Connecting Women in Mathematics Across Canada (14w2196)

Arriving in Banff, Alberta Friday, October 3 and departing Sunday October 5, 2014


Galia Dafni (Concordia University)

(Dalhousie University)

(University of Prince Edward Island)

Megumi Harada (McMaster University)

(University of British Columbia, Vancouver)


The mandate of the Canadian Mathematical Society's Women in Math
Committee is to "monitor the status of women within the Canadian
Mathematical community and the CMS, recommend actions to the Board
which will assure equitable treatment of women, and encourage the
participation of women at all levels of mathematics." As such, we
make an effort to organize special events and panels during the Summer
and Winter meetings of the Canadian Mathematical Society. These
events attract many students, but given the limited period of time
available during these meetings, we are only able to briefly touch
upon each issue, with no in-depth analysis, and no followup
conversations. Most importantly, the young mathematicians whom we are
trying to reach do not have much of an opportunity to talk to us
during these short events.

For these reasons, we have come to the conclusion that a retreat
would be most beneficial to achieve our goals, and Banff Centre the
most appropriate venue.

The weekend is supposed to serve as a career starter retreat for
young female mathematicians. We seek to strengthen networks and
mentor graduate students looking at entering the job market. The
idea is to have a number of "seasoned veterans" give lectures on
topics such as How to Give a Talk, How to Build Collaborations and
How to do Research. Dr. Catherine Mavriplis, an NSERC – Pratt &
Whitney Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, has agreed
to participate in the event as well. She will highlight career trends that
face women in science and engineering as a whole, painting a larger
picture for the issues faced by women in Mathematics.

We will also ask that the student participants give research talks for
which they would receive feedback from an assigned mentor. We plan
to have up to four plenary talks, as well as discussion sessions
focusing on various aspects of the academic career.

We hope to start a conversation in this meeting that will be
continued in the following years, and we aim to make these meetings a
reliable forum that concentrates on issues arising for women pursuing
academic careers, and one that young mathematicians can use to build
support networks that can last through their careers.

This gathering will also provide the Women in Mathematics committee a
relaxed setting in which we will be able to discuss and prioritize
issues to focus on as a committee, and strategies to help our
community better.