Association for Women in Mathematics

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AWM 40th anniversary logo

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) is a professional society whose mission is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity for and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences. The AWM was founded in 1971 and incorporated in the state of Massachusetts. AWM has approximately 3000 members, including over 200 institutional members (colleges –universities, institutes, and mathematical societies). It offers numerous programs and workshops to mentor women and girls in the mathematical sciences. Much of AWM’s work is supported through federal grants.

Mission Statement[edit]

The purpose of the Association for Women in Mathematics is

• to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and

• to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.

History[edit]

The Association was founded in 1971 as the Association of Women Mathematicians, but the name was changed almost immediately. It grew out of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlantic City in 1971, where a women's caucus was proposed. Mary W. Gray was the early organizer, placing an advertisement in the February 1971 Notices of the AMS, and writing the first issue of the AWM Newsletter that May. Early goals of the Association focused on equal pay for equal work, as well as equal consideration for admission to graduate school and support while there; for faculty appointments at all levels; for promotion and for tenure; for administrative appointments; and for government grants, positions on review and advisory panels and positions in professional organizations. The AWM holds an annual meeting at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.

Programs, Lectures, and Awards[edit]

The Association for Women in Mathematics sponsors a variety of programs and awards to encourage girls and women in the mathematical sciences.

Programs[edit]

Workshops, Conferences, and Travel Grants[edit]

  • Organizing meetings in cooperation with AWM - AWM often cooperates with mathematics institutes or other associations in organizing conferences. Inquiries about organizing a conference in cooperation with AWM should be sent to awm@awm-math.org and directed to the attention of the chair of the Meetings and Program Portfolio.
  • Travel Grants for Women Researchers - The travel grants program enables women to attend research conferences in their fields, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to advance their research activities and their visibility in the research community.
  • Mentoring Travel Grants for Women - The mentoring grants program funds travel, subsistence, and other required expenses for an untenured woman mathematician to travel to an institute or a department to do research with a specified individual for one month.

Mentoring and Community Involvement[edit]

  • Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Days - Sonia Kovalevsky Days have been organized by AWM and institutions around the country since 1985. They consist of a program of workshops, talks, and problem-solving competitions for high school women students and their teachers, both women and men.
  • Teacher Partnership - links teachers of mathematics in schools, museums, technical institutes, two-year colleges, and universities with other teachers working in an environment different from their own and with mathematicians working in business and industry.
  • Mentor Network - matches mentors, both men and women, with girls and women who are interested in mathematics or are pursuing careers in mathematics. The network is intended to link mentors with a variety of groups: recent Ph.D.s, graduate students, undergraduates, high school and grade school students, and teachers.
  • AWM Student Chapters - hold regular meetings and events, open to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major or gender. These meetings and activities allow students to be exposed to the world of professional mathematics, to obtain information about the varied career options in mathematics, to network with professional mathematicians, and to develop leadership skills. Click here for a list of current student chapters.

Lectures[edit]

Noether Lectures[edit]

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) annually presents the Noether Lectures to honor women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences. These one-hour expository lectures are presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings each January. Emmy Noether was one of the great mathematicians of her time, someone who worked and struggled for what she loved and believed in. Her life and work remain a tremendous inspiration. Nomination deadline is October 15, annually. Click here for a list of past Noether Lecturers.

Kovalevsky Lectures[edit]

AWM and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) established the annual Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture to highlight significant contributions of women to applied or computational mathematics. This lecture is given annually at the SIAM Annual Meeting. In 2011, the lecture will be given at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The lectureship may be awarded to anyone in the scientific or engineering community whose work highlights the achievements of women in applied or computational mathematics. Nomination deadline is September 15, annually. Click here for a list of past Kovalevsky lecturers.

Falconer Lectures[edit]

The Association for Women in Mathematics and the Mathematical Association of America annually present the Etta Falconer Lectures to honor women who have made distinguished contributions to the mathematical sciences or mathematics education. These one-hour expository lectures are presented at Mathfest each summer. While the lectures began with Mathfest 1996, the title "Etta Z. Falconer Lecture" was established in 2004 in memory of Falconer's profound vision and accomplishments in enhancing the movement of minorities and women into scientific careers. Click here for a list of past Falconer Lecturers or visit the Wikipedia page AWM/MAA_Falconer_Lecturer.

Awards[edit]

Schafer Prize[edit]

The Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) calls for nominations for the Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize to be awarded to an undergraduate woman for excellence in mathematics. All members of the mathematical community are invited to submit nominations for the Prize. The nominee may be at any level in her undergraduate career but must be an undergraduate as of October 1, 2010. She must either be a U.S. citizen or have a school address in the United States. The Schafer Prize was established in 1990 by the Executive Committee of the AWM and is named for AWM former president and one of its founding members, Alice T. Schafer, who has contributed a great deal to women in mathematics throughout her career. Nomination deadline is October 1, annually. Click here for a list of past Schafer prize winners.

Hay Award[edit]

The Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics has established the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education, to be awarded annually to a woman at the Joint Prize Session at the Joint Mathematics Meetings every January. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding achievements in any area of mathematics education, to be interpreted in the broadest possible sense. While Louise Hay was widely recognized for her contributions to mathematical logic and for her strong leadership as Head of the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, her devotion to students and her lifelong commitment to nurturing the talent of young women and men secure her reputation as a consummate educator. To learn more about Louise Hay, you can read a biography of Louise Hay on the St. Andrews website and an autobiographical article she wrote that was published in the AWM Newsletter. The annual presentation of this award is intended to highlight the importance of mathematics education and to evoke the memory of all that Hay exemplified as a teacher, scholar, administrator, and human being. Nomination deadline is April 30, annually. Click here for a list of past Hay Award winners.

Humphreys Award[edit]

The Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics has established a prize in memory of M. Gweneth Humphreys to recognize outstanding mentorship activities. This prize will be awarded annually to a mathematics teacher (female or male) who has encouraged female undergraduate students to pursue mathematical careers and/or the study of mathematics at the graduate level. The recipient will receive a cash prize and honorary plaque and will be featured in an article in the AWM newsletter. The award is open to all regardless of nationality and citizenship. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination. Nomination deadline is April 30, annually. The first award was given in 2011 to Rhonda Hughes.

The award is named for M. Gweneth Humphreys (1911-2006). Professor Humphreys graduated with honors in mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1932, earning the prestigious Governor General's Gold Medal at graduation. After receiving her master's degree from Smith College in 1933, Humphreys earned her Ph.D. at age 23 from the University of Chicago in 1935. She taught mathematics to women for her entire career, first at Mount St. Scholastica College, then for several years at Sophie Newcomb College, and finally for over thirty years at Randolph Macon Woman's College. This award, funded by contributions from her former students and colleagues at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, recognizes her commitment to and her profound influence on undergraduate students of mathematics.

Michler Prize[edit]

The Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize of the AWM is awarded annually to a woman recently promoted to Associate Professor or an equivalent position in the mathematical sciences. The prize provides a fellowship for the awardee to spend a semester in the Mathematics Department of Cornell University without teaching obligations. Recently promoted associate professors face many challenges as they prepare to take on greater leadership in research and in the profession. The Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize will honor outstanding women at this stage of their careers and enable them to focus on their research in the stimulating environment of the Cornell University Mathematics Department. Nomination deadline is November 1, annually. Click here for a list of past recipients.


Past Presidents[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]