Rice hosts Association for Women in Mathematics

350 attend biennial research symposium co-hosted by Math, CAAM departments

Special to Rice News

“The problem was not being admitted to the club, so we made our own club.”

The speaker was Ami Radunskaya, professor of mathematics at Pomona College. The club formed was the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), which held its 2019 Research Symposium, attended by almost 350 scholars and students, at Rice’s Duncan Hall April 6-7.

Attendees at mathematics symposium

Almost 350 attended the Association for Women in Mathematics 2019 Research Symposium at Duncan Hall April 6-7.

“Why did we need to exist?” asked Radunskaya, AWM president for 2017-19. “Well, women have been and still are underrepresented in mathematics and all the mathematical sciences.”

The AWM, founded in 1971, has some 5,200 members. Its biennial symposium included a career panel, poster sessions for graduate students and recent Ph.D.s, 18 special sessions with participants discussing various mathematical disciplines, and plenary talks recognizing the contributions of female mathematicians.

“One of the reasons we’re doing better than we used to is that we discovered that networking works fabulously to help women enjoy and stay in the field,” said Ruth Charney, professor of mathematics at Brandeis University and AWM president for 2013-15. “The more networking we do, where women get to know each other, the more likely they are to stay and persevere and enjoy what they’re doing.”

The keynote address, delivered at the Saturday evening banquet, was given by Mariam Manuel, instructional assistant professor at the University of Houston. Marie Lynn Miranda, Howard R. Hughes Provost and Professor of Statistics at Rice, welcomed the attendees.

The conference was organized by Karoline Pershell, executive director of AWM, who earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from Rice in 2009. Serving on the symposium’s organizing committee were Béatrice Rivière, the Noah G. Harding Chair and Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM), and Shelly Harvey, professor of mathematics, both at Rice.

Rivière presented a talk entitled “Numerical Methods for Solving Linear Poroelasticity Equations” as part of a research session organized by Adrianna Gillman, assistant professor of CAAM.

Funding was provided by Rice, the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

–Patrick Kurp is a science writer in the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

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