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Newsletter, January 2018

New leadership

In January, Michael Giudici became the Director of the centre. John Bamberg has agreed to be the new Deputy Director. Everyone wishes to express their thanks to Gordon for his years of service!

  • Dan Hawtin's thesis "Algebraic symmetry of codes in Hamming graphs" supervised by Neil Gillespie, Michael Giudici and Cheryl Praeger was passed in October. Congratulations to Dan! He is now doing a postdoc with Robert Bailey at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

  • Alexander Bors arrived in October for a two year visiting research position as a Schrödinger Fellow funded by the Austrian Science Foundation.

  • Cheryl Praeger was the Australian delegate at the 32nd General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU), which was hosted by the Academy of Sciences located in Taipei (23-24 October), and also at the joint meeting of the general assemblies of ICSU and the International Social Science Council (25-26 October). The latter joint general assembly approved a merger between the two organisations - the new International Science Council (ISC) will have its inaugural meeting in Paris in July 2018.

  • Alexander Chua (supervised by Michael Giudici and Luke Morgan) and Timothy Harris (supervised by John Bamberg) both received first class honours degrees. Congratulations to Alexander and Tim! They are both now entering the Medicine programme at UWA.

  • Michael Giudici and Cheryl Praeger were presented with the 2012 Hall Medal and the 2011 Euler Medal (respectively). These medals of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications were awarded at the conference dinner of the 5ICC in Melbourne.

  • Cheryl Praeger was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Mathematics by the University of Queensland. It was conferred during a UQ graduation ceremony on December 9 at which she gave the Graduation Speech.

  • In January Kyle Rosa (supervised by Luke Morgan and Cheryl Praeger) submitted his MPhil thesis entitled "Structure, Covers, and bounds of semiprimitive groups".

  • Wei Jin (Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics) arrived in February to begin a one year visiting research position, funded by the China Scholarship Council.

  • In February, Michael Giudici was promoted to Professor! Congratulations to Michael!

  • Cheryl Praeger attended meetings of the Inter-Academy Partnership-Research Executive Board at the Royal Society of London, February 8.

  • Cheryl Praeger will give a colloquium lecture at Primorska University, Slovenia, March 16.

  • Cheryl Praeger will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Primorska University, Slovenia, March 15, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the university.

  • Emilio Pierro has been appointed to a postdoctoral position in CMSC, working with Stephen Glasby and Cheryl Praeger. We expect him to arrive in mid-April for a year.

  • Michael Giudici is now an editor of the Journal of Group Theory.

  • Jon Xu (University of Melbourne), supervised by John Bamberg and Arun Ram, has recently submitted his PhD thesis "Chevalley groups and finite geometry".

  • Dave Roberson (Technical University of Denmark) will be the 2018 Cheryl E. Praeger Visiting Research Fellow.

  • John Bamberg was awarded the 2017 Hall Medal of the ICA. Congratulations to John!

Annual research retreat

The annual CMSC research retreat was held over the week of 12-16 February this year. We were hosted in the lovely Avon Valley at Moondyne Country Convention.

We are very grateful to our hosts Christine and Peter for taking such excellent care of us. We welcomed two international visitors this year, Tim Boykett of Time's Up and Dillon Mayhew (University of Wellington). We were also pleased to welcome back Cai Heng Li, now at Southern University of Science and Technology China.

We had no less than twelve research problems posed this year, and the seventeen participants divided into teams to tackle these. Swift progress was made on some problems, and on others we certainly learnt something.

Saul Freedman gave two excellent lectures based on what he had absorbed at the 2017 Summer School in Venice. In the social time, some members bravely hiked in 35 degree heat to a nearby dam, whilst others lounged in the pool. We look forward to sharing the output of the retreat in publications.

  • Faezeh Alizadeh, a PhD student from Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran is visiting Cheryl Praeger and Stephen Glasby for one year.

  • Dillon Mayhew (Victoria University of Wellington) visited Gordon Royle in February.

  • Scott Harper (PhD student at University of Bristol) visited in February for several weeks, funded by the Cecil King Travel Scholarship from the London Mathematical Society.

  • Alejandra Ramos Rivera (PhD student at University of Primorska) will visit for 3 months from March, funded by the Erasmus program.

  • Colva Roney-Dougal (University of St Andrews) will visit from 26 March to 20 April.

  • Cheryl E. Praeger Visiting Fellow: Dave Roberson (Technical University of Denmark) will visit in late March.

  • John Sheekey (UCD Dublin) will visit in July/August to work with John Bamberg.

Groups and Combinatorics Seminars

Stephen Glasby has created a website with historical and current abstracts for our seminar series:



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



Published papers

Accepted papers

  • John Bamberg, Stephen P. Glasby, Luke Morgan and Alice C. Niemeyer. Maximal linear groups induced on the Frattini quotient of a p-group. Accepted in Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra. arxiv

  • David Pearce and Gordon Royle. Chapter on "Computational Resources", in the Handbook of the Tutte Polynomial (to be published 2018).

  • Cheryl E. Praeger and Csaba Schneider. Group factorisations, uniform automorphisms and permutation groups of simple diagonal type. Accepted in Israel J. Math. arxiv.

Submitted papers


University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, 6009

CRICOS Code: 00126G

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