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Stephen Wilkinson, Regional Lead for the East Midlands

The AMSP, in partnership with the London Mathematical Society, held a #WomenInMaths day at Bishop Grossteste University on Tuesday 27 March. This event was organised for girls studying maths at GCSE and A Level, and aimed to raise aspirations and participation.

Bishop Grossteste’s Lizzie Kimber and the AMSP’s Yvonne Croasdaile organised and opened the event. Anitha Thillaisundaram, from the Algebra Group at University of Lincoln, spoke about studying maths at university and working as a mathematician in academia, explaining her post-doctoral research using a pen and a box of chocolates!

Sharon Tripconey, from the AMSP, ran an engaging session looking at the ‘Mathematics of Social Networks’. Initially telling participants about Kevin Bacon and “Bacon Numbers”, this interactive session quickly had the girls calculating popularity and connectedness for simple networks. This session finished with a look at Ramsey Numbers and the fascinating realm of mathematical problems without known solutions.

Dressed in clothes of the 1800s, Sue De Pomerai spoke about Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. The girls learnt about the role of women during the 19th Century, and also about the significant contributions made by the Countess of Lovelace and other female mathematicians of the time.

The day finished with an opportunity to hear from female mathematicians, statisticians and engineers from the region – women who have studied mathematics and gone on to have successful careers. The participants asked lots of questions, and their evaluations suggest that the girls found this the most useful element of the day.

If you wish to run an event like this at your school, please contact one of the East Midlands AMSP Team.

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