New Zealand Mathematical Society

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The New Zealand Mathematical Society (Inc.) is the representative body of professional mathematicians in New Zealand, and was founded in 1974. Its aims include promotion of research in the mathematical sciences, the development, application and dissemination of mathematical knowledge within New Zealand, and effective cooperation and collaboration between mathematicians and their colleagues in New Zealand and in other countries.

Notices and news

Simon Marais Mathematics Competition

The inaugural Simon Marais Mathematics Competition will take place on the 7th October 2017. Undergraduate students at pre-registered universities can enter individually or in pairs to compete for ​A$100,000 in total prize money, with additional corporate prizes and internship opportunities.

Maclaurin Lecturer 2017: Professor Ken Ono, Emory University, USA

Ken Ono is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University. He is considered to be an expert in the theory of integer partitions and modular forms. He has been invited to speak to audiences all over North America, Asia and Europe. His contributions include several monographs and over 150 research and popular articles in number theory, combinatorics and algebra. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and has received many awards for his research in number theory, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship and a Sloan Fellowship. He was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) by Bill Clinton in 2000 and he was named the National Science Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Scholar in 2005. In addition to being a thesis advisor and postdoctoral mentor, he has also mentored dozens of undergraduates and high school students. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for several journals and is an editor of The Ramanujan Journal. He is also a member of the US National Committee for Mathematics at the National Academy of Science.

Itinerary for the visit:
Date Where Local host(s)
2 - 3 October Christchurch Felipe Voloch
4 - 5 October Dunedin Florian Beyer
9 - 11 October Auckland Shaun Cooper and Steven Galbraith
12 - 13 October Hamilton Woei Chet Lim
16 - 17 October Palmerston North Nicholas Witte
18 - 19 October Wellington Dimitrios Mitsotakis

For any general questions about Professor Ono’s visit, please contact Shaun Cooper.

Talk abstracts

Gems of Ramanujan and their Lasting Impact on Mathematics

Abstract: Ramanujan's work has has a truly transformative effect on modern mathematics, and continues to do so as we understand further lines from his letters and notebooks. In this lecture, some of the studies of Ramanujan that are most accessible to the general public will be presented and how Ramanujan's findings fundamentally changed modern mathematics, and also influenced the lecturer's work, will be discussed. The speaker is an Associate Producer of the film The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan. He will share several clips from the film in the lecture.

Can’t you just feel the Moonshine?

Borcherds won the Fields medal in 1998 for his proof of the Monstrous Moonshine Conjecture. Loosely speaking, the conjecture asserts that the representation theory of the Monster, the largest sporadic finite simple group, is dictated by the Fourier expansions of a distinguished set of modular functions. This conjecture arose from astonishing coincidences noticed by finite group theorists and arithmetic geometers in the 1970s. Recently, mathematical physicists have revisited moonshine, and they discovered evidence of undiscovered moonshine which some believe will have applications to string theory and 3d quantum gravity. The speaker and his collaborators have been developing the mathematical facets of this theory, and have proved the conjectures which have been formulated. These results include a proof of the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, and Moonshine for the first sporadic finite simple group which does not occur as a subgroup or subquotient of the Monster. The most recent Moonshine (announced here) yields unexpected applications to the arithmetic elliptic curves thanks to theorems related to the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture and the Main Conjectures of Iwasawa theory for modular forms. This is joint work with John Duncan, Michael Griffin and Michael Mertens.

2017 April NZMS Newsletter

Has been released

Hinke Osinga recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ

In October 2016 Hinke Osinga became the first female mathematician to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ for her research in dynamical systems theory. The citation reads: "She is at the forefront of developing and employing numerical methods for computing global objects known as invariant manifolds that are indicators of critical change or 'tipping points'." Press release.

Summary of the Society’s activities


Listing of upcoming conferences.

Promotion of research

Each year the Society awards a Research Award, an Early Career Award, and the Kalman Prize for Best Paper to mark and reward outstanding and innovative mathematical research activity.


The Forder and Aitken Lectureships are a reciprocal exchange between the New Zealand Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society featuring noted mathematicians speaking in each others countries on alternate years.

The Maclaurin Lectureship is a new reciprocal exchange between the New Zealand Mathematical Society and American Mathematical Society featuring noted mathematicians to speak in each others countries on alternate years.

The NZMS Visiting Lectureship allows a visiting mathematician to spend two to three days at each of the six main university centres; the Society coordinates and provides some financial assistance for this tour.

Women in Mathematics

The NZMS is committed to actively addressing the issues facing women in mathematics.

Mathematics Education

The NZMS Education Group aims to provide the New Zealand community with independent and hopefully influential commentary on mathematical education issues.


The Newsletter, published three times a year, is the official organ of the Society, and contains news from around the country, featured opinion articles, featured mathematicians, official notices and minutes, and application forms.

The Society also co-publishes the New Zealand Journal of Mathematics.


The Aitken Prize is awarded annually for the best contributed student talk at the NZ Mathematics Colloquium.

Information is maintained of mathematical visitors to New Zealand.

Financial assistance is made available in the form of grants to support the costs of hosting mathematical visitors, organising conferences or workshops, attending conferences, and any other mathematical research-related activity.

Main contact:

New Zealand Mathematical Society
C/- Dr Emily Harvey (NZMS Secretary,
PO Box 331297
Auckland 0740

Quick links

NZMS Colloquium