Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
OCT
31

Hunter Branch News: October 2020

Image of Newcastle, NSW The Hunter Branch of the Society has just published an update of the events conducted this year and the work undertaken by its Branch Committee during 2020.

The next event organised by the Branch will be the lecture by Professor Tony Capon of Monash University titled “Planetary Health: Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocence Epoch”, postponed from March 2020, and to be held on Wednesday, 2 December 2020 via a Zoom webinar.   

SEP
28

Changing of the guard at the Society's Hunter Branch

Professor George WillisProfessor George Willis FRSN FAA, an ARC Laureate Fellow at the University of Newcastle, has joined the Council of the Royal Society of NSW as the representative of the Hunter Branch.  This follows the decision by Emerita Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM FRSN FAA to step down from the Council, although continuing on as Secretary of the Hunter Branch.

Professor Willis, who is Treasurer of the Hunter Branch, was born in 1954 in Adelaide and lived there for the next 23 years. Growing up, he enjoyed bushwalking, fishing, science, reading and learning, and he was inspired by the Apollo program. His studies led to a BSc (Hons) from the University of Adelaide, received in 1977, and then to research in mathematics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, for which he was awarded a PhD in 1981. Following postdoctoral positions at universities in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, he moved to Newcastle, Australia, in 1992 to be a lecturer in mathematics. He married Catherine in 1979 and they have one daughter.

George finds it enormously satisfying that — by using logic and imagination in powerful, and often beautiful and unexpected ways — mathematics extends our brains’ natural capabilities to new domains. His work uses algebraic methods in combination with precise formulations of intuition about space, symmetry, randomness, approximation and continuity. He has discovered fundamental structure in, and produced new insights about, (potentially) infinite networks, of which family trees and data structures are examples.

Currently an ARC Laureate Fellow, George is extending his exploration of network symmetry with a team of students and postdoctoral fellows. He continues to enjoy learning and now, in addition to learning from his own experience, he sees the world through the eyes of his grandsons as well.

AUG
02

July 2020 Events now on YouTube

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor and Pia Ednie-BownEvents held online during July 2020 by the Royal Society of NSW are now available on our YouTube channel.  These are the lecture presented at the1284th Ordinary General Meeting by Ms Elizabeth Ann McGregor OBE FRSN (Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art) on the evening of 8 July 2020, and the lecture presented at the meeting of the Hunter Branch on 29 July by Professor Pia Ednie-Brown.  

Ms Macgregor spoke on “Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis”, while Professor Ednie-Brown addressed Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality.

All online events conducted recently by the Society are available on YouTube and are accessible from the Presentation and Forum pages of the Society’s website.

FEB
29

Hunter Branch News: February/March 2020

Image of Newcastle, NSW The Hunter Branch has just announced its second event for the year, a lecture by Professor Tony Capon of Monash University titled “Planetary Health: Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocence Epoch”, to be held at Newcastle City Hall on 25 March. 

Also, a report on the Branch’s first meeting of the year (31 January) that included a presentation  by Professor Ryan Loxton (Curtin University), titled “Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action”, has just been published.

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