Studies suggest that many factors contribute to the attitudes and achievement of young women in mathematics, including encouragement from parents, interaction with mathematics teachers and curriculum content. The London Mathematical Society (LMS) organises events to help promote women in mathematics and to provide support and advice. It is an ideal opportunity to network with other women pursuing mathematics in a variety of different fields, including engineering, finance and academia.
The Women in Mathematics Day is an annual event organised by the LMS for women in mathematics to meet together for a day of talks and discussion groups. The talks are given by female mathematicians from a range of disciplines, including engineering, algebraic geometry, string theory and graph theory, and who are at various stages in their careers. The College of Engineering and Physical Science's Equality and Diversity fund recently supported Wei En Tan's, a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Pure Mathematics at the University of Birmingham, attendance at the event.
Wei En said:
The discussion was friendly and encouraging and it was invaluable to hear from women mathematicians, who love what they do, talk about their experiences and the decisions they made to get to where they are now. Overall, the day left me feeling empowered and supported as a woman in mathematics, and I am now a lot less fearful of my future career decisions. I would highly recommend this event and hope to attend again next year.
The event included a poster competition, sponsored by Wiley, enabling Ph.D. students to showcase their research. Wei En's poster about her work in positional games was titled, 'Waiters, Clients and the Probabilistic Intuition'. Positional games are a branch of combinatorics, a variety of two-player games, ranging from popular recreational games such as Tic-Tac-Toe and Hex, to purely abstract games played on graphs and hypergraphs.
High quality posters were submitted by a range of participants and it was with delight that Wei En received the prize of a £150 book voucher for the best Women in Mathematics Day poster. Wei En went on to write an article for the LMS with Dr Kitty Meeks from the University of Glasgow whom she met at the conference.
Wei En receiving her award. Image reproduced with permission of the LMS