Contributed to numeracy questions in the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy)

September 27, 2008

There has been a bit of publicity about the results of the first nation-wide National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test results for school kids in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 (see for the program’s website). These national tests replace the state-based tests (which were in general different) and allow direct comparisons of test results across states.

Something quite nice about this is that I contributed to generating numeracy questions (for the years 7 and 9 tests). Unfortunately the final tests aren’t on the website – it’d be interesting to see the questions that were included in the final tests.

It would be interesting to see how educators use the results of the tests to inform their approaches to education and curriculum development.

Final election results for City of Sydney

September 21, 2008

The election results for the City of Sydney elections held on 13 September 2008 have been finalised (potentially subject to appeals).

The results were:
Lord Mayor: Clover Mayor
Councillors (9):
Clover Moore Independents Team: 5 (up 1)
Greens: 2 (up 1)
ALP: 1 (down 2)
Lib: 1 (no change)
Referendum: was not carried.

Detailed statistics below: Read the rest of this entry »

Brendan Nelson declares Liberal leadership vacant

September 15, 2008

According to this story, Brendan Nelson will declare a spill of his leadership at a meeting of the Liberal Party tomorrow morning. I suspect that he feels he won’t be challenged (consistent with today’s media stories), he’s rolling the dice confidently, or thinks he won’t win a leadership challenge and just wants it over.

Election results for City of Sydney elections

September 15, 2008

As astute watchers of the NSW local government elections would know, Clover Moore and her team of independents won the City of Sydney Council elections. The referendum on wards was lost, meaning that three wards of three councillors each won’t be introduced for the Council elections in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I support wards for the City of Sydney

September 7, 2008

I support the existence of wards in the City of Sydney.

The arguments against usually state that wards promote parochialism and not having a whole-of-Council-area view, while the arguments in favour usually include that having local councillors is more likely to lead to there being at least one councillor with detailed knowledge about each area of the local government.

A key point in these arguments, which is often missed, relates to the accountability of councilllors to voters. Wards promote more directly accountable Councillors, while an undivided Council (i.e. without wards) promotes teams/parties and each Councillor’s election being dependent on their team’s total vote and their position on their team’s ticket (unless they are independents). Read the rest of this entry »

Buy my book on Amazon

September 6, 2008

Yes, you can buy my thesis from Amazon, Woolies and a host of other internet retailers.

I strongly recommend it.

Japanese PM Fukuda to resign

September 1, 2008

CNN has just reported that the Japanese PM Fukuda is to resign. Japanese politics has lacked stability since Koizumi was PM from 2001-2006 – Prime Ministers Abe and Fukuda started reasonably popular but their approval ratings quickly diminished.

Will Koizumi return?

Resubmitted knot theory paper

September 1, 2008

A few days ago I resubmitted my knot theory paper On the uncoloured Uq(osp(1|2n)) and U−q(so(2n + 1)) quantum link invariants to J. Knot Theory and Its Ramifications after giving it a thorough edit and making it much punchier following comments from a referee. I’ve also improved the results.

Essentially, I’ve shown that the Uq(osp(1|2n)) and U−q(so(2n + 1)) quantum link invarints are either identical (which I showed for one class of links) or at least related by an abstract symmetry. I suspect that the link invariants are actually identical for all links.

I’m happy that I’ve resubmitted the paper.