Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation

Newsletter, October 2010

What Is The Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation?

The Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation (CMSC) is a new Centre located within the UWA School of Mathematics and Statistics. Directed by 2009 WA Scientist of the Year Prof 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

The Centre's formation means several new appointments have been made:
  • W/Prof Cheryl Praeger - Centre Director
  • Prof Cai Heng Li - Deputy Director
  • Asst/Prof John Bamberg - Web Editor
  • Brian Corr - Newsletter Editor
The following people have been appointed to the CMSC Advisory Board:

SymOmega: "just another maths blog"

SymOmega is a mathematical blog run by three of the CMSC's Mathematicians, Michael Giudici, John Bamberg and Gordon Royle. They frequently post updates on news within the school as well as mathematical breakthroughs and introductory material for those interested in the kind of maths researched within the Centre. Visit SymOmega at symomega.wordpress.com, and be sure to comment!


Fourth Pythagorean Conference

Several members of the CMSC attended the Fourth Pythagorean Conference, and Advanced Workshop in Geometry, Combinatorial Designs & Cryptology in Corfu, Greece on May 30th-June 4th, 2010. Centre Director Prof. Cheryl Praeger presented a plenary talk. Other attendees from the Centre were Prof. Alice Niemeyer, Dr Alice Devillers and Dr Pablo Spiga. Dr Alice Devillers also lectured on her work. For more information see http://brain.math.fau.edu/~pythag4/.

Combinatorics 2010

Dr Alice Devillers attended the Combinatorics 2010 conference in Verbania, Italy, from June 27th - July 3rd, 2010. She presented a 20-minute talk on Locally s-Distance Transitive Graphs.

Incontro Nazionale di Algebra Moderna (INdAM) 2010

Dr Pablo Spiga visited his home country of Italy for this conference in Rome from May 24th-28th. He presented a talk entitled `Synchronising, Separating and Spreading Groups: an Overview'. For more information visit http://www.dima.unige.it/~conca/Indam/Indam2010.html (Warning: Website is in Italian!).

Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society

Several members of the CMSC will attend the 54th annual Meeting of the AustMS at the University of Queensland St Lucia campus from 27th-30th September. Centre Director W/Prof Cheryl Praeger will present the 1st annual Hanna Neumann Lecture.

Symmetries of graphs and networks

Prof Cai Heng Li, A/Prof Michael Giudici, and PhD student Carmen Amarra will all present lectures at this workshop in Rogla, Slovenia from August 1st-6th. For more information see http://www.famnit.upr.si/sl/konference/sygn.

AMSI Graduate Winter School

PhD students Carmen Amarra, Wei Jin, and Hua Zhang and recently completed Honours student Andrew Cannon all attended the AMSI 2010 Graduate Theme Program in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Queensland, 5-16 July. This year's theme was Graphs, Networks and Designs. See http://www.maths.uq.edu.au/AMSI-AGTP/faq.html

Recent Visitors

Frank De Clerck, Ghent University (December/January)
Nicola Durante, University of Naples (December/January)
Guillermo Pineda-Villavencio, University of Ballarat (January/February)
Tim Boykett, Johannes Kepler Universitat (February)
Akos Seress, Ohio State University (January/February)
Gabriel Verret, University of Ljubljana (Feb/March/April)
Jeroen Schillewaert, University of Canterbury (April)
Nick Gill, University of Bristol (May, July)
Brian Alspach, University of Newcastle (May)
Harald Helfgott, University of Bristol (September)
Mehdi Behzad, Sharif University (July)

Upcoming visits

Anton Betten, Colorado State University (August - January)
Alexander Hulpke, Colorado State University (October)
Jan Saxl, Cambridge (December)
Martin Liebeck, Imperial College, London (December)


  1. Bamberg, J and De Clerck, F.  "A geometric construction of Mathon's perp-system from four lines of PG(5,3)", to appear in Journal of Combinatorial Designs, http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123291893/PDFSTART
  2. Bamberg, J., Giudici, M, and Royle, G. F. "Every flock generalised quadrangle has a hemisystem", to appear in the Bulletin of the London Math. Soc. http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.2574
  3. Bamberg, J., Giudici, M. "Point regular automorphism groups of generalised quadrangles", submitted. http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.2250
  4. A. Azad, M. A. Iranmanesh, C. E. Praeger, P. Spiga "Abelian coverings of finite general linear groups and an application to their non-commuting graph", submitted to the Journal of the London Math. Soc. http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.3402
  5. Alice Devillers, Michael Giudici, Cai Heng Li and Cheryl E.~Praeger, "Locally $s$-distance transitive graphs", submitted http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.2274
  6. Alice Devillers, Michael Giudici, Cai Heng Li and Cheryl E.~Praeger, "An infinite family of biquasiprimitive 2-arc transitive cubic graphs", submitted
  7. Ashraf Daneshkhah, Alice Devillers and Cheryl E.~Praeger, "Symmetry properties of Subdivision Graphs", submitted
  8. Alice Devillers, Michael Giudici, Cai Heng Li, Geoffrey Pearce and Cheryl E.~Praeger, "On imprimitive rank 3 permutation groups", submitted http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.2272
  9. Silvio Dolfi, Marcel Herzog and Cheryl E Praeger, A new solvability criterion for finite groups. http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.5394
  10. Simon Guest and Cheryl E. Praeger, Proportions of elements with given 2-part order in finite classical groups of odd characteristic. http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.2983


- Nick Gill (University of Bristol) presented a series of three lectures on Growth in Groups at the SMS on May 4th, 11th and 14th, and another series on July 21st,24th and 27th. The lectures were very entertaining and well attended. More information (including lecture notes) can be found at http://www.maths.bris.ac.uk/~manpg/australia.html.
- Professor Mehdi Behzad (Sharif University, Iran) visited from the 11th-18th July and present two lectures, the first a general colloquium entitled "The King and the Mathematician", discussing a generalisation of an old logic puzzle.
- Professor Akos Seress will arrived on the 22nd of July to take up his ARC Australian Professional Fellowship.
- Sabina Pannek (nee Groth) arrived on June 30th as a co-tutelle PhD Student. Her PhD will be jointly taken at UWA and at RWTH Aachen, Germany, under the supervision of Gerhard Hiss (Aachen), Cheryl Praeger (UWA) and Alice Niemeyer (UWA). Sabina completed Honours at UWA in 2006-07 under the supervision of Cheryl Praeger and Alice Niemeyer, with a thesis titled "Generating Classical Groups".
- Andrew Cannon completed his Honours thesis in the first half of 2010, under the supervision of Cheryl Praeger and John Bamberg. He presented a talk on his work on the 24th of May entitled "Generalised Johnson Graphs". Congratulations to Andrew.
- Cai Heng Li will take leave in the second half of 2010. Michael Giudici will take on the role of Acting Deputy Director while he is gone.



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Tuesday, 11 January, 2011 11:25 AM