Dr Thomas Britz

My Expertise

Mathematics; Pure Mathematics; Discrete Mathematics; Graph Theory; Combinatorics; Applied Mathematics; Mathematical Education; Editor of outreach journal Parabola

Field of Research (FoR)

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I am part of the Combinatorics Research Group at the School of Mathematics and Statistics here at UNSW Sydney.
See below for more details, and see my CV for comprehensive details, as well as my publications linked to on the right on this page.

If you are interested in graph theory, combinatorics or discrete mathematics, then feel free to email me or drop by and have a chat with me about prospective research and/or thesis topics!



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 –)
Topic Editor of Symmetry (October 2020 –)
Referee for 47 journals (roughly 130 reports)
Reviewer for Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH (roughly 200 reviews)
PhD Opponent (1 PhD defense)

Academic Mentor, UNSW (2019 – )
First Responder, UNSW (July 2018 – )
Academic Advisor, MATH, UNSW (August 2010 – )

Member of the Sustainability Committee, MATH, UNSW (February 2020 –)
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)
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.

My Grants

Research Grants

$510,115 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

My Qualifications


My Awards

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Contributions to Student Learning, UNSW, 2015.
UNSW Light Digital Uplift of MATH3411: $15,000, 2019

My Research Activities

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, 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, and psycholinguistics. 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

Currently supervising


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), 2015–
  Haya Saeed Aldosari, UNSW (secondary supervisor; primary supervisor:  Catherine Greenhill), 2020
  Adam Mammoliti,  UNSW, 2019
  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, 2018–
  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:
  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, 2019–
  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:
  Abdellah Islam, UNSW, 2020
  Iker Carrera, UNSW, 2020
  James Ross, UNSW, 2014

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 6,000 students.
I have also tutored numerous courses, for 2,000 students.

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


9385 7115
9385 7123


A LEGO proof of the math identity 1^2 +...+ n^2 = 1/6 n(n+1)(2n+1) . (It was fun to make! :) )