Women in Mathematics Day

Women in Mathematics Day is a joyful opportunity for the mathematical community to celebrate women in mathematics.

The event takes place every year, all around the world on May 12, the birthday of the late Maryam Mirzakhani, who was an Iranian mathematician and a Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, the first and the only woman to win the Fields medal.

The goal of the day is to inspire women everywhere to celebrate their achievements in mathematics, and to encourage an open, welcoming and inclusive work environment for everybody.

WIM 2022

On Thursday 12 May 2022 we celebrated Women in Mathematics Day and the birthday of the late Maryam Mirzakhani, a Fields medal winning Iranian mathematician and a Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, with a hybrid symposium organised by Prof. Roozbeh Hazrat at the Peter Shergold Parramatta City campus.

The gathering began with a welcome and Acknowledgement of Country by Western’s Assoc. Prof. Leanne Rylands, followed by the VC Prof. Barney Glover introducing our guest speakers Prof. Cheryl Praeger, Assis. Prof. Susan Wei and Prof. Natalie Thamwattana, referencing his love of mathematics and delight in Western’s achievements in continued dedication and ongoing commitment as a global leader in gender equality.

Cheryl Praeger, Susan Wei and Natalie Thamwattana spoke on their inspirations and journeys to becoming mathematicians giving fascinating insight into their paths into academia and a little about their current research.

associate professor Leanne Rylands, Vice Chancellor Barney Glover, speakers: Cheryl Praeger, Susan Wei, Natalie Thamwattana

WIM 2021

The School of Computer Data & Mathematical Sciences hosted the second Women in Maths event. We held this as a hybrid event with in person and online attendees last Thursday. This day celebrates the contribution of Women in STEM, in particular mathematics. The day will be celebrated worldwide and it is around Maryam Mirzakhani’s birthday.

Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician and a Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. She was one of the world’s leading experts in geometry and dynamical systems. Her beautiful and astonishing results and her life and career are an inspiration for everyone, women and men, to pursue their dreams in science. She died tragically from cancer in 2017 at the early age of 40.

In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces, becoming the first woman, and the first Iranian, to be recognised for her mathematical achievements by this top mathematical prize.

Thanks to Professor Sweeney for doing the Welcome to Country and Opening of our Event before the key note speakers of the evening.

We had wonderful speakers who really where empowering to hear talk about their journeys and how they got to be where they are today. I also know who helps decide our interest rates now and for anyone else wondering it is Luci Ellis!

Lucy Ellis 2021

Luci Ellis (pictured) (Reserve Bank of Australia): Luci Ellis received her PhD from ANU. She is the Assistant Governor (Economic) at the Reserve Bank of Australia, a position she has held since December 2016. She has also served as a Deputy Head of Economic Analysis Department and spent almost two years on secondment at the Bank for International Settlements.

Julia Collins (Edith Cowan University): Julia Collins has a PhD in 4-dimensional Knot Theory from the University of Edinburgh where she was also the Mathematics Engagement Officer for five years. In 2016 she moved to Australia to work on the CHOOSEMATHS project at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, before taking up a mathematics lecturing position at Edith Cowan University in 2019. She has won the How to Talk Maths in Public competition and co-organised the world's first Maths Craft Festival. Julia has been published in Nature and The Best Writing on Mathematics, and is the author of Get Smart: Maths.

Mary Myerscough (University of Sydney): Mary Myerscough is a member of the Nonlinear Analysis research group and a member of the Applied Mathematics research group. She is a full professor at the University of Sydney. Her interests are Mathematical biology, mathematical models for atherosclerosis and carcinogenesis, self-organisation in social insects.

Rosalind Wang (Western Sydney University): Dr Rosalind Wang is a senior lecturer in Data Science at Western Sydney University, Australia. Since completing her PhD in 2008, Dr Wang has worked as a machine learning and data mining researcher at CSIRO, Australia. At CSIRO, Dr Wang applied her skills in machine learning to a diverse field of projects ranging from energy management, anomaly detection in sensor networks, medical diagnostics and astronomy.

A documentary on the late Maryam Mirzakhani was also shown throughout the evening.

WIM 2019

The first Women in Mathematics Day in Western Sydney was held on the 16th of May 2019 to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women active in Mathematics. The day is around Maryam Mirzakhani's birthday, who was the first ever woman who won the Fields medal. The event consists of several invited talks given by mathematicians active in Western Sydney and other institutes in Australia.

The invited speakers were:

  • Adelle Howse (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute)
  • Catherine Greenhill (Pictured) (University of New South Wales)
  • Leanne Rylands (Western Sydney University)
  • Huanhuan Li (Western Sydney University)

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