Where will the conference be held?
The conference will be held on the Camperdown campus of the University of Sydney in the Eastern Avenue Auditorium and the Law School building. The campus is about 3km south-west of the CBD of Sydney.
When exactly does the conference start and end?
The conference formally starts with a welcome reception from 6pm on Sunday 8 July and finishes with a plenary talk ending at 6pm on Thursday 12 July. The first formal session of the conference starts on Monday 9 July at about 8.30am. Please note, that the program is still in draft. Registration will open about 4pm on Sunday afternoon.
I'm presenting a poster. How big is the board?
The poster boards are 1.8m high and 1.2m wide. We recommend producing an A0 size, portrait poster. There are outlets where you can upload your poster for printing and pick it up close to the venue (e.g. Officeworks, Glebe. Note that the lead time is usually 2-3 business days).
Does Australia have a security or terrorism problem?
Generally speaking, Australia is very safe. The risk of a terrorist event is very low, and levels of crime, theft and personal assault are low. Although, like all big cities, Sydney has some areas that are less safe than others, personal security is usually not a problem.
Do I need a visa to travel to Australia?
To find out what visa you require to visit Australia please see the Australian Government website here. Citizens of many countries don't need visas to enter Australia. However, they do have to obtain what is called an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which basically works like an online visa. The ETA may be applied for at http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ (also linked from the general visa website above).
What about all those poisonous animals and insects?
You are more likely to get injured crossing the road than by Australian animals, fish or insects! Most of the more dangerous creatures (crocodiles, poisonous jellyfish, etc) live in tropical regions a long way north of Sydney. If you want to avoid the two species of poisonous spiders that live in Sydney, don't go into dense, wet vegetation or groundcover where funnel web spiders might live and be careful in very dry outdoor places, eg underneath verandah floors or under builders' debris where red-back spiders might be. You may see large hairy brown spiders near the ceiling. These are huntsman spiders and are harmless and, indeed, beneficial as they prey on flies, mosquitos and other insects.
Will internet be available at the conference?
Eduroam will be available throughout the conference venues. We are looking into using the Sydney University guest network as well for those who don't have eduroam access.
What accommodation will be available?
The conference committee has negotiated discounts with several hotels near the University of Sydney, including some apartment-style hotels. We regret that we are not able to provide dorm-style accommodation, as this is our short winter break, so many students remain in their university accommodation and it is not let out to conferences. However, several backpacker hostels near the university provide cheap accommodation or you may be able to keep costs low by sharing an apartment with colleagues. More information will be posted on the website closer to the event.
Where can I find food?
The conference will provide morning and afternoon teas, lunch on all four days and canapes at the Sunday reception and a grazing station at the poster sessions. There is a very good café in the Law School building which serves breakfasts from 8.00am and student union shops and cafeterias on campus. Just off campus in Newtown (to the west) and Glebe (to the northeast) there is a very wide variety of restaurants and other eateries.
What will the weather be like in Sydney in July?
July for us is the middle of winter! However Sydney has a mild climate and temperatures in July range from about 8 degrees Celsius (minimum) to 18 degrees Celsius (maximum) which are comfortable for being out and about. July is also the driest month in Sydney. Although the outdoor temperatures are not particularly cold, you may find, if you come from a colder climate, that buildings in Sydney may not be as well heated as you are used to.
Australia is known for its beautiful beaches. Will I be able to go to the beach?
Most of the Sydney locals consider that July is a bit cold to go swimming or sun baking, although you may see surfers in the waves. The water temperature in Sydney in July is usually about 18 degrees Celsuis. Some beaches (eg Bondi, Coogee and South Steyne at Manly) are patrolled by lifeguards throughout the year and would be a good choice if you want to take a dip. If you do decide to swim, please remember that surf beaches can be dangerous and stay between the red and yellow flags. Beaches in Sydney often have good cafes nearby and lovely scenery and are worth a visit even if you don't go swimming! Of course, if you want an Australian beach experience with warm weather and sunshine, tropical beaches in Queensland are not too far away!
How do I get from the airport to my accommodation?
Sydney has a train service that runs from the airport into the city. To take the train you will need to buy an Opal card at the station with at least $20 credit. (The trains from the airport are quite expensive as there is a special charge for using the airport stations.) Taxis are also available and will be a cheaper option than the train if there are three or more in your party.
I want to bring my family. What childcare or other facilities will be available?
There are a few occasional childcare centres in the vicinity of the university. These take children aged 2 to 5 on a casual basis and some also take younger children. The Sports Union of the University of Sydney offers sports camps where school-aged children can spend the day on campus playing soccer, or tennis for example. Further details will be posted on the website as they become available, or follow @SMB2018withkids on Twitter.
What if I have a question that is not answered here?
Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.
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2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology &