Professor Tim Brown will commence as Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) in January 2019, his contributions to Year 12 and tertiary entrance assessments in Victoria and the system for ATAR are some of his most high profile achievements.
He believes strengthening mathematics starts in the classroom. Reflecting on his own mathematical journey, 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.
Currently Professor of 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, 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.
Collaborating 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.
Responding to his appointment, 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.
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