Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation

Newsletter, October 2011

What is the Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation?

The Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation (CMSC) is a Centre located within the UWA School of Mathematics and Statistics. Directed by 2009 WA Scientist of the Year Professor Cheryl Praeger, we provide a focus for mathematical research and research training in the areas of group theory, combinatorics and computation, to give mathematics the increased visibility it deserves. For more information visit www.cmsc.uwa.edu.au

New appointments

New appointments:
  • Simon Guest and Sukru Yalcinkaya have joined the Centre. They will be in Perth from September to December 2011.
  • Sylvia Ozols, from Adelaide, has started a PhD under the supervision of John Bamberg and Michael Giudici.


SymOmega is a mathematical blog run by three of the CMSC's Mathematicians, Michael Giudici, John Bamberg and Gordon Royle. Read about their recent trips to conferences.


Find in one click all the publications of our members that are deposited on the Arxiv: Arxiv .


Groups and Semigroups: Interactions and Computations, 25-29 July 2011

Cheryl Praeger and Akos Seress gave invited talks, on 'Finding Involutions in finite classical groups and symmetric groups' and 'Constructive recognition of linear groups in all characteristics' respectively. Brian Corr gave a contributed talk. The conference was held at Universidade De Lisboa, Portugal. Website.

Workshop for Computational group theory, 31 July - 06 August 2011

Cheryl Praeger gave a talk entitled 'Element proportions in finite groups' at the Mathematics Institute, Oberwolfach. Alice Niemeyer, Akos Seress and Brian Corr also attended. Website.

Summer school on Computational group theory, 8-12 August 2011

Alice Niemeyer was an organiser and also one of the main lecturers at this summer school, held in Germany, which was attended by Brian Corr. Website.

Beijing International Workshop on Group actions on Combinatorial Structure, 21-27 August 2011

Cai-Heng Li gave a keynote talk on 'Classifying 2-arc-transitive graphs of square-free order' and Michael Giudici gave an invited talk on 'Normal and non-normal Cayley graphs arising from generalised quadrangles'.

Australian Mathematical Society Conference, 26-29 September 2011

In Wollongong, this conference was attended by Cheryl Praeger, Akos Seress, Alice Devillers and Michael Giudici. Cheryl Praeger participated as a panel member at the National Committee for Mathematical Sciences forum and women's lunch, and gave a talk entitled 'Normal coverings of finite symmetric and alternating group'. Two talks were given by Michael Giudici at the 55th AustMS Annual Meeting in Wollongong: 'Generalised quadrangles with a group acting primitively on points and lines' in the Algebra and Number Theory session, and 'Wallpaper, crystals and symmetry' at the Education afternoon. Alice Devillers gave a talk 'On quasiprimitive rank 3 permutation groups' and organised the Combinatorics session. Akos Seress gave a talk 'Disconnected colors in generalized Gallai colorings'. Website.

Moyal Medal/Lecture, October 26 2011

Cheryl Praeger will receive the 2011 Moyal Medal, and will deliver the Moyal Lecture on 'Symmetry, group actions, and the meaning of life' at Macquarie University. Website.

Victorian Algebra Conference, December 01-02 2011

Michael Giudici and John Bamberg will be attending the annual Victorian Algebra Conference, held this time at La Trobe University.

ACCMCC, December 05-09 2011

John Bamberg, Michael Giudici, Cheryl Praeger, Gordon Royle and Akos Seress will be attending this conference at Monash University. Cheryl will give an invited lecture: 'Symmetry of codes and graphs'. Website.

Recent visitors

  • Max Neunhoeffer, University of St Andrews, August-September 2011.
  • Tim Burness, University of Southampton, 05-16 September 2011.
  • Akshay Venkatesh (Stanford University) was hosted by Michael Giudici and Cheryl Praeger, as Professor-at-Large of The Institute of Advanced Studies, in August 2011.


  • Hassan Alavi graduated on September 13 with his PhD on "Triple Factorisations of groups" [supervisors John Bamberg and Cheryl E Praeger]. Hassan visited for two months leading up to this, to write two papers on work arising from his thesis.
  • Neil Gillespie submitted his thesis "Neighbour transitive codes" in August. Supervised by Cheryl Praeger.
  • Hua Zhang's PhD thesis "Finite Primitive Permutation Groups with Soluble Stablizers and Applications to Graph Theory" was passed in October 2011 [Supervised by Cai Heng Li and Cheryl Praeger]
  • Professor Cheryl Praeger (University of Western Australia) was an Invited Lecturer at the Fifth de Brún Workshop, held at National University of Ireland, Galway, April 11-16 this year. She kindly agreed to be interviewed by two of the workshop organizers. The interview could be of interest to a general mathematical or broader audience. A video of the interview is available. See also the following article.
  • Alice Devillers is now part of the permanent staff of the Centre, as Associate Professor.
  • John Bamberg has been promoted Associate Professor.
  • Alice Devillers is the new WA representative on the Standing Committee on Education of the Australian Mathematical Society.
  • Akos Seress gave the London Algebra Colloquium on 30 June 2011 on 'Computations of centralizers of involutions'.
  • Cheryl Praeger participated in a seminar at RWTH Aachen University: 'Conditions for solubility of finite groups', on 21 July 2011.
  • Alice Devillers and John Bamberg visited Philippe Cara at Vrij University, Brussels in July 2011. They both gave a seminar talk during this visit.
  • Alice Devillers visited Reidun Twarock at the University of York in July 2011.
  • Michael Giudici visited Tim Burness in Southampton in July and Jing Xu at Capital Normal University, Beijing, in September.


Published papers

  1. S. Hassan Alavi and Cheryl E. Praeger. On triple factorisations of finite groups. J. Group Theory 14, 341-360.
  2. Daniela Bubboloni and Cheryl E Praeger. Normal coverings of finite symmetric and alternating groups). J. Combin. Theory, Series A. 118, 2000-2024. [In the SciVerse ScienceDirect Top 25 for April-June 2011, in J. Combin. Theory Series A]
  3. Timothy C. Burness, Michael Giudici and Robert A. Wilson, Prime order derangements in primitive permutation groups, J. Algebra 341 (2011), 158-178
  4. N. Mehta, A. Seress: Connected, bounded degree, triangle avoidance games, Electronic J. Combinatorics (2011) no. 1, Paper 193, 37 pp.
  5. A. Seress, E. Swartz: A note on the girth-doubling construction of polygonal graphs, J. Graph Theory (2011), 246-254.

Accepted papers

  1. N. Ankaralioglu, A. Seress: Computing tensor decompositions of finite matrix groups, Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science.
  2. T. Burness, C. Praeger, A. Seress: Extremely primitive classical groups, J. Pure and Applied Algebra.
  3. R. Gray, H. D. Macpherson, Cheryl E. Praeger and G. F. Royle. Set-homogeneous directed graphs. J. Combin. Theory, Series B.
  4. A. A. Ivanov, A. Seress: Majorana representations of $A_5$, Mathematische Zeitschrift.
  5. N. Mehta, A. Seress: Bounded degree, triangle avoidance graph games, Graphs and Combinatorics.
  6. C. Praeger, A. Seress: Regular semi simple elements and involutions in finite general linear groups of odd characteristic. Proc. AMS.
  7. A. Seress, T.-L. Wong, X. Zhu: Distinguishing labeling of the actions of almost simple groups, Combinatorica.

Submitted papers

  1. S. Hassan Alavi, John Bamberg and Cheryl E. Praeger. Bisections versus subspaces: geometric completeness.
  2. John Bamberg and Nicola Durante, Low dimensional models of the split Cayley hexagon.
  3. Jing Chen, Cai Heng Li, and Weijun Liu, On Isomorphisms of vertex-transitive graphs.
  4. Silvio Dolfi, R. M. Guralnick, Cheryl E. Praeger and Pablo Spiga. Coprime sub degrees for primitive permutation groups and completely reducible linear groups.
  5. S. Fujita, A. Guy, C. Magnant, A. Seress: Disconnected colors in generalized Gallai colorings.
  6. H. Helfgott, A. Seress: On the diameter of permutation groups.
  7. Cai Heng Li, Shu Jiao Song and Dian Jun Wang, A characteriaztion of metacirculants.
  8. Geoffrey Pearce and Cheryl E. Praeger. Rank 3 transitive decompositions of complete multipartite graphs.
  9. P. Puliyambalath, A. Seress, I. Weisz: All lambda-designs with small lambda are type-1.


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Sunday, 23 October, 2011 8:41 PM