Thursday, 29 March 2012


Today, Associate Professor Alan Branford, Director of Studies in Mathematics and Statistics, gave an enlightening talk about probability and how it can be used to determine the financial return in gambling games.
Alan talked us through exactly what probability is and had two students, Bryce and Ellen, tossing dice to help demonstrate this concept.


Alan demonstrating if you want to lose money: play Keno!

Alan with Maurice, who teaches the Specialist Maths course

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

14 March - Chemistry

Analytical Demonstrations

Today the students were given an opportunity to look at two of the analytical techniques that chemists can use to analyse materials in a series of five workshops: 

1.    Chromatography (Column chromatography; High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas chromatography).
2.     Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) and absorption spectroscopy using UV-Visible light.



Column Chromatography


Naomi explaining the finer points of Gas Chromatography

Students 'smelling the roses'!

UV- Visible Spectroscopy using olive oil
Different substances absorb different wavelengths of light and chemicals have their own distinctive absorption fingerprints that can be used to identify when and how much of the material is present. UV-Vis spectroscopy studies the absorption fingerprints of materials in the visible-near ultraviolet range.
Column Chromatography
Column Chromatography - works best in the dark
            
Column Chromatography and it requires muscle power!
Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy - as demonstrated by Leah from Wirreanda
 
Leah with the students from Wirreanda

AAS is used to accurately determine the concentration of a metallic element in solution. 

Teachers and Tutors tour Flinders Analytical
This facility provides a unique combination of analytical instrumentation for the analysis of a wide range of compounds, from small molecules to large proteins, with a focus on mass spectrometry. The diverse range of equipment and know-how includes method development, instrumental analysis and data interpretation. The Laboratory provides services to both commercial and academic clients.
Dr Daniel Jardine showed the teachers and tutors all of the machines and explained their functions.

















Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guest presenter Professor Joe Shapter in Chemistry
Professor Joe Shapter gave a very interesting presentation on the role of chemical research (in particular nanotechnology) in finding solutions to two of of the world's biggest problems: energy and water.
He talked the students through the use of carbon nanotubes to improve the efficiency of solar panels and the how nanotechnology can lessen the energy requirements of desalination technology.
Joe with Ellen and Tahlia

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Today two guest speakers: Professor Jerzy Filar and Dr Michael Haythorpe, both from the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, spoke to the Specialist maths students about careers and current research in maths.

Jerzy surprised the students by telling them that if you understand maths, there isn't really that much you need to remember. He also talked about the longevity of maths and how, unlike a bridge which might last 200 years, maths lasts forever.
He talked about how he works on unsolved problems of his choosing and that none of his days are boring.



Jerzy explains about maths not having a 'used-by-date'




 Michael discussed his research (Hamiltonian Cycles) and how it is applicable in to real world problems.

Both he and Jerzy discussed how wonderful a career in maths research can be as it can include a lot of travel, all over Australia and the world to discuss problems with world experts.
Michael explains the life of a researcher

Followers

Cluster Map