2003 Mathematics Workshop

Mathematics Workshop

New Plymouth

January 4-11, 2003

(image thanks to Nigel, © Del Surf)

This year the annual NZMRI summer workshop will be based this year 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). Note for overseas visitors.

The topic for New Plymouth (2003), will be:

Combinatorics and Combinatorial Aspects of Biology

although this will be interpreted broadly. As usual, families are invited to come. We especially encourage New Zealand graduate and senior students, and ask that most of the talks be directed at a graduate student level. The standard format is that we have lectures in the morning, the afternoons are left free for individual pursuits, families, sightseeing, mathematical discussions, and the like, and we have lectures in the early evening after dinner. There will also be one day off (traditionally Wednesday).


We have a stellar group of speakers, all of whom are world renowned mathematicians and computer scientists, and very fine speakers. We have asked that the speakers give a series of 2-3 lectures for this workshop, with the first two being easily accessibly to graduate students.

Our speakers currently include (in no particular order):

A preliminary timetable is now available.

The primary organisers are Geoff Whittle and Rod Downey of Victoria University. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail either Geoff or Rod.

The talks will be excellent, the mathematics will be fascinating, the weather will be fine, the mountain climbing exhausting, the surf will be up and the wind will blow for whoever may take an interest in windsurfing. Couldn't be better.


Talks will start 9am Sunday 5 Jan, and finish midday Saturday 11 Jan. Wednesday will be free. For the gung ho, David Gauld may be leading a climb to the top of Mt Taranaki on that day (but this will be dependent on conditions on the day). We are expecting people to arrive on 4 Jan, and depart on the afternoon of 11 Jan.

At this stage we would like to know who is definitely planning to attend. If you are planning to come you should email Geoff, letting him know your arrival and departure dates and how many family members will be accompanying you.

As we are trying to keep the numbers down, it will basically be first come first served. However we need to know if you are coming by the end of October at the very latest. We are planning to make final accommodation bookings in early November.


The NZMRI covers the cost of accommodation, lunches and dinners (except Wednesday) for everyone but we expect some donation to help cover costs from attendees outside New Zealand who are not speakers (see below). We also cover the cost of travel for New Zealand graduate students.

For overseas attendees and families who are not students we ask that they cover their own local costs via a donation to the NZMRI. Similarly for NZ attendees with families we ask for a donation to the NZMRI (tax deductible) of $300. Some of you may be able to use research grants to help defray local costs. Since our resources are limited it would be great if you could do that.


Accommodation has mostly been booked. Please see here to see where you are staying. A map of the appropriate part of New Plymouth can be found here.

Other Stuff

We have an e-mail list which will be used to make announcements as the conference approaches. If you wish to be on the list, e-mail Geoff.

World Scientific have information on several books and journals that may be of interest.

Overseas visitors: New Zealand is an island nation, and New Plymouth is on the west coast, which faces the prevailing winds. This can make the climate somewhat variable. As such, despite the fact that the conference is being held in summer, we advise bringing some warm, dry clothes and wet weather gear, just in case. [this especially applies if you are interested in attempting Mount Taranaki]. (note that using umbrellas in New Zealand requires special skills for coping with the wind, and is a chancy business at best) Think Seattle, as a North American equivalent (except smaller).

Other Conferences

  • Otago University is organising a Bioinformatics conference, to be held in Te Papa, Wellington, from February 13th to the 14th. Their web page is here.

  • The Annual New Zealand Phylogenetics Meeting is being held this year in Kaikoura, from February the 9th to the 14th.

  • The 2004 summer workshop is already being planned: It will be held in Nelson from January 3 - 10, with the topic: Computational Algebra, Number Theory and Geometry. Speaking:

    • John Cannon (Sydney)
    • John Conway (Princeton)
    • Hendrik Lenstra (Berkeley / Leiden)
    • Peter Neumann (Oxford)
    • Karl Rubin (Stanford)
    • Charles Sims (Rutgers)
  • World Scientific have a list of upcoming conferences around the world.

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