## News

Congratulations and best wishes to Alice Devillers and Sam Norton on the birth of their daughter, Emilia.

Cheryl Praeger was awarded the Mehdi Behzad Prize of the Iranian Mathematical Society for service to mathematics on 24 August 2015. This is the first time the prize was awarded to a mathematician from outside Iran.

Cheryl Praeger was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of St. Andrews on St. Andrew's Day (30 November) 2015.

Mark Ioppolo won the 2015 CMSA prize for the best student talk at 39th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (ACCMCC), The University of Queensland, 7-11 December 2015.

Gabriel Verret will take up a lectureship at The University of Auckland in March 2016.

Melissa Lee has been awarded a full scholarship to undertake her PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Martin Liebeck, beginning October 2016.

Michael Giudici and Cheryl Praeger won an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant for their project "Permutation groups: factorisations, structure and applications" (2016-2018, total funding $334,000). Stephen Glasby will also work on this grant.

Luke Morgan won an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for his project "Structure theory for permutation groups and local graph theory conjectures" (2016-2018, total funding $306,000).

Alice Devillers' Australian Research Council Discovery Project application (with James Parkinson, Bernhard Mühlherr and Hendrik Van Maldeghem) was ranked in the top 10% nationally amongst unfunded applications. As such, the project will receive funding of $50,000 under The University of Western Australia's Near-Miss Central scheme.

All three of our graduating Honours students received First Class Honours:

Jesse Lansdown, thesis "Metric coset geometries" supervised by John Bamberg and Joanna Fawcett.

Adrian Petersen, thesis "Pairwise transitive 1-designs" supervised by Alice Devillers and Cheryl Praeger.

Kyle Rosa, thesis "Invariable generation of finite permutation groups" supervised by Luke Morgan and Cheryl Praeger.

Jesse Lansdown has commenced a PhD under the supervision of John Bamberg and Gordon Royle.

Adrian Petersen and Kyle Rosa have both commenced MPhil degrees.

Jesse Lansdown was interviewed at the 2016 AMSI Summer School for the ABC Morning Show on ABC News 24. The interview was about how geometry can be applied to CGI animation, which was the subject of Margeret Wertheim's public lecture.

Melissa Lee volunteered for three mathematics-related outreach programmes: Teach Learn Grow (TLG) Rural Program (Nulsen Primary School, Esperance, 23-27 November 2015); Curious Minds: Girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (The Australian National University, Canberra, 9-13 December 2015); National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS) (The Australian National University, Canberra, 3-16 January 2016).

The council of University Hall, The University of Western Australia, has re-named its annual academic award for the highest achieving undergraduate student in residence to the Professor Cheryl Praeger Award for Academic Achievement.

Cheryl Praeger became the Chair of the Management Committee for Mathematics by Inquiry, a new national programme to promote innovative approaches to mathematics teaching in Australian schools, funded by the Australian government and managed by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.

Cheryl Praeger gave a Visiting Fellows Seminar at All Souls College, Oxford, on 17 November 2015.

##### Visitors

Hui Zhou (Peking University), September 2015-March 2017. (Visiting PhD student.)

James Parkinson (University of Sydney) 3-6 November 2015.

Jingjian Li (Guangxi University), January 2016-January 2018.

Marcel Fernandez (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), 25 January-5 February 2016.

Sara Sabrina Zemljič (University of Iceland), 2-13 February 2016.

Alexander Bors (University of Salzburg), 4-24 February 2016.

Joy Morris (University of Lethbridge), 7 February-7 March 2016. (Cheryl E. Praeger Visiting Fellow.)

Dillon Mayhew (Victoria University of Wellington), February 2016.

Binzhou Xia (Peking University), February-March 2016.

##### SymOmega

SymOmega is a mathematical blog run by CMSC members John Bamberg, Michael Giudici and Gordon Royle.

##### CMSC Retreat

The fifth annual CMSC retreat will be held between 10-12 February 2016 at the Moondyne Country Convention Centre, in the Perth hills. The retreat will bring together members of our research group, including postgraduate students, and several international visitors. We are looking forward to engaging in new research projects, starting and strengthening collaborations, and learning something new in the organised lecture series (given by Joy Morris) and paper reading group. The venue also has plenty of walking trails and meeting spaces for relaxing and socialising in the evenings.

##### Conferences

Ada Lovelace Symposium, Oxford, 9-10 December 2015. Cheryl Praeger was a member of a panel discussion, "Enchantress of Abstraction and Bride of Science: can women scientists escape being icons, role-models and heroines".

Finite Simple Groups: Thirty Years of the Atlas and Beyond, Princeton University, 2-5 November 2015. Cheryl Praeger was an invited speaker, and leader of a discussion group on computational and recognition projects in group theory.

39th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (ACCMCC), The University of Queensland, 7-11 December 2015. Gordon Royle was an invited speaker. John Bamberg, Stephen Glasby, Daniel Hawtin, Mark Ioppolo, Luke Morgan, Irene Pivotto, Shu-Jiao Song and Gabriel Verret gave talks.

A conference in honour of Geoff Whittle, Victoria University of Wellington, 14-16 Dec 2015. Irene Pivotto and Gordon Royle gave talks.

Symmetries and Covers of Discrete Objects, Queenstown, New Zealand, 14-19 February 2016. Joanna Fawcett, Stephen Glasby, Michael Giudici, Melissa Lee, Luke Morgan, Tomasz Popiel, Cheryl Praeger, Shu-Jiao Song, Gabriel Verret and Hui Zhou will attend.

New Directions in Combinatorics, National University of Singapore, 22-27 May 2016. John Bamberg is an invited speaker.

Group Theory, Geometry and the Influence of Jacques Tits - A conference in honour of Richard Weiss, Karlsruhe, Germany, 25-28 May 2016. Luke Morgan is an invited speaker.

Combinatorics 2016, Maratea, Italy, 29 May-4 June 2016. John Bamberg will attend.

##### Papers

### Published papers

A. Abdesselam, C. Ikenmeyer and G. Royle, 16,051 formulas for Ottaviani's invariant of cubic threefolds, Journal of Algebra 447 (2016) 649-663.

B. P. Corr and C. E. Praeger, Normal edge-transitive Cayley graphs of Frobenius groups, Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics 42 (2015) 803-827.

N. I. Gillespie, C. E Praeger and P. Spiga, Twisted permutation codes, Journal of Group Theory 18 (2015) 407-433.

S. P. Glasby, C. E. Praeger and B.-Z. Xia, Decomposing modular tensor products: `Jordan partitions', their parts and p-parts, Israel Journal of Mathematics 209 (2015) 215-233.

S. P. Glasby, C. E. Praeger and B.-Z. Xia, Decomposing modular tensor products, and periodicity of `Jordan partitions', Journal of Algebra 450 (2016) 570-587.

M. Martis, J. Bamberg and S. Morris, An enumeration of certain projective ternary two-weight codes, Journal of Combinatorial Designs 24 (2016) 21-35.

L. Morgan and C. M. Roney-Dougal, A note on the probability of generating alternating or symmetric groups, Archiv der Mathematik 105 (2015) 201-204.

L. Morgan, E. Swartz and G. Verret, On 2-arc-transitive graphs of order kp^n, Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series B 117 (2016) 77-87.

J. Morris, P. Spiga and G. Verret, Semiregular automorphisms of cubic vertex-transitive graphs and the abelian normal quotient method, Electronic Journal of Combinatorics 22(2015) #P3.32.

G. Royle and A. D. Sokal, Linear bound in terms of maxmaxflow for the chromatic roots of series-parallel graphs, SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics 29 (2015) 2117-2159.

P. Spiga and G. Verret, On the order of vertex-stabilisers in vertex-transitive graphs with local group Cp x Cp or Cp wr C2, Journal of Algebra 448 (2016) 174-209.

### Accepted papers

S. Dolfi, R. M. Guralnick, C. E. Praeger and P. Spiga, On the maximal number of coprime subdegrees in finite primitive permutation groups, to appear in Israel Journal of Mathematics.

J. B. Fawcett, Locally triangular graphs and normal quotients of the n-cube, to appear in Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics.

J. B. Fawcett, E. A. O'Brien and J. Saxl, Regular orbits of symmetric and alternating groups, to appear in Journal of Algebra.

M. Giudici, A. Ivanov, L. Morgan and C. E Praeger, A characterisation of weakly locally projective amalgams related to A16 and the sporadic simple groups M24 and He, to appear in Journal of Algebra.

A. C. Niemeyer and T. Popiel, Finding involutions with small support, to appear in Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society.

P. Potočnik, P. Spiga and G. Verret, Groups of order at most 6 000 generated by two elements, one of which is an involution, and related structures, to appear in Proceedings of the SIGMAP 2014 Workshop.

### Submitted papers

M. Akbari, N. I. Gillespie and C. E. Praeger, Increasing the minimum distance of codes by twisting.

J. A. Al-Bar, A. N. Al-Kenani, N. M. Muthana and C. E. Praeger, A normal quotient analysis for some families of oriented four-valent graphs.

J. Bamberg, A. Betten, P. Cara, J. De Beule, M. Neunhoeffer and M. Lavrauw, FinInG: a package for finite incidence geometry.

J. Bamberg, M. Lee, K. Momihara and Q. Xiang, A new infinite family of hemisystems of the Hermitian surface.

J. B. Fawcett and C. E. Praeger, Base sizes of imprimitive linear groups and orbits of general linear groups on spanning tuples.

N. Gill, N. I. Gillespie, C. E. Praeger and J. Semeraro, Conway groupoids, regular two-graphs, and supersimple designs.

P. M. Neumann, C. E. Praeger and S. M. Smith, Some infinite permutation groups and related finite linear groups.