Maths and Computing Department celebrates 20 years

10 December 2012
From left: Current Head of Department Stijn Dekeyser, Former lecturers Mike McFarlane and Ashley Plank and former Heads of Department Chris Harman and Tony Roberts.
The Department of Mathematics and Computing at the University of Southern Queensland toasted to 20 wonderful years of education and research during an anniversary ceremony.

The anniversary celebrations (November 30, 2012) saw current and past staff members and students pay tribute to the department’s proud history and share personal experiences, along with Chancellor Mrs Bobbie Brazil, Toowoomba Regional Councillor Anne Glasheen, Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla, Heads of Department and more.

Associate Professor Stijn Dekeyser (Current Head of Department) said the department had a proven history in research excellence and had always been at the forefront of distance education and educational technology.

“This is perhaps best demonstrated through its contribution to the USQ Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rating of three during 2010, which means we are of a world standard for mathematical sciences,” Associate Professor Dekeyser said.

USQ also maintained that world standard rating of three in the latest ERA round for 2012.

“Not only has the department produced a significant number of publications, making it in the top five at USQ, it has also attracted substantial research funding and has been highly successful in supervising PhD students to completion and contributing to educational research.”

The anniversary celebrations included guest talks from former Head of Department Associate Professor Chris Harman, Professor Tony Roberts (Maths), Mr Mike McFarlane (Computing) and Dr Ashley Plank (Statistics) who talked about the highlights and achievements of the department’s first decade.

USQ Historical Archives, along with the department, provided a selection of memorabilia including early mathematical instruments and its successor technologies.

Associate Professor Stijn Dekeyser gave an account of the highlights and achievements of the second decade, and highlights, achievements and photographs of the department’s history were also displayed.

“We received some fantastic feedback from the attendees and a lot of people were delighted to catch up with some of the former staff that attended,” Department Support Officer for Mathematics and Computing Mrs Kris Lyon said.

Past staff members travelled long distances to attend the event, including Professor Tony Robers who travelled from Adelaide, Dr Sergey Suslov who had travelled directly from the USQ on his return to Melbourne and Dr Birgit Loch who travelled up especially from Melbourne.

Dr Loch said it was great to see many of her old friends and hear their stories, both old and new.

“The weekend will be remembered by everyone for a long time,” Dr Loch said.

“It was certainly worth the visit from Melbourne.”

The Mathematics and Computing Department team also celebrated with a trivia night, supporters brunch and dinner.

Media contact:

Jim Campbell,, 07 4631 2977
Callum Johnson,, 07 4631 1856

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