Category Archives: association for women in mathematics

Personal reflections from the 2019 JMM- Yen Duong

When I first met my husband, he had just attended the wedding of his ex-girlfriend of six years.  He told me about that unsteady Sliding Doors– type feeling during the toasts and comments about the bride, because he knew all of those inside jokes and funny quirks that make her so lovable (and she is great!) It’s a “that could’ve been me” feeling- not a “that should be me”, but just, if the sun came out a minute later one day or the toast wasn’t burned another day or you had stopped to talk to that student, everything could’ve been different.  That’s an approximation of how I’ve felt at these meetings.

Hi! I’m Yen, professional writer and JMM 2019 blogger and also math Ph.D. An old REU friend I hadn’t seen in ten years asked me yesterday what piece I am most proud of, and I told her it was this one in the Notices:

So, true to form, I’ll write about my innermost personal thoughts in a public forum. Read more »

Afternoon Receptions And AWM Poster Session

The afternoon was off to a good start for the blogging team. We started at the MAA Project NExT reception to celebrate 25 years of Project NeXt. We met fellow NExTers and got some valuable lessons on networking etiquette from NExT director David Kung and current AMS Congressional Fellow James Ricci. Apparently one should always say “nice to see you” rather than “nice to meet you” just in case, and you should always hold your drink in the left hand to avoid the dreaded clammy handshake (a piece of advice that I apparently failed to internalize).

Your faithful bloggers take an afternoon respite at the MAA Project NExT champagne and cake reception.

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AWM Capitol Hill Visit at JMM 2019

Group in front of statue on visit.

The AWM group in front of the Alexander Calder statue in the Hays Building in Washington DC.

Tuesday morning, when many folks were finishing up last minute packing and checking flights, I was getting on a bus to Washington DC with around fifty other members of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). The mission: meet with legislators about important issues for women in mathematics. More generally, we were there to talk about supporting STEM research, education, and careers, promoting equity and inclusion in the field, and some legislation that we believe would work toward these goals. The AWM has been organizing advocacy trips to Capitol Hill in Washington DC for several years now. Of course, as I write, the Joint Mathematics Meetings has brought over 5000 mathematicians to Baltimore to talk some serious (and not so serious) math. The AWM planned a visit for Tuesday to take advantage of this confluence, so close to the nation’s capital. This was the largest Hill visit of the program, with 50 participants visiting 47 congressional offices, speaking with legislators and their staff members spanning 18 different states. AWM groups met with 33 Democrats, 13 Republicans, and 1 Independent. The participants were fairly evenly drawn from undergraduate students, graduate students, academic faculty, and business/industry/government mathematicians.

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Association for Women in Mathematics Panel Discussion, “Promoting Inclusion in Stem”

Talia Fernós started off this great panel with lively introductions of Autumn Kent, subject of a Q&A by Evelyn Lamb, Piper Harron, provocateur postdoc (I hope she allows me to call her that) and author of a straight fire thesis who also writes for inclusion/exclusion, another AMS blog, Pamela Barnett, an English professor at Lasalle University, and Harrison Bray, a postdoc at University of Michigan.  She started us off with axioms from Federico d’Ardila-Mantilla’s  fantastic Notices article about mathematics and a description of underrepresented groups, along with another that she added that I missed: something like inequality exists and is a result of structural things we’ve done?

I went with first names for this live-blogging because I know three of the people on the stage. Sorry for the forced camaraderie, Pamela and Harrison! I hope to meet you two sometime! Also apologies for all the stuff that you said that I missed. I didn’t record, I’m just typing while y’all talk.

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