Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation

Newsletter, September 2013

September 2013 newsletter of the Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation

The Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation is a Centre located within the UWA School of Mathematics and Statistics. 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.

New appointments

  • In September, Joanna Fawcett started a 2 year position as a Research Associate, funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant awarded to John Bamberg, Alice Devillers, and Cheryl Praeger.


  • The Centre held its second annual retreat from June 3rd to 5th 2013. There were 20 people attending (staff, graduate students and visitors), which is a testament to the strong growth of the Centre.
  • Gordon Royle took over as Director from Cheryl Praeger on  August 1st 2013.
  • Neil Gillespie took up a position at Bristol University, United Kingdom.
  • Dan Hawtin had his research proposal approved. Michael Giudici will replace Neil Gillespie as Dan Hawtinís co-supervisor, alongside Cheryl Praeger, and Neil will continue as an external supervisor.
  • Sylvia Morris' M.Sc. thesis, titled "Symplectic translation planes, pseudo-ovals, and maximal 4-arcs" and supervised by John Bamberg and Michael Giudici, was submitted.
  • Brian Corr's Ph.D. thesis, titled "Estimation and Computation with Matrices over Finite Fields" and supervised by Cheryl Praeger and Ákos Seress, was accepted and he has been awarded a "Lift Off Scholarship" of the Australian Mathematical Society.

Recent and upcoming visitors

  • Marzieh Akbari, K.N Toosi University of Technology, Iran, 1 March - 1 October 2013.
  • David Glynn, Flinders University, Australia, 23-28 June 2013.
  • Adel Alahmadi, King Abdulazziz University, Saudi Arabia, 26 June - 9 July 2013.
  • Akshay Venkatesh, Stanford University, USA, September 2013. Lectures.
  • Sinai Robins,  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 8-11 October 2013.
  • Dugald MacPherson, University of Leeds, UK, 9 February - 2 March 2014.
  • Pablo Spiga, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, February - September 2014.


  • On July 17th, John Bamberg and Stephen Glasby encouraged a hundred year 10, 11, 12 high school students to study mathematics at UWA.
  • In August, John Bamberg represented the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences in a tour of schools in the Kimberley region as part of the "UWA Gives Back Tour". (Press release)
  • On September 11th, Gabriel Verret gave an introductory talk on algebraic graph theory to the undergraduate students of the Department of Mathematics of Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences in China.
  • On September 13th, Alice Devillers, Michael Giudici and Stephen Glasby graded the Blaker's mathematics competition.


SymOmega is a mathematical blog run by three CMSC Mathematicians, Michael Giudici, John Bamberg and Gordon Royle.


Matroid computation meeting, La Vacquerie, France, 24-28 June, 2013.

Irene Pivotto and Gordon Royle gave talks.

Banff International Research Station Workshop on Permutation Groups, Banff, Canada, 21-26 July, 2013.

Cheryl Praeger was one of the organisers. Alice Devillers, Joanna Fawcett, Luke Morgan, Simon Smith and Gabriel Verret gave talks.

Groups St Andrews 2013, St Andrews, United Kingdom, 3-11 August, 2013.

Stephen Glasby, Mark Ioppolo, Simon Smith and Eric Swartz gave talks.

Second International Conference on Group Actions and Transitive Graphs, Kunming, China, 4-9 September, 2013.

Cai Heng Li organised this conference in honour of Professor Cheryl Praeger's 65th birthday. Alice Devillers, Stephen Glasby and Gabriel Verret gave talks.

Workshop & Summer School on Finite, Padua, Italy, 9-13 September, 2013.

Mark Ioppolo attended.

57th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society, Sydney, Australia, 30 September - 3 October 2013.

John Bamberg is organising the session on Group Actions. Joanna Fawcett, Michael Giudici, Stephen Glasby, Dan Hawtin, Mark Ioppolo, Luke Morgan, Tomasz Popiel, Cheryl Praeger, Simon Smith will be giving talks. Gabriel Verret will also be attending.

Representation Theory in Geometry, Topology and Combinatorics, Melbourne, Australia, 4-7 November 2013.

John Bamberg and Alice Devillers will be giving talks.

Several CMSC members are very busy organising the 37th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing which will be held in Perth, 9-13 December 2013.



All the publications of our members that are deposited on the Arxiv.

Published papers

  1.  L. Babai, S. Guest, C. E. Praeger and R.A. Wilson, Proportions of r-regular elements in finite classical groups.  J. Lond. Math. Soc. 88 (2013), 202-226.
  2. D. Bubboloni, C. E. Praeger and P. Spiga, Normal coverings and pairwise generation of finite alternating and symmetric groups. J. Algebra 390 (2013), 199-215.
  3. A. Devillers, M. Giudici, C. Heng Li and C. E. Praeger, Locally s-distance transitive graphs and pairwise transitive designs. J. Combin. Theory Ser. A. 120 (2013), 1855-1870.
  4. A. Devillers, J. Parkinson and H. Van Maldeghem, Automorphisms and opposition in twin buildings, J. Aust. Math. Soc. 94 (2013),  189-201.
  5. J. B. Fawcett, The base size of a primitive diagonal group. J. Algebra 375 (2013), 302-321.
  6. G. L. Morgan, On symmetric and locally finite actions of groups on the quintic tree. Discrete Math. 313 (2013), 2486-2492.
  7. G. L. Morgan and C. W. Parker, The diameter of the commuting graph of a finite group with trivial centre. J. Algebra 393 (2013), 41-59.
  8. G. Verret, On the order of arc-stabilisers in arc-transitive graphs, II. Bull. Aust. Math. Soc., 87 (2013), 441-447.

Accepted Papers

  1. A. Devillers, W. Jin, and C. Heng Li and C. E. Praeger, On normal 2-geodesic transitive Cayley graphs. Accepted in J. Alg. Combin.
  2. A. Devillers, W. Jin, C. Heng Li and ¡. Seress, Local 2-geodesic transitivity of graphs. Accepted in Ann. of Combin.
  3. S. Guest, J. Morris, C. E. Praeger and P. Spiga, On the maximum orders of elements of finite almost simple groups and primitive permutation groups. Accepted in Trans. Amer. Math. Soc.
  4. A. C. Niemeyer, T. Popiel and C. E. Praeger, Abundant p-singular elements in finite classical groups. Accepted in J. Algebra.

Submitted papers

  1. S. H. Alavi, J. Bamberg and C. E. Praeger, Triple factorisations of the general linear groups and their associated geometries.
  2. E. Dobson, P. Spiga and G. Verret, Cayley graphs on abelian groups. arXiv:1306.3747
  3. M. Giudici, P. Potočnik and G. Verret, Semiregular automorphisms of edge-transitive graphs. arXiv:1306.1971
  4. S. Guest, J. Morris, C.E. Praeger and P. Spiga, Affine transformations of finite vector spaces with large orders or few cycles. arXiv:1306.1368
  5. S. Guest, J. Morris, C. E. Praeger and P. Spiga, Finite primitive permutation groups containing a permutation having at most four cycles. arXiv:1307.6881
  6. W. Imrich, S. M. Smith, T. W. Tucker and M. E. Watkins, Infinite Motion and 2-Distinguishability of Graphs and Groups. arXiv:1304.6436
  7. A. C. Niemeyer, T. Popiel and C. E. Praeger, Straight-line programs with memory and matrix Bruhat decomposition. arXiv:1305.5617
  8. P. Potočnik, P. Spiga and G. Verret, Bounding the order of the vertex-stabiliser in 3-valent vertex-transitive and 4-valent arc-transitive graphs.


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Friday, 27 September, 2013 2:36 PM