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Friday, 12 March 2010 01:05

CSIRO counts on mathematics in future


Australia's national scientific research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), is multiplying its efforts to add mathematical interest among its country's students as Australia sees a greater need for mathematicians through 2013.

In the March 11, 2010 CSIRO press release 'CSIRO tackling Australia's maths crisis,' the organization is highlighting the study of mathematics in Australia by announcing the Group of Eight Universities' (Go8) report entitled 'Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines.'

The Group of Eight Universities (Go8) is a coalition of eight major universities in Australia whose aim is to improve the quality of education in Australia for its overall betterment.

The Go8 includes the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, and Monash University.

In the CSIRO report, the Go8 report found that the ''¦ state of the mathematical and quantitative sciences in Australia has; 'deteriorated to a dangerous level, and continues to deteriorate'.'

According to the Go8 report, from 2001 to 2007 the percentage of mathematics majors in Australia's colleges declined by about 15%.

And, the number of students taking advanced mathematics courses also declined, going down by 27% from 1995 to 2007.

However, according to the Go8 report, the demand for mathematics majors in Australian professional fields is predicted to increase by 3.5% annually through the year 2013.

Page two continues with information on downloading the Go8 report, along with conclusions made within the report and comments from one of its authors.

The Go8 report can be downloaded as a pdf file from the Go8 webpage 'Group of Eight Releases Maths Report.' [Updated 3/15/2010, it now works!]

Dr. Louise Ryan, the head of CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics, and one of the authors of the Go8 report, stated, 'CSIRO is doing what it can to improve the situation, from inspiring interest in maths among school students to encouraging Australia's next generation of mathematicians and statisticians.'

The drive by CSIRO is targeted to increase interest within the students of Australia in the areas of mathematics, statistics, and computational sciences.

Dr. Ryan explains why maths is so important to Australia. She states, 'Quality maths graduates are crucial to CSIRO research. Our mathematicians and statisticians are the foundation for our science, delivering results for mining and manufacturing, health, human services and the environment."

And, 'For Australia to be at the forefront of science and business, we need to do more to increase the nation's output of talented young people in the mathematical sciences.'

One of the current CSIRO projects involving mathematics include Mathematicians in Schools, a program that provides mathematicians to schools so they have the chance to talk about their work with students--and possibly aspiring young mathematicians.

Page three continues with further programs involving maths from CSIRO.

Another CSIRO program is its Graduate Fellows program, which give honor graduates in mathematics and statistics a chance to '... test-drive a research career in CSIRO before deciding whether to go into the workforce or study for a PhD.'

A new program being developed by CSIRO Education is Maths by Email, which is a partnership with the Australian Mathematical Science Institute.

Maths by Email provides a email newsletter to students and their parents with '... hands-on activities and articles showing the intriguing ways maths can solve problems.'

As mentioned earlier, CSIRO is predicting a 3.5% annual growth in the demand for mathematical graduates to fill mathematical positions left vacant by retiring professionals.

Dr. Ryan concludes by saying, 'It's really important we maintain student interest through secondary school, providing students and teachers with resources to help them understand the role of maths in today's world.'

Page four concludes with the importance to mathematics to Australia, and to all countries of the world.

Mathematics is the cornerstone'”the foundation'”for any professional career in the sciences, engineering, and technology.

Such traditional fields as medicine, aeronautics and aerospace, meteorology, and manufacturing rely on mathematics, as do such non-traditional fields as computer gaming and video entertainment.

If you want a career to help clean up our environment, you'll need to take classes in mathematics. If a career in the health field, as a doctor or nurse, is important to you, then mathematics should also be very important in your studies.

In fact, mathematics is important for any life and any career choice because without a good knowledge of basic mathematics, it is difficult to function at home and at work.

Do the math '¦ it counts for a strong person and a robust society!


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