Sky News

One of the country’s top universities has warned maths students not to use the term ‘marriage’ when referring to a well-known theorem because the word may cause ‘offence.’

The theorem was proved by Phillip Hall in 1935 and relies on the standard example of matchmaking men and women to represent two distinct sets.

The move by the University of New South Wales comes as student groups clash on campuses around the country on same sex marriage.

UNSW honours student Sean Lynch told Sky News that his lecturer asked students not to refer to the theorem as Hall’s Marriage Theorem in an assignment.

‘The reason why was because the canonical example has homophobic implications, at least in (lecturer Catherine Greenhill’s) eyes,’ Mr Lynch said.

Other school staff have also been accused of giving similar feedback, including on thesis critiques obtained by Sky News.

Mr Lynch said that while same sex marriage was never explicitly mentioned, it’s clear what staff members were referring to.

Senior lecturer and UNSW academic advisor, Dr Thomas Britz, says the advice was inappropriate and he will speak to the staff involved.