Celebrating 50 years of the National Mathematics Summer School

2 January 2018

Every January, when ANU empties of uni students, Australia’s brightest young mathematicians arrive.

From all over the country, they come for the National Mathematics Summer School, and after two weeks of intense learning, networking, and socialising, they leave on their way to become the maths giants of tomorrow.

In 1986, an eight year-old boy from Adelaide was among them: Terence Tao, who went on to win the Fields Medal, known as the Nobel Prize of maths.

Other National Mathematics Summer School alumni populate the highest tier of mathematicians working around the world in both academia and industry.

Each year one of these 3,000 alumni is invited to return to deliver an address. In 2018, the speaker is Dr Julian Gibbons, who has a PhD from Imperial College London and is now Senior Analyst at Google.

Nobel Prize-winner and ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt will also be speaking to the students.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the summer school, a proud achievement for what’s been called a “national asset”.

Professor Peter Bouwknegt from the ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute says the National Mathematics Summer School is "not only a great opportunity to play with mathematics outside a regular school context, but also a chance to make like-minded friends for life." 

Also taking place on the ANU campus over summer are the Canberra International Physics Summer School and the National Youth Science Forum

The National Mathematics Summer School is supported by the Larry Blakers Endowment.