When I had finished my honours year in maths at UWA, I was pretty set on going into number theory.
There were (literally) a few number theorists around Australia at the time and I didn’t really understand what they were working on, so I took what was a BIG step for me at the time and went to a number theory conference: the International Number Theory Conference in Memory of Alf van der Poorten.
This turned out to be a great move. Not only did I get to meet tons of well-known number theorists and potential supervisors, I also learnt a great deal about different areas of number theory. This is really important: even within an area like number theory you will find some problems will interest you more than others.
That conference (unofficially) marked the beginning of the Number Theory Down Under conferences that run annually in Australia. This year’s conference will be held in Brisbane on September 26-29 2022.
If you’re considering a career in number theory, or you just like learning about prime numbers and that sort of thing, then I strongly encourage you to go along and listen to some talks!
You can learn more about number theory in Australia through the Number Theory Down Under interest group of the Australian Mathematical Society.