Alasdair has been teaching mathematics and computing at Victoria University for many years, and has a particular interest in mathematics education. He holds a PhD from Monash University, and is the recipient of a VC's award for teaching excellence, and also has a Citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) (now the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT)) for "Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning". He has been an assessor of awards and grants for ALTC/OLT, as well as mentoring VU staff for awards. He has been a visiting scholar at both Monash and Swinburne universities, and has given invited seminars locally, as well as in Malaysia and the USA. He has also been invited to teach advanced training courses in Singapore and Malaysia.

Alasdair's main research interests are the use of technology in the learning of mathematics, assessment in mathematics, and digital image processing. He has written two well-received textbooks and many articles.

Alasdair's teaching interests are in the transition between secondary and tertiary education, and his happiest moments are when a student has an "aha!" moment in one of his classes.

He is currently a member of TEQSA's “Register of Experts” with a remit which includes mathematics, education, computer and network security, e-learning, and assessment.

Recent publications


McAndrew, A. (2011) Introduction to Cryptography with Open-Source Software, CRC Press

McAndrew, A. (2004) Introduction to Digital Image Processing with Matlab, Course Technology/Thompson Learning

Refereed Journal Articles

McAndrew, A. (2008) Teaching Cryptography with open-source software, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, volume 40, pages 325—329 (Note: ERA A ranked publication)

McAndrew, A., Caruso, F., D'Aurizio, J. (2008) Efficient finite fields in the Maxima computer algebra system. Arithmetic of Finite Fields (Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol 5130) pages 62—76 (A ranked)


Package for finite fields, Maxima Computer Algebra system

Package for derangements, Sage Computer Algebra system

Note: the users for each of these systems number in the tens or possibly hundreds of thousands, judging by site statistics.

Teaching responsibilities

Mathematics at any undergraduate level, some computing as needed.


Mathematical Foundations 1

Engineering Mathematics 2

Stream for Mathematics Education (VIT & AQF compliant)

Postgraduate research students and fellows

Completions: 4 Honours, 10 Masters (Minor thesis), 1 Masters by research (principal supervisor), 1 Masters by research (co-supervisor), 1 PhD (co, supervisor)

Current supervision: 1 PhD (principal supervisor), 1 Masters by research (principal supervisor)

Research grants

Internal Grants

Improving Outcomes for Students in First Year Mathematics, VUT Quality Improvement Grant, 1995, $50,000

Improving learning outcomes for students in first year mathematics subjects, VU 2007, $20,000

Using an Access Grid Room for communication in Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering & Science, 2008, $70,000

Embedding mathematical software in undergraduate mathematics subjects, VU, 2008, $10,000

Improving outcomes for students studying engineering mathematics, VU TQIP, 2010, $7850

External Grants

Professional Learning Program for VCE Mathematics, Australian Government Quality Teaching Program 2007, $13,000

Using an Access Grid Room for communication in Mathematics, International Centre for Excellence in Education of Mathematics (ICE-EM), 2008, $70,000

Professional memberships

  • Mathematical Association of America
  • Mathematical Association of Victoria

Industry experience

  • Supervision of many capstone industry projects, with industries including local governments, manufacturing, Yooralla, educational and health providers.  
  • Research with the Australian Pulp & Paper Institute.

Appearances in the media

Areas of expertise

  • Academic governance
  • Digital Image Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics education
  • Network security

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 4344
+61 (3) 9919 4908