March, 2017

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New web page for RMITOpt

we are moving

Dear RMIT Optimisation Group members,

We are moving our web page to RMIT hosted domain For now the transition is not complete, but once we have transferred all files to the new site, this page ( will be deleted. We recommend that you check our new address for updates from now on.


InfoSec talk: Stephen Davis, Gamification of Crime Scene Fingerprint Analysis


Speaker: Dr Stephen Davis
School of Science
RMIT University

Title: Gamification of Crime Scene Fingerprint Analysis

Date and time: Friday, 24 March 2017, 3:00-4:00pm
Location: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

Abstract: Over the last decade we have investigated the possible benefits of graph representations of ridge pattern biometrics (such as fingerprints and ball prints) and vascular biometrics (such as retina and hand vein). For automatic recognition of imposter matches, and the use of dissimilarity vectors to avoid storing the actual biometric (its distances from a set of prototypes are stored instead), it has become clear that vascular biometrics benefit from graph representation far more than ridge pattern biometrics do. However, our most recent application has been in gamifying forensic fingerprint analysis. We have developed Delta Core which is a web application where players engage in the first stage (Analysis) of the ACE-V process used by law enforcement to establish the source of fingerprints left at the scene of a crime, disaster or act of terrorism. The game mechanics rely on noisy graph matching techniques to compare the performance of players to that of human experts and create an environment wherein players develop forensic skills.

Bio: : Stephen is a mathematician who can be spotted teaching Calculus to hapless first-year students at RMIT University when he is not researching or designing Serious Games like Delta Core. His passion for applying mathematics first led him to work on models of infectious disease and he has first-author papers in Nature and Science contributing to the theory and practice of managing disease outbreaks. Following postdoctoral appointments abroad at the University of Antwerp, the University of Utrecht and Yale University, he returned to Melbourne in 2009 to join RMIT University. He’s currently fascinated by pattern matching problems in the forensic sciences and has collaborated with Victoria Police for the last 5 years.

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Joint InfoSec/RMITOpt talk: Joanne Hall, Semi-Fields and Planar Functions


On 10 March we will have our first joint Information Security/RMIT Optimisation Group talk that starts a new series of Information Security seminars. As usual, the talk will be followed by light snacks in the staff room.


Speaker: Dr Joanne Hall
School of Science
RMIT University

Title: Semi-Fields and Planar Functions

Date and time: Friday, 10 March 2017, 3:00-4:00pm
Location: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

Abstract: Planar functions are a class of Perfectly Nonlinear functions which have uses in cryptography, error correcting codes, and wireless signal transmission as well as of being of theoretical interest in geometry and abstract algebra. Almost all planar functions over finite fields belong to the class of Dembowski-Ostrom polynomials.

In 2008 it was shown that Dembowski-Ostrom Planar polynomials are equivalent to commutative semi-fields [Coulter & Henderson]. The connection with semi-fields allowed us to use algebraic techniques to find several new planar functions.

Bio: Joanne is known to many of us at RMIT from the time she spent doing her PhD with Asha Rao. Her research on algebraic, combinatorial and geometric structures and their applications in cryptography, error control and data compression has been published in a variety of top ranked journals. Immediately after submitting her thesis in May, 2011, Joanne went to Europe with postdoctoral positions at the Institue of Astronomy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Department of Algebra of Charles University in Prague. Joanne then spent 4 years as a lecturer in the Mathematical Sciences School at QUT, developing a university wide minor in discrete mathematics. Returning to RMIT in 2017, Joanne is looking forward to participating in the graduation parade, having missed her own PhD graduation ceremony.

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