Dr Thomas Britz
Senior Lecturer

Dr Thomas Britz


School of Mathematics & Statistics

I am part of the Combinatorics Research Group at the School of Mathematics and Statistics here at UNSW Sydney.


President of the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (CMSA) (December 2021 –)
Editor of Parabola (November 2015 –)
Managing Editor for the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics (August 2011 – )
Area Editor for the Journal of Algebra, Combinatorics, Discrete Structures and its Applications (April 2014 –)
Referee for 59 journals and 2 conference proceedings (> 175 reports)
Reviewer for Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH (> 200 reviews)
Grant proposal assessor for ARC DP, NISDRG, FRP, Vidi (28 reports)
PhD Opponent (1 PhD defense)

Member of UNSW Student Wellbeing Community of Practice, UNSW (January 2022 – )
Member of UNSW Data Science Hub (uDASH), UNSW (August 2021 –)
Member of the Sustainability Committee, MATH, UNSW (February 2020 –)
Academic Mentor, UNSW (2019 – )
First Responder, UNSW (July 2018 – )
Member of the Education Excellence Committee, Science Faculty, UNSW (March 2018 – ) 
Co-organiser of the 42th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing, UNSW, December 2019 (March 2018 – December 2019)
School liaison for the UNSW MathSoc, MATH, UNSW (Jan 2012 – 2018)
Chair of the Publicity Committee, MATH, UNSW (July 2014 – September 2018)
Lecturer's Representative for the School Standing Committee, UNSW (June 2011 – 2018)
Manager of Web and Social Media, MATH, UNSW (November 2017 – August 2018)
Member of the Computing Committee, MATH, UNSW (February 2018 – August 2018)
Member of the Research Committee, MATH, UNSW (October 2015 – July 2017)
Pure Representative on the Postgraduate Committee, MATH, UNSW (September 2013 – September 2017)
Chair of the School Standing Committee, MATH, UNSW (February 2014 – April 2015)
Member of the Policy and Resources Committee, MATH, UNSW (February – December 2014)
Academic Advisor, MATH, UNSW (August 2010 – )
Organiser of Pure Departmental Seminar, School of Mathematics \&\ Statistics, UNSW (Aug 2010 – Jan 2013)
Co-organiser of the Joint Colloquium, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW (Aug 2010 – Jan 2013)
Co-organiser of the 36th Australasian Conference on Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing, UNSW, December 2012 (March 2011 – December 2012)

Member of the Australian Mathematical Society (August 2018 – )
Life member of the Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia (CMSA)

I also enjoy a range of outreach activities, to promote mathematical thinking, learning and enjoyment.

9385 7115
Room RC-5111, The Red Centre School of Mathematics and Statistics UNSW Sydney Sydney NSW 2052

Research Grants

$525,115 total awarded by grants, including the following:

  • ARC Discovery Grant: T. Britz, "Chromatic polynomials, random graphs, and error-correcting codes: a unified approach to graph colouring problems”, $242,066, 2007–2009
  • PIMS Postdoctoral Fellowship, 20,000CAD, 2003–2004
  • Villum Kann Rasmussen Postdoctoral Fellowship, 350.000DKK (2004–2005)
  • Carlsberg Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 350.000DKK, 2006
  • UNSW Faculty of Science Silverstar Award, T. Britz, $25,000, 2013
  • UNSW Light Digital Uplift of MATH3411: $15,000, 2019.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Wellbeing, UNSW, 2021.
Science Dean's Award for Excellence in Student Wellbeing, UNSW, 2021.
Vice-Chancellor's Award for Contributions to Student Learning, UNSW, 2015.

I am interested in most areas of discrete mathematics and combinatorics. Most of my research has been so far in graph theory, matroid theory, coding theory, combinatorial polynomials, combinatorial matrix theory, design theory, partially ordered sets, matching theory, flow theory, and enumerative combinatorics. Most of my research is highly foundational and theoretical but I also enjoy applying combinatorial methods and results to other areas, so far including big data in medicine, bioinformatics, criminology, ecology, electrochemistry, law, linear algebra, oceanography, psycholinguistics, quantum mechanics and renewable energy. I also very much welcome the opportunity to solve tangible real-life problems and have consulted for a variety of companies.
If you have any problem that might benefit from some math- or problem-solving skills, then please email me!

My Research Supervision


PhD students:
  Zhi Yee Chng, UNSW (joint supervision with Tan Ta Sheng and Wong Kok Bin, University of Malaya), 2019–
  John Fitzgerald, UNSW (joint supervision with Lyria Bennet Moses, UNSW Law, and Ben Hachey, USyd ), 2015–
  Adam Mammoliti, UNSW, 2019
  James Ross, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor: Catherine Greenhill), 2017–
  Haya Saeed Aldosari, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor: Catherine Greenhill), 2020
  Vicki Likourezos, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor: Slava Kalyuga, UNSW Arts), 2016-2017
  Peter Ayre, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor:  Catherine Greenhill), 2019
  Ali Hussian Alkhaldi, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor:  Norman Wildberger), 2014
Master by Research students:
  Ziyu Li, UNSW, 2021
  Sin Keong Tong, UNSW, 2019
  Zhi Yee Chng, UNSW, 2017
  Maria Fischer, UNSW, 2015
  Marie-Louise Hoejlund Rasmussen, Technical University of Denmark, 2005

Honours students:
  Gerald Huang, UNSW, 2021–
  Zhan Wei, UNSW, 2021–
  Rickey Wu, UNSW, 2021–
  Edmond Gao, UNSW, 2021
  Ryan Snoyman, UNSW, 2020
  David Morris, UNSW, 2020
  Michael Libman, UNSW, 2019
  Nelson Chen, UNSW, 2019
  Daniel Tanios, UNSW, 2019
  Jessica Dai, UNSW, 2018
  Tyson Churcher, UNSW, 2016
  Duncan Crowley, UNSW, 2016
  Adam Mammoliti, UNSW, 2014
  Elizabeth Alford, UNSW, 2012

Master by Coursework students:
  Demetra Siountris, UNSW, 2020
  Xin Hu, UNSW, 2019
  Salha Ahmed Alshaikey, UNSW, 2012
  Dalal Alanazi, UNSW, 2012
  Saad Althobaiti, UNSW, 2012
  Doug Han Yang, UNSW, 2009
  Ali Alkhaldi,  UNSW, 2009
Research Course Project:
  Jovana Kolar, UNSW, 2021
  Abdellah Islam, UNSW, 2020
  Iker Carrera, UNSW, 2020
  James Ross, UNSW, 2014

AMSI Summer Research Project:
  Ariana Liu, UNSW, 2023
  Jovana Kolar, UNSW, 2022
  Tiana Tsung Ung, UNSW, 2021

Summer Research Project:
  Tiana Tsung Ung, UNSW, 2020
  Abdellah Islam, UNSW, 2020
  Charlie Stinson, UNSW, 2019
  Zijian Gao, UNSW, 2019
  Rui Tong, UNSW, 2018
  Jacky Huang, UNSW, 2018
  Gary Liang, UNSW, 2015
  Adam Mammoliti, UNSW, 2014
  Steve Sui, UNSW, 2013
  Kirsten Vo-Phuoc, UNSW, 2012
  Sen Lin, UNSW, 2011

My Teaching

I have designed, created and lectured the HDR/Honours courses

Aspects of Combinatorial Optimisation (at Kumamoto University, 2011)
Combinatorial Enumeration and Optimisation (AMSI Summer School 2012, with Prof. Ian Wanless).
MATH5505 - Combinatorics (UNSW 2016, 2018)
An Introduction to Combinatorics (Aalto University, 2017)

and written course material for, and lectured, the courses

MATH151 - Finite Mathematics (University of Victoria, BC, Canada)
MATH1081 - Discrete Mathematics
MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A
MATH1241 - Higher Mathematics 1B
MATH3411 - Information, Codes and Ciphers
MATH3521 - Algebraic Techniques in Number Theory

In total, I have lectured semester courses for 8,000 students.
I have also tutored numerous courses, for 2,000 students.

Here is quick access to some of my maths teaching and outreach videos.