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Introduction

We report with profound regret that Professor Peter Gavin Hall AO FAA FASSA FRS FAustMS CorrFRSE, Foreign Associate of the NAS, Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of ACEMS, passed away on 9 January 2016.

The Australian Academy of Science, through the National Committee for Mathematical Sciences (NCMS), has overseen the development of the first Decadal Plan for the Mathematical Sciences. The plan can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

The Mathematical Sciences in Australia A vision for 2025

The aims of the 22 National Committees of the Australian Academy of Science are to foster a designated branch or theme of natural science in Australia and to serve as a link between Australian scientists and overseas scientists in the same field. This includes the development of forward looking plans for the respective disciplines. The Academy has worked closely with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute and the discipline’s societies and associations in the development of the decadal plan.

Professor Nalini Joshi (The University of Sydney), in her role as the Chair of the NCMS raised funds from national organisations and university departments of mathematical sciences from around the country to support the development of this new plan.

Professor Peter Hall (University of Melbourne, immediate past Secretary for Physical Sciences of the Academy of Science and past President of the Australian Mathematical Society) was asked to form and chair a Steering Committee for the Decadal Plan. He invited Professors Nalini Joshi and Geoff Prince (Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute) to join him in forming an Executive Group. When Professor Hall’s illness prevented his further participation in developing the plan, Dr John Henstridge was invited to join the Executive Group.

The Decadal Plan consists of three broad components.

  • An assessment of the current state of the mathematical sciences in Australia,
  • A description and prioritisation of opportunities for the future (2016-2025), and
  • An outline of strategies to achieve these priorities.

The process incorporated widespread consultation and discussion with the mathematical community and external stakeholders. It focused on a longer-term strategic view for the mathematical sciences. Outcomes include specific recommendations to those parties involved in funding mathematics research and education, and in setting future policies, including government departments, education providers and industry.

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