National Strategic Review of Mathematical Sciences Research in Australia


The National Strategic Review of Mathematical Sciences Research in Australia took place under the auspices of the National Committee for the Mathematical Sciences of the Australian Academy of Science, with financial support from the Australian Research Council (Special Research Initiatives scheme, project number SR059001), the Australian Mathematical Society, Inc., the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, and the Statistical Society of Australia, Inc.
         The Review commenced in September 2005 and included a national tour by the Working Party in February 2006 to meet stakeholders and interested persons from academia, business, government and the broader community. The International Reviewers (listed with their affiliations at the time of the review) were The Working Party consisted of the International Reviewers and (listed with their affiliations at the time of the review): The Advisory Council for the Review, drawn from academia, business and industry, covered a broad spectrum of interests in the mathematical sciences and their applications. A list of its members can be found here. The Advisory Council set the Terms of Reference.
         The Review came about 10 years after a previous comprehensive review. In this decade, great changes have taken place in the Australian higher education sector generally, and in the mathematical sciences in particular. In the context of reviewing research, the review considered teaching, research and practice in the mathematical sciences in universities and beyond and the present use and anticipated future needs of mathematical sciences in business and in the wider community. Written submissions and questionnaires were received from professional societies and industry associations, the tertiary education sector, commerce and industry, and interested individuals.


The findings and recommendations of the Review were announced and the final report was formally launched on Thursday 14 December at the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra. Download links for the full report, for a short summary, and for speeches made at the launch are available here.


  • FORUM: An investment In Australia's future: why the mathematical sciences matter. Details of the forum (held at the Shine Dome, Canberra on Wednesday 7 February 2007) including the program and summaries of some of the presentations are available here.
  • OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA. An open letter to the Australian Prime Minister in April 2007, urging action on the recommendations of the Review, can be found here.
  • FUNDING CHANGES AND FURTHER STAFF LOSSES. Two positive responses to the review from the Australian government of the time were some additional direct funding for the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute and an increase in the discipline funding weight associated with places for Australian subsidised undergradaute students. Recent evidence from a follow-up survey of mathematical sciences departments in Australian universities by three participants in the review of 2006 showed that little of the money arising from the discipline weight adjustments actually reached department level and the erosion of capacity demonstrated in the 2006 review continued in many universities.
  • Australian Fields Medal winner Professor Terry Tao organised an on-line petition about the latest round of staff cuts in mathematics and statistics proposed at the University of Southern Queensland.


A decade after the National Strategic Review of Mathematical Sciences Research in Australia, a number of stakeholders and participants in the review contributed to the development, of a decadal plan for the mathematical sciences under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science to represent the strategic vision for the discipline The plan, "The mathematical sciences in Australia: a vision for 2025" was published in March 2016. Some background documents for the plan are also available.
Address for Enquiries
Professor Barry Hughes,
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010
e-mail      phone (03) 8344 5557
Maintained and authorized by B.D. Hughes. Last modified 6 September 2017.