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ABOUT WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS @ MIT
In 1930, the first woman earned her PhD in mathematics at MIT. After 1967, women postdocs and professors began to have consistent presence in the department. But even into the late 1990s, tenured female math professors were a rare sight at MIT. The department nevertheless hosted a landmark celebration of Women in Mathematics in 1994, featuring high profile female mathematicians from many of the top US departments.
By the spring of 2008, the number of female math professors had grown to four. The time had finally come to organize Women In Math: a conference celebrating the contributions MIT women have made to mathematics. Inspired by this event, the current women in mathematics at MIT have taken it to a higher level. With the help of a National Science Foundation grant, we now run regular events, tea parties, and lecture series for and by women in mathematics.
Women in Mathematics at MIT seeks to encourage our students to go on from MIT to careers in high-level research mathematics.
For the past 20 years, women have earned a steady 20 - 30% of the mathematics major degrees at MIT. Now, women make up almost a quarter of our graduate program. Our goal is to help the same percentage reach faculty level.
We believe that all of mathematics will benefit if the numbers grow even beyond the 25%.
When asked what led them into their careers, all our female math professors say that mentors and strong role models made the difference. So we built this group as a place where women can find the support and resources they need to thrive as any kind of mathematician. And with the diverse interests of our faculty, we hope to provide a wide range of role models. Our faculty studies everything from p-adic representation theory to probabilistic phenomena in nature.
Women in Mathematics at MIT is also about creating an atmosphere that encourages the open exchange of ideas and novel solutions.
We like to emphasize the collaborative nature of our research. That is also why women are the speakers in our lecture series, but we encourage the entire community to come and benefit from the discussions.
This website showcases the many achievements and activities of both our young and experienced mathematicians. We hope it will provide a valuable source of information for a growing community of alumnae, faculty, current and prospective postdocs and students, and the interested general public.