Recent Awards

  • Euler Medal awarded to Cheryl Praeger
  • Ami Radunskaya named 2016 AAAS Mentor Award recipient
    • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Ami Radunskaya — Co-Director of The EDGE Program (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) and President of the US Association for Women in Mathematics — its 2016 Mentor Award recipient. The award “honors individuals who during their careers demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers”. The award was presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston on February 17, 2017.

      Ami will be a speaker at the WIMSIG Conference 2017, to be held at the University of South Australia, September 24-26.
  • ANZIAM 2017 Awards

Congratulations to all award recipients!


Female Awardees at ANZIAM 2017
Top L-R: Alys Clark, Claire Miller.
Bottom L-R: Jody Fisher, Kate Smith-Miles.

Special Committee for Women in Science and Engineering

Cheryl Praeger was asked to be the Chair of the Special Committee for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) of AASSA (The Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia). As a representative of the Australian Academy of Science, Cheryl has also been elected as Member-at-Large of the Executive Board of AASSA, and is the only woman on that board.

Heads of Schools of Mathematical Sciences Meeting

Report by Yvonne Stokes

On February 21, Chair of WIMSIG — A/Prof Yvonne Stokes (Adelaide) — attended the Australian Council of Heads of Mathematical Sciences meeting in Melbourne and addressed the meeting. She introduced the new members of the committee (including herself as Chair!) and gave her vision for WIMSIG, namely to:

  • Develop greater connection with and involvement of members,
  • Assist female mathematicians to develop strong research careers,
  • Improve understanding of causes of gender inequity.

In addition, she reported on past activities, in particular the success of the travel awards, and asked for these to be promoted by Heads of Schools. She also talked at some length about the upcoming WIMSIG Conference, described its purpose and goals, welcomed attendance by all those present, asked for direct support and that Heads of Schools encourage and assist staff to attend, no matter their gender.

Additional activities highlighted for the future were establishing a mentoring scheme for WIMSIG members and contributing to development of an Australian Mathematical Society good practice scheme. The latter is a very welcome new initiative of AustMS picking up on a suggestion from Prof Nalini Joshi that AustMS develop such a good practice scheme for gender equity in Australian Mathematics, following one initiated by the London Mathematical Society.

Yvonne spent a little time presenting the most recent data on female participation in the Australian Mathematical Sciences, using data from AMSI and a poster produced by Alex James and Nigel Bean focusing on ANZIAM, and showed some results from a recent paper (Mihalhevic ́-Brandt, Santamaria, Tullney, The effect of gender in the publication patterns in mathematics, PLOS One, Oct 2016), which demonstrate that “women are extremely under-represented in top-ranked journals”.

Yvonne concluded by asking what is being done around Australia to address gender equity and specifically asked if there had been any positive outcomes from the women-only positions advertised by The University of Melbourne and others, in addition to the appointment of excellent women. Time constraints limited the discussion but the view seemed to be that it was too early to tell. Prof Jacqui Rammage reported that 40% of recent appointments at the University of Wollongong were women which is great news.

Yvonne was excited to learn at the meeting from Kylie Walker (Science & Technology Australia) of the Superstars of STEM program that is just being started “to support Australian women currently employed in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, empowering them to become highly visible role models for girls and young women”. See the STA website for more information, including a job opportunity. This seems like an excellent initiative in which WIMSIG may be able to play a role.

Science Meets Parliament

Each year Science and Technology Australia hosts Science Meets Parliament — a 2-day event in Canberra, including professional development in science communication and networking opportunities with a variety of scientists, politicians and public servants.

Joanne Hall (WIMSIG Secretary 2013-2016) is going to Science Meets Parliament 2017 to be held March 21-22.

Male Champions of Change STEM

The Male Champions of Change project began in 2010 under the leadership of Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick. The Male Champions of Change aims at shift the system, not “fix women”. In 2017 the Male Champions of Change group was launched.

WIMSIG Newsletter going to junk?

Unfortunately some people have reported that the WIMSIG Newsletters are being filtered as junk. This seems to mostly affect organisations using Microsoft mail servers. We are investigating the configuration of our mail server to ensure that the Newsletter is detected as legitimate content.


ChooseMaths screenings of the film Hidden Figures in March

AMSI is excited to invite talented and passionate female maths students and their teachers to attend a private screening of the new release blockbuster ‘HIDDEN FIGURES’. Be inspired by the incredible story of the women who crossed all gender and race lines to serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history.

As our special guests there will be an opportunity to hear about the ChooseMaths Program, listen to inspiring women working in maths careers and learn why studying maths can open doors for the future.

The movie is suitable for Year 10–12 female maths students and their teachers.

For screening times in Vic, NSW, QLD, and SA, see http://teachers.choosemaths.org.au/hiddenfigures/ where you can also book tickets.

Cheryl Praeger Retirement Mini-symposium – April 13, 2017

Cheryl began her career at The University of Western Australia in 1976, and has recently retired after 40 years of service. To celebrate her amazing and influential career, there will be a mini-symposium hosted by The University of Western Australia on April 13. There will be four plenary lectures devoted to Cheryl’s legacy given by some of her closest colleagues:

The programme and the venue will be advised. There is no registration fee, but you should let the organisers (below) know if you are attending.

A/Prof John Bamberg
A/Prof Michael Giudici

WIMSIG Conference 2017

Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences

If you are considering going to the WIMSIG Conference 2017, then register your interest. This is the first event of its kind in Australia, so we don’t know just how popular the event will be. The expression of interest form also gathers information about potential childcare and lactation space requirements. If there are any other services that may enable your attendance, then please ask Lesley Ward. We want this event to be as inclusive as possible.


The University of Melbourne


AustMS WIMSIG Street and Praeger Travel Awards

  • The AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards are designed to provide full or partial support for female members of the AustMS to attend conferences or to visit collaborators. Under certain circumstances the funding may also be used to invite a research collaborator.
  • The AustMS WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Awards provide additional financial support to AustMS members of any gender to offset caring expenses while on research related adventures. This may include the travel costs for children accompanying the researcher, the cost of babysitting, or professional care for elderly relatives. The funding is also open to conference organisers in order to support offering childcare at their conferences.

You must have been a member of the Australian Mathematical Society for at least one year to be eligible for the Street or Preager awards.

Applications for the next round of Awards are due by April 1.

For more information about other awards and prizes of AustMS and ANZIAM see https://www.austms.org.au/awards.

Loreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships

Applications close on April 3, 2017.


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

Please send items to WIMSIG-news@women.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.