With support from National Science Foundation Grant #DMS-1108916, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) will hold a two-day meeting, 40 Years and Counting: AWM's Celebration of Women in Mathematics at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, September 17-18, 2011. The principal investigators on this grant are the organizers of the meeting, Georgia Benkart, Kristin Lauter, and Jill Pipher.
Since 1971, the Association for Women in Mathematics has been at the forefront of efforts to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences. The meeting 40 Years and Counting: AWM's Celebration of Women in Mathematics, which will be open to the public, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the organization, its accomplishments in promoting women in mathematics, and the many significant contributions of women in mathematics over the last forty years. There will be four plenary lectures by distinguished women in pure and applied mathematics, over 15 special sessions on a wide range of topics in the mathematical sciences, poster sessions for recent PhD recipients and graduate students, a panel, a banquet, and time for mentoring and discussion. This event comes at a critical time when the percentage of women among the first-year graduate students in mathematics has declined from 35% in 2001 to 29% in 2009. Many early-career female mathematicians, especially those at smaller schools, and also many graduate students, often have little or no contact with leading women researchers, with the exception of a few in their own research area. The long-term benefits of the meeting will be a heightened awareness of the accomplishments of female mathematicians, an increase in the participation of women in research activities, an expanded research network of potential collaborators, and visibility and connectivity for younger researchers.
The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) received financial support from National Science Foundation Grant #DMS-1108916 to host a two-day meeting, 40 Years and Counting: AWMâ€™s Celebration of Women in Mathematics, September 17-18, 2011, on the campus of Brown University. This meeting, which was open to the public and advertised widely, celebrated the 40th anniversary of AWM and the many accomplishments of women in mathematics during the last four decades. Since its founding in 1971, AWM has been a passionate organization with a mission: to encourage women to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences. Throughout its 40-year existence, AWM has contributed in a multitude of ways to increase the participation of women in mathematics. However, the last few years have witnessed a decrease in the number of women earning doctoral degrees in mathematics and in the number of women starting their first year of graduate study in mathematics. A desire to counteract these trends gave further impetus for holding the meeting. AWMâ€™s 40 Years and Counting meeting featured: • 4 plenary lectures in pure and applied mathematics by distinguished researchers, • 18 special sessions on a broad spectrum of mathematical research, which had a total of 135 speakers, all of whom were women, and • a poster session featuring the research of 33 early-career women mathematicians. The meeting heightened awareness of the research contributions of women in mathematics and increased research activity and collaboration. Participation greatly exceeded all expectations, with the attendance of over 300 women and men from 148 different institutions across the U.S. and 16 women from 10 foreign countries. National Science Foundation funding played an essential role in the success of the meeting, enabling 45 early-career (Ph.D. after 2006, pre-tenure, or graduate student) women to participate and also providing 29 senior speakers and session organizers with small amounts of travel support. The highly successful women mathematicians who gave invited plenary talks and who spoke in special sessions at the 40 Years and Counting meeting provided encouragement to younger mathematicians. The meeting also was designed both to afford such early-career women the opportunity to showcase their work and to enable them to network with each other as well as with more established women in mathematics in a nurturing, yet highly stimulating, environment. The response to the meeting was overwhelmingly positive, and many participants encouraged AWM to organize similar events in the future.