About the Department of Mathematics and Statistics

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has a proud history of teaching and research in the mathematical sciences.

Our programs – offered at La Trobe’s Melbourne and Bendigo campuses – equip graduates with the skills they need for successful careers, today and in the future. We teach students how to problem solve and adapt to rapid advances in technology and the sciences.

We offer majors in data science, mathematics and statistics. These majors can be studied together, or as a complement to other study areas, providing graduates with the ability to model modern phenomena and data – to better understand the world we live in.

Our research in mathematical sciences is rated above world standard by the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia.

Our researchers collaborate with scientists in health, psychology, engineering, and computing to form multi-disciplinary teams that advance human health and wellbeing, and the technologies of the future.

“Our students are taught by committed and enthusiastic staff, many of whom have tertiary teaching awards and citations,” says Head of Department, Dr Christopher Lenard (pictured). “We have a strong record of securing major competitive grants and fellowships. In addition to pure research, we work in applied areas, such as modelling infectious diseases, with incredible impact.”

Supportive learning

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has a unique, and supportive, approach to teaching that offers students greater hands-on experience and guidance from academic staff.

Our statistics program was the first to be accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia. We are also proud to be a Joint Venture Partner of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute.

Our staff have been recognised for their outstanding and innovative teaching, receiving University awards and national citations.

Our programs feature small group class activities in preference to large lectures. We strive for continual subject improvement based on student feedback.

We also prepare our own bespoke teaching materials for most subjects and make them freely available to students – so they can avoid having to buy expensive textbooks that are not solely related to their studies.

Our programs are supported by the La Trobe University Maths Hub, a dedicated service offered to all students who need help in mathematics or statistics. Online resources, along with Zoom support from our expert tutors, is available.

Find out more about our student experience.

Pure and applied research

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics excels in both pure and applied research.

We recognise the importance of advancing mathematics, statistics and data science, both nationally and internationally.

Our researchers also make a significant contribution to other discipline areas – including medical and health sciences, psychology, engineering and computing – with real world impact.

The Department has a proud history of hosting Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award, Future Fellow, Australian Postdoctoral and Discovery Early Career Researcher fellowships.

Our researchers are also Chief Investigators on nationally competitive grants, including those funded by the Australian Research Council, and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Our research aligns with La Trobe’s five research themes: Sustainable food and agriculture; Resilient environments and communities; Healthy people, families and communities; Understanding and preventing disease; and Social change and equity.

Our research is grouped into three key areas:

Data science and statistics

Our researchers develop new statistical and data science methodologies that contribute to improved modelling and inference of data in areas from the health and medical sciences, to economics and engineering.

Applied mathematics

Ranging from epidemiology and infectious diseases to integrable systems, the Department’s interests in applied mathematics have immediate applications to the world around us – while also making fundamental contributions.

Pure mathematics

Number theory, geometry, algebra, logic, and graph theory are the main foci of pure mathematics in the Department. While our researchers are primarily interested in how mathematics itself works, we also collaborate across disciplines, particularly in computer science.

Find out more about our research, or contact the Department.

Find out more about the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and read our Statement of Strategic Intent.