2017 Winter School: Wrap Up

AMSI Winter School 2017 was hosted and held at the Queensland University of Technology.  With the theme of Computational Foundations of Data Science, the event was held from the 26th June to 7th July.

71 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers from around Australia and the world attended the intensive two-week vacation residential school.  

The diverse program provided participants with opportunities to advance their subject knowledge and build collaborative networks with their peers. Students also enjoyed being exposed to fields and topics outside of their specialist research area throughout the two weeks, and attended many of the program extras.

The AMSI Winter School is funded jointly by the Department of Education and Training and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, with support from:

  • Queensland University of Technology
  • QCIF
  • The Simulation Group
  • SGI
  • TechnologyOne
  • BHP Billiton Foundation (part of the ChooseMaths Grant initiative).

 “This event continues to be a great success on many levels, and has proven, yet again, to be a valuable experience for Australia’s next generation of mathematicians and cognate researchers.”

Professor Ian Turner
AMSI Winter School 2017 Director
Queensland University of Technology



  • Introduction to Bayesian Computational Methods via Markov Chain Monte Carlo Algorithms – Dr Chris Drovandi, Queensland University of Technology
  • Data Assimilation: A Mathematical Introduction – Dr Kody Law, Oak Ridge National Laboratory / University of Tennessee


  • Model selection and inference for high-dimensional data – Dr Davide Ferrari, The University of Melbourne


  • Bayesian Approaches for Inverse Problems and Optimal Experimental Design – Associate Professor Youssef Marzouk, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • A Decision Making View of Machine Learning – Dr Hanna Kurniawati, The University of Queensland
  • Martingales, McDiarmid and Machine Learning: How to validate models like a pro! – Dr Brendan van Rooyen, Queensland University of Technology


  • Optimisation Techniques For Data Analysis – Professor Stephen Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Large Scale Matrix Problems – Dr Linda Stals, Australian National University



There has been a quiet revolution in weather forecasting over the past few decades driven by big computers, big data and lots of maths, but it has been a hundred years in the making and represents a triumph of 21st century science.

Dr Peter May, Head of Research at the Bureau of Meteorology,  told us how computer weather and climate models have taken over and where they are leading us, but also on the 100 year long genesis of our modern weather models. And how this blends outrageous stories, big science, big data, satellites, supercomputing and much more to give us the systems that provide incredible detail on the weather, oceans and climate.  

The AMSI Winter School Public Lecture is run annually in conjunction with BrisScience and engages a broad audience with the topic of the school.


An AMSI Winter School 2017 program highlight, Dr Peter May’s public lecture received strong national and international media coverage. Australian, US and UK coverage revealed the impact of maths, science and super computers on the scale and capability of his team’s research at the Bureau of Meteorology. Reaching over 140 million people, see links below to some of this coverage.

4 July, News.com.au, Benedict Brook, Weather forecasting looking years of even decades into the future could soon be a thing (Syndicated Nationally and Internationally)

5 July 2017, Daily Mail, Tim Collins, Computer Models Make Life Saving Weather Predictions

5 July 2017, Newsmax, Cathy Burke, Math, Science, Computers Spur Extreme Weather Forecasting Revolution


The annual Winter School Women in Maths networking event was held in conjunction with the AustMS Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group on Wednesday, 28 June 2017.

The free event highlighted the contribution of women in Mathematics, raised awareness about issues for women in mathematics, and provided a forum for discussion of career pathways.

Three guest speakers joined over 50 attendees at the Queensland University of Technology who openly shared their experiences studying mathematics, and their subsequent careers:

  • Amy Hawke (Brisbane State High School)
  • Olivia Hutchinson (Boeing Defence Australia)
  • Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen (Queensland University of Technology)
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up


2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up
2017 Winter School: Wrap Up