EViMS: Workshop on the Effective Use of Visualization in the Mathematical Sciences
23 – 25 November, 2012
NOTICE: Abstracts are now available. See below
NOTICE: Draft programme is now available. See below
The Effective Use of Visualization in the Mathematical Sciences
We shall hold a 3-day workshop in November 2012 in Newcastle on more effective use of visualization
in mathematics, physics, and statistics from the perspectives of education, research, and outreach.
We hope to come to a more optimistic conclusion than Faraday.
"A truly popular lecture cannot teach, and a lecture that truly teaches cannot be popular. ... The most prominent requisite to a lecturer, though
perhaps not really the most important, is a good delivery; for though to all true philosophers science and nature will have charms innumerably in every
dress, yet I am sorry to say that the generality of mankind cannot accompany us one short hour unless the path is strewed with flowers."
Background and Objective
Visualization is used widely in the sciences and engineering, and indeed in the humanities, as a
powerful and in many cases indispensable tool in the practice and teaching of those disciplines and
in the communication of information to appropriate stakeholders. Such fields as nanotechnology and
biotechnology, especially, exploit and demand visualization techniques of ever greater
sophistication, exciting the enthusiasm of their stakeholders and indeed of the educated citizen who
follows their progress.
Yet despite its fundamental dependence on relevant mathematical algorithms, the exploitation of
visualization in the mathematical sciences themselves falls far short of its demonstrated potential.
There is enough accumulated experience to assure us that by exploiting visualization more effectively
we can make our subject matter more engaging to the consumer and also catalyse fertile research
opportunities that traditional computational techniques are unlikely to expose. Mathematicians gain
new insights by visualizing numbers in various ways, e.g., by viewing large matrices and pictures or
by mapping the digits of numbers such as Pi to walks of certain kinds. More sophisticated tools are
needed for such exploits.
While different stakeholders would like to see their tools used more widely, in many cases the
tools that are available are not being propagated beyond the aficionados who have the motivation to
seek them out and apply them productively in their specific field. This situation tends to create a
kind of an elite and thereby a continuing perception that facility with those tools is orthogonal to,
rather than an integral component of, one's expertise in a particular science. Visualization has not
yet become part of the mainstream of the mathematical sciences, despite its universal recognition as
a vital cognitive mechanism.
On that premise the workshop will bring together leading representatives of universities and
schools, CSIRO, IBM, and other parts of the public and private sectors, to explore how our common
objective of maintaining and improving the health of the mathematical sciences can be furthered
through better use of visualization as offered by modern graphics and other capabilities, and aided
by the continuing operation of Moore's Law. As the use of visualization consequently becomes more
pervasive and mainstream, the hope and indeed the expectation is that demand and supply will generate
each other in an ongoing cycle that delivers an impressive portfolio of tools, attracting the
positive attention of funding sources and promising sustained benefits to our work.
Contributions are sought from both producers and consumers of visualization tools on ways in
which their use can enhance the effectiveness of research and development, teaching, and outreach in
the mathematical sciences. For example, we would like to hear from mathematicians on what their
research can offer in terms of new and more powerful visualization tools, and from representatives of
the research and teaching communities on what opportunities they see for the fertile use of
visualization in their specific environments, and in reaching out to their wider communities. We are
also interested in seeing case studies where demonstrable outcomes have been achieved that are at
least partly attributable to the use of visualization.
This meeting is also intended to start a discourse and to explore future avenues for resourcing
The first day will be a plenary session involving all participants. The second/third day will be a satellite meeting for technologists and researchers.
Jon Borwein (CARMA), Richard Vella (Newcastle), Louise Ryan (CSIRO, UTS), Michael Barnsley (ANU/MSI), Glenn Wightwick (IBM), Geoff Prince (AMSI), Jennifer Seberry (University of Wollongong), Judy-anne Osborn (CARMA)
Further details of talks are also available on the abstracts page
Friday, 23rd November: Main Workshop: V109
|12:00 — 13:00||Sandwich lunch|
|13:00 — 13:45||Maths Visualization — Historical, Theoretical, and Practical Perspective|
Michael Barnsley (ANU)
|13:45 — 14:15||Walking on Real Numbers|
|14:15 — 14:45||Modeling, Creativity, Music and Mathematics|
Richard Vella and Jon Drummond
|14:45 — 15:00||Coffee break|
|15:00 — 15:45||Making of "A Mathematical Picturebook"|
|15:45 — 17:00||Panel Session and Audience Discussion: Next Steps|
Chair: Gerard Joseph (IBM)
|17:00 — 18:30||Reception with special guest Prof. Mike Calford|
Saturday, 24th November: Research Workshop (Day 1): V104
|10:30 — 11:00||Visualising Biological Data for Research and for Outreach (Keynote)|
Sean O'Donoghue (CSIRO and Garvan Institute for Medical Research)
|11:00 — 11:10||Geometric Sculptures|
|11:10 — 11:30||Morning tea|
|11:30 — 11:45||Visualizing Solutions of Partial Differential Equations|
|11:45 — 12:15||Visualising Patterns of Correlated Gene Expression in Blood Transcriptomes|
|12:15 — 13:30||Lunch|
|13:30 — 14:15||Using Rhinoceros and Mathematica to|
Produce 3-D Printed Models
(Computer lab session, V105)
|14:15 — 14:45||Afternoon tea|
|14:45 — 15:00||Visualization and My Thoughts for Its Use in Education|
|15:00 — 15:30||How to Draw a Graph, Revisited|
|18:30||Self-hosted dinner at Chinois Restaurant, 326 King Street, Newcastle|
Sunday, 25th November: Research Workshop (Day 2): V104
|10:00 — 10:30||Viz Package for the GAP Computer Algebra System|
|10:30 — 10:35||An idea of Jenny Seberry's|
Presented by Judy-anne Osborn
|10:35 — 11:05||Visualizing Maximal Determinant Matrices|
|11:05 — 11:30||Morning tea|
|11:30 — 12:00||The R System — A Broad Umbrella for Visualization|
|12:00 — 12:30||Seeing Things in Mathematics|
|12:30 — 01:30||Lunch|
The conference will be held in the Mathematics Building at the University of Newcastle. Friday's talks will be in V109,
and the weekend's talks will be in V104; refreshments and discussion space will be hosted the CARMA room (V205).
Sydney Airport to Newcastle
For those arriving at Sydney Airport we recommend taking the train to Newcastle. Take the
Airport & East Hills train from Domestic/International Airport Station to
Central Station and then the Newcastle and Central Coast train from
Central Station to Newcastle Station. From Newcastle Station it is an
easy walk to the recommended hotels. For more information and/or to plan your exact trip times
see the CityRail website at www.cityrail.info.
Alternatively, there is the Happy
Cabby Airport Shuttle Service which you will need to book in advance.
Newcastle Airport to Newcastle
For those arriving at the Newcastle Airport we recommend taking a taxi to Newcastle. The
taxi rank is adjacent to the arrivals area of the terminal. Newcastle Taxis can be contacted
directly, free-of-charge, on the dedicated taxi phone located in the arrivals end of the
Alternatively, you can catch the 130 or 131 bus from the Newcastle
Airport to the Newcastle Station. From Newcastle Station it is an easy
walk to the recommended hotels. For more information and/or to plan your exact trip times see
the CityRail website or the Port Stephens Coaches
Local Transportation in Newcastle
Newcastle Taxis: bookings can be made
online or by calling 133 300 within Australia.
Newcastle Buses: the free green 555 Newcastle
Shuttle Bus runs every 20 minutes, seven days a week, on a continuous loop around the city
If you have any questions, please contact
Telephone: (02) 492 15543
Facimile: (02) 492 16898