Newsletter 33


This issue of the Newsletter comes from a previous world: it was planned well before the pandemic and the disruption that came with it…




The Project “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to measure it? How to reduce it?” was a multidisciplinary enterprise in which eleven organisations contributed to the analysis of the gender gap in science from three complementary perspectives.

Marie-Françoise Roy tells us about the experience and the results.

Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ USA

Karen Uhlenbeck’s contributions to mathematics, in particular to the field of partial differential equations and geometric analysis, are unquestionably among the most impressive of the last several decades. Her influence on the modern mathematical thought is multifaceted, by direct contribution of foundational results, and by the ripple effect of her work.

Antonella Marini writes about Karen Uhlenbeck and working with her.

* Photo Credit: Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ USA.

On November 25 2019, UNESCO proclaimed March 14 as the International Day of Mathematics. Why and how?

Betül Tanbay, Vice-President of EMS, writes about the importance of mathematics in re-thinking new ways and what did not happen in the occasion of 2020 IDM.

**Pics free to use**
Pictured: Emilly Haldane from S2 Glasgow Gaelic School
Women in Science in Scotland: photographic exhibition featuring top female scientists now at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library
10th January 2020
For immediate release
The RSE, (Royal Society of Edinburgh), Scotland’s National Academy, has installed its popular Women in Science in Scotland photographic exhibition in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library featuring some of Scotland’s most prominent women scientists.
The exhibition which ran from April to December last year at the RSE’s offices in Edinburgh celebrates 26 RSE Fellows, all of whom are pioneers and leaders in their respective fields. The women hold an object that represents their inspiration to become a scientist or that illustrates their scientific journey. The portraits are accompanied with an explanation of the object and thoughts from the women on why they became, and what they like about being, a scientist.
Several of the women featured are based at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. From the University of Glasgow this includes: Professor Sheila Rowan, Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Professor of Experimental Physics; Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Vice Principal and Head of College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences; and Professor Muffy Calder, Professor of Computing Science and Head of the College of Science and Engineering. 
From the University of Strathclyde there is: Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE and Special Advisor to the Principal; Professor Karen Faulds, Head of Bionanotechnology and Analytical Research Section; Professor Eva Hevia, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry; Professor Becky Lunn, Head of the Centre for Ground Engineering and Energy Geosciences; and Professor Mandy MacLean; Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Retired Professor of Dermatology, Rona MacKie, formerly of the University of Glasgow, is also featured. 
RSE Chief Executive, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield said:
“Taking this exhibition to Glasgow is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to raise the profile of some of the best and most brilliant scientists living and working in Scotland today. Our thanks to the Mitchell Library for helping us celebrate these incredible women and for hopefully inspiring the next generation of scientists in Scotland.”
Glasgow Life Head of Communities & Libraries, Andrew Olney said:
“We are delighted to host The Women in Science in Scotland exhibition at the Mitchell Library over the coming months and to help showcase some of Scotland’s most prominent women scientists many of whom are based at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. The exhibition looks fantastic, reading these amazing women’s stories and hearing about their scientific journey is incredible. We hope they act as a catalyst to inspire future generations to pursue a career in science.”
The photographs were taken by freelance photographer Ian Georgeson. A two-day session was held at the Mitchell Library for the scientists based at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.
The Women in Science in Scotland exhibition will be on display at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow until 7th March 2020. A version of the exhibition is also on display at Edinburgh Airport until the end of January.
Notes to editors:
About the RSE:
Knowledge made useful
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy, was established by Royal Charter in 1783 for the ‘advancement of learning and useful knowledge’. An educational charity, operating on an independent and non-party-political basis the RSE, provides public benefit throughout Scotland, supported by the considerable strengths and varied expertise of our Fellows. The Fellowship comprises around 1600 leaders and experts from a wide range of disciplines – science and technology, arts, humanities, social science, business, and public service. 
About the Mitchell Library
The Mitchell Library is one of Europe’s largest public libraries with over one million items of stock and is the hub of a city-wide information service. With its distinctive green dome, the building has been one of the city’s iconic landmarks since it opened in 1911 and is also home to The Mitchell Theatre, Digital Maker Space, and café bar.
Women in Science in Scotland exhibition features (in alphabetical order):
Professor Polly Arnold OBE FRSE; Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh
Professor Sharon Ashbrook FRSE; Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder; Professor of Physical Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Centre of Magnetic Resonance, University of St Andrews
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, FRSE, FRAS, FInstP
Professor Dame Sue Black DBE, OBE, PhD, FRSE, FRAI, FRSB; Pro-Vice Chancellor Engagement, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Lancaster University
Professor Muffy Calder FRSE; Professor of Computing Science, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow 
Professor Hilary Critchley FRSE; Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Edinburgh; Consultant Gynaecologist
Professor Niamh Nic Daéid FRSE; Professor of Forensic Science, University of Dundee, and Director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science
Professor Ineke DeMoortel FRSE; Deputy Head of School, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak DBE, FRSE, FMedSci; Regius Professor of Medicine, Vice Principal and Head of College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow
Professor Karen Faulds FHEA, FRSC, FSAS, FRSE; Head of Bionotechnology and Analytical Research Section, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Technology Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde
Professor Dame Anne Glover FRS, President, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Special Adviser to the Principal at University of Strathclyde
Professor Louise Heathwaite CBE FRSE; Professor of Land and Water Science, The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
Professor Eva Hevia FRSC FRSE; Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde
Professor Catherine Heymans FRSE; Professor of Astrophysics at the Royal Observatory, University of Edinburgh
Professor Ruth King FLSW FRSE; Thomas Bayes' Chair of Statistics, University of Edinburgh
Professor Becky J Lunn MBE FICE FRSE; Royal Academy of Engineering and BAM Nuttall Research Chair in Biomineral Technologies for Ground Engineering; Head of the Centre for Ground Engineering and Energy Geosciences, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde
Professor Rona MacKie CBE MD DSc FRCP FRSE
Professor Mandy MacLean MBE FRSE; Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde
Professor Cait MacPhee CBE, FRSE, FInstP, FRSB, FRSC; Professor of Biological Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Edinburgh
Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer FIChemE FRSA FRSC FRSE; Assistant Deputy Principal (Research & Innovation); Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS); Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering, Heriot-Watt University
Dr Deborah A. O’Neil FRSE; MIBiol, CBiol, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Chief Executive Officer, NovaBiotics
Professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE; Professor of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
Dr Silvia Paracchini FRSE; Royal Society University Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of St Andrews
Professor Sheila Rowan MBE FRS FRSE Hon FInstP; Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Glasgow; Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research; Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland
Professor Nicola Stanley-Wall FRSE; Professor of Microbiology, University of Dundee
Professor Lesley Yellowlees CBE HonFRSC FRSE; Professor Emerita in Inorganic Electrochemistry, University of Edinburgh

The RSE produced an exhibition to raise the visibility of women in science either working in, or connected to Scotland, with the aim of highlighting the diverse careers and networks science unlocks; and the  hope to inspire young women to consider STEM as a career.

An article by Sharon Simpson, head of communications at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


The European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) is an international mathematics competition similar in style to the International Mathematical Olympiad. EGMO 2020 was planned to be held in the Netherlands, in Egmond aan Zee to be more precise, but took place as a purely virtual event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this report, we will tell more about this event and about how the transition to an online event and remote competition worked out.

A report by Sietske Tacoma and Quintijn Puite, organisers of the event.

Image: Courtesy of EGMO2020
Parent-child office: The Fraunhofer ITWM's parent-child office offers employees the opportunity to bring their children to work in case of care shortages or emergencies.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) in Kaiserslautern offers its employees helpful support in reconciling family and career.

An article by Swenja Broschart, member of the press team at the Fraunhofer ITWM.


Many mathematicians will be familiar with the research institute in Oberwolfach; perhaps less well known is the project “Snapshots of Modern Mathematics from Oberwolfach”. 

Sara Munday is a Junior Editor for “Snapshots”.



The second Conference of Polish Women in Mathematics took place in 2019 at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków and was dedicated to Sofia Kowalewska.

A report by Urszula Foryś, one of the organizers of the event.