WIMSIG NEWSLETTER – September 2017

Choose Maths Trams and Buses

AMSI has launched a series of Bus and Tram advertising in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth featuring the Choose Maths Ambassadors.

Homeward Bound Women in Science Leadership Program

In December last year, A/Prof Sarah Brough (UNSW) and A/Prof Renate Egan (Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics) took part in an amazing opportunity — the inaugural Homeward Bound leadership program for Women in Science. They took strategy and leadership lessons alongside 74 amazing women of different ages (honours students through to retirees), science backgrounds and geographical locations for 20 days onboard a ship travelling through Antarctica.

Sarah describes her own experience here.

Applications are now open for the 2019 program — due September 15 at 10:00am (AEST).

Melbourne Maths Craft Afternoon

On Saturday 26 August over a hundred people came together for an afternoon of mathematics and craft at the La Trobe city campus on Collins Street in Melbourne.

Organised by Julia Collins (AMSI), Katherine Seaton (La Trobe University), and Julie Clutterbuck (Monash University), the Maths Craft Afternoon featured talks and hands-on activities in an informal setting that was open to people of all ages and backgrounds. Participants were encouraged to explore ideas in three different mathematical crafts: hyperbolic crochet and knitting, Platonic-solid modular origami, and embroidered star patterns based on modular arithmetic. Through creating models and experimenting with different designs, the attendees were able to experience the creativity and intuition which is part of both mathematics and craft, whether they were adults or children, teachers or parents, knitters or algebraists.

Alongside the three craft stations were talks on the same topics. Julia Collins spoke of the history and uses of hyperbolic geometry, Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes (Beautiful Stitches) explained how her embroidery was inspired by her mathematical physics background, and Michael Assis (University of Melbourne/Newcastle) showed how origami could be used to teach mathematical concepts. Supporting the event were enthusiastic volunteers, recruited from mathematicians, PhD and undergraduate students, and some friends and family.

Based on the positive feedback from all of the attendees, the founding organisation Maths Craft Australia will be looking to organise similar events in other locations and are keen to hear from anybody interested in hosting them.

For more information, visit and follow Maths Craft Australia at:


WIMSIG Conference 2017: Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences

24—26 September 2017
University of South Australia, City West Campus, Adelaide



Important Dates

  • Early Bird registration deadline: August 25, 2017
  • Travel Grant application deadline: 5pm, Fri 25 Aug 2017 (ACST)
  • Abstract submission deadline: August 31, 2017
  • Conference: September 24-26, 2017

The conference welcomes people of any gender, but all the research talks will be given by women. Also, you’re welcome to participate whether or not you give a talk, and in particular the Travel Grants are intended to support women’s attendance and do not require you to present a talk or poster.

The registration fee includes:

Guest tickets are available for the Workshop and Reception. Guest tickets may be made available at a later date for the Conference Dinner.

We encourage you to

  • register if you have not already done so,
  • encourage others to participate,
  • submit an abstract for a talk and/or poster,
  • upload a photograph of yourself, via the Research Interests field in your personal Register! profile, for us to use in a slide show during the conference and possibly as part of our conference reporting,
  • add your MSC numbers via the Research Interests field in your personal Register! profile (your MSC numbers may be used to tailor future events and invitations relevant to you), and
  • advise us of any childcare requirements.

If you have already registered, thank you!

Abstracts may be submitted as part of the registration process or at a later date by logging in to the Register! system prior to the submission deadline on August 31, 2017.

The website is being updated frequently with new information, so please check it regularly.

We urge participants to book accommodation as soon as possible as there is an international conference and other events overlapping with the meeting. A list of some Adelaide accommodation, including some lower-cost options, can be found on the Conference website.

We look forward to seeing you later this month!

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:  


UNSW Sydney

Penn State University (USA)

The University of Melbourne

Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Program

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is launching a new global scholarship program to support mid career women to continue their academic journey, called Women in STEM2D Scholars Award Program.

This program is open to women in science, technology, engineering, maths, manufacturing and design. 

Applications open September 1 and close October 30, 2017.


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.

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


In August, an engineer at Google sent around a 10-page memo complaining about the wasted resources directed at diversity programs, and gave a long list of reasons why the gender pay gap has biological basis.

This memo resulted in the particular engineer being fired, and generated a lot of media comment.

Some related opinion pieces:

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.