Federal Govt – Singapore Airlines – private benefit from public decisions

February 25, 2006

The federal government has recently decided to not allow Singapore Airlines to compete with Qantas on the Sydney-Los Angeles air route.

It seems a bit odd that a private company can potentially benefit from a government decision, which seems, at face-value, to be limiting competition from another large carrier.

This raises another point – people often complain and ask for compensation when public bodies take actions that reduce the value of private property. But when public bodies make decisions that increase the value of private property, people take the increased value quite happily – which seems a little assymetrical.


International Congress of Mathematicians, 2006

February 12, 2006

The International Congress of Mathematicians is being held 22-30 August, 2006, in Madrid. It is the pre-eminent mathematical congress, and is put on every two years. Here’s a link: http://www.icm2006.org/

I’m planning on going to give a short talk on my thesis work and extensions to it – I’ll pay for it out of my own pocket and annual leave if work isn’t willing to. Lucky academics – they often get funding to go to conferences as its part of their job!

blog blog blogggggg…..

February 9, 2006

Part of the reason I started up this blog was to keep my mind on real maths – if I’m going to have a chance of staying in that game then I need to keep on thinking/researching mathematics.

It’s hard to find time to do this amongst everything there is to do in life, especially as full-time work tries to fill your mind with its concerns to the extent that it can.

I’ve obtained a little result about the Hecke algebra and spinor representations of the quantum superalgebra Uq(osp(1|2)) – I think I should write it up. 

Finishing a PhD

February 9, 2006

In January 2005 I started a full-time job writing math questions for tertiary entrance, and for secondary and primary school students – on reflection, though, it was a mistake to work full-time, as I was nearing the end of my PhD thesis. I submitted my thesis in April 2005, and in the two months before submission I was effectively doing two full-time jobs – it was insane! I was working in a new fairly full-on job during the day, and then going to uni and working till about midnight on average (a few days I worked till after 1am).

Don’t do it! While we all need money to live, you need free time to study, especially when you’re completing a thesis. At most, work part-time if at all possible.


Reaction to the Danish cartoons

February 9, 2006

The reaction to the Danish cartoons seems very strange to me – ok – let’s assume that governments are behind some of the demonstrations. To the rest of the demonstrators I say – they’re just cartoons.

Books and magazines I’m reading

February 9, 2006

At the moment I’m reading
1. The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins – it’s very interesting, I havn’t read any of his work before, and
2. Climate Change, by Barrie Pittock (formerly of the CSIRO) – which also looks like a good read – but I’ll probably finish The Ancestor’s Tale before reading this one.

Late last year I read A Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson, which Bec gave me for my birthday. It’s fantastic – great popular science writing.

Last year I bought Roger Penroses’ The road to reality – a complete guide to the laws of the universe – a fantastic book, although tough going if you don’t have a background in physics! The title is a little cheeky, but hey, there isn’t enough humour in the world, so I’m all for it.

I also subscribe to National Geographic magazine and to Scientific American as well as well as an environmental magazine the CSIRO puts out.

Some other maths papers I’ve looked at

February 9, 2006

My friend Tel is near the end-game of his PhD (his supervisor is Mark Gould) – he is going to write it up soon – good luck Tel! And he’s published a paper with Mark (well, on the Archive):

Some Twisted Results: http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/math.QA/0504184

The Australian Mathematical Society Gazette recently published the 3rd paper on election timing by D. Lesmono and Elliot Tonkes (up at Qld Uni), entitled A continuous time model for election timing http://www.austms.org.au/Publ/Gazette/2005/Nov05/ .

This paper appears to be an application of financial mathematical techniques and statistics to a toy model of Prime Ministers/Premiers calling an election in a political system such as the Australian House of Representatives.