Title of Project: Connecting Women in Mathematics Across Canada

Year of Competition: 2002

Grant amount: $5000

Project Duration: Single Year

Type of Report: Final

Period Covered: June 2003

Description of Activity:
Connecting Women in Mathematics Across Canada (CWiMAC) was the title given to a two day workshop for women graduate students in the mathematical sciences at Canadian universities. The workshop, organized by the Committee for Women in Mathematics of the Canadian Mathematical Society with the support of the the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, took place June 12 - 13th, 2003, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

The participation in the conference was by invitation: the applicants had to submit a statement of interest, a title and abstract of a talk about their work and/or research interests, and a letter of support from their supervisor. Twenty nine women graduate students from fifteen Canadian universities were selected to attend. They spend two intensive and exciting days, attending talks and presentations, and sharing experiences with eleven women faculty members - speakers and mentors at the conference.

The conference started on Wednesday, June 11th, with an informal dinner reception at the historic St. Joseph residence at the University of Alberta, where all the conference participants stayed. Two plenary talks were given:

"An academic career: a fantastic opportunity to mix harmoniously teaching and research", by Christiane Rousseau, Universite de Moreal; and

"Mathematical Versatility", by Priscilla Greenwood, Arizona State University/UBC.

Christiane Rousseau's talk focusses on her work on applications of divergent series, while Priscilla Greenwood described her most recent work on applications of stochastic processes in Biology.

The conference program included two panel discussions, which were followed by small group discussions, led by the members of the panels:

Panel I : "Balancing a Career and a Personal and Family Life", with Rachel Kuske, UBC, Judith McDonald, Washington State University, Ortrud Oellerman, University of Winnipeg and Gerda de Vries, University of Alberta.

Panel II: "Career Strategies: How to Survive a Graduate School and Get a Job You Want", with Susan Cooper, Queens University, Leah Edelstein Keshet, UBC, Kathy Heinrich, University of Regina, and Dorette Pronk, Dalhousie University.

Participants' presentations of their research formed an important part of the conference. They were divided by research interests into three groups: Combinatorics and Algebra, Mathematical Biology and Applied Mathematics.

After the workshop, several participants attend afternoon activities of the Project NExTMAC Workshop, and a large group attended also the CMS Summer 2003 meeting.

For more information and the detailed schedule of the conference, see http://www.cms.math.ca/bulletins/2003/cwimac03.e.

Organizing Commitee:

Malgorzata Dubiel, SFU (Chair)
Susan Cooper, Queens University
Leah Edelstein Keshet, UBC
Rachel Kuske, UBC
Judith McDonald, WWU
Ortrud Oellermann, University of Winnipeg
Dorette Pronk, Dalhousie University
Mateja Sajna, University of Ottawa
Gerda de Vries, University of Alberta

Assessment of Effectiveness:

During the workshop, 29 women graduate students in the mathematical sciences attended mathematics talks and presentations of their colleagues, and presented their own papers. The presenters were then given feedback form their colleagues and mentors. In addition, they participated in discussions on matters relevant to their future careers.

For the duration of the conference, all the participats, speakers and organizers were lodged at the St. Joseph's residence. Common lodgings and meals allowed for continuing discussions started at the conference, for sharing experiences and making connections.

As a result, the participants, in addition to learning some mathematics, had an opportunity to learn how to present their papers, how to ask questions, do research, discuss their research and plan their careers, as well as how to balance their careers and personal life.

All participants declared the conference a great success, and worth continuing.

The workshop was also supported by a grant from the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences ($4000). Nelson. A Thomson Company cohosted Thursday, June 12th dinner reception for conference participants, with a donation of $200.

Future Plans (if any):
The second workshop is planned to take place in Summer 2005.


CMS Endowment Grant:$5,000
PIMS Grant:$4,000
Nelson A. Thompson:$200
Registration fees:$2,437
Meals and Coffee Breaks:$2,822
Travel and accommodation expenses for
plenary speakers and participants:

Unused funds will hopefully support 2005 workshop.

Contact Name: Malgorzata Dubiel

[March 23, 2004]