Newsletter 32


In this issue we had two big events to cover: the global event which took place on May 12th, in memory of Maryam Mirzakhani, and the two-week GoMath at ETH Zurich…




In French-speaking Switzerland, the number of women studying mathematics is significantly lower than the number of men. In this article*, we provide possible interpretations of this phenomenon and seek to understand what effects cultural influence might have by interviewing some women in this field.

*the article first appeared in a special issue of L’Educateur a few months ago. The authors, Francesca Gregorio and Sara Presutti, kindly agreed to translate their piece for us.

This year Prof. Ingrid Daubechies has been awarded one of the L’Oreal-UNESCO International Awards for Women in Science recognizing her “exceptional contribution to the numerical treatment of images and signal processing, providing standard and flexible algorithms for data compression. Her innovative research on wavelet theory has led to the development of treatment and image filtration methods used in technologies from medical imaging equipment to wireless communication”.


On 11 February 2019 Professor Claire Voisin has received the L’Oréal-UNESCO International Award For Women in Science, “for her outstanding work in algebraic geometry. Her pioneering discoveries have allowed to resolve fundamental questions on the topology and Hodge structures of complex algebraic varieties.”



100 events. 5 continents. 6 regional organizations of women in mathematics. The May 12 initiative, “Celebrating Women in Mathematics”, was momentous and inspiring. The idea started during the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics (WM)^2, the day before ICM 2018 in Rio. It had been a year since the devastating loss of Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only female Fields medallist, and the Women’s Committee of the Iranian Mathematical Society proposed to commemorate her by celebrating the achievements of female mathematicians on the day of her birthday, May 12. We talked to two prominent mathematicians, Marie-Françoise Roy (University of Rennes 1) and Elisabetta Strickland (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”) about the celebrations.


From March 11th, 2019 until March 22nd, the Mathematics Department (D-MATH) of ETH Zurich (ETHZ) held the goMATH event, a two weeks celebration of mathematics with a special emphasis on women’s contributions.

Alessandra Iozzi (ETH Zurich) wrote  for us an illuminating and very personal report.


It’s a fact! The first meeting of women mathematicians in Portugal did happen. It took place at the auditorium in the Library Building of the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, thanks to the energy of the organizing committee, the enthusiasm of all the participants and the sponsorship of several institutions.