Course Title: Professional Practice for Mathematicians

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Professional Practice for Mathematicians

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Lynne McArthur

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3122

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.9.39

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Professional practice for mathematicians is a final semester course that aims to further prepare graduates to tackle open-ended problems. 

You will be required to work in groups to analyse an approved complex system of your choosing. The focus is on breaking the system down into its component parts so that interactions can be identified and modelled. The project that you choose will draw upon the knowledge gained from your other courses. The project will aim at a description of the system, identify weaknesses and strengths or address a particular issue associated with the system. You will use basic project management skills to organise the project and report your findings.

You will be required to present a group talk on your project. You will also learn about presenting for an interview and preparing a curriculum vitae and job applications.

You will also learn to write professional reports, access research materials from the library, conduct job interviews and write effective resumes and job applications.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course, you will have the ability to:

  • appreciate the complex, diverse and evolving social, political and cultural dimensions of practicing as a mathematics and statistics professional in organisational and community settings.
  • apply knowledge and skill to diagnose and solve a wide range of problems.  
  • effectively collaborate in groups or teams.
  • communicate both technical and non-technical material in a range of forms (written, oral, electronic, graphic,) and to tailor the style and means of communication to different audiences.
  • appreciate the ethical considerations that inform judgments and decisions in academic and professional settings.
  • locate and use data and information and evaluate its quality with respect to its authority and relevance.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyse a complex system in groups and break it down into its interacting parts. 
  • Identify feedback mechanisms, inputs, outputs and interactions.
  • Describe approaches for modelling the component parts of  a system.
  • Prepare a project plan.
  • Work in groups effectively.
  • Write different types of technical reports.
  • Write a professional CV.
  • Present well at interviews.
  • Present a talk to a technical audience.
  • Find research material.

Overview of Learning Activities

During this course,  you will:

  • Attend lectures where the underlying theory will be presented.
  • Prepare a class presentation or poster.
  • Search for job advertisements and write a professional CV.
  • Engage in practice interviews.
  • Practice presentations.
  • Attend sessions run by library staff.

Overview of Learning Resources

The teaching staff will provide handouts for this course.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on your ability to work in teams and present your project work as well as your ability to prepare a CV and complete set assignments.