Latest Episode


Coping with Climate Anxiety – with Dr Alexandra Knight

Have you heard of, or are you experiencing, eco-grief or climate anxiety? A team of women just completed an extensive survey of how climate change is affecting the people who study it. This episode explores their results, plus offers some tools and messages of hope for anyone who might be experiencing these feelings.

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Welcome to The Random Sample!

How do we make sense of a world filled with data, uncertainty, and randomness? With mathematics, statistics, and data science – that’s how! The Random Sample takes you inside these sciences and introduces you to some of the people involved, explores the work they’re doing, and shows the impact it’s having.


Scientific Graphic Design for Communicating Research – with Dr Jess Hopf

People love stories. That simple fact all too often gets forgotten by scientists when it comes to…

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The Mathematics of Bushfires – with Professor Jason Sharples

How mathematical modelling can help us better understand the complex interactions between…

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Understanding Maths Struggles – with Dr Jacob Paul

Why do some people struggle with maths? In this episode, we chat with a man who studies maths…

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Building Blocks of the Universe – with Prof Alessandro Sfondrini

This episode of The Random Sample gives you a glimpse into some of the mathematics and physics that…

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Using maths to explore the music of Taylor Swift – with Dr Nathan Garland

In this episode, we explore the music of Taylor Swift using some common tools from a mathematical…

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Why host a podcast?!

In this episode, The Random Sample switches things up a bit. The people who usually ask the…

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The Maths of Wi-Fi with Professor David Skellern

It’s hard to imagine a time before Wi-Fi – or what we’d do without it. In this episode, we chat…

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Emerging Leaders in Statistics

This episode introduces you to the three statisticians chosen to give the inaugural Horizon…

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Superstars of STEM

This episode explores how the Superstars of STEMS program equips equips brilliant diverse STEM…

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What you need to know about Referendum Polling with Professor Simon Jackman

On Saturday, October 14th, Australians head to the polls to decide the Voice to Parliament…

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Communicating Statistics & Probability with Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal

Our guest is University of Toronto Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal, author of the book, “Struck by…

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Cracking the Code on the Spread of Mis-and-Disinformation on Social Media

How does misinformation and disinformation spread on social media? In this episode, we explore how…

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Can Water Compute? With Prof. Eva Miranda

Sometimes interesting research starts with a question from faced by industry. That question may…

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Industry PhDs

Sometimes interesting research starts with a question from faced by industry. That question may…

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On the Road at the ISI World Statistics Congress

This is a special edition of The Random Sample! We’re on the road at the World Statistics Congress…

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Open-sourcing Data Science Education with Professor Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel

Our guest is Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, a Professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Duke…

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Talking Maths & Conservation with Professor Hugh Possingham

For three decades, University of Queensland Professor Hugh Possingham has combined his two passions…

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Law & Stats: What’s a Statistician doing in Court?

Ever watch a TV courtroom drama where they question an expert witness? Chances are, you’ve never…

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Gravitational Waves: From Theory to Discovery

100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence, scientists in 2015 detected…

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Optimisation: The Intelligence Behind AI

We explore the field of discrete optimisation and its use in helping many industries and companies…

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The Future is Now: Building Better Climate Models

It’s one of the most pressing, if not the most pressing, question facing scientists: what impact is…

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Large Language Models & ChatGPT

Since its release in late 2022, Open AI's ChatGPT has most everyone talking about it, and even…

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The WiDS Global Movement

There's a global movement underway to address the low numbers of women in Data Science. It's called…

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The AMSI-ANZIAM Distinguished Lecturer: Professor Konstantin Avrachenkov

The 2023 AMSI-ANZIAM Distinguished Lecturer is Professor Konstantin Avrachenkov, Director of…

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Future Proofing as Data Changes the World

With the explosion of data everywhere, how do you prepare for the exciting new careers and jobs of…

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Unpacking the Sphere Packing Problem

The Fields Medal is the top award in mathematics and for only the second time ever, a woman has won…

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The Statistical Society Celebrates its 60th

The Statistical Society of Australia reaches a big milestone in 2022, as it turns 60 years old. In…

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A Deep Dive on the Great Barrier Reef

Mathematical and data scientists are heavily involved in the effort to save the Great Barrier Reef.…

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The Story of ACEMS

In this episode, we explore the impact ACEMS has had on those sciences, and beyond, to…

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Teaching with MathsCraft

Mathematics is exciting, enjoyable, and can surprise you, right? To help students to experience…

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Software as a First Class Research Output

Thanks to the efforts of ACEMS Chief Investigator Rob Hyndman, the School of Business at Monash…

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Using Stats to Crowdsource the Weather

The European Meteorological Society just awarded an ACEMS researcher and her colleague in the…

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Innovation in Data Visualisation

Monash University Professor of Statistics Di Cook is considered a world leader in Data…

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Talking Stats with Aurore Delaigle

Aurore Delaigle is a professor of statistics at The University of Melbourne and a Fellow of both…

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Maths at MATRIX

What does mathematical research look like? If you visit Australia's residential mathematics…

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The Maths Behind Movie Magic

Ever wonder how the impossible becomes possible on the big screen? Not surprisingly, there's a lot…

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OPTiMA Centre

Companies from many different sectors are all starting to realise one thing - that mathematics can…

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Experiment in Lockdown

The Safe Blues project was created to see in close to real-time how social mobility and epidemic…

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Clearing the Air on COVID-19

Our guest is QUT Distiguished Professor Lidia Morawska who led the push to get health organisations…

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Predicting What the Clouds are Covering Up

Thousands of species around the world are being threatened by land clearing to make way for…

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Success, Luck & Second Chances

When things go your way – or don’t go your way – how much of that is luck? Do we overvalue or…

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The 2021 Australian Census

Every five years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts a national Census. In this episode,…

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The future of statistics is in good hands: the Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference

In a world that’s more data-driven than ever before, we need people who can analyse and find the…

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A Chat with Professor Cheryl Praeger

She is considered one of Australia’s greatest mathematicians. Professor Cheryl Praeger turned her…

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The “Wondrous Worlds” of Maths

What can maths do for you? A new children’s book aims to give youngsters – and their parents and…

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The Road Ahead for Women in STEM

The mathematical sciences community recently celebrated international women in mathematics day. To…

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The Maths & Stats Behind Testing Vaccines

What does it take to test a vaccine? Among other things, some very important mathematical and…

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A Pint of Maths & Stats

For an 8th straight year, the Pint of Science Festival has just kicked off in Australia. Its aim is…

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Australian Women of Mathematics Exhibit

The term mathematical modelling takes on a whole new meaning for a group of Australian…

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A Mathematical Approach to Gender Inequality

Mathematics has a numbers problem – at least when it comes to gender equity. But what if we could…

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Significance & the Replication Crisis

In the last decade, a controversy called the 'replication crisis' rocked the scientific community.…

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The International Prize in Statistics

The International Prize in Statistics is considered the top award in the field of statistics. This…

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Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

When it comes to the number of women in mathematics, the numbers are low. In this episode, we…

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Maths & the Power of Perseverance

Have you heard someone say they weren't good at maths or hated it at school? Is there such a thing…

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Bubbles, Maths & a World Record

An Adelaide man recently set a world record for the tallest free-standing soap bubble. It reached…

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Open Data Opens Doors to Answers

Data can unlock the answers to a lot of questions. But few researchers are asking some of the…

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Driven by Data: Statistics in Sports

In the race for gold, athletes are always looking for a competitive edge. But could that edge now…

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Living & Playing Together in Moreton Bay

Moreton Bay, off the coast of Southeast Queensland, is home to an incredible array of iconic marine…

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Making a Connection to Culture

We explore the connections between mathematics and Aboriginal culture and how they can be used to…

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Why Study Maths & Stats?

We sit down with four university students from around Australia who are studying maths and stats.…

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From Maths to the Media

What can you do with a mathematics education? For Casey Briggs, he's turned it into a career with…

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A chat with Professor Kerry Landman

From business to biology, Professor Kerry Landman has taken her love for applied mathematics and…

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Hacking Your Lower Brain to Improve Predictions

Do you ever stop and think about how much time you spend on your mobile phone, or binge-watching…

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Fact vs Fake: Targeting Misinformation on Social Media

One of the biggest issues we face is the deliberate spread of false information over platforms like…

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Bayes’ Theorem: The Past & the Future

Bayesian statistics help decide what email you get is spam. It can assess security and medical…

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From Cells to Systems: Maths Meets Biology

It’s one of the fastest growing areas of mathematics, and for good reason. Mathematical biology…

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The Maths Behind Australia’s Response to COVID-19

Professor James McCaw is one of the leaders of the pandemic modelling group advising Australia's…

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Forecasting the Future & the Future of Forecasting

The closest thing to a crystal ball that many organisations and businesses have to look into the…

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‘The Random Sample’ Samples Randomised Trials

How do you know if a new drug will do what it claims to do? Or a new policy will have a desired…

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Hospital Hesitancy

In the build up to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals started preparing for the worst. On a normal…

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COVID Clues in Dirty Water Data

In the search for clues in tracking the presence or spread of COVID-19 in communities, sometimes…

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Safe Blues

How well do social distancing measures work when it comes to controlling the spread of COVID-19?…

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Antarctic Outreach

Patricia Menendez is on a mission to get more girls and young women interested in maths and stats.…

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The Maths of Mining the Blockchain

Chances are you’ve heard of bitcoin – or blockchain – or both. But what are they? How did they…

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Australian Maths Tour

Every two years, AustMS and AMSI choose a prominent mathematician to tour Australia. This year's…

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A Chat with Hadley Wickham

The world of data science has seen a massive explosion of interest in the last decade. It’s more…

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Talking Stats & Stories

How do we find the stories that are hidden inside of statistics and data? And how can we better…

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Playing the Game of Maths

What if we could change the way a lot of students feel about mathematics? In this episode, we…

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Model Health – Using Maths to Understand a Hospital ICU

How many beds should a new hospital include for its intensive care unit? Not enough is bad for…

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A Day Can Make a Difference

In May 2019, there were more than a dozen "Women in Maths" Day celebrations around Australia. Maybe…

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MARVEL-lous Casting

There's no denying the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) - but what if you could…

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Weighing Up Evidence in Criminal Courts and at a King’s Burial Site

In this episode, we explore the use of statistical genetics in the legal system, and in identifying…

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Matilda to the Rescue

The role of algorithms can’t be understated in the technological world we now live in. For example,…

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12 - 13

Space Junk & Shield Technology

Space junk and micrometeoroids present serious problems for any satellite or ship that ventures…

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Citizen Science & the Great Barrier Reef

In this episode, we explore an innovative project designed to help the Great Barrier Reef. It's…

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Pioneering Women – Helen Newton Turner

In this episode, ACEMS Chief Investigator Louise Ryan takes a look at the life of another…

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Information Theory – from Morse Code to Mobile Phones & WiFi

Imagine your life now without a mobile phone or WiFi. The digital revolution is probably the…

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Women in STEM

Women make up less than one-fifth of the STEM workforce in Australia. But in this episode, we chat…

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A conversation with Louise Ryan

Louise Ryan is one of ACEMS Chief Investigators... and like many of ACEMS’ CIs she has had an…

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Wanted- Gender Equity in STEM

Why aren't there more women in maths or STEM? What's being done about that, and why is that so…

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Can you really be a mathematician?

Have you ever wondered what kind of career a focus on mathematics would give you?

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Should you believe what the survey says?

When you see or hear news stories about the latest poll, or what conclusions have been drawn from…

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How to get from a dog to DNA in two short steps

How does your phone or computer know the word that you were trying to type and autocorrects for…

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A not-so secret linear programming paper: The story of Alison Harcourt

In 1960, an Australian mathematician named AG Doig co-authored a seminal paper in the field of…

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What do you win when you gamble?

In this episode, we explore the impact ACEMS has had on those sciences, and beyond, to…

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