Australian Mathematical Society
Mathematics Department at Macquarie University

AMS Medal George Szekeres Medal B H Neumann Prize

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50th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society

History Book Launch at Macquarie Theatre

Tuesday 26 September 2006 at 18:30


Graeme Cohen (University of Technology, Sydney)

Counting Australia In


Short Talk by Graeme Cohen

Episodes in the writing of "Counting Australia In"


This work began well over 5 years ago in response to a call for someone to write the history of the Australian Mathematical Society as part of the celebration of its 50th Anniversary. My offer to extend the history to cover mathematics in Australian universities and other institutions was accepted.  With the Society's sponsorship, I travelled to all capital cities to tape interviews, to visit libraries and university archives, and to take notes of meetings with scores of mathematicians, young and old.

This talk will detail some of my "discoveries", such as (1) coming across Basil Rennie's diary in which he gave a day-by-day account of the first meeting of the Society 50 years ago, (2) finding that T. G. Room had applied for the Chair of Mathematics in the University of Western Australia six years before he won the Sydney appointment, and (3) finding in the University of Melbourne Archives the 1928 letter of application of Norbert Wiener for the Chair of Mathematics there.


Official Launch of "Counting Australia In" - David Elliott