A maths statistic that sums up UOW’s success

Mar 05, 2007

While recent media reports have detailed declining numbers of students taking mathematics at university level, UOW’s School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics this year has well and truly defied the trend.

The School has attracted 21 honours students which is three times larger than normal intakes.

“Having 21 students outshines even some of the big mathematics departments at metropolitan universities,” according to Dr Mark Nelson, a Senior Lecturer with UOW’s School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics.

The latest available data from the sector in 2006 shows that only the University of Sydney (22 maths honours students), the University of Melbourne (18), Monash University (15) and the University of Queensland (13) had more than 10 honours students.

Dr Nelson attributes UOW's success to a range of factors which include:

* UOW has a four-year Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance degree. This equips students with the combination of a finance background and quantitative skills that provides an excellent springboard for jobs in the finance sector - particularly in Sydney’s CBD. Graduates have been in great demand, particularly those with an honours degree.

* UOW’s statistics group has excellent links with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Statistics students quickly learn the professional advantages in graduating with an honours degree.

* UOW has a Bachelor of Mathematics (Advanced) degree that attracts some of the top mathematics students from across the state. During their second and third years they undertake research projects. This whets their appetites for undertaking an honoursyear.

* UOW has research strength in statistics, applied mathematics, pure mathematics and financial mathematics. The University can supervise a wide range of projects so students do not have to move elsewhere to find an exciting project for their honours year.



Setting mathematics records … Dr Mark Nelson (foreground) is pictured with 19 of the record 21 honours students undertaking mathematics at UOW this year

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