ABOUT THE REVIEWThe 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 were
- Professor Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON, Director, Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, France
- Dr Brenda DIETRICH, Director, Mathematical Sciences, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Centre, U.S.A.
- Professor Iain JOHNSTONE, Stanford University, U.S.A.
- Professor Hyam RUBINSTEIN, University of Melbourne (Chair of the Working Party)
- Associate Professor Barry HUGHES, University of Melbourne (Executive Director of the Review)
- Professor Peter HALL, Australian National University
- Ms Jan THOMAS, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
- Dr Edwin VAN LEEUWEN, BHP-Billiton
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.
REPORT OF THE REVIEWThe 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.
DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE REVIEWFORUM: 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 has shown that little of the money arising from the discipline weight adjustments has actually reached department level and the erosion of capacity demonstrated in the 2006 review continues in many universities. Australian Fields Medal winner Professor Terry Tao has organised an on-line petition about the latest round of staff cuts in mathematics and statistics proposed at the University of Southern Queensland.