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Four Australians were among 200 postgraduate mathematicians and computer scientists at the recent Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) in Germany.

Co-funded by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS), the group, including RMIT PhD student Tian Sang, joined emerging mathematical and computer science talent from 50 countries.

“The opportunity to attend this forum was just amazing. It was so inspiring to interact with such an outstanding community of young researchers and experienced field leaders,” says Tian.

Engaging with leading mathematical and computer science minds was a highlight for Tian, including memorable encounters with Abel Prize winner and Fields Medallist, Sir Michael Atiyah and Australian Astrophysicist, Professor Brian Schmidt.

“It was extraordinary to interact with some of the world’s greatest mathematicians and computer scientists, to share ideas and learn from their experience and knowledge,” she says.

Other Australians selected under the funding program, which provides up to A$3000 in travel support to facilitate attendance at the prestigious invitation only event, included Mark Bugden (ANU), Bao Ho (La Trobe University) and David Khoury (UNSW).

An exciting platform for intergenerational scientific engagement, the event featured over 20 Laureates with renowned astronomer and joint winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, Brian Schmidt delivering the featured Lindau Lecture. AMSI is proud to co-fund travel support to open this event to Australian students.

“We are delighted to help Australian students access this once in a lifetime opportunity to engage with some of our greatest research leaders and build life-long global networks,” AMSI Director, Geoff Prince says.

Dr Peter Stacey, Honorary Secretary of AustMS and Emeritus Scholar La Trobe University says, “AustMS is pleased to share with AMSI in facilitating the participation of Australian students in this exciting event.”

Students also typically use the time in Europe to undertake research visits, for Tian this meant a whirlwind networking trip, engaging with research teams in Spain and Sweden, a career changing experience.

“Spending a week in Spain working with Carlos Beltran and Francisco Santos’ team, I have been offered the potential opportunity to return as a postdoctoral scientist,” she said.

AMSI/AustMS Heidelberg Forum Travel Funding is open to successful HLF applicants. For 2017 funding details, please visit

For information on the Heidelberg Laureate Forum and how to apply in 2017, visit

For Interview:
Professor Geoff Prince, AMSI Director
Dr Peter Stacey, Honorary Secretary, AustMS and Emeritus Scholar La Trobe University
Tian Sang, RMIT PhD student

Media Contact: Laura Watson
P: 04215 18733


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