WIMSIG NEWSLETTER — September 2022

Incoming WIMSIG Newsletter Editor

Shannon Algar (UWA) will be the next WIMSIG Newsletter Editor, starting in October. Thank you very much Shannon!

Shannon will take over from Joanne Hall (RMIT), who has served WIMSIG since its formation in 2013. 

A big thank you to Joanne — we wish you all the best with your future endeavours!

Congratulations to Kate Helmstedt

Kate Helmstedt (QUT) has been awarded a Tall Poppy Award.

Congratulations to Serena Dipierro

WIMSIG Secretary Serena Dipierro (UWA) has been awarded the Giuseppe Bartolozzi Prize of the Italian Mathematical Union.


WIMSIG Praeger and Street Awards

WIMSIG is calling for applications for the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel and Anne Penfold Street Awards, for which the second round of 2022 is closing on October 1.

The Awards are funded by the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) and are an initiative of WIMSIG, which administers them. Awards are determined on a competitive basis by a selection committee of distinguished mathematicians, appointed by the Executive Committee of WIMSIG. 

  • The AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards are designed to provide full or partial support for Australian women, trans and gender diverse mathematicians to attend conferences or to visit collaborators.  The Awards are named after Prof Cheryl E. Praeger AM FAA, in recognition of her contributions to supporting and encouraging women in mathematics.

    There are two rounds of the Travel Awards per year, with closing dates on April 1 and on October 1 each year. Applications, using the application form and accompanied by a CV and other supporting documentation as detailed in the rules, should be sent to the Selection Committee via the email address praegertravelawards@austms.org.au
  • The AustMS WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Awards provide additional financial support to Australian mathematicians for their caring responsibilities, while they travel for conferences or research visits to collaborators. The Awards are named after Prof Anne Penfold Street AM, in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of knowledge across the broader mathematical community where she promoted the intellectual development of secondary and tertiary students, and actively supported the advancement of her peers. 

    The potential uses of these Awards include, but are not limited to, short-term childcare or professional carers for elderly relatives. These Awards are open to: individuals studying/working/living in Australia, regardless of gender, or members of organising committees for mathematics/statistics conferences to be held in Australia. 

    There are two rounds of the Street Awards per year, with closing dates on April 1 and on October 1 each year. Applications, using the application form and accompanied by a CV and other supporting documentation as detailed in the rules, should be sent to the Selection Committee via the email address streetawards@austms.org.au.

Get involved in WIMSIG!

We are looking for WIMSIG members who would like to get more involved in some of our activities. Here are some ways you could contribute to WIMSIG’s goals of supporting women, trans and gender diverse people in the mathematical sciences in Australia:

  • WIMSIG Treasurer (from January 2023)
  • Ordinary Member of the WIMSIG Executive Committee (from January 2023)
  • Member of the Selection Committee, which decides on outcomes for the WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Award, the WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Award and the AustMS-WIMSIG Maryam Mirzakhani Award (from mid-2022 or later)
  • Member of the WIMSIG Mentoring Committee, which runs the WIMSIG Mentoring Scheme (from January 2023)

If you are interested in any of these roles, or would like more information, please email WIMSIG Chair, Catherine Greenhill (WIMSIG-chair@austms.org.au).  Even if you’re just curious about possibly doing any of these roles in the future, we would love to hear from you. 

Curious Minds

Curious Minds pairs established women in STEM with girls from regional, rural or low socio-economic backgrounds to help them gain confidence and explore their interest in STEM over a six-month period.

As a STEM Coach, you can:

  • Make a difference in the life of a girl with a curious mind.
  • Develop your own teaching and coaching skills.
  • Create new networks with a group of awesome STEM women.

STEM Coaches will be required to:

  • Attend the summer camp in December 2022 and the winter camp in July 2023.
  • Attend three webinar training sessions and catch-ups.
  • Check in with your student every three weeks.

Who is eligible?

We welcome STEM Coaches who identify as women and have at least one year experience working in their field. All STEM Coaches must have, or be able to obtain, a Working With Vulnerable People (or their state/territory equivalent).

We particularly need more STEM Coaches in the following areas:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Engineering


Applications open on September 1, and will close September 30.

Each year, we have growing demand for STEM Coaches. If you want to make a difference to a young girl interested in STEM, and can commit to the program, we strongly welcome you to apply.

The University of Melbourne

Queensland University Technology

Australian National University


Guide to mainstreaming gender in university teaching of mathematics

Irene Epifanio (Professor in Statistics at Jaume I University in Spain) has written a guide to mainstreaming gender in university teaching of mathematics. The book was first written in Catalan in 2019, and later translated into Spanish in 2020, followed by an English version this year. The guide is freely available online, along with a free virtual course (3 hours) in Spanish.

Have you read an interesting article? Have some news? Have an opportunity available?

Please send items to WIMSIG-news@austms.org.au.

Note: Newsletters are published on the 1st day of each month (or soon after). The deadline for submitted items is the 27th day of each month.

To keep in touch in between newsletters, follow @wimsigAU on Twitter.