Encouraging women into maths

Thursday 25th March 2021

Results for boys and girls in GCSE Mathematics are fairly even but, from that time onwards, the number of girls taking maths drops. In many universities, women taking PhDs in maths are noticeable only by their absence despite no statistical difference in prior achievement, and fewer than 10% of mathematics professors in the UK are women.

For the third time the AMSP, along with the University of Manchester, will hold an event open to both boys and girls in Year 10 and Year 12 in summer 2021 to celebrate women in maths. The event will showcase successful female role models, and all of the speakers and volunteers at the event will be female mathematicians.

In the past, the event has included plenary talks by Professor Victoria Gould (York) and Professor Louise Walker (Manchester) on My Career as a Mathematician and Dr Isobel Falconer (St Andrews) on Female Mathematicians Throughout History, as well as workshops on Fractals, Random Walks, Spread of Disease, Fluid Dynamics, and many more. All of our workshops will be run by mathematicians at different stages of their careers relating to aspects of their research. They will have some level of interaction and an opportunity to ask questions. An advantage of putting this event online is that students will be free to choose all of the workshops which interest them.

We hope that this event will inspire (particularly female) students that a career in maths is something they can aspire to. In addition to learning about areas of maths not encountered at school, students have really appreciated "being able to ask lots of individual questions". When asked what the most useful aspect of the day was, one student said, "hearing about women who have achieved something in worse conditions than we have nowadays has inspired me to handle being in a male dominated job" while another commented on "meeting all these amazing mathematicians" and the "empowering atmosphere!".

If you'd be interested in attending this event, please email me ([email protected]). More information about and resources for encouraging girls’ participation in maths can be found on the AMSP website.

By Abi Bown

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