10 December 2008

Several hours crunching numbers and burning the midnight oil have paid off for UQ’s maths honours cohort who will all graduate with first-class honours today (Wednesday, December 10).

Nine students from the honours mathematics/statistics course will receive Class 1A honours at the Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture (EPSA) graduation ceremony (11am).

Mathematics Honours Co-ordinator Dr Victor Scharaschkin said a 2007 survey by Graduate Careers Australia showed 87 percent of young mathematics graduates were in full-time employment or further study within four months of graduation.

“I have been honours co-ordinator for several years and I do not know of another semester with as many first-class honours results in maths. It’s a great achievement by our students,” Dr Scharaschkin said.

“Mathematicians are in demand in banking, insurance, investment and risk management.

“Skills in statistics and operations research are also particularly needed in the private and public sectors and the CSIRO and Defence are large employers of mathematicians.”

Dr Scharaschkin said the high number of outstanding results was due to the hard work of the students and their supervisors.

“The credit has to go first to the students, who were very dedicated, and put in long hours, especially as the deadline for their project approached,” he said.

“The students’ supervisors also deserve recognition for the time and effort they spend encouraging students, and exposing them to advanced concepts.”

The UQ maths honours program is the most intense year of the undergraduate degree and consists of five upper level courses and a written thesis.

Dr Scharaschkin said unlike other honours programs in maths, the bulk of assessment still came from courses, assignments and exams.

He said this was to ensure students had a thorough mathematical background.

“We still need to counter the idea some students have that mathematics was all finished centuries ago, or that it is not relevant to future careers,” he said.

“In fact mathematics is becoming more and more relevant in our information age, and can be a tremendously rewarding course of study.”

All EPSA graduations will be held at the UQ Centre, with programs from the Schools of Engineering and Physical Sciences to graduate at the 11am ceremony, while all EPSA programs from the Schools of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (St Lucia Campus); and Geography, Planning and Architecture, will graduate at the 2pm ceremony.

Katie Quinn will give the valedictorian address at the morning graduation, while valedictorian Donald Cook will speak in the afternoon.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman is guest speaker at the 11am ceremony and will talk about his vision for Brisbane and his plans to create a successful and thriving future for the city.

The UQ alumnus completed a Master of Business Administration (Financial Management) in 1992.

Noted architects Graham Bligh, John Simpson and Michael Bryce, husband of Australia's Governor-General Her Excellency Dr Quentin Bryce, AC, and co-creator of such memorable logos as the Sydney 2000 Olympics “squiggle,” and the Wallabies icon, will receive honorary doctorates from The University of Queensland at the 2pm ceremony. Mr Bryce is guest speaker at the ceremony.

School of Education students, from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (SBS), will graduate in the evening (6pm), with guest speaker Milpera State High School Principal Adele Rice, and valedictorian Louise Garrioch.

Media: Eliza Plant at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619)

UQ is making its graduation ceremonies available online with live streaming for the first time.

The service is being offered to allow friends and family of graduating students who cannot attend the ceremonies an opportunity to view the proceedings live from any internet connected computer around the world.

Go to the following link and when prompted type in the word guest in the user name field and click OK. There is no need to enter a password. Once you have entered the site, click on the eye icon in the top right-hand corner and you will be asked to select your streaming settings., following which the video stream will be played live.


For a full list of graduation ceremonies and times please visit http://www.uq.edu.au/graduations/