The purpose of the Michael Tallis PhD Research Travel Award is to provide international learning, research and networking opportunities for PhD candidates studying Statistics or Data Science at the UNSW School of Mathematics & Statistics.
George Michael Tallis (Mike) was born in Melbourne on 10 August 1931
After private tutoring in his early years, he entered Geelong Grammar School at the age of 12 to complete his schooling. He graduated from Longerenong Agricultural College in 1953 with a Diploma and a BSc in Agriculture, before going to the USA to study Human Genetics at Ohio State University, graduating with an MSc (1956) and PhD (1957). On his return to Australia, he joined Helen Newton Turner's group in the CSIRO Division of Animal Genetics transferring to the CSIRO Division of Mathematical Statistics in 1961.
He undertook further (part-time) study at the University of New South Wales, graduating with an MSc in Mathematics in 1963, and a PhD in Statistics in 1965. In 1964, he took leave to visit the Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University, returning to CSIRO in 1967.
In 1970, he left his position as Principal Research Scientist to take up a position as Reader and subsequently Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide. After retiring in 1992, he continued as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow until 2000. In 1976, he was awarded a DSc by the University of New South Wales in recognition of his research in Applied Statistics, Mathematical Statistics and Computer Modelling of Biological Systems, and his ability to identify suitable problems for research.
After 2000, he continued a very active research program, much of it with his wife Joan, with whom he documented the Tallis family history. He authored or co-authored 96 peer-reviewed articles and wrote 5 books, most notably The Silent Showman, which recounted the story of Michael's grandfather Sir George Tallis, the man behind the world's largest entertainment organisation in the 1920s, and of the first 50 years of the Australia's theatre company, J. C. Williamson Ltd.
Michael left behind a collection of 120 published and unpublished papers and 168 mathematics, statistics & genetics books that were donated to the University of Adelaide and the UNSW School of Mathematics & Statistics by his daughter Lindy Tallis.
Michael particularly enjoyed working with extremely gifted statisticians who were working on problems important to Australia and whose research findings have made a valuable contribution. He was an advocate of international exchange opportunities to provide learning, growth, research exchange and networking opportunities.
The Award shall be awarded competitively, taking into account academic merit, the benefit of the travel program to the candidate’s study, and alignment with the following:
Applications should be submitted to Head of School Executive Assistant, Kaye Sedgers and should include:
Applications for 2024 closed on 19 January 2024.
The candidate will be required to submit a report outlining the impact the Award has made to them and their research. This will be forwarded to the Donor by the Division of Philanthropy.
The candidate may also be invited to give a talk about their international research program to UNSW staff, students and the Donor. This may take place at an Annual School Postgraduate Conference.