Myth-busting Mathematics

Professor Kate Smith-Miles

School of Mathematics
Monash University

Kate Smith-Miles is an internationally renowned mathematician and current President of the Australian Mathematical Society. After completing a BSc (Hons) in mathematics at the University of Melbourne in 1993, she successfully pursued a PhD in combinatorial optimisation in collaboration with the CSIRO and the University of Melbourne. Although curious about most branches of applied mathematics she has a strong research interest in optimisation, machine learning and the modelling of complex systems. Partnering with industry and researchers in other disciplines has helped Kate to appreciate the enormous benefits that mathematics can have in solving many of the challenges faced by society.

As chairperson of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s “Choose Maths” program, Professor Kate Smith-Miles is well aware of the current challenges faced in trying to increase participation rates in mathematics, especially for females. Throughout her career it has become increasingly evident that to achieve a gender balance there are many popular myths surrounding mathematics that need to be challenged. In this talk, Kate will share her own mathematical journey – why she became a mathematician, how her mathematics is applied to real world problems, and why it is that “mathematician” is consistently ranked as the No. 1 job in the world. In so doing, she will attempt to debunk many of the myths surrounding mathematics along the way.

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