Submitted by Vivien Easson on

Andy Drizen will spend a month in New Zealand.

The Eileen Eliza Colyer Prize is a prize of up to £1000 for a research student in the School of Mathematical Sciences to study at another institution for an extended period with an expert in his or her area. It is primarily funded by a gift from Professor Alan Camina of the University of East Anglia, who has very long-standing family ties with Mathematics at QMUL. (You might recognise some of the lecturers in this picture taken at his retirement!) His mother-in-law, Eileen Eliza Colyer, studied at Queen Mary, and both Alan Camina himself and his daughter Rachel took their PhDs in Mathematics here. Rachel Camina works in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge.

Andy will spend the prize on a visit to Nick Cavenagh at the University of Waikato in New Zealand for a month in early 2010. They have shared research interests in combinatorics. For those who want the details:

"Cavenagh is also very interested in finding “defining”, or “critical sets” (a partially-filled object that has a unique completion and no redundant information) in Latin squares, Steiner triple systems and one-factorizations of K_{2n} using Latin trades. An initial project idea is to work on extending his paper on critical sets to include 2-((n, n, n), (1, 1, 1), \lambda) designs, although given the amount of joint-interest in other areas, I’d expect we shall concoct many other fruitful ideas." - Andy Drizen

If Latin squares are Greek to you, you can find some background information at:

Wikipedia - Latin squares

Wolfram MathWorld - Latin squares

nrich.maths.org - Latin squares

Latin squares have applications to error-correcting codes, experimental design and puzzles such as Sudoku.