CMSA E-Newsletter Number 10 (October 2002)


Thank you to the members who have sent information for this newsletter. Please send news as soon as you have anything of possible interest to CMSA Members and the Combinatorial Community, even if there is no newsletter imminent!
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CLOSING DATE for Issue 11:   31 January 2003.  



CMSA CONFERENCE HISTORY PAGE (all past conferences organised under the CMSA; thanks to Kevin McAvaney for starting this page)


AIMS of the newsletter:


New Zealand already has its Mathematical Research Institute and Institute of Mathematics & its Applications

Perhaps the most mathematically significant thing happening in Australia recently is the establishment of its own Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, AMSI. See for details (but this is so new, you won't find too much there).

One thing which is firmly planned right now by AMSI is a set of summer courses for honours and postgraduate students.

Another is the call for expressions of interest for symposia/workshops for the year 2003.

Approximately in the words of the Interim Director, Tony Guttmann, this Institute has a more ambitious scope than its overseas counterparts, with (down to) a fifth or tenth of the funding ... not sure if he is referring to the NZ institute here. Our Canadian members probably get the idea quite accurately though.

Let me close by hoping that as many of you as possible can make it to Newcastle in December for the 27 ACCMCC.

Nick Wormald
CMSA President

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AWOCA 2002         Australasian Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms, 6-10 JULY 2002.

The Thirteenth Australasian Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms (AWOCA) was held on Fraser Island, Queensland, from 7th to 10th July in the very peaceful surrounds of Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Participants enjoyed lavish lunches, picturesque sunsets, an excursion to the exquisite white sand, pure freshwater lakes, and some karaoke at the conference dinner. The only unfortunate event (apart from some of the karaoke acts) was a collision between a cow and a University of Queensland vehicle on the return trip to Brisbane. Thankfully the cow was the only fatality; the only injured person was driver Peter Adams who spent the night in Gympie hospital and suffered a badly mangled broken toe. But we were all extremely grateful Peter had ensured that we were wearing seatbelts.

The invited speakers were:

A special thank-you to the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Queensland, the EPSA Faculty at UQ, and the ICA for their sponsorship, and a very special thank-you to Diane Donovan who was the chief organiser. Photos from the conference are available from the website:
[Scroll up a bit if you click on "Photos" at that site! Ed.]

Nick Cavenagh

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DISCRETE MATHEMATICS SESSION within the 46th AustMS Meeting, Newcastle, 30 SEPT - 3 OCT 2002.

Ten talks were presented in the Special Session on Discrete Mathematics at the recent Australian Mathematical Society's Annual Meeting in Newcastle. These were presented by:

At the conference dinner the following was circulated on some tables:

Uncle Ebenezer is dying. He has exactly 500 gold pieces, all of which he distributes amongst his four nephews, Abraham, Bob, Cecil and Dwayne. Each nephew gets his share in a little bag. They do not know what the others got, but they do know:

1.   That everybody got more tha 100 pieces.
2.   That Cecil and Dwayne got an equal number of pieces.
3.   Abe's and Bob's shares are different from Cecil and Dwayne.
4.   Abe's share is not the same as Bob's.

Each nephew counts out his share in secret. Then Cecil says to Bob: "Did you get a perfect square?" Bob does not answer truthfully. (You are not told whether his answer was "yes" or "no".) Cecil believes Bob, and on the basis of Bob's answer concludes that Bob got the most. Abraham, sitting by, smiles to himself because he has deduced that Bob lied. How many pieces did each nephew get?

(There is a solution, and only one solution. There is enough information to solve the problem. There are no tricks. No mathematical ability is called for beyond knowledge of which numbers are perfect squares. A solution depends on logical thinking and some psychological insight.)

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Victoria Algebra Days

Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, 28-29 OCT 2002. This year, Victoria Algebra Days are being hosted by Deakin University on Monday and Tuesday October 28 and 29, 2002.
The local organizing committee is: Lynn Batten, John Carminati and Robert Coulter.
All information about the conference can be found on its website:

Deadline for contributed talks is 7 OCTOBER!

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The XVIth Midwestern CCCC

The Sixteenth Midwest Conference on Combinatorics, Cryptography and Computing will take place at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, starting at 9 am on Thursday NOVEMBER 7th 2002 and concluding in the afternoon of Saturday NOVEMBER 9th 2002.

Invited speakers include:

Twenty-minute contributed talks are invited. Abstracts are due by October 15, 2002.

See the web site at for further details.

The Organizing Committee:
W.D. Wallis (Mathematics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Nick Phillips (Computer Science, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Michelle Schultz (Mathematical Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

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The 27th ACCMCC

The 27th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing (27ACCMCC) will be held at Newcastle University, NSW, from 9-13 DECEMBER 2002.
The invited speakers are:

The 27ACCMCC web page is

Abstracts can now be submitted online through the web site, and a registration form is available there. The closing date for abstracts, and for early-bird registration, is 18 November 2002.

There is a Prize for the best Student Talk, awarded by the CMSA.

Any enquiries, please email either   or

Ljiljana Brankovic

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New Zealand MRI Summer Workshop

This year the annual NZMRI summer workshop will be based in beautiful New Plymouth in the North Island of New Zealand. This follows previous workshops in Huia (1994), Tolaga Bay (1996, 1997), Napier (1998, 2002), Raglan (1999), Kaikoura (2000), and Nelson (2001).

The topic for New Plymouth (2003), will be Combinatorics and Combinatorial Aspects of Biology although this will be interpreted broadly.

See the web site at

Our speakers currently include (in no particular order):

It is primarily being organized by Geoff Whittle and Rod Downey of Victoria University, who will be happy to answer any questions.

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Permutation Patterns - 2003

Permutation Patterns - 2003 will be held at the University of Otago, New Zealand, 10 - 14 February 2003.

See   for more information, and for a link to the Second Announcement also.

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Graph Theory of Brian Alspach, GTBA 2003

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA.
May 25-29, 2003

Brian Alspach is 65 next year and we are celebrating his birthday in a spectacular "Graph Theory of Brian Alspach" conference from May 25 to 29, 2003 on the beautiful campus of Simon Fraser University.

Visit the conference web site:

If you wish to be put on our mailing list, please send e-mail to Hadi Kharaghani at

There will be a number of 20 minute contributed talks. Abstracts for contributed talks will be reviewed for conference presentation. There will be a special issue of Discrete Mathematics devoted to papers from the conference. The refereeing for all papers submitted for possible publication in the special issue will be according to the high standards of Discrete Mathematics. Abstracts for the papers can be submitted using an on-line submission form available at the above web site.

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Third Pythagorean Conference on Geometry, Combinatorial Designs, Cryptology and Related Structures

Faliraki, Rodos, Greece 1-7 JUNE 2003.

See the web site (under construction) at

Invited Speakers include:

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British Combinatorial Conference

Bangor, Wales, 29 JUNE - 4 JULY 2003.

See the web site for details.

Invited speakers include:

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ICIAM 2003

International Congress on Indistrial & Applied Matehmatics, Sydney, 7-11 JULY 2003.

Please see for all details about ICIAM 2003.

One of the embedded meetings will be the Sixth Australia - New Zealand Mathematics Convention, and there will be mini-symposia involving various aspects of combinatorics.
The web page for this embedded meeting (which you can find through the ICIAM site) is .

The early bird registration is 29 November 2002.

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International Conference on Recent Advances in Statistical Designs and Related Combinatorics

National Technical University of Athens, 7-9 JULY 2002.

This is in honour of Stratis Kounias.

Organisers are:

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LOOPS 2003

Charles University and the Czech University of Agriculture, 10-17 AUGUST 2003.

See the web site at   for details.

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A very useful website giving upcoming conferences in Coding, Cryptography and Effective Algebra AND their deadlines is .


Peter Adams, Darryn Bryant and Jonathan Keith

(all from the Department of Mathematics at UQ) and Keith Mitchelson (from the Australian Genome Research Facility at UQ) have received a $250,000 grant from the Biotechnology Innovation Fund (BIF). This is the maximum size for BIF grants, and the money will be used to fund research, development and commercialisation of a novel DNA sequencing technology. The spin-out company Combinomics is being formed, to undertake the development. BIF is funded by the Federal Government, and is a merit-based competitive grants program which aims to increase the rate of commercialisation of Australian biotechnology discoveries. It provides funding assistance to companies to demonstrate proof-of-concept between the research and commercialisation stages.

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News from Ian Roberts (Northern Territory University when he's not travelling!), who writes:

I am currently on a long-deserved and long-needed sabbatical (or PDL - professional development leave in NTU speak). My itinery is roughly:

San Diego State (David Carlson) 4-13/9,
University of Wisconsin (Sergei Bezrukov) 13-27/9,
MIGHTY - Mid West Graph Theory Conference at Illinois State at Bloomington-Normal (Roger Eggleton),
Southern Illinois University 28-2/10 (Wal Wallis),
South Carolina (Jerry Griggs) till 22/10
with a quick trip to Clemson for a conference 10-11/10,
Reading (Tony Hilton) (UK) till 2/11,
Bielefeld, Rostock (Uwe Leck) and Magdeburg in Germany 2-16/11,
then Nottingham (Neville Davies)(UK)
and home before the end of November.

See you all at 27ACCMCC in Newcastle.

The trip has been good so far, with lots of new problems and ideas and even some solutions. Round-the-world fares are a good way to go. Jeanette McLeod is teaching my first year class in discrete maths while I'm away and Prabhu Manyem at the University of South Australia is helping out with a third level subject from his place with Jeanette as local tutor.

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Richard Bean writes from Iran:

I am working as a post-doctoral researcher in combinatorics at the Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics in Tehran, Iran. This position is a two year position.

I have done some more work on the largest size of critical sets in Latin squares, and am learning about graph embedding problems and chess related problems (the latter for fun).

Richard Bean was recently awarded his PhD from the University of Queensland, with Diane Donovan as supervisor.

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Information from David Glynn:

Some visitors to QEC Project (Aotearoa)

Contact for further information:
Dr David Glynn, Quantum Error Correction Project (Aotearoa), 3 St. Winifreds Place, Bryndwr, Christchurch 8005, Aotearoa New Zealand
Or email

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Information from Rebecca Gower and job information at Linz

Rebecca Gower is working at a firm in Oxford, and she writes:

Don't know if this is of any interest to put in the CMSA newsletter. It was sent to me but I don't really know academics and graduates looking for jobs so perhaps the newsletter would reach those people?

Have just got back from a week's holiday in Ireland and I am just trying to catch up with emails and what needs attention now. The holiday was great - amazingly sunny and lovely for the time of year.

Subject: Job offer at the Algebra Group at Linz
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002
From: Erhard Aichinger
Organization: Division of Algebra, Univ. Linz

See the job offer at

Erhard Aichinger, Univ. Linz, Austria

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The web page for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics is at . This has a search facility for past authors and for keywords in the titles of papers.
Instructions to authors are also available from this web site.

Volume 26 appeared in September 2002. The contents of all volumes, 1 to 26, are listed at the above web page.

Submissions to the AJC may be sent to . Electronic submissions are encouraged. For paper submissions, please check the web page.

The Australasian Journal of Combinatorics is published by the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia Inc.

Deadline for next issue of this Newsletter: 31 January, 2003.
Elizabeth Billington, Dept Maths, University of Queensland, Qld 4072.
Fax: +61 7 3365 1477