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The Random Sample podcast

The numbers

Seasons (Seasons 5 & 6)


Hosts and Guests (31 Women, 16 Men)

ACEMS Members As Host Or Guest (15 Women, 8 Men)

Listens in 2021 (26,000 Listens since the podcast started 2018)

2021 turned out to be the busiest year yet for the ACEMS podcast, The Random Sample.

We produced a total of 24 episodes over two seasons, featuring a total of 47 people who appeared as a host and/or guest. Of those 47 people, 31 are women.

The year kicked off with a very special guest. Harvard Professor Nan Laird appeared on The Random Sample after just winning the International Prize in Statistics, the top prize in the field of statistics.

As part of the International Women in Mathematics Day celebrations in May, the podcast featured mathematician Dr Eugenia Cheng, the author of multiple books promoting mathematics. Dr Cheng has also given TED Talks, and even appeared on TV’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”. In this episode, she discussed her latest book, “X+Y: a mathematician’s manifesto to rethinking gender”. In it, she describes her mathematical approach to tackling the issue of gender inequality in maths.

We were also proud to host Australian mathematician Professor Cheryl Praeger. Professor Praeger has won many distinguished awards, including becoming the first pure mathematician to win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2019.

In advance of Australia's 2021 National Census, we featured the person leading the Census. Teresa Dickinson is the Deputy Australian Statistician with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. She talked about what was new with the Census and what the future of the Census might hold.

The podcast also caught up with QUT Professor Lidia Morawska, the woman who led the push to get the world to finally recognise that COVID-19 was being spread through airborne transmission. In her episode, she talked about the challenges of getting the science community to realise this fact, and why we need a ventilation ‘revolution’ when it comes to the buildings where we work and where our kids go to school.

Another exciting guest was Luke Emrose, the Technical Lead for Rendering at Animal Logic Studios, a company that's been involved in some huge movies in recent years. Luke shared how he uses mathematical tools to make extraordinary things come alive on the big screen. Some of the films he's worked on include the Lego films, “Peter Rabbit”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Captain America”, “Captain Marvel” and “Walking with Dinosaurs”.

Of course, the podcast also provided a unique platform for ACEMS members to share some of their research and discuss other things they're involved in.

From the beginning, the podcast was created with an underlying mission, to help Centre members work on their communications skills through this unique platform. In 2021, 23 Centre members participated in The Random Sample, including 10 members who participated in multiple episodes.

The final ACEMS episode of The Random Sample featured ACEMS Director Peter Taylor and ACEMS Deputy Director Kerrie Mengersen. They took a trip down memory lane over the seven-plus years of the Centre. They also discussed what they feel to be the critical legacy items that came out of ACEMS. Please give it a listen!

Season Six
Season Five