A celebration of women in mathematical sciences in Ireland was held in the University of Limerick on May 19th 2016. The day included esteemed national and international speakers was attended by over 50 researchers, educators, policy members and members of the public from all over Ireland.
Dr Mary Shire, VP for Research University of Limerick opening proceedings and discussed the importance of addressing gender balance not only for those in the system currently but also for those coming after.
Colm Mulcahy, Professor & Vice Chair, Dept. of Mathematics, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA gave the audience a whirlwind tour of the history of women in Mathematics in Ireland .
Colm would like to see input on what people would like to see at a “Women in Maths in Ireland webpage” check out some of the information he has collated at the websites below:
Once it’s more user friendly it will be installed at http://www.mathsireland.ie/
He is also looking to develop a woman version of http://cardcolm.org/Atlas.html
Aoife Guerin is PhD Student Mathematics Education. Aoife’s talk highlighted the importance for everyone in the education sector to be aware of the power of nurturing a young person’s interest and therefore confidence in mathematics.
Marie Connolly, HR Manager, Organisational Change, University of Limeric told the audience about the great start made in University of Limerick with regards to addressing gender balance and highlighting the need for everyone to address their own unconscious biases.
Dr Joanna Jordan, Manager Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation spoke about bridging the academic-industry divide. Jo’s talk was exceedingly motivating and emphasised the importance for everyone to have a network of people who support you
Dr. Gordon Lessells, University of Limerick told the fascinating story of Maryam Mirzakani, the First Female Fields Medallist and gave attendees an introduction to colour graph theory.
Professor Bethany Bray the Outreach Director of the Methodology Center at Penn State told her personal story which highlighted how conscious support for women in their careers can have a tangible and positive impact. Your talk also highlights the importance of acknowledging our own unconscious biases.
Dr Ann O’Shea, Lecturer Mathematics, Maynooth University spoke on “Investigating Mathematical Understanding” , her talk emphasised the long lasting influence that educators can have on students and provided food for thought for those that teach/lecture to stop and reflect on their student’s mathematical understanding.
Dr John Nelson, Head of Department, Electronic & Computer Engineering Department, University of Limerick highlighted that while there are challenges in attracting women into disciplines like engineering and mathematics there is also great potential and opportunity. John’s story also underline the power of the encouraging word to students.
The discussion provided a forum for attendees to discuss the challenges facing gender balance in mathematical sciences.
Thank you to Dr. Tuoi Vo for the photographs.