Cardiff Mathematics Director of Research spearheads inaugural Retreat for Women in Applied Mathematics
2 February 2023
Leading the way in applying solutions once again, Cardiff School of Mathematics' Director of Research Dr Angela Mihai began 2023 with the launch of a successful pilot conference to support female career researchers in the field of maths.
The Retreat for Women in Applied Mathematics took place in January at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh, where co-host Professor Apala Majumdar is based in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde.
The purpose of the Retreat was to provide support and networking for early career female mathematicians, with events that involved delegates sharing research that ran the gamut of mathematical interests, whilst also allowing for networking, discussions around career journeys and how to balance a mathematical career with a good work-life balance.
Studies have shown that whilst around 40% of mathematics undergraduates in the UK are women, there is a steep drop-off in women choosing to make the jump to professorships (just 6% of professors in one 2013 UK-wide study were women). Conferences like these can form an essential part in supporting women in maths with visible role models, facilitate transparent discussions about navigating professional challenges, as well as reinvigorating enthusiasm by providing safe, supportive spaces to share a love for mathematics.
Cardiff Mathematics PhD student Layla Sandeghi Namaghi, who attended and presented at the Retreat, expressed that ”it's always interesting to hear of all the applications of maths that researchers are working on, and to share a talk about my work on Least-Squares PGD methods for solving elliptic PDEs.”
“It was a very safe, supportive space to discuss career paths, EDI, how to juggle your personal and professional life, and much more. Thank you to the ICMS, University of Edinburgh, and to the organisers Dr Angela Mihai and Professor Apala Majumdar for making this happen. Thank you also to everyone else who contributed - I'm so grateful to be taking away lots of positive memories and new friendships. I look forward to seeing more events like this happening in the future!”
Cardiff University has previously been the recipient of several Athena SWAN Awards, which are awarded to academic departments who make significant contributions to promoting gender equality in higher education. The Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Physics and Astronomy departments have all been awarded silver or bronze awards in recent years. With efforts such as these ongoing, Cardiff University can continue to lead the way in being a world-leading and equitable destination for all students to begin and continue their academic journeys.