MAVlist archive

MAVlist 12:19


Last week, just before the MONUMENTAL MAV Annual conference #MAVCON2012 I wrote to let you know that Education Services Australia was pulling the pin on their support for education based mailing lists. Today is really the last day I can send to the ESA listserv, so I thought I ought use this last opportunity to send some GOOD NEWS - MAVlist will now live on in 2013! Using the address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and with thanks to ICT gurus Peter Batchelor and Theo Howell the MAV will be able to keep MAVlist alive.

ACTION: Please let your ICT folk know that is the official MAV mail server and can be TRUSTED. It will be really helpful if you could all do this as it minimises the risk that the MAV service will get blacklisted as spam.

We will be setting up and testing this service over the New Year break and your first MAVlist for 2013 will arrive using this new service. As always, the MAV undertakes to have appropriate security protocols in place to protect your data and privacy and, as with all newsletters sent using MAVlist, you will always have the option to opt out of the mailing.

The MAV has closed the news service for 2012, but what the heck, if I have to sent out the notice about the new service, I might as well add a couple of news items as well:

  1. Footy is (probably) back
  2. All About Voldemort
  3. Decrypting WW II carrier pigeon's encrypted message
  4. Are you a 2013 member yet?
  5. We visit you

1. Footy is (probably) back
Associate Professor David Dowe writes to let everyone know that the "Monash University probabilistic footy-tipping competition is up, running and ready in anticipation for the 2013 season. Having started in 1995, it is soon to be 18 years old, is the world's longest running compression-based competition and is about to enter its 19th year. Some nice mathematical quirks include the fact that entrants allocate a probability to a team's winning (or losing) and are scored based on the logarithm of the probability. This scoring system has a variety of uniqueness properties. Students, teachers and all are welcome to enter, and entry is free: You might possibly want to have a class project for the probabilistic competition or for the Gaussian competition." You will find further discussion in David Dowe's Vinculum article Thanks David. All I know, gaussian analysis or not, Carlton just can't seem to break into that final four.

2. All About Voldemort
I am bound by union dictate not to mention it, but if you happen to be interested in the revised F-10 achievement standards and progression points for Voldemort (I wonder, will some researcher in the future wonder what the MAV's apparent obsession with a J. K. Rowling character has to do with the mathematics curriculum?), David Leigh Lancaster at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority has kindly provided a pointer to Likewise, you should know that Voldemort's senior program is also out and about and that the final published versions of the senior studies; Essential Voldemort, General Voldemort, Voldemorty Methods and Specialist Voldemort can be found at

3. Decrypting WW II carrier pigeon's encrypted message
David Dowe has contributed a quirky piece appropriate for summer musing: "There has been recent news about a carrier pigeon message from WW II cryptographers.html?_r=0 Many readers will have relatively little knowledge of encryption and/or relatively little computer programming experience, so please forgive both my indulgence and this rather unlikely quixotic (crazy?) long shot. If you've got the relevant equipment and sufficient spare time, I invite you to feed this message in to some computer programs that gradually increase in size/complexity (number of lines of code, etc.) to see whether anything interesting (e.g., a word or 2 or so in a human language) pops out when this message is given as input. [Of course, it is certainly possible that the message will be nonsense unless one has the relevant private (decryption) key, but ... well ... who knows?] It is an understatement to call this a long shot, but it might be fun for some." Well, that's summer gone.

4. Are you a 2013 member yet?
In October Michael Green e-mailed 2013 membership renewal notices to all of our 2012 members. The MAV office has a big year of mathematics education support planned for 2013. We would love to have you on board. Contact Michael Green 9380 2399 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you want a further copy of your renewal notice.

5. We visit you
The MAV provides relevant individualised Professional Development for teachers in their classrooms, teams within a school, whole staff and networks or regions of teachers. The MAV's experienced and highly qualified Professional Officers also have student activities and PD for pre-service and graduate teachers as well as CRTs. Contact the MAV on 03 9380 2399 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out more and get your FREE MAV Professional Development Wall Poster. Ask about AusVELS PD and for details about the TEAM:P Roadshow

OK, make sure you set your e-mail application up to welcome mail from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I promise to write in the new year.




Simon Pryor

Simon Pryor FSAE
Chief Executive Officer
The Mathematical Association of Victoria
Cliveden, 61 Blyth Street
Tel: 03-9380 2399 Fax: 03-9389 0399
 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Thursday, 6 & Friday, 7 December 2012


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