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Women in mathematics

May12 is a joyful opportunity for the mathematical community to celebrate women in mathematics. The celebration takes place every year, all around the world. Please join us!

an art picture of Maryam Mirzakhani, iranian mathematician

Why May12? Maryam Mirzakhani was born on this date in 1977. She was an Iranian mathematician and a Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. She was one of the world’s leading experts in geometry and dynamical systems.


In Norway we are organizing an online meeting with talks, discussions and the option to watch an interesting documentary about women in science.

Do you want to attend? Please send an email to Nadia S. Larsen to receive the Zoom-link of the meeting.

The speakers are early stage female mathematicians who work at Norwegian universities. In their talks they will introduce us to their research topic and also tell about why they chose mathematics.The meeting is supported by EWM-Norway (European Women in Mathematics) but is open to all interested.

The meeting will be held in English.

Schedule for the day

  • 12:30: Welcome and introduction
  • 12:40-13:00: Cecilia Karlsson (University of Oslo)
  • 13:00-13:20: Yushu Li (University of Bergen)
  • 13:20-13:40: Stine Marie Berge (Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim)
  • 13:40-14:00: Break and informal discussions
  • 14:00: We watch the documentary "Picture a Scientist". Each participant must register individually (before 30 April) at (google docs)and watch the movie following their personal link received upon registration.The film lasts approximately 90 minutes.
  • 15:40: We reconvene in our online meeting and have a discussion about academic life under the pandemic and reflections about the film.
  • 16:30: Finished

Titles and abstracts from the keynote speakers

Cecilia Karlsson: Title: Contact geometry -- the math behind ice skating

I'm a researcher in contact geometry, a field where one studies geometrical questions under a certain constraint. This constraint is similar to the one you experience when you are ice skating. Namely, with your ice skates on, you are not able to do as sharp turns as you are when you are walking, you are restricted by a parameter depending on the direction of the blades of your skates. This restriction can be seen as coming from a contact structure.

In this talk, I will give an introduction to contact geometry and explain some of the main research questions in the field. I will also say something about why this particular part of mathematics captured my interest.

Yushu Li: Title: A degree in Statistics -- equipping girls for several opportunities in an uncertain world

Abstract: Statistics, which combines knowledge of mathematical modelling, programming and data analysis techniques, is a field where women are a growing force.  This talk will discuss the reality of being a female statistician.  We will also talk little about the situations of female students in statistical related programs in certain institutions in Sweden, Norway and China. We say that: Statistics, a major which can quantify uncertainty, can also provide girls several opportunities in an uncertain world.


Stine Marie Berge: Title: A Minimizing Path to Geometry

Abstract: Mathematics is the most popular language for solving problem in the modern world. While applied mathematics tends to focus on using the language to solve real life problems, pure mathematics seeks to develop and understand the language better. In developing the language there are several design choices that needs to be made and many technical challenges to overcome. However, this development is overwhelmingly carried out by a very homogeneous part of the population.

I will focus this presentation on my experience studying pure mathematics. I will start by explaining why one should choose to study mathematics to begin with. Thereafter I will talk some about how it has been during my bachelor and master studies at UiB, and my PhD at NTNU. I will end my presentation by a short introduction to my field, namely spectral geometry.




Inger Christin Borge (UiO), Nadia Larsen (UiO) and Antonella Zanna Munthe-Kaas (UiB)


Published Apr. 26, 2021 1:43 PM - Last modified May 7, 2021 12:20 PM