Strategic Goals for the School of Mathematics 2022–2027

Improve gender balance within the School  

Women are strongly underrepresented within our School. This is particularly true for continuing academic staff. The opposite is true for our professional staff where men are underrepresented. In order to change this, the School aims to hire a number of female academic staff over the period 2022-2027 The School also aims to increase the number of male professional staff during the same period.

Increase the number of School-funded PhD students and Postdocs

During the period 2022-2027, the School aims to increase the number of junior researchers (PhD students and postdocs) for each continuing academic position. This will in part be achieved by opening School-funded PhD and 2-year postdoc positions. A yearly intake of three of each category will stabilise the School funding at 9 PhD students and 6 postdocs, with equity taken into account. Junior staff should take priority in supervising these positions to assist in their career development and the formation of research groups without initial reliance on grant success.

Target recruitment of exceptional international students at Masters and PhD level

The School aims to increase the number of high quality students in our postgraduate cohort. Currently, we have good mechanisms in place for recruiting strong domestic students. For international recruitment, we will initiate a visitor program to attract high-achieving Masters students to spend research time (thesis work) with our School. The aim of this program is to encourage strong international students to apply for a PhD position with us.

Improve the academic level ratio

Currently, the School’s distribution of academic staff is uneven. There is a clear risk that we become too "top-heavy" in the near future. During the period 2022-2027, we aim to equalise the distribution of our academic staff, targeting recruitment of more junior academics.

Strengthen and optimise teaching aspects of core mathematics

The students we face in our undergraduate education form a very heterogeneous group. Through advanced streams, we aim to cater to students with different capabilities, and offer enriched learning to strong students in order to better prepare them for further studies. Students who would benefit from an advanced stream should be encouraged to enrol in these streams, particularly strong female students.

Strengthen and optimise teaching aspects of Engineering, IT and Education

Through its first and second year units, the School of Mathematics has a strong teaching engagement with the Faculties of Engineering and IT. We would like to deliver more optimised content to these students, and have a dedicated staff member to act as a coordinator for all service teaching. We also aim to enhance our online delivery, with a coordinator overseeing remote content. Additionally, we wish to extend our engagement with the Faculty of Education, with the aim of providing a suitable set of units for future mathematics teachers at high-school level.

Strengthen research and teaching in mathematical aspects of Data Science

The School has great potential to expand in the mathematical areas of Data Science. Today we are teaching into BADS: the Faculty’s Bachelor of Applied Data Science. We aim to add capabilities to our current staff profile in order to offer more teaching and research in this area. The focus will be on fundamental research in AI/Machine Learning, rather than their applications. We will also explore opportunities for joint specialised Masters programs in these areas.

Enhance academic collaborations and host recurring international events

Our School has several areas of strength in all sections (pure mathematics/stochastics and probability/applied and computational mathematics). During the period 2022-2027, we will consolidate our strengths in each section, and explore substantial collaborative opportunities. Our aim is to secure at least one Centre of Excellence or a collaborative agreement of a similar calibre. In order to increase visibility for our School, and to help with national and international recruitment, our School aims to initiate new periodic international conferences. Suitable areas should have the potential to attract a wide audience; these conferences will promote our school, and allow us to showcase our research. Collaborating with MATRIX would provide optimal infrastructure and administrative support for such events.

Expand in areas with a view towards industrial collaborations

The School has had plenty of experience in applying for and obtaining ARC grants of various types, with the exception of Linkage grants. Our goal is to extend our external research portfolio in this direction, teaming up with industry partners who complement our research strengths. The close proximity to CSIRO provides an excellent platform to build new collaborations. Other venues of research income may be found within suitable industries.

Improve the professional capabilities within our School

Support from professional staff is essential to the School, allowing academic staff to focus on core teaching and research activities. Increased support from staff with specialised knowledge of the School will allow capacity for new initiatives and enable the planned increase of the School's activities and staffing.