Mathematical Thinking

26—28 September 2022

About the workshop

Mathematics underpins much of the scientific and technological progress of modern society. This workshop will bring together experts to study the conceptual and neurological basis of mathematical thought and creativity, different aspects of which are associated with brain structures evolved for different purposes. We will explore links to machine learning, which plays a critical role as a model for cognition, as well as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and pure and applied mathematics.

At this workshop, we will target discussions at forming new interdisciplinary collaborations and formulating concrete research questions with a view towards major grant applications in the ARC Discovery and linkage programmes, among others. Expected benefits arising from such collaborations include machine learning improvements, computer assistance for mathematical research and other high-level cognitive tasks, and improved insight into mathematics education at all levels.

Confirmed speakers

See the schedule below for the workshop speakers.


The workshop is free but you need to register. This will be done via Eventbrite:

Register here

Zoom meeting

The link for the Zoom meeting has been sent to registered participants.

If you have registered and not received the link please email


Monday, 26 September 2022
Neuroscience and Machine Learning
10:00-11:00Rafael NúñezMind in Mathematics: Some Outstanding Fundamental Research Questions
11:30-12:30Scott BrownUsing Mathematical Modelling to Advance Psychological Theory-building and Assessment
Ami EidelsMental Representations of Numbers
Paul GarrettHow Numerical Representations Change with Culture and Expertise
12:30-14:00Lunch and discussion
14:00-14:30Luke Russell and Ebon BaxterTopics in Mathematical Thinking: A Literature Review
Bryan PatonApproximate Inference in Approximating the Brain
14:30-15:00Michael BreakspearStochastic Models of Human Eye Movement and Facial Expression
15:00-16:00Afternoon tea and wrap-up
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Mathematics and Computing
9:30-10:00George WillisWhat is Research Integrity in Mathematics?
10:00-11:00Aidan SimsDiscovery Versus Proof and Visual Intuition in Mathematics
11:30-12:30Geordie Williamson
Machine Learning as a Tool for the Mathematician
12:30-13:40Lunch and discussion
13:40-14:30Alan BlairGenerating Art Through Evolution and Deep Learning by Minimizing Algorithmic Complexity
Stephan ChalupVision and Visualisation Using Deep Learning
14:30-15:00James JuniperTaking Advantage of Diagrammatic Reasoning: Recent Developments in Applied Category Theory
15:00-16:00Afternoon tea and wrap-up
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Future of Mathematics
9:30-10:30Edward Doolittle [remote]Indigenous Mathematics: the past, and future, of mathematics
10:30-11:00Elena Prieto
Who is Going to Train Future Generations of Mathematicians?
Kath Holmes
Developing an Evidence Base for the Teaching of Mathematical Thinking
11:30-12:00Rob Corless [remote]Mathematics on Shifting Sand
12:00-12:30Clio Cresswell (chair)Round table discussion: The Meaning of Diversity in Mathematics
12:30-14:00Lunch and discussion
14:00-14:30Peter WallA STEM Education Perspective on Mathematical Thinking
14:30-15:00Judy-anne Osborn [remote]Thoughts on the Future of Maths and Maths Education
15:00-16:00Afternoon tea and wrap-up


The workshop will be held at the University of Newcastle's City Campus (NuSpace), in these rooms:

  • Monday 26th: X201
  • Tuesday 27th: UNH419
  • Wednesday 28th: X202

A map is available on the university's website.

See also


NSW Government CARMA The University of Newcastle