The cutting-edge researchers in the School believe that it is important to demonstrate the relevance of mathematics and statistics to society and everyday life. Here are some examples of our appearances in the print, online and broadcast media.
If you would like to interview one of our staff members for a media story, please contact our Communications Officer Susannah Waters.
SEPTEMBER: A/Prof Jake Olivier has continued his run of media appearances, this time featuring widely across print and broadcast media highlighting his review into bike helmet use and injury, which is the largest study of its kind ever undertaken.
JUNE: A/Prof Jake Olivier spoke to 7 News about the odds of winning the lottery.
APRIL: A/Prof Jake Olivier once again analysed data for ABC's Fact Check. The report investigated whether industrial disputes decreased under the operation of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), and if they increased after the commission was abolished.
MARCH: A/Prof Jake Olivier featured in a Channel 10 Eyewitness News broadcast, which discussed proposed laws which would require skateboarders and scooter riders to wear helmets. The decision is pending the outcome of a review ordered by the NSW government.
FEBRUARY: Research undertaken by PhD student Isaac Donnelly and collaborators from UNSW Psychology was widely covered across science media. The study, published in Nature Communications, revealed that complex human brain activity is driven by the same simple universal rule of nature which can explain other phenomena, such as the spots on a leopard.
JANUARY: A/Prof Chris Tisdell was quoted in a piece for the Australian Financial Review which looked at Australia's "deteriorating mathematics skills". A/Prof Tisdell highlighted some of the challenges within the current educational landscape.
DECEMBER: A/Prof Jake Olivier was consulted by ABC's Fact Check to help investigate the veracity of a claim by Deputy Leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, that the constituents his party represents are worse off than those in other electorates.
NOVEMBER: Three of our oceanography researchers appeared in a photographic exhibition focusing on scientists, dubbed Wild Researchers, by an award-winning photographer.
AUGUST: Professor John Murray appeared in a short documentary, part of a series commissioned by The Guardian Australia featuring Australian scientists. The documentary, "No Researcher is an Island", focuses on one of Professor Murray's collaborators, Dr Geoff Symonds of Calimmune.
JULY: Professor Gary Froyland was quoted in a National Geographic article, "(Re)parting the Seas". The short piece discusses ocean "borders", which have remained largely unchanged for almost a century. Prof Froyland contends that the boundaries "reflect geopolitics". The article, which arose from Prof Froyland's joint research with our former PhD student Robyn Stuart plus Erik van Sebille (formerly of UNSW's CCRC), advocates for a revision of boundaries, based on present-day knowledge of currents and natural basins, while taking into account the origin of polluted plots of rubbish which litter the ocean. The piece also appeared in the French, Dutch, and Spanish online versions of the publication.
**School members Moninya Roughan, Shane Keating, Amandine Schaeffer, and Carlos Rocha joined a research trip on CSIRO vessel Investigator, which inadvertently discovered ancient volcanoes off the coast of Sydney. The story generated a media storm, with coverage appearing widely across the mainstream media.
**During a trip to Austria for a conference, A/Prof Josef Dick was the subject of an article in a local newspaper, nachrichten.at.
FEBRUARY: An article about PhD student Isaac Donnelly's Fulbright Scholarship was published in the Northern Star newspaper, "Bright spark wins prized award".
DECEMBER: Professor James Franklin was interviewed on the Philosopher's Zone program on ABC's Radio National. The program was called "Does maths matter?".
NOVEMBER: A/Prof Chris Tisdell was interview by The Australian, in an article entitled "Maths lecturer number one with students".
SEPTEMBER: Professor Gary Froyland co-authored a piece that was published in The Conversation, "Redrawing the map could reveal ocean garbage patch culprits".
DECEMBER: The School's Limits to Growth symposium attracted ample media attention. ABC radio's PM program recorded talks by Graciela Chichilnisky, Clive Hamilton and Ken Henry. Listen to the recording.
SKY TV filmed the afternoon sessions and the Limits to Growth Q&A for Australia's Public Affairs Channel (Foxtel).
AAP and Financial Review came to report on Ken Henry's talk, and SMH requested copy of Ken Henry's speech for publication. Part of his talk was quoted in an article in The Australian.
An article by Prof Bruce Henry and Isaac Donnelly was published in The Conversation in the lead-up to the symposium.
FEBRUARY: Articles about Dr Jake Oliver and his team's research appeared in both SMH and The Conversation. Their study revealed the value of mandatory helmet laws, which are currently up for debate, and the correlation between injury severity and the lack of a helmet.
In March, their work was mentioned in two prominent injury prevention publications.
SEPTEMBER: Once again, Dr Chris Tisdell's YouTube achievements were trumpeted in the media - this time in the Higher Education section of The Australian. In the article, "Seismic shift in learning as study tourists go online", Dr Tisdell talks about what initially attracted him to the concept of videoing lessons, and who his main audience is. The extent of his extraordinary success is highlighted.
JULY: Dr Chris Tisdell was interviewed by SMH for an article about his online success, "Online lessons add up for lecturer". Dr Tisdell's YouTube channel has achieved phenomenal popularity, recently surpassing one million hits. His e-book has also experienced prominence as one of the top dowloaded texts on e-book publisher Bookboon's website. According to the SMH article, "Chris Tisdell is the equivalent of a best-selling author or chart-topping musician".
Dr Tisdell's trailblazing work was also mentioned in an article in The Age, "Don't get hung up, let's just hang out", authored by the Managing Director of Google Australia & New Zealand, Nick Leeder.
APRIL: Dr Moninya Roughan was interviewed on ABC radio about the East Australia Current, which has a huge impact on local weather systems and climate.
Then Head of School Professor Tony Dooley was quoted in a Daily Telegraph article, “HECS minus $400 million means Australia is a nation of dunces”. The article looked at the imminent threat of a “brain drain” in Australia due to cuts to mathematics and science education funding by the Federal government. Prof Dooley commented on the likely impact on student numbers of increased annual HECS fees for students in these disciplines.
Professor Dooley talked to Channel 10 News about a mathematical formula designed to help surfers find the perfect wave.
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, articles and broadcasts about a “formula of love” devised by staff in the School appeared across a wide range of media outlets. The formula provides a “mathematical framework” to figure out the optimal time to get serious with your partner. The story appeared in Australian and international online and print media, and was also picked up by Australian radio stations.
A Melbourne Cup “winning formula” developed within the School, dubbed the Melbourne Cup Trifecta 50 or MCT50, advises to eliminate all the horses that have odds longer than 50-1 and to place a $1 bet on all possible box trifecta combinations for the remaining starters. This story was picked up by several media outlets, including news.com.au and SMH.