07 Mar 2019

EWM general meeting: the convenors’ report

by Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb and Elena Resmerita

The meeting was held in Graz, September 3-7, 2018, organized by:

  • Karin Baur, Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria,
  • Kathryn Hess Bellwald, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland,
  • Elena Resmerita, Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria,
  • Carola Schönlieb, Cambridge University, UK.

The program included a series of three lectures by the EMS lecturer Gigliola Staffilani (MIT, USA), a renowned expert in harmonic analysis and partial differential equations, and five plenary lectures by outstanding women mathematicians selected by the EMS/EWM Scientific Committee. The plenary speakers came from five countries and covered a wide range of topics in mathematics.

  • Shiri Artstein-Avidan (Tel Aviv University, Israel): asymptotic convex geometry
  • Ilse Fischer (University of Vienna, Austria): combinatorics and discrete mathematics.
  • Alice Guionnet (ENS Lyon, France): matrix models, probability theory.
  • Frances Kirwan (University of Oxford, UK): algebraic and symplectic geometry.
  • Maryna Viazovska (EPFL, Switzerland): discrete geometry, number theory, approximation theory.

The NAWI Graz lecturer, Naomi Ellemers (University of Utrecht, Netherlands), gave a lecture on unconscious bias and modern forms of discrimination.

The program comprised also ten mini-symposia, each consisting of four to six invited talks, on subjects of current interest in mathematics, a presentation of the book “The Ascent of Mary Somerville in 19th Century Society” by Elisabetta Strickland, and a presentation by Lisbeth Fajstrup on Danish women mathematicians. Moreover, two poster sessions took place during the meeting, and the three best posters were awarded prizes.

The number of female participants in the meeting was 110, while the total number of participants was 117. The participants have affiliations in Australia, Brazil, India, United Arab Emirates and the USA, as well as in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

The EWM general meeting hosted the EWM general assembly, which is the most important meeting of the association.

The meeting featured several networking sessions:

  • a reception on the first day,
  • a session called Round of Introductions, in which participants are paired up and introduce each other to the whole group,
  • small group discussions, with round tables for discussing different topics related to women in mathematics,
  • an excursion and a conference dinner.

The meeting celebrated also 30 years of EWM, including a festive ceremony about the history of the EWM and its people, which started with a presentation given by Marie-Francoise Roy.

She, as the chair of the Committee for Women in Mathematics (of the IMU), reported on the ICM at Rio and the (WM)^2 event, warmly recommending that the participants watch the documentary ‘Journeys of Women in Mathematics’.

The EWM gratefully acknowledges the financial support from AVL, the Committee for Women in Mathematics, Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the London Mathematical Society, NAWI Graz, Österreichische Mathematische Gesellschaft, the Swiss Mathematical Society, Karl Franzens University of Graz, and the Technical University of Graz.

The meeting website provides further details.

The next EWM general meeting will be held in 2022 (the location is not yet known).

We strongly believe, based on feedback from participants, that the scientific program and the other activities organized during the meeting were sources of inspiration for many participants.