Celebrating diversity

Current and former members of our School share their mathematical journeys to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion.

Yin Hoon Chew (She/Her)

Yin Hoon Chew holding a sign saying Proud to be woman in STEM, Asian, UoB School of Mathematics

I cannot recall when my journey began. Probably since I was a child. After all, everything in our surroundings can be related to mathematics. I remember enjoying the subject in school. Compared to other subjects like languages, it was the only one where there were definite answers and I could even prove them! That gave me lots of joy and satisfaction. As my academic journey continued, I went on to study Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, a very applied 'branch' of mathematics. Now, I do research in the area of Mathematical and Computational Biology. As the name suggests, it is the combination of Mathematics, Computer Science and Biology. To be honest, I did not enjoy Biology when I was in school. Perhaps it was the way the subject was presented to me, but I thought it was a boring subject that only involved memorising structures and functions. No laws, not many conceptual ideas, and no derivations! (Gasp!) I started enjoying Biology when I learned that we could use Mathematics to discover new biology. Isn't that fun? I look forward to whatever comes next on this journey.

Rowland Seymour (He/Him)

Rowland Seymour holding a sign saying Proud to be an LGBTQ+ mathematician, UoB School of Mathematics

I'm Rowland and I'm a gay statistician. I did my undergrad in Southampton, before doing my PhD in Nottingham. My PhD was in epidemic modelling, looking at how diseases like bird flu spread. Recently, I've been using statistics to measure and identify human rights abuses, like human trafficking and forced marriages. I think statistics is a really powerful tool in identifying where abuses are happening and  measuring how successful programmes are to stop abuses.

Being an LGBTQ+ ally is a great way to support the community. Not everyone is out, so a good way of being an ally is to avoid making assumptions about how someone identifies or who they might be dating. You might want to check with the person how they identify and if they would like to keep this confidential.

Rahma Abdulahi (she/her)

Rahma Abdulahi holding a sign saying Proud to be Somali, Diabetic, First-generation student, UoB School of Mathematics

My name is Rahma Abdulahi, and I am a female PhD student, completing a project in Applied Mathematics. I graduated from the University of Birmingham with an MSci in Mathematics in 2021. I come from a first generation immigrant Somali family that moved from the Netherlands to a low income area of Birmingham when I was 5, all the while fleeing a civil war in my home country. I am the first of my family to attend university, and it was during my time in university that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Being at the intersection of various identities means that I have and will navigate my life differently to others but also that I can empathise with more people than most.