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

Forum on the Review of Australian Mathematical Sciences


Wednesday 27 September 2006 at 15:30


Barry Hughes (University of Melbourne)

Mathematical Sciences in Australia: Problems and Solutions


Numbers are down: both of students and staff in universities, and Australian universities are not able to meet the mathematics and statistics needs of business, industry, government and schools. Mathematicians and statisticians should be, but are not, teaching all the university subjects in their disciplines, and there are many university courses which need mathematical sciences components retained or increased. Eroding service teaching income, falling numbers of mathematics and statistics majors, flawed funding formulae and problems with school education deeply threaten the survival of our discipline at many Australian universities. Across the nation we face the local extinction of specific areas of expertise and a general narrowing of our research capacity that bodes ill for the future of the profession and the country as a whole.

Solutions require better resources, better networking, and cultural change at many levels. Modest proposals to solve the sector's problems are proposed. Will all stakeholders accept their responsibility to contribute to solutions?