Join us in outreach and research

The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences invites the wider community to explore the universe with us. Learn the languages of astronomy, mathematics, physics and statistics.

Attend a public lecture, drop into one of our annual events, find out more about our school outreach and scout group programs, or marvel at the night sky during a public viewing session at our on-campus observatory.


See how we collaborate nationally and internationally.

Our mathematicians have many international collaborations.

Members of our School work with colleagues at many of the other leading Australian mathematics departments as well as from many high profile international mathematics departments, including:

  • Central China Normal University
  • INRIA (France)
  • Penn State University
  • Sun Yat-sen University
  • Université de Bordeaux
  • Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
  • University of Bayreuth
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Brest
  • University of Bundeswehr
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Wroclaw.

To Absent Friends is a holographic artwork created by Paula Dawson. It was the largest holographic commission undertaken in the world at the time, and remains the largest hologram on an international scale, showing the greatest depth of field. To Absent Friends was awarded the Grand Prix of the First ARTEC Biennale in Nagoya, Japan in 1989.

A holographic bar room, complete with dart board and bottles, made of red light.To Absent Friends explores the concept of using contemporary domestic architecture as a memory repository not for factual information but for emotional states.

Dawson’s process began with re-creating a traditional Australian pub within the National Acoustics Laboratory in Sydney, also a functioning holography lab. She staged a New Year’s party, and at strategic moments the guests were asked to vacate the ‘bar-room’ so that Fiona Hall could thoroughly photograph its disheveled condition. Dawson then used these images to reconstruct the various states of the room in order for them to be recorded as holograms. The three bar mirrors in the re-creation were replaced by three holograms revealing the state of the room at three different moments.

A scientifically and artistically precise undertaking, which Dawson fabricated, orchestrated and documented, To Absent Friends was produced in 1989 and originally commissioned by Robert and Janet Holmes a Court in 1987.

In 2005, Dawson generously donated this work to Macquarie University under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, representing one of the most significant artworks donated to the University. It currently resides on level 2 at 7 Wally’s Walk.

Contact the Macquarie University Art Gallery to arrange a viewing of the hologram, or purchase a copy of the DVD guided tour of the artwork, presented by the artist herself.

Our statisticians collaborate widely with statistical colleagues at institutions including:

  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Harvard University
  • University College London.

Our applied research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from diverse areas across Macquarie campus, for example in the Actuarial Studies, Applied Finance, Clinical Medicine and Computing departments, and the School of Natural Sciences.

We also collaborate externally with the Sydney Adventist Hospital, the Brain and Mind Institute (University of Sydney) and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

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Last updated: 07 Jul 2022