Hyamfest 2011 – A Celebration of Mathematics and Statistics

August 11 / 66

Professor William 'Bus' Jaco, Oklahoma State University, with Professor Hyam Rubinstein at Hyamfest
Professor William 'Bus' Jaco, Oklahoma State University, with Professor Hyam Rubinstein at Hyamfest

The University has hosted Hyamfest: Geometry and Topology Down Under, a mathematics conference held in honour of University mathematician Professor J. Hyam Rubinstein. 

The one-off conference celebrated Professor Rubinstein’s contribution to the field of topology, as well as his long-term commitment to advocating for the mathematical sciences discipline. 

International conferences such as this are held sporadically to celebrate particular mathematicians’ contributions to their field. This conference was attended by  guests from the US, Europe and Asia. 

Professor Rubinstein said he felt deeply honoured to have the conference at Melbourne.

“It is traditional for mathematicians to have birthday conferences when they reach 60, and it provides an opportunity for their collaborators and students to get together and talk about the development of ideas they were interested in.

“I am particularly pleased there was a marvelous turnout of graduate students. About  50 of them attended,” he said. 

AMSI, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) is based at the University and provided financial support to graduate students and early-career researchers to attend the conference. 

Professor Rubinstein said the conference was “a week of wonderful advanced courses given by three eminent mathematicians, funded by AMSI, the National Science Foundation and the Clay Institute”. 

“For students and young researchers, seeing the best people from around the world talking about their latest ideas is vital to understand what is happening at the forefront of mathematical research,” he said.

Final-year undergraduate mathematics and physics student Emma Bland also works for AMSI. She said highly qualified mathematical scientists played a vital role in solving complex problems which arose from climate change, finance, transport, information technology and many other areas which were central to the advancement of science, technology and society.   

“Professor Rubinstein is a key figure in the ongoing debate about the state of the mathematical sciences discipline in Australia, particularly on the impacts of reduced government funding for university-level mathematics courses,” she said. 

“Hosting events such as this raises the profile of mathematics at university level, and facilitates discussion about mathematics education in other countries.” 


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