Latest AustMS WIMSIG Awardees

Congratulations to the following awardees of the October 2017 round of the Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards.

  • Bregje Pauwels (ANU) — for AustMS 2017, Macquarie University, December 2017.
  • Valentina Wheeler (Wollongong) — for 12th Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Applications, Taiwan, July 2018.
  • Marcy Robertson (Melbourne) — for Infinity-Categories, Infinity-Operads, and their Applications workshop, Mexico, May 2018.
  • Sara Herke (UQ) — for 5th International Combinatorics Conference, Monash University, December 2017.
  • Jie Yen Fan (Monash U) — for AustMS 2017, Macquarie University, December 2017.

We hope you have wonderful adventures, and look forward to hearing about them. The next round of award applications closes on April 1, 2018.

WIMSIG Conference 2017: Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences

Held at the University of South Australia, 24—26 September 2017.  



Report by Lesley Ward (Conference Director):

Wow, we did it, and it was great. Excellent scientific content, wonderful atmosphere. We’re delighted that so many people came to the Conference, that they had such a good time, and that we delivered everything we set out to do. The quotes included in this article are all from participants.

“The overall buzz and sense that everyone was having a great time. It was fantastic!”

The Conference by the numbers: We welcomed 190 participants, of whom 85% were women and 30% were students, from 10 countries. There were just over 100 research talks and posters, all presented by women. Twenty five organisers (all women) of our 12 special sessions, four plenary speakers, seven panellists, 16 sponsors. Two years of planning. Warm thanks go to the many people who helped make it happen, and especially to the Conference Steering Committee.


WIMSIG Conference 2017 Group Photo, 25 Sep 2017.
Photo credit: Sia Duff.

Distinctive features of the Conference included:  

  • Free childcare for all participants, and a lactation room.
  • Panel discussions on the Gender Equity Landscape in the Australian Mathematical Sciences and on Broader Perspectives on Gender Equity, across Countries and Disciplines.
  • Networking discussions within each special session.
  • Special session on Gender Equity and Diversity in Mathematics.
  • LGBTIQ Folks and Allies morning tea.
  • Gender Equity Resource Kit.
  • Travel Grants assisting more than 30 women.
  • Info session on the AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards and Anne Penfold Street Awards.
  • Professional Development Workshop on Shameless Self-Promotion.

An electronic version of the Conference Booklet, including the Gender Equity Resource Kit, will soon be posted on the Conference website, along with more photos.

We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors, who contributed a combined total of $60,000 to the Conference budget. Their generosity enabled us to award Travel Grants to 33 women, as well as supporting many other aspects of the Conference. Platinum sponsors: UniSA, University of Adelaide, University of Queensland, ACEMS, AMSI in partnership with CHOOSEMATHS and the BHP Billiton Foundation. Gold sponsors: UNSW, Flinders University, AustMS. Silver sponsors: Statistical Society of Australia, ANZAMP, ANZIAM, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANU, MAXIMA, MATRIX, and Kate Smith-Miles through her ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship.

Thanks to all of you who have completed the Conference evaluation form. The responses (over 100 so far) are very positive, including overwhelming support for future conferences of this kind: 98% of respondents say they would attend a future WIMSIG conference.

The Conference Travel Grants were primarily directed to female students and early-career researchers, and to women at any career stage for carer expenses.

“The funds were of extreme importance.”  

“I would not have attended the conference if I had not been awarded the grant.”  


WIMSIG Conference 2017 Travel Grant Recipients, 25 Sep 2017.
Photo credit: Sia Duff.

Many female mathematicians have never before been in a female-dominated professional environment. Participants enjoyed this aspect. 

“I have been in academia for 20 years and I have never witnessed (in a work place setting) the support and respect shown by the organisers to each other, and to other female mathematicians. It was inspiring.”  

“Never been to a maths conference in Australia as fun as this one.”  

Many people were unaware of how many women are doing fabulous mathematics in Australia. Some participants expressed delighted surprise at how many female mathematicians there are in Australia.

“(I was surprised by) the high number of participants, and the high amount of diversity among the female participants.”  

“I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the large number of female researchers in maths surprised me! The number of attendees at the conference was much larger than I anticipated.”  

“I had not fully realised that there was so much mathematical research being done by women in Australia.”

It takes a lot of effort to do something that is the first of its kind. This effort paid off with many participants complimenting the Conference team on how well organised the Conference was.

“The info given in the handbook (Conference booklet) was very useful for my local diversity committee.”  

“Best organised conference I’ve attended.”  

“My heartiest congratulations to all the organisers. Everything so well thought out. The science and friendliness were fantastic. Thank you!”  


WIMSIG Conference 2017 panel discussion on the Gender
Equity Landscape in the Australian Mathematical Sciences
L-R: Jacqui Ramagge, Cheryl Praeger, Aleks Owczarek, Kerrie Mengersen, Nalini Joshi, Kate Smith-Miles (moderator), 25 Sep 2017. Photo credit: Sia Duff.

The most important aspect of the Conference was the technical program. There were four plenary lectures, 100 research talks in 12 special sessions, and a poster session. A wide range of the mathematical sciences was covered including several application areas.

“This is the only conference I have ever been to where all of the invited speakers were great speakers.”  

“I started a new collaboration.”  

“The high quality scientific content, and the positive, happy atmosphere.”  


WIMSIG Conference 2017 Plenary Speakers, 25 Sep 2017.
L-R: Kerrie Mengersen, Christine O’Keefe, Malabika Pramanik, Ami Radunskaya. Photo credit: Sia Duff.

Many participants at the Conference would agree: “It was a life changing experience”.

AustMS Election for President

For the first time in many years the presidency of the AustMS has two candidates, and thus there will be an election. Prof Jacqui Rammage (USyd) and Prof Geoff Prince (LaTrobe and AMSI) have been nominated. Having several quality candidates nominate to lead the society is a sign of strength. All members of AustMS with voting rights should have received a message with a ballot. Ballots are due back by December 4.

Funding from IMU’s Committee for Women in Mathematics

The IMU’s Committee for Women in Mathematics invites proposals for funding of up to €3000 for activities or initiatives taking place in 2018.
Applications due by December 15, 2017.


Women in Mathematics Get-Togethers

The following get-togethers are confirmed for November.


RMIT University

  • Thursday 9 November at 10:30-11:30am (AEDT)
  • RMIT CBD campus, room B008-04-011-Megaflex 
  • Host: Joanne Hall

Please bring along an object or picture related to yourresearch. This may include:

  • beautifully drawn graphs
  • visual data representations
  • 3D models
  • images that demonstrate the impact of your research
  • crafty creations

Download poster (PDF, 461 KB).


University of South Australia (UniSA)

  • Thursday 9 November at 3:30pm (ACDT)
  • UniSA Mawson Lakes campus, room MC1-21 
  • Host: Elizabeth Bradford

If you’re interested in hosting a Women in Maths get-together in the future, please contact WIMSIG-events@women.austms.org.au.

MAGIC 2017

  • November 13-17, 2017
  • University House, Canberra

The inaugural Mentoring and Guidance in Careers Workshop (MAGIC Workshop) will present an opportunity to explore the many facets of forging a career, in academic, government or industry settings, and to discuss how to create building blocks for success and resilience in careers.

Participation is limited to a maximum of 35 early career researchers (0-7 years post PhD) who are female or of diverse gender identity, who have a PhD in mathematical or physical sciences and are based in Australia. Interested researchers should submit an application, which is available at the MAGIC workshop website at http://wp.maths.usyd.edu.au/MAGIC.

The application is simple — the applicants need to answer three questions and supply a two-page CV. Successful applicants will receive financial support for basic round-trip travel (economy) from their home institution to the workshop and will be provided accommodation from 12-16 November 2017 at University House, Australian National University, Canberra. A preliminary program is available on the website.

The workshop is organised by Professors Mahananda Dasgupta (ANU) and Nalini Joshi (The University of Sydney) and is supported through the Australian Research Council’s Georgina Sweet Award as part of their Australian Laureate Fellowships. The organising committee members include Dr Merryn McKinnon from the Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science, ANU.

Please send any direct questions to maths.joshiera@sydney.edu.au.

Australian Mathematical Sciences Student Conference 2017

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Student Conference is returning this year, and we would like to extend a warm invitation to any and all interested honours and postgraduate level students in the areas of Mathematics and Statistics.

The AMSSC is an annual conference run by students, for students. It aims to offer a friendly and relaxed environment in which to build and maintain connections, encourage collaboration, and present research.

This event will be held from the 6th to the 8th of December 2017, at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales. Attending students are encouraged to present a short talk, with cash prizes being awarded to the best in each of several categories. Travel support will be available through AMSI and AustMS. 

Please note that registration for the event closes on the 6th of November, and applications for financial support close on the 22nd of September.   For more information, or to register, please visit the following webpages, which will be updated frequently as more details are confirmed:  

61st Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society

WIMSIG General Meeting

At the 2017 AustMS meeting in Sydney, WIMSIG will have a general business meeting.

  • Time: 5-6pm, Monday 11 December 2017
  • Venue: Room TBA, Macquarie University

This meeting is a chance for members and friends of WIMSIG to meet the Executive Committee and discuss things of interest. If there is an item you would like put on the agenda, please contact the WIMSIG Secretary.

The General Meeting will be followed by the Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner.

Women in Mathematical Sciences Dinner

  • Time: 6:30pm, Monday 11 December 2017
  • Place: TBA

The dinner will feature speeches and Q&A from some prominent women, including plenary speakers.

World Meeting for Women in Mathematics — (WM)²

The IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) welcomes the mathematical community to the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics – (WM)² on 31st July 2018, a satellite event of the ICM 2018.



WIMSIG will be electing a new Incoming Chair this year to start their term on the Executive Committee in February 2018. If you are interested in the opportunity, or know somebody with the skills to lead the drive for gender equity in Australian Mathematics over the next four years, please consider nominating for the position by November 30. Nominations should be emailed directly to the Returning Officer — Birgit Loch.

The current WIMSIG Chair, Yvonne Stokes, is happy to answer any questions you may have about the role.

University of Ottawa

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

The University of Melbourne

University of South Australia (UniSA)


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.