight PhDs women. AMSI’s membership has also increased its membership to 41 universities, learned societies and national agencies.
Dr Sandland said the Institute would continue to benefit from Professor Prince’s long-term vision, in particular his role in securing long-term investment in higher education.
“Geoff has convinced successive governments of the importance of supporting undergraduate and postgraduate education at a national level, as a result AMSI’s unique program of annual symposia, residential schools and online teaching have reached thousands of students,” said Dr Sandland.
Professor Prince has successfully led engagement to secure over $50 million in grants and contracts to support delivery of AMSI programs.
Notably, AMSI’s partnership with the BHP Foundation is Australia’s largest philanthropic grant in the mathematical sciences. This funding has enabled delivery of national-scale initiatives to tackle the participation of girls and women in mathematics and statistics in Australian schools. Significant Commonwealth Department of Education and Training funding has also seen an increase in scope of AMSI’s Higher Education training program and the national-scale expansion of AMSI’s industry internship program to deliver PhD internships across all sectors and disciplines.