Celebrating women in mathematics

On 27 February the Ri and the Further Maths Support Network held a special celebration of women in mathematics for 300 Year 10 mathematics students. Dr Luciano Rila, Further Maths Support Area Coordinator, tells us more.

  • Students exploring ideas from leading female mathematicians

    Students exploring ideas from leading female mathematicians

    Credit: Phil Ball, courtesy of FMSP

The Ri hosted a special celebration of women in mathematics on 27 February, organised in collaboration with the Further Maths Support Programme at UCL. The event was attended by 300 Year 10 students (female and male) from 32 schools across London and the South East. The excitement in the Faraday lecture theatre was palpable on this inspiring day where cutting-edge female mathematicians shared their passion for mathematics and explored how mathematics can be used in the real world.

Professor Dame Celia Hoyles from the Institute of Education opened the day with her motivational words – and some balloon popping – and then Dr Vera Hazelwood from the Smith Institute shared her expertise on the subject of natural disasters and how mathematics is used to predict phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

After a Q&A with some mathematics undergraduates, a quiz and lunch, Jenna Pearce from Bentley explained all the different ways that mathematics is involved in crafting a luxury car, including inside stories from the Bentley factory. Dr Hannah Fry from UCL tied the day up beautifully with an entertaining and enlightening talk on how the mathematics of connections explains human behaviour, helps fight terrorism, and even proves that sometimes it pays to gossip. We all left the Royal Institution elated.