Announced today, Professor Tim Brown will commence as Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) in January 2019.

Currently Professor of Statistical Data Science at the University of Melbourne, Brown brings extensive experience with academic and leadership roles at a number of AMSI’s membership institutions.

His previous roles include Foundation Director of the University of Melbourne’s Statistical Consulting Centre, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Western Australia, Head of Department of Statistics and later Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne, Dean of the Faculty and later College of Science at ANU and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at La Trobe.

With a PhD in theoretical probability from the University of Cambridge, Professor Brown is considered a pioneer in the development of statistical consulting as an important feature of the tertiary mathematics landscape. With research spanning probability theory, statistics and its application to important problems, he has had over 50 publications in refereed journals, numerous reports for various organisations and two school mathematics textbooks.

A passionate collaborator, including with Universität Zürich’s Andrew Barbour and the University of Melbourne’s Aihua Xia, Brown’s applied work has impacted occupational health, car construction and finance for worker’s compensation. Perhaps most significant, however, have been his contributions to Year 12 and tertiary entrance assessments in Victoria and the system for ATAR.

Responding to his appointment, Professor Brown said he was looking forward to working with AMSI, its membership, stakeholders, government and funding partners to further its mission to secure the future health of mathematical sciences education, research and applications in Australia.

“AMSI’s strength is its breadth and depth across education, research and industry. Together with its members, partners and sponsors, the Institute is well positioned to continue helping shape Australia’s future prosperity through even better education, research and mathematical innovation,” he said.

Strengthening mathematics, he believes, starts in the classroom. Reflecting on his own mathematical journey, Professor Brown said it was the influence of a beloved teacher Ken Evans that had profoundly impacted his engagement and love of the subject.

“Teachers have a critical role to inspire student understanding of the universality of mathematics and its applications.  I well remember Ken showing us the beauty of abstraction and logic in Year 11 and 12. To be prepared for the next 50 years of work, today’s students need understanding of fundamental concepts equally with context and applications,” he said.

Chair of the AMSI Board, Dr Ron Sandland AM, said the Institute was excited to welcome Professor Brown as Director at what is an important time for AMSI, its membership and the Australian mathematical sciences.

“Tim shares AMSI’s pipeline vision and understanding of the discipline’s critical role in education, research training, research and industry. We look forward to working with him to continue building AMSI and deepening its impact as the national voice for the mathematical sciences,” said Dr Sandland.


For Interview:
Dr Ron Sandland AM
Professor Tim Brown

Media Contact:
Laura Watson

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