Fifth African-American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics

In one week, Baylor University will dedicate a new bust to commemorate Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes, their first African-American faculty member (hired in 1966) and the fifth African-American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Baylor’s Facebook page on Tuesday, February 26th! #womeninmath#diversityinmath @bayloruniversity

Source: Facebook Page of Association for Women in Mathematics


Nearly half of US female scientists leave full-time science after first child

Study reveals proportion of people leaving full-time careers in science after the birth of their first child.

This article has been chosen from | By: Holly Else |  Published: 19 FEBRUARY 2019

More than 40% of women with full-time jobs in science leave the sector or go part time after having their first child, according to a study of how parenthood affects career trajectories in the United States. By contrast, only 23% of new fathers leave or cut their working hours.

The analysis (see ‘Parents in science’), led by Erin Cech, a sociologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, might help to explain the persistent under-representation of women in jobs that involve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The study also highlights the impact of fatherhood on a career in science, she says.

Source: Ref. 1

Career versus family

Given that 90% of people in the United States become parents during their working lives, Cech and Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego, sought to better understand what happens to scientists’ careers after they start a family.

They used the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System, a database provided by the US National Science Foundation that contains information from surveys of the US STEM workforce every two to three years.

From the 2003 data, Cech and Blair-Loy picked the child-free scientists in full-time employment and tracked their familial status in the next wave of the survey, in 2006. This gave them two groups of scientists to compare — 841 who became parents during this period, and 3,365 who remained childless throughout. The researchers also looked at how these individuals’ careers changed between 2003 and 2010.

They report that new parents are significantly more likely to leave a full-time science career for full-time non-science careers than their child-free colleagues1.

Gender imbalance

By the end of the study period, 23% of men and 43% of women who had become parents had left full-time STEM employment. They either went part time, switched to non-STEM careers or left the workforce altogether. This compared to 16% of child-free men and 24% of child-free women. The team controlled for potential confounding differences between people with and without children.

For a subset of the people who had left science, the data set also included an entry on why they had left science. Around half of the new parents in this subset cited family-related reasons, compared with just 4% of people without children.

Taken together, these findings suggest that parenthood is an important driver of gender imbalance in STEM employment, the team says.

But Cech says that this the first time research has shown the proportion of new parents facing difficulties reconciling family life with science. She adds that there is a striking impact on new fathers as well as mothers.

“STEM work is often culturally less tolerant and supportive of caregiving responsibilities than other occupations,” Cech says. “So mothers — and fathers — may feel squeezed out of STEM work and pulled into full-time work in non-STEM fields”.

A ‘structural’ problem

Virginia Valian, a psychologist at the City University of New York, says: “The results showing that fathers also leave STEM reinforces the hypothesis that the problem is a structural one, in which dedicated professionals are not expected to have a personal life, and, indeed, are punished for so doing.”

Ami Radunskaya, a mathematician at Pomona College in Claremont, California, who mentors young female mathematicians, says women can become exhausted from constantly having to prove themselves in a professional environment that is, “at best, challenging to everyone and, at worst, openly sexist”.

“These young women are smart and tenacious,” she says. “When these young women start a family, they realize that this exhaustion and stress is not sustainable.”

Radunskaya suggests several measures that could help to improve the situation. Policies on family leave should send the message that having children is expected and accepted, for example. Senior researchers should mentor junior members of staff, and people should accept the challenges women in science may face. “We need to have candid, non-blaming conversations about [these issues],” she adds.doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-00611-1References

Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians?

How a corrosive culture keeps women out of leadership positions on math

JANE C. HU NOV 4, 2016 – Atlantic

As soon as mathematician Chad Topaz ripped the plastic off his copy of the American Mathematical Society’s magazine Notices, he was disappointed. Staring back at him from the cover were the faces of 13 of his fellow mathematicians—all of them men, and the majority of them white.  “Highlighting all this maleness and whiteness—what is the message that is being sent to the membership?” he wondered. Continue reading “Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians?”

Iranian student wins gold medal at world math contest


The 10th World Mathematics Invitational (WMI) took place at Yonsei University in Incheon, South Korea Zahra Zavieh, a student at Urmia University northwest Iran, the provincial capital of west Azerbaijan, won a gold medal for Iran, in a competition that brought together the world’s best math students. 

the tournament was held in South Korea at the end of July and 54 students took part, with Iran placing 2nd in the tournament with 5 gold, 18 silver and 17 bronze medals, as well as 14 diplomas

Celebrate the mathematics of Emmy Noether

From |  

An algebra pioneer who faced discrimination deserves wider recognition on the centenary of her namesake theorem.

Emmy Noether was a force in mathematics — and knew it. She was fully confident in her capabilities and ideas. Yet a century on, those ideas, and their contribution to science, often go unnoticed. Most physicists are aware of her fundamental theorem, which puts symmetry at the heart of physical law. But how many know anything of her and her life?

A conference in London this week, the Noether Celebration, hopes to change that. It’s a welcome move. In a world where young scientists look for inspirational female role models, it is hard to think of a more deserving candidate.

Noether was born in 1882 in Erlangen, Germany. Her parents wanted all their children to get doctorates, so although many universities at the time did not formally accept women, she went. After graduation, sexist regulations prevented Noether from getting jobs in academia. Undaunted, for many years she lectured in Erlangen and, from 1915, at the University of Göttingen — often for free.

At the time, that city was the centre of the mathematical world, largely due to the presence of two of its titans — Felix Klein and David Hilbert. But even when Noether was being paid to teach at Göttingen and making her most important contributions, fate and further discrimination intervened: Hitler took power in 1933 and she was fired for being Jewish. She escaped to the United States and taught at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, until she died in 1935, at the age of just 53.

Noether devoted her career to algebra and came to see it in a striking new light. “All of us like to rely on figures and formulas,” wrote Bartel van der Waerden, her former student, in his obituary of Noether. “She was concerned with concepts only, not with visualization or calculation.”

Noether saw maths as what are now called structures. To her, the characteristics of a structure’s components — be they numbers, polynomials or something else — mattered less than the networks of relations among an entire set of objects. This enabled her to give proofs that applied to more general structures than the original ones, and which revealed unseen connections.

It was a new and elegant approach that changed the face of algebra. And Noether realized that it could influence other parts of maths. One was topology, a field in which “she published half a sentence and has an everlasting effect”, one mathematician wrote. Before Noether, topologists had been counting holes in doughnuts; she brought to bear the full power of her structures to create something called algebraic topology.

The results that Noether published 100 years ago were, for her, a rare foray into physics, in which she was not particularly interested. Albert Einstein had just developed his general theory of relativity, and was struggling to understand how energy fitted into his equations. Hilbert and Klein were working on it, too, and asked Noether for help.

That she did help is an understatement. Noether’s expertise in symmetry led her to discover that the symmetries of a physical system are inextricably linked to physical quantities that are conserved, such as energy. These ideas became known as Noether’s theorem (E. Noether Nachr. d. Ges. d. Wiss. zu Göttingen, Math.-phys. Kl. 1918, 235–257; 1918).

As well as answering a conundrum in general relativity, this theorem became a guiding principle for the discovery of new physical laws. For example, researchers soon realized that the conservation of net electric charge — which can neither be created nor destroyed — is intimately related to the rotational symmetry of a plane around a point. The impact was profound: those who created the standard model of particle physics, and the researchers who attempt to extend it, think in terms of Noether’s symmetries.

Some biographies inaccurately portray Noether as a somewhat helpless genius at the mercy of men’s charitable actions. In reality, she was an assertive personality, recognized leader and the first female plenary speaker at the renowned International Congress of Mathematicians.

The status of women in mathematics and science has improved since Noether’s time, but bias and discrimination remain. Too few leading female mathematicians receive the recognition they deserve. (Only one woman, Maryam Mirzakhani, has received the Fields Medal, and none has won the Abel Prize — the field’s top awards.) Noether is an inspiration: including to UK mathematician Elizabeth Mansfield, who co-organized the London meeting and works on modern extensions of Noether’s work.

We don’t know how many potential Emmy Noethers have been unfairly denied the chance to show their talents. More people should know — and should celebrate — one who changed the scientific world against the odds.

Literacy gap between women and men decreasing in Iran

Among all dreadful news we receive every day, which make us feel pain in our hearts, sometimes there are good news that turn the light of hope in my heart. Among them are the good news correspondent to the situation of women of Middle East. The Area is by itself a dilemma and only few people of habitant of the Area really know what is happening here. Women’s situation has deeply changed, although there are so many unseen and ignored rights. I just read this news from Tehran Times and I felt happy. You cannot modernize a society without literate women. You cannot reform the culture and restructure the economy with illiterate women in which are nearly more than the half population of the society:

TEHRAN – Literacy gap between women and men is decreasing in Iran, reaching to 12 percent compared to 40 percent three decades ago.

According to the latest statistics released by the Statistical Center of Iran, in the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017), the number of illiterate women was 5,569,035 while the number of illiterate men was 3,226,518.

However, the number of literate women in the same year was 29,753,843 and the number of literate man stood at 32,912,917.

Although the number of literate people, both men and women are equal at Iranian cities, there is a great gap of illiteracy between men and women in rural areas, head of the Literacy Movement Organization Ali Baqerzadeh has said.

Currently there exists about 1,800,000 illiterate women in Iran, he noted, adding that two thirds of illiterate people are women in the world.

A large number of illiterate children below the age of seventeen are depriving from a literate mother, i.e. there exists a direct and meaningful relation between parent’s literacy and children’s lack of education, Baqerzadeh explained.

The diagram of under-three-year-old children’s mortality rate proves that children’s mortality rate has a direct relationship with the education level of mothers, he added.

I just don’t understand the two last paragraphs of the statement: “there exists a direct and meaningful relation between parent’s literacy and children’s lack of education, Baqerzadeh explained. The diagram of under-three-year-old children’s mortality rate proves that children’s mortality rate has a direct relationship with the education level of mothers, he added.” 

Why? do you have any idea?

Reference: Tehran Times | September 10, 2018 |

Tributes paid to ‘shining light’ Maryam Mirzakhani


There is a classic geometric problem, put forward by Ernst Strauss in the 1950s, called the Illumination problem.  In it, he asked if a room with mirrored walls can always be illuminated by a single point light source, allowing for the repeated reflection of light off the mirrored walls.  Or in other words, can there be a room shape constructed which would leave any point in darkness?

Maryam Mirzakhani devoted her life to solving equations such us these and her brilliant and innovative work in abstract mathematics is being used to shed light on some long-standing physics problems to do with ricocheting and diffusion of light, billiards, wind and other entities.  Her findings are expected to have many uses in science, sports and other fields for years to come.

There was a quiet and orderly rush in the direction of the lecture hall on Tuesday morning as tributes were about to be paid to the first ever female winner of the Fields Medal (received at the ICM in Seoul in 2014), who passed away from cancer in July of 2017.  She left her husband Jan Vondrak, also a professor at Stanford, and young daughter Anahita.

The hall was lead in tribute and a minute’s silence, by Turkish mathematician Betul Tanbay, who recalled the illumination problem and compared her late colleague to the candle itself, lighting a path for others to follow.  “Maryam showed forever that excellence is not a matter of gender or geography,” she added, “Maths is a universal truth that is available to us all.”

Maryam was born in Tehran in 1977 and considered herself lucky to have finished junior school at the same time as the Iran/Iraq war ended.  Had it not, the world may have been forever deprived of her genius.

The moment she arrived at Sharif University as a young mathematics student, it was clear she was destined for greatness.  “I haven´t met anyone in Iran like Maryam,”  said Professor Saieed Akbari, who taught her a number of courses and tutored the Iranian Math Olympiad teams.  “She was unique, very brilliant.  When I taught her linear algebra, I gave her a problem which was very difficult to solve in 3 dimensions.  Within one week she came back to me with the solution in every dimension!  Another time I gave her an open problem with no solution and offered a ten dollar reward without telling the team that there was no solution. Three days later she came back with it solved!”  In both instances, the findings of this young math prodigy were published as papers.

As well as being precociously talented, Maryam was a humble individual, shunning the limelight and deflecting her success.  “She told me she had excellent parents, was lucky enough to go to a good school and have a group of brilliant friends. And all of these people helped her win the prize.”  Professor Akbari added.

Maryam later became a professor of mathematics at Stanford University where her research topics included Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory and symplectic geometry.  When she was awarded the Fields Medal, her work in “the dynamics and geometry of Reimann surfaces and their moduli spaces” was cited as being stand-out.

Doctor Ashraf Daneshkhah of the Women’s Committee at the Iranian Mathematical Society told me that Maryam has “inspired many women in Iran to go into mathematics.”  And her compatriot was a shining example, “very polite and quiet, always thinking rather than talking.”

Doctor Ashraf was here to present a proposal that Maryam’s birthday – May 12th – be recognized and supported by the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics as the Women in Mathematics Day. The date will be celebrated every year inside the mathematical community, encouraging females from all over the world to advance their achievements in the field.

Maria Droujkova: Beautiful Math is All About the People

I have chosen this article from AWM website. I hope you enjoy it. It is just a sample of biographies of women in mathematics. You can find many other articles by clicking on this link
2009 AWM Essay Contest: Grades 6 – 8 First Place

by Angela Pham

When we think of mathematics, we think of it as a solitary subject. We think of mathematicians being closed up in a small room working out complex problems. But for Maria Droujkova, working in math is almost the complete opposite.

“It’s all about people,” Maria Droujkova says. If you want to look into a career in mathematics, you should talk to math people, meet math people, go to math related events, and organize math clubs. First talk to people, then do the math. Math games, math projects, creative math, fun math, beautiful math.

Even in her young years, Maria’s mathematical education was rooted in personal relationships. Growing up in Ukraine, education was much different than in the US. At five she loved solving math problems with her mother. In early school, she found two other children who also loved math. With the help of an encouraging teacher, they found and solved math problems together. “The teacher gave us famous mathematicians’ nicknames – mine was Sonya Kovalevska.” In Maria’s adolescent years she turned toward physics, and when she was old enough for the math and science camps that her mother had her attend, she signed up for the physics division.

Maria Droujkova went to Moscow State University, a school respected throughout the Soviet Union, where she studied a branch of chaos theory. Her research led up to her thesis topic at the end of five years, which was “Bifurcations of Heart-Shaped Asymptote Polygons.” The chaos theory appealed to Maria because of the order that lay beneath complex and seemingly random events: even the smallest change can result in a whole new order. She was discovering beauty through her study of mathematics. After Maria graduated, she and her husband started looking for other countries to continue learning in. In the Soviet Union there were many restrictions on people’s activities, thoughts, and speech, even for children. As Maria began looking into math as a career, she saw that it would be too hard to accomplish where she lived. She wanted to research and discover, but Ukraine was closed to new ideas. The economy was so poor that it was almost impossible for mathematicians to work in math. “I saw a lot of my colleagues selling fruits on the streets or doing other random jobs to feed their families, and I’d rather do research.”

Because America was a good place for people who wanted to discover and the opportunities in math and science careers were wide open, Maria, 22, and her husband came to America in 1994 to enter Tulane University in New Orleans. At Tulane she got her MS degree in Applied Mathematics, which is using math in other fields. For example, math can be used to help figure out crimes, as is seen in the television show Numb3rs. Then Maria went to North Carolina State University and in 2004 got her PhD in Mathematics Education. Her dissertation topic was: “Roles of metaphor in the growth of mathematical understanding.” Metaphor in mathematical understanding is the explanation of a math principle by associating it with a familiar idea. This research must have later encouraged Maria to begin in her teaching of advanced math to young children.

What’s Maria’s favorite kind of math? Beautiful math. For example, beautiful math is in the patterns of geometric shapes. Maria uses these shapes, such as kirigami snowflakes, to teach things like multiplication. Maria’s main subject of teaching is multiplicative thinking, a central focus in her work. She strives to teach multiplication in a more creative way than just a multiplication table. She encourages students to find several different ways to learn multiplication principles rather than simply memorizing the facts.

Today, Maria works as a self-employed math education consultant near Raleigh, North Carolina. She speaks at conferences and works with other educators on math projects. Her company, Natural Math LLC, offers students fun activities, software, math clubs, and advice. Maria teaches kids and parents how to accept and love math by teaching them the beauty of it. She gives her classes different creative projects to learn complicated and advanced math that would normally be taught to older students. For example, she teaches three to six year olds about fractals. She also explores psychology and develops theories on how the human brain works when it encounters mathematical problems or patterns. Home-schooling gives her a full time job and a laboratory. “I am very happy to say that my ten year old daughter is growing up in the atmosphere where she can appreciate the beauty of mathematics. When she claps her hands excitedly upon seeing an especially elegant proof, or figuring out a tricky problem, or creating a handy representation, I can see we are doing something right.”


No Such Thing as a Math Person

She said the popular idea that boys and girls learn differently is “not supported by the neuroscientific literature.”

“Most of the things that parents and kids believe about math learning are wrong,” said Dr. Boaler, who is the co-founder of Youcubed, a website that argues for a revolution in math teaching for all children, and offers resources to teachers, students and parents. In fact, maybe what everyone needs — girls and boys both — is a different kind of math teaching, with much less emphasis on timed tests, and more attention to teaching math as a visual subject, and as a place for creativity.

“The lovely thing is when you change math education and make it more about deep conceptual understanding, the gender differences disappear,” Dr. Boaler said. “Boys and girls both do well.”

Sexism and racism, as we know, have had deep affections on our social life. One of our important issues in contemporary social life is math teaching at schools. People generally think boys learn math better than girls. The article is about to  disprove this cliche, and this idea that someone may have got a “math mind” has been disproved too. I invite you to read the article from first word to the last one:

No Such Thing as a Math Person

By Perri Klass, M.d. May 15, 2017


When I wrote about fending off math anxiety last month I learned both from the experts I interviewed and from people to whom I happened to mention the topic that math anxiety is found across all lines of gender, ethnicity and educational background. There are plenty of men and women out there, including the highly educated and the professionally aggressive (professors and corporate lawyers, say), who proudly — or shamefacedly — wave the math anxiety flag. Oh yes, that’s me, I don’t have a math brain — though the whole idea of a math brain is frowned on by those who study this topic.

There is a general assumption that women are affected more than men, and that math and math anxiety contribute to the barriers that keep women underrepresented in the STEM fields. In my own familial experiment, I have two sons and a daughter, and though everyone managed O.K. in math, the daughter was, without question, the math kid — though the very idea of “math kids” is considered part of the problem.

My daughter, who majored in math in college, feels that the key is that she attended an all-girls school from fifth grade through 12th grade, and isn’t sure she would have stayed with math if she’d gone to a coed school. I believe her — though the research literature doesn’t necessarily support her, from a statistical point of view.

That’s one of the interesting things about trying to think about girls and math: It involves questioning some of your assumptions about how children learn, and about what makes some topics harder or less accessible to lots of people. And then trying to look at research that tells you that your own perceptions and experience may not be reliable.


As far as math anxiety, “many many more girls and women than men are anxious,” said Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford, “and we know anxiety holds people back — there are still messages out there that math is for boys and not for girls.” Some of the anxiety, she said, may be transmitted by elementary school teachers, who are likely to be female, and are often themselves anxious about math. “We know that girls identify with their elementary teachers,” she said, and are more likely than boys to be affected by the teacher’s math anxiety, if it is present, contributing to what she called “the cycle by which this continues.”

Sian Beilock, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, pointed to the pressure created by the stereotype that girls aren’t good at math. “They come in feeling pressure that could affect their performance,” she said. “That can rob people of the cognitive horsepower they would have to perform at their best.” And this can be worst for the best students, she said. “Girls who come in with the most ability to work at a high level are most impacted.”

Andrei Cimpian, an associate professor of psychology at New York University who studies children’s ideas on gender and ability, said that there is lots of variability in the distribution of men and women across fields in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. One key, he said, is whether it is perceived that in order to work in a certain field, a person needs to be brilliant, to have, even, a spark of genius. “When we surveyed academics across disciplines, in fields whose members said, yes, there is something innate, inborn, required for success,” he said, “it was particularly in those fields where we saw women underrepresented, also African-Americans.”

For math through high school, “there isn’t anything in the curriculum that any typically developing child shouldn’t be able to grasp,” he said. “The minute we start talking about who the brilliant ones are, it’s very easy to go from individual differences to group differences.”


And what about this whole idea of math brain and math kid? “Metaphors like math brain can create their own reality,” Dr. Cimpian warned. “We all fall on a certain continuum,” he said.

Dr. Boaler, the author of the book “Mathematical Mindsets,” said: “The message to all kids, girls and boys, is there’s no such thing as a math person.”

And what about my daughter’s belief that she owes a lot to being in math classes with no boys in them? Erin Pahlke, an assistant professor of psychology at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., said, “often the girls in the single-sex schools have higher math achievement, better attitudes, lower levels of math anxiety, they often have better hopes for the future of wanting to take higher level math,” she said. “You say, this is incredible, single-sex schooling is the answer!”

But she was the first author of a 2014 meta-analysis representing the testing of 1.6 million students from 21 countries that found that among the high quality studies, the differences could be explained by looking at such factors as the different socioeconomic status of those choosing single-sex education, and at the pretest scores before the girls entered the single-sex schools as well as measures of school quality and resources.

Dr. Pahlke said that people tell her all the time, “my daughter or my niece went to a single-sex school and it was incredible — I would say to them, yes, I agree, you do see that, but the question is whether or not it’s due to the single-sex environment.” Instead, she said, “it’s due to being around girls who came in with higher math scores, or teacher quality differences, that’s what the research suggests.”

She said the popular idea that boys and girls learn differently is “not supported by the neuroscientific literature.”

“Most of the things that parents and kids believe about math learning are wrong,” said Dr. Boaler, who is the co-founder of Youcubed, a website that argues for a revolution in math teaching for all children, and offers resources to teachers, students and parents. In fact, maybe what everyone needs — girls and boys both — is a different kind of math teaching, with much less emphasis on timed tests, and more attention to teaching math as a visual subject, and as a place for creativity.

“The lovely thing is when you change math education and make it more about deep conceptual understanding, the gender differences disappear,” Dr. Boaler said. “Boys and girls both do well.”


Photo Story: Fifth-graders Shoaa Khan, left, and Briana Berreondo work through a math problem together during class at P.S. 165 in Morningside Heights.CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)


The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) is a non-profit organization founded in 1971.

The purpose of the Association for Women in Mathematics is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.

AWM currently has more than 3000 members (women and men) representing a broad spectrum of the mathematical community — from the United States and around the world!

The Website of AWM:

Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later.

“Unfortunately, thinking you’re not very good at something can be a quick path to disliking and avoiding it, even if you do have natural ability. You can begin to avoid practicing it, because to your mind, that practice is more painful than learning what comes more easily. Not practicing, in turn, transforms what started out as a mere aversion into a genuine lack of competence.” 

Nobody can deny the girls’ abilities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). The abilities of women have been proven several times during the history of human kind’s civilization, but we have being accepted them in all parts of the society since only few decades so far. We still have a long way to reach the equality. I invite you to read this article from NY Times:

Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later.

The way we teach math in America hurts all students, but it may be hurting girls the most.

By Barbara Oakley
Ms. Oakley is an engineering professor and the author of a book on learning.

Aug. 7, 2018

For parents who want to encourage their daughters in STEM subjects, it’s crucial to remember this: Math is the sine qua non.

You and your daughter can have fun throwing eggs off a building and making papier-mâché volcanoes, but the only way to create a full set of options for her in STEM is to ensure she has a solid foundation in math. Math is the language of science, engineering and technology. And like any language, it is best acquired through lengthy, in-depth practice.

But for girls, this can be trickier than it looks. This is because many girls can have a special advantage over boys — an advantage that can steer them away from this all-important building block. A large body of research has revealed that boys and girls have, on average, similar abilities in math. But girls have a consistent advantage in reading and writing and are often relatively better at these than they are at math, even though their math skills are as good as the boys’. The consequence? A typical little boy can think he’s better at math than language arts. But a typical little girl can think she’s better at language arts than math. As a result, when she sits down to do math, she might be more likely to say, “I’m not that good at this!” She actually is just as good (on average) as a boy at the math — it’s just that she’s even better at language arts. Of course, it’s hard to know what’s taking place in the minds of babes. But studies revealing developmental differences between boys’ versus girls’ verbal abilities alongside developmental similarities in boys’ and girls’ math abilities — combined with studies that show that among girls, self-perceived ability affects academic performance — seem to indicate that something like the above dynamic might be going on.

Unfortunately, thinking you’re not very good at something can be a quick path to disliking and avoiding it, even if you do have natural ability. You can begin to avoid practicing it, because to your mind, that practice is more painful than learning what comes more easily. Not practicing, in turn, transforms what started out as a mere aversion into a genuine lack of competence. Unfortunately, the way math is generally taught in the United States — which often downplays practice in favor of emphasizing conceptual understanding — can make this vicious circle even worse for girls.

It’s important to realize that math is, to some extent, like playing a musical instrument. But the instrument you play is your own internal neural apparatus.

When we learn to play an instrument — say, the guitar — it’s obvious that simply understanding how a chord is constructed isn’t the equivalent of being able to play the chord. Guitar teachers know intuitively that the path to success and creativity at the guitar is to practice until the foundational patterns are deeply ingrained. The word “rote” has a bad rap in modern-day learning. But the reality is that rote practice, by which I mean routine practice that keeps the focus on what comes harder for you, plays an important role. The foundational patterns must be ingrained before you can begin to be creative.

Math is like that, too. As the researcher K. Anders Ericsson has shown, becoming an expert at anything requires the development of neural patterns that are acquired through much practice and repetition. Understanding is part of acquiring expertise, but it certainly isn’t all. But today’s “understanding-centered” approach to learning math, combined with efforts to make the subject more “fun” by avoiding drill and practice, shortchanges children of the essential process of instilling the neural patterns they need to be successful. And it may be girls that suffer most. All American students could benefit from more drilling: In the international PISA test, the United States ranks near the bottom among the 35 industrialized nations in math. But girls especially could benefit from some extra required practice, which would not only break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike, but build confidence and that sense of, “Yes, I can do this!” Practice with math can help close the gap between girls’ reading and math skills, making math seem like an equally good long-term study option. Even if she ultimately chooses a non-STEM career, today’s high-tech world will mean her quantitative skills will still come in handy.

All learning isn’t — and shouldn’t be — “fun.” Mastering the fundamentals is why we have children practice scales and chords when they’re learning to play a musical instrument, instead of just playing air guitar. It’s why we have them practice moves in dance and soccer, memorize vocabulary while learning a new language and internalize the multiplication tables. In fact, the more we try to make all learning fun, the more we do a disservice to children’s abilities to grapple with and learn difficult topics. As Robert Bjork, a leading psychologist, has shown, deep learning involves “desirable difficulties.” Some learning just plain requires effortful practice, especially in the initial stages. Practice and, yes, even some memorization are what allow the neural patterns of learning to take form.

Take it from someone who started out hating math and went on to become a professor of engineering: Do your daughter a favor — give her a little extra math practice each day, even if she finds it painful. In the long run, she’ll thank you for it. (And, by the way: the same applies to your son.)

Barbara Oakley is an engineering professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and the author of “Learning How to Learn.”

The link of the article: Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later.

Photo from NY Times, Richie Pope

Brazil’s top math youtuber: ‘Math Maniac’

We should accept that YouTube has being become more and more important website in education. I myself has learnt French only from YouTube. YouTube has a vital role in math education and sharing advanced lecture videos. You don’t need to be at MIT to benefit those lectures! just go online and search in YouTube.

Here I am to introduce you a channel in Math: ‘Math Maniac’

Brazil’s top math youtuber: ‘Math Maniac’
Brazil’s top math youtuber: ‘Math Maniac’

With bright pink hair, it’s difficult to miss Julia Jaccoud walking down the corridors of the ICM conference, always with a camera, microphone, and tripod in hand.  She always wears her branded t-shirts too (this week’s shirt says Seja Curioso, ‘be curious’ in Portuguese).

Many international delegates will have seen the pink-haired woman at ICM, but she’s an internet icon in Brazil.  Matemaníaca (math maniac) is a two-year-old youtube channel, with more than 47,000 followers, where Jaccoud produces weekly videos that promote the learning of math.  “I wanted a fun name because math is very difficult to get people interested in. I also wanted a way to express myself,” said 24-year-old Jaccoud.  Hers is the largest math-focused youtube channel in Brazil.  While other math channels introduce math tricks found on major tests, the main objective of Matemaníaca is to get people interested in math.

Recently graduated with a degree in math education at the University of São Paulo (she missed her graduation ceremony to attend ICM), Jaccoud started producing math videos because she wanted to build on relationships developed with younger students in her student teaching assignments.  She also felt there was a bigger audience awaiting her online.  “I’m not an alien. I’m a mathematician,” Jaccoud said. “I thought if they could talk with me and be my friends online then I could introduce young people to math.”

Her Matemaníaca journey began in 2014 when she filmed a video introducing herself and her passion for math.  Her follow-up video, a tutorial on how to play Tangram, a Chinese dissection puzzle,  has been viewed more than 55,000 times. Other popular video topics include Brazilian public school math olympiad (OBMEP), math-intensive careers, and a tutorial on how to use probability to guess on exams.  He hair color evolves along with her video content.  “My channel is like art, and that is the way I communicate,” she said.

Since her youtube premiere, the 164 videos on her channel have amassed more than 1.3 million views. Most of her viewers are men aged 18-34, but she said her female audience tends to be more engaged and passionate.  Her university professors even use her videos in their classes.

At ICM 2018, Jaccoud mobilized many young volunteers with videos about the event. She has attended the international math congress every day, interviewing many of the world’s top mathematicians. Her newest video gives an overview of the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics (WM)², a satellite event held on the eve of ICM, and Jaccoud’s favorite event thus far (She dyed her hair pink to match the event’s colors).

Although Jaccoud has yet to earn a living from her online fame, she is happy to do something she loves. She launched a Padrim crowd-funding campaign this year, so her followers can directly fund her youtube channel (and so she can hire someone to edit videos). She also designs and sells her own t-shirts (the Seja Curiosa t-shirt is available here).  She plans to further specialize in math communications with a masters degree.

Read more

Female Inventors

I just read this article from  that has been recently published in Interesting Engineering, I hope you also enjoy reading it:

Female Inventors and Their Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History In a Revolutionary Way

Female inventors, scientists, and engineers have discovered countless revolutionary and life-changing inventions that have caused unprecedented breakthroughs in the history of the world.

You will find whole the story here

History of Women Mathematicians

At this link you will find an Alphabetical Index of Women Mathematicians

As an example of these biography I am about to quote the biography of Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman who wins the fields medal in mathematics:
Maryam Mirzakhani (May 3, 1977 – July 15, 2017) was the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, the highest award given in mathematics (comparable to a Nobel Prize). She was born in Tehran, Iran. During her high school years she won gold medals at the 1994 and 1995 International Mathematical Olympiads (with a perfect score on the 1995 exam), then earned her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1999 from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. In 2004 she received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University with a thesis in hyperbolic geometry entitled “Simple Geodesics on Hyperbolic Surfaces and Volume of the Moduli Space of Curves”. Her work solved several deep problems about hyperbolic surfaces and resulted in three papers published in the top journals of mathematics. Her adviser was Curtis McMullen, who won a Fields Medal in 1998.

From 2004 to 2008 Mirzakhani was a Clay Mathematics Institute Research Fellow and assistant professor of mathematics at Princeton University. In 2006 she was recognized as one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10” extraordinary scientists. In 2008 she joined the faculty at Stanford University as a full professor of mathematics.
In August 2014, Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal “for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.” The citation says that she “has made stunning advances in the theory of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces, and led the way to new frontiers in the area. Her insights have integrated methods from diverse fields, such as algebraic geometry, topology and probability theory.” Previously she had also won a 2014 Clay Research Award, the 2013 AMS Ruth Lyttle Satter Prize in Mathematics, and the 2009 AMS Blumenthal Award.
  1. A Tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani, American Mathematical Society
  2. Salerno, Adriana. “Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani,” AMS Blogs, posted July 24, 2017.
  3. Wilkinson, Amie. “With Snowflakes and Unicorns, Marina Ratner and Maryam Mirzakhani Explored a Universe in Motion,” New York Times, August 7, 2017.
  4. Lamb, Evelyn. “Mathematics World Mourns Maryam Mirzakhani, Only Woman to Win Fields Medal,”, Scientific American blog, posted July 17, 2017
  5. Myers, Andrew and Bjorn Carey. “Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies”, Stanford University News, July 15, 2017.
  6. Klarreich, Erica. A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces,, Quanta Magazine (a video produced by the Simons Foundation in which Mirzakhani discusses the mathematics problems she studies).
  7. Carey, Bjorn. “Stanford’s Maryam Mirzakhani wins Fields Medal”, Stanford Report, August 12, 2014.
  8. “The Work of Maryam Mirzakhani”, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 61, No. 9 (October 2014), 1079-1081. (Reprint of the IMU article above)
  9. McMullen, Curtis. “The work of Maryam Mirzakhani,” Laudatio delivered during the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians.
  10. Svoboda, Elizabeth. “Maryam Mirzakhani“, PopSci’s Fourth Annual Brilliant 10,
  11. MathSciNet [subscription required]
  12. Mathematics Genealogy Project

Talitha M. Washington

This article has been chosen from: Mathematically Gifted and Black

Dr. Talitha M. Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University in Washington, DC, and is currently on detail as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation. Prior to coming to Howard, she was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Evansville (2005-2011), an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at The College of New Rochelle (2003-2005), and a VIGRE Research Associate at Duke University (2001-2003).  Dr. Washington holds a 2001 Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut with specialization in applied mathematics.

Dr. Washington grew up in Evansville, Indiana and appreciates the familial atmosphere of this community.  While growing up, she enjoyed learning about all subjects.  In high school, her favorite classes were AP Chemistry and an English course on classical plays.  She graduated from Bosse High School a semester early and studied abroad in Costa Rica for six months on an exchange program with American Field Service.  She then entered Spelman College as an engineering major simply because engineering is a popular field in Indiana.  However, this major appeared to require too much work.  Thus, she chose to major in math because of its connection to engineering, and it appeared to be the easier major because there was no laboratory component.  Little did she know, she would fall in love with the subject and lead a long, distinguished career in mathematics.

As an undergraduate, she studied abroad at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico where she took a proof-based linear algebra course and earned a 0 on her first assignment. Determined to succeed, she rallied her new classmates to study in the library. By the end of the semester, she earned 100’s on her assignments. This experience taught her that obstacles can be overcome by cultivating and building a community of learners. Upon returning from Mexico to Spelman, she researched the Black-Scholes option pricing model under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Ehme.  After a summer internship at CIGNA in Hartford, Connecticut, she became interested in pursuing a career in actuarial science.  Dr. Ehme encouraged her to apply to graduate school in addition to seeking positions in industry.  From the support and assistance from Dr. Ehme and other members in the Spelman math department, she gained acceptance at the University of Connecticut and funding from the Packard Foundation.  Thus, she declined an actuarial science position from CIGNA and began her graduate studies.  Since she had secured no employment the summer before entering graduate school, she decided to backpack through southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala for two months – sola.

Dr. Washington faced many obstacles along the way but she met them with vigor, resilience, and determination. To her surprise, she entered a graduate program with students who already had earned advanced degrees from other universities.  She met this challenge by actively seeking help and guidance from students and professors.  Diligently, she worked night and day to learn the background material necessary for success.  While she was in graduate school, she gave birth to her first child.  She gained assistance with this transitional time in her life by securing a doula, a professional labor support person, and by participating in a network of mothers through La Leche League.  She now has three vivacious STEM teenagers who are in pursuit of computer science, engineering, and biology.

While in graduate school, she enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of working through mathematical problems and in particular, the many applications of math.  With her advisor, Dr. Yung-Sze Choi, she researched a theoretical protein-protein interaction model.  They also became involved with the National Resource for Cell Analysis and Modeling at University of Connecticut Health Center.  Dr. Choi pushed Dr. Washington to further her work in mathematics by securing a postdoctoral position.  Thus, after graduating, she headed down to Duke University where she researched a hormone secretion model with Dr. Michael Reed and Dr. Joseph Blum, in the mathematics and cell biology departments, respectively.

Recently, she has researched a fellow Evansville native, Dr. Elbert F. Cox, who is the first Black in the world to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.  She has shared his story on radio and television stations, as well as in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, easily the most visible journal to all mathematicians.  With her applied background, she led various undergraduate and graduate research projects from modeling the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to modeling calcium homeostasis to the construction of nonstandard finite difference schemes.  With her passion for education, she led a youth conference, Stepping Up, that encouraged youth to pursue viable careers through higher education.  She also led a one-week research-based summer camp for middle schoolers to explore current trends in mathematics and the sciences.

Dr. Washington enjoys her work at Howard University, in the same mathematics department Elbert Cox once led. As a program officer at the National Science Foundation, she is responsible for shaping the nation’s science and engineering enterprise and ensuring that underrepresented groups and diverse institutions across all geographic regions are included in the scientific enterprise of the nation.  In her spare time, she serves on a number of boards and shares motivational speeches on diversity and mathematics to a wide range of audiences. She balances stress by maintaining a rigorous exercise regimen with fitness guru Cathe Friedrich, that includes kickboxing, step aerobics, strength training, and yoga.  During the warm seasons, you may even find her running down the Rock Creek Park trails in Washington, DC.


Math is AMAZING and we have to start treating it that way

Eugenia Cheng is the scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and author, whose latest book is “Beyond Infinity.”

Read her opinion on why math is in need of a makeover.


I would like you to meet a friend of mine. He’s really useful. Wait. That doesn’t make him sound very interesting, does it? Or fun.

Wouldn’t it be better to say, hi, I would like you to meet a friend of mine, she’s amazing, she’s brilliant?

We’d never introduce a friend by saying they’re useful. So, why are we doing that to math? Why do we keep going on about how important it is for everyone to learn math because it’s useful? Has that ever got a young person interested in anything?

I think math is fascinating and fun. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a mathematician. Some math began life without any sign of practicality. Like, babies, they’re not exactly useful.

For example, Internet cryptography. It means we can do online shopping, online banking, and send e-mails. This comes from some number theory that existed just for its own sake 300 years ago. Most of engineering, medicine, lab science, weather forecasts and technology depends on calculus.

Calculus depends on irrational numbers that the Egyptians started wondering about thousands of years ago. The icosahedron is a satisfyingly symmetrical shape that was dreamt up by ancient Greek mathematicians.


whole the story here

Sofia Kovalevskaya: the woman who covered the walls of her room in theorems

When she was eleven years old, Sofia (sometimes called Sonja) Kovalevskaya covered the walls of her room in note sheets about differential and integral calculus by the Russian mathematician Mikhail Ostrogradski. These notes were from her father’s university years. This was how Sofia became familiar with calculus. Her first introduction to calculus was by the hand of her uncle Pyotr Krukovsky. He taught her the basics until she developed such a fascination with mathematics that she described it as “a mysterious science which opens up to its initiates a new world of wonders, inaccessible to ordinary mortals.”


Complete Story Here

Some published posts about Maryam Mirzakhani


Maryam Mirzakhani is known for her work on moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces.  Some of her most cited work looks at the moduli space of a genus gg Riemann surface with nn geodesic boundary components.  In two of her papers, she computes the volume of these moduli spaces, with respect to the Weil-Petersson metric (see below).  In another, she provides a means for counting the number of simple closed geodesics of length at most LL. Mirzakhani is also known for her work on billiards (see the review of her paper with Eskin and Mohammadi below), a subject closely related to moduli space questions.  Teichmüller theory and the geometry of moduli spaces are famously deep subjects.  Making progress requires mastering large areas of analysis, dynamical systems, differential geometry, algebraic geometry, and topology.  I can only appreciate Mirzakhani’s work superficially, as I have not mastered those subjects.   Instead, some reviews of her work are reproduced below.  

 One of her biggest projects, joint work with Eskin studying the action of SL(2,R) on moduli space, is not published yet.  So there is no item in MathSciNet for it.  You can read the latest version on the arXiv.

2. Mirzakhani published three papers as an undergraduate:  MR1366852MR1386951MR1615548.  The second of these is regularly cited by combinatorists. The third paper was in the Monthly.  

3. I started writing this post back in March, when I was highlighting the work of some remarkable mathematicians.  It was delayed because describing her work is not simple: it is substantial and uses deep and difficult tools from several areas.  Her papers are quite well written, with accessible introductions.  However, the genius is in the details, which require real commitment to understand.  The video produced for the ICM where she won her Fields Medal allows her to present something of her work.  Amie Wilkinson describes Mirzakhani’s working style in this article in the NY Times.  In a recent blog post, Terry Tao comments on how Mirzakhani was able to see disparate mathematical results through the lens of the mathematics she was developing herself.

4. Thank you to Tom Ward who spotted an inequality that was reversed in the original version of this post.

Link: AMS


Terence Tao:

I am totally stunned to learn that Maryam Mirzakhani died today yesterday, aged 40, after a severe recurrence of the cancer she had been fighting for several years.  I had planned to email her some wishes for a speedy recovery after learning about the relapse yesterday; I still can’t fully believe that she didn’t make it.

My first encounter with Maryam was in 2010, when I was giving some lectures at Stanford – one on Perelman’s proof of the Poincare conjecture, and another on random matrix theory.  I remember a young woman sitting in the front who asked perceptive questions at the end of both talks; it was only afterwards that I learned that it was Mirzakhani.  (I really wish I could remember exactly what the questions were, but I vaguely recall that she managed to put a nice dynamical systems interpretation on both of the topics of my talks.)

After she won the Fields medal in 2014 (as I posted about previously on this blog), we corresponded for a while.  The Fields medal is of course one of the highest honours one can receive in mathematics, and it clearly advances one’s career enormously; but it also comes with a huge initial burst of publicity, a marked increase in the number of responsibilities to the field one is requested to take on, and a strong expectation to serve as a public role model for mathematicians.  As the first female recipient of the medal, and also the first to come from Iran, Maryam was experiencing these pressures to a far greater extent than previous medallists, while also raising a small daughter and fighting off cancer.  I gave her what advice I could on these matters (mostly that it was acceptable – and in fact necessary – to say “no” to the vast majority of requests one receives).

Given all this, it is remarkable how productive she still was mathematically in the last few years.  Perhaps her greatest recent achievement has been her “magic wand” theorem with Alex Eskin, which is basically the analogue of the famous measure classification and orbit closure theorems of Marina Ratner, in the context of moduli spaces instead of unipotent flows on homogeneous spaces.  (I discussed Ratner’s theorems in this previous post.  By an unhappy coincidence, Ratner also passed away this month, aged 78.)  Ratner’s theorems are fundamentally important to any problem to which a homogeneous dynamical system can be associated (for instance, a special case of that theorem shows up in my work with Ben Green and Tamar Ziegler on the inverse conjecture for the Gowers norms, and on linear equations in primes), as it gives a good description of the equidistribution of any orbit of that system (if it is unipotently generated); and it seems the Eskin-Mirzakhani result will play a similar role in problems associated instead to moduli spaces.  The remarkable proof of this result – which now stands at over 200 pages, after three years of revision and updating – uses almost all of the latest techniques that had been developed for homogeneous dynamics, and ingeniously adapts them to the more difficult setting of moduli spaces, in a manner that had not been dreamed of being possible only a few years earlier.

Maryam was an amazing mathematician and also a wonderful and humble human being, who was at the peak of her powers.  Today was a huge loss for Maryam’s family and friends, as well as for mathematics.

[EDIT, Jul 16: New York times obituary here.]

[EDIT, Jul 18: New Yorker memorial here.]



New York Times:

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics, died on Friday. She was 40.

The cause was breast cancer, said Stanford University, where she was a professor. The university did not say where she died.

Her death is “a big loss and shock to the mathematical community worldwide,” said Peter C. Sarnak, a mathematician at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.

The Fields Medal, established in 1936, is often described as the Nobel Prizeof mathematics. But unlike the Nobels, the Fields are bestowed only on people aged 40 or younger, not just to honor their accomplishments but also to predict future mathematical triumphs. The Fields are awarded every four years, with up to four mathematicians chosen at a time.

“She was in the midst of doing fantastic work,” Dr. Sarnak said. “Not only did she solve many problems; in solving problems, she developed tools that are now the bread and butter of people working in the field.”

Continue reading the main story

Dr. Mirzakhani was one of four Fields winners in 2014, at the International Congress of Mathematicians in South Korea. Until then, all 52 recipients had been men. She was also the only Iranian ever to win the award.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran released a statement expressing “great grief and sorrow.”

He wrote, “The unparalleled excellence of the creative scientist and humble person that echoed Iran’s name in scientific circles around the world was a turning point in introducing Iranian women and youth on their way to conquer the summits of pride and various international stages.”

Dr. Mirzakhani’s mathematics looked at the interplay of dynamics and geometry, in some ways a more complicated version of billiards, with balls bouncing from one side to another of a rectangular billiards table eternally.

A ball’s path can sometimes be a repeating pattern. A simple example is a ball that hits a side at a right angle. It would then bounce back and forth in a line forever, never moving to any other part of the table.

But if a ball bounced at an angle, its trajectory would be more intricate, often covering the entire table.

“You want to see the trajectory of the ball,” Dr. Mirzakhani explained in a video produced by the Simons Foundation and the International Mathematical Union to profile the 2014 Fields winners. “Would it cover all your billiard table? Can you find closed billiards paths? And interestingly enough, this is an open question in general.”

Link: NewYorkTimes


and at last a video the although it is not new! but I love it.

Top 10 Famous Female Mathematicians of All Time

Although there is no doubt that men often excel in mathematically challenging fields, there has been little research to support the fact that women cannot excel in them too. The following 10 famous females who have proved that gender differences in stereotypically male-oriented subjects like math are but only a matter of preference not ability.


Brief Interviews with Young Mathematicians: Sara Zahedi

The ICIAM Newsletter DIANOIA is publishing a series of interviews with young applied mathematicians. Here Roberto Natalini interviews Sara Zahedi who is an assistant professor in numerical analysis at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden. Sara Zahed is one of ten winners and the only female winner of the European Mathematical Society Prize for 2016

Complete Article Here

Sara Zahedi won one of the 10 EMS prizes


Sara Zahedi

* 1981 in Teheran (Iran)
Assistant Professor
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden

EMS Prize 2016
„For her outstanding research regarding the development and analysis of numerical algorithms for partial differential equations with a focus on applications to problems with dynamically changing geometry.“

Research Interests
Sara Zahedis research interests lie in the development and analysis of computational methods, in particular finite element methods, for solving partial differential equations on dynamic geometries. The main application she has in mind is multiphase flows. She is also interested in numerical methods for representing and evolving interfaces separating immiscible fluids.

Curriculum Vitae: 

  • 2014: Assistant Professor in Numerical Analysis, KTH, Stockholm (Swe)
  • 2011: Postdoctoral Position, Uppsala University (Swe)
  • 2011: PhD in Numerical Analysis, KTH, Stockholm (Swe)
  • 2006: Master of Science with a major in Mathematics, KTH (Swe)
  • 2006: Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Numerical Analysis, KTH (Swe)
  • 2003: Teaching Assistant, Stockholm University (Swe)

More Information: 1 , 2 , 3 and 4 

Maryam Mirzakhani: the first woman and the first Iranian honored with the Fields Medal

In 2014, Mirzakhani became both the first woman and the first Iranian honored with the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. The award committee cited her work in “the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.”

Her research topics include Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry.

More Information:


Maryam Mirzakhani


Thank you to our outgoing Editor-in-Chief

The new edition of the latest EMS Newsletter is notable not only for the decimal expansion of its index, but also because it is – sadly! – the final edition under the current Editor-in-Chief, Lucia Di Vizio.

Lucia has been in post since 2012, during which time the Newsletter has recorded several significant moments in mathematical history, from the deaths of John Nash & Alexander Grothendieck to the Fields Medal triumphs of Cédric Villani & Maryam Mirzakhani. It has included mathematical articles by the likes of Freeman Dyson & D.H.J. Polymath(!) and interviews with luminaries including Artur Avila & Endre Szemerédi. It has published fascinating historical articles on all manner of topics across the continent of Europe, thoughtful pieces on mathematical pedagogy and outreach, and a very great deal else besides. (If you’re in doubt, then browse the archive free online here: )

Under her stewardship, our society’s Newsletter has gone from strength to strength, and we are hugely grateful. Also, it was Lucia who dragged the EMS into the 21st century world of social media, by starting its Facebook & Twitter pages. So, for this too, thank you Lucia!

The incoming Editor-in-Chief with the unenviable task of filling Lucia’s shoes, is Valentin Zagrebnov. Welcome, Valentin, and good luck!

The latest and 100th issue of the EMS Newsletter is here:

Women in Math Club


The Women in Math club has meetings every other week to provide networking opportunities between female math majors and to support women in completing the math major and going on to use that degree in graduate school or industry. Everyone who supports the idea of women being more involved in mathematics is invited to attend.

Questions? Contact

TV covers Women in Mathematics event


The recent LMS Women in Mathematics Day at Microsoft Research in Cambridge was covered by Cambridge TV. The event was aimed at women in mathematics, in particular at postgraduates, final year undergraduates and those at an early stage in their career, to meet together for a day of talks and discussion groups. The talks were given by women mathematicians from a range of disciplines and who are at various stages in their careers, including Apala Majumdar (University of Bath and LMS Anne Bennett Prize winner), Philippa Hiscock (Roke Manor Research) and Nicola Richmond (GlaxoSmithKline), and there were short talks from early career researchers. The poster competition, sponsored by Wiley, was won by Milena Kremakova (University of Warwick) for her posterMathematicians in Love: Are there real solutions to the ‘two-body problem’?

The coverage is available here