Plans for 2018, looking for a new coordinator

Dear RMITOpt members,

Thank you for your active participation in our seminars, workshops and other activities throughout the existence of the RMITOpt group! I trust that 2018 will turn out to be just as fun and busy as the previous years, both for the group and for all our members.

In February we are holding a MATRIX program (places are limited, but we can still squeeze in a couple of participants, especially students) and then Variational Analysis Down Under (VADU2018) workshop dedicated to Prof. Asen Dontchev (registration is open). We will also soon restart our reading groups and will continue with our now traditional WoMBaT workshop series at the end of the year.

I am leaving the role of RMITOpt coordinator because of my impending transition to the University of New South Wales. If you are interested in taking on this responsibility (fully or partially), please let me or Andrew Eberhard know.

Please use the service address for future communication related to group’s activities.

Happy 2018!
Vera Roshchina.

Variational Analysis Down Under 2018

Dear Optimisation Group members,

We are delighted to announce the Variational Analysis Down Under (VADU2018) workshop in honour of Prof. Asen Dontchev.

The workshop will take place on 19–21 February at Federation University Australia in Ballarat. The workshop is sponsored by AMSI and Federation University Australia. Please stay tuned for future announcements.

Warmest regards,
Vera Roshchina.

PhD positions, WoMBaT starting this week

Dear Optimisation Group members,

Several PhD scholarships are available related to an ARC grant (CIs Ugon, Sukhorukova and Roshchina). We are expecting to receive EOIs by mid-December to start the selection process. Please forward this information to potential candidates.

Our Second WoMBaT workshop is starting on Thursday. It is not too late to register to attend or give a talk. Please check our exciting program.

Warmest regards,
Vera Roshchina.

PhD positions on an ARC grant

Dear Colleagues,

Please note PhD scholarships associated with an ARC grant “Revisiting the interconnections between approximation theory, optimisation and semi-infinite programming for solving complex Chebyshev approximation problems,” investigators Dr Julien Ugon (Federation University Australia and Deakin), Dr Nadia Sukhorukova (Swinburne University of Technology), Dr Vera Roshchina (RMIT University and Federation University Australia), Prof. Jean-Pierre Crouzeix (Université Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand), Prof. Marco López (University of Alicante, Spain), Prof. Nira Dyn (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)

This project combines Optimisation, Approximation and Algebraic Geometry. We are currently looking for potential PhD students to start in 2018. The project will be running in Australia (Deakin, Swinburne and RMIT).

Please share this information with your colleagues and potential PhD applicants. All applicants should send their CV to one of the following e-mails:,, . Please include “PhD scholarship application” in the subject.

Skype interviews will be conducted in mid-December and therefore we strongly encourage the candidates to apply as soon as possible. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide the names of at least two referees. These reports are NOT required for the original submission, but will be asked soon after the interviews.

Warmest regards,
Vera Roshchina.

Public lecture at Monash: Graham Farr, Making links and breaking codes

Making links and breaking codes:
A public lecture to celebrate the centenary of mathematician Bill Tutte

Speaker: Professor Graham Farr, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Tuesday 5 Dec 2017, 7pm, in South 1 lecture theatre, 43 Rainforest Walk, Clayton campus, Monash University.

William (Bill) Tutte (1917-2002) became a research mathematician while still an undergraduate at Cambridge in the late 1930s, broke the toughest Nazi codes while at Bletchley Park in the Second World War, and became one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. His wartime work sparked the secret construction of Colossus, one of the first-ever computers, and saved countless lives. After the war, he led the development of the mathematics of networks, known as Graph Theory. His work was usually inspired by pure curiosity or entertaining puzzles, but has been applied in domains as diverse as electrical circuits, statistical physics and information visualisation. This talk tells the story of Tutte’s life, mathematics and code-breaking to a broad audience.

Attendance is free and open to anyone. No booking is required. This public lecture is being held in association with the 5th International Combinatorics Conference (5ICC,, and forms part of a worldwide programme of events to mark the centenary of Tutte’s birth,

For further information, see:

Katharine Turner, Persistent homology rank function

Speaker: Dr Katharine Turner
Australian National University
Title: Persistent homology rank function
Date and time: Monday 13 November 2017, 10:30am
Location: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

Persistent homology is a tool for capturing how topological features evolve over an increasing family of spaces. Commonly these spaces are taken to be the unions of balls of increasing radii about some finite set of points. Using this scaling parameter we can summarise geometric information as a topological summary statistic. In this talk I will introduce persistent homology and define the persistent homology rank function which, as a functional summary lying in a Hilbert space, enables us to perform statistical analysis such as principal component analysis. I will present some applications including testing complete spatial randomness of spatial point patterns, and comparing experimental sphere packings and colloid data under different temperatures. This talk is based on work with Vanessa Robins.

CIAO Talk, Reinier Diaz Millan: On the splitting optimization problem with enlargement

CIAO Talk, Reinier Diaz Millan: On the splitting optimization problem with enlargement

Speaker: Dr Reinier Diaz Millan
Federal Institute of Goias
Title: On the splitting optimization problem with enlargement
Date and time: 11:30am, Thursday 16 November 2017
Location: Room T121, Mt Helen Campus (this is at Federation University, RMIT crowd please connect via Visimeet).

In this paper, we present two approximate versions of the forward-backward splitting method for solving the minimization problem. In both cases, the objective function is the sum of two convex functions, maybe not differentiable. The algorithms involve, at each iteration, inexact evaluations of the backward operator and approximate subgradients of the functions (namely: the ε-subgradients). The first method considers an absolutely summable error criterion, whereas the second method uses a relative error criterion recently introduced for approximating proximal operators. Various stepsize rules are considered, including both diminishing and non-vanishing stepsizes, and convergence in objective values and convergence to a neighbourhood of the optimal set are obtained. The convergence analysis of the two methods shares underlying elements. Read more

Positions at Monash, two conferences in Italy in 2018

Dear Optimisation Group members,

Please note the positions in optimisation in Monash, with a deadline 19 November.

Note the following conference announcements.

VINEPA International Workshop on Variational Inequalities, Nash Equilibrium Problems and Applications, 8-9 March 2018, Calabria, Italy

International Conference on Optimization and Decision Science, September 10-13, 2018, Taormina, Italy

We have no optimisation seminars planned at RMIT in the near future. Please do not forget to register for the WoMBaT workshop on 30 November – 2 December if you are planning to participate.

Warmest regards,
Vera Roshchina.

Positions in Optimisation at Monash, deadline 19 November

Dear Optimisation Group Members,

Please note the following two level B/C continuing positions in IT at Monash that focus on energy. In particular they are looking for people with optimisation, Machine learning, data science, complex systems and cybersecurity skills to fill those.

Warmest regards,
Vera Roshchina.

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