AWM at MathFest

The Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics has established the Student Chapter Awards, to be awarded annually, every summer, at MAA MathFest.The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding achievements in chapter activities among the AWM student chapters. Awards will be given out in four categories: (1) scientific excellence, (2) outreach, (3) professional development, and (4) funding/sustainability.

Award for Scientific Excellence: To reward a student chapter for organizing and hosting a scientific program of excellent quality in the form of a local conference or speaker series, or for its collaborative work with nearby industry or government organizations.

Award for Community Outreach: To reward a student chapter for its outstanding engagement with the local community. Such engagement could take the form of a mentoring program for grade school or high school students, a series of programs that highlight women in mathematics or demonstrate the power and fascination of mathematics.

Award for Professional Development: To reward a student chapter for its recruitment and development of students’ professional involvement in mathematics. It could be for a mentoring program run by graduate students for undergraduates headed to graduate school. It could be for the development of a substantial program to prepare students for their next professional steps by giving talks, writing expository or research articles, inviting alumni and other speakers to discuss a range of professional opportunities in mathematics and related fields.

Award for Fundraising/Sustainability: To reward a student chapter for an innovative and successful funding model that provides financial support for its activities. This could include organizing review sessions prior to exams, soliciting support from local industry sponsors, writing proposals for university or government grants.AWM is working to fix the leaky pipeline for women in mathematics by developing and delivering programming that supports women to become anchored in their field—often overcoming institutionalized infrastructures, behaviors, and beliefs—so that women can continue advancing in their career progression, and thereby increasing the number of women in the mathematical sciences at the highest levels.

Eligibility.  Any chapter may nominate itself for awards in at most of two of the four categories. See the page on AWM Student Chapter Awards for more details.

AWM hosts Panels and Town Halls at MathFest.  Here is a sampling of past events.

2023 Panel: Mental Health in the Mathematics Community

Thursday, August 3, 8:00 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.

This panel brings to light the serious yet often overlooked topic of mental health within the mathematics community. Panelists, drawing on their professional and personal experiences, will discuss the prevalence and diversity of mental health concerns among educators and students at various levels, researchers, and mathematicians working in other settings. They will share strategies for coping as individuals, guidance for supporting others, and approaches to advocating for long-term solutions, all while actively working to reduce the associated stigma. We hope to encourage an open and empathetic dialogue to raise awareness, inspire positive change, and improve the well-being of our unique and vibrant community.

2021 Career Panel: Inspiring Women in Mathematics

This panel will feature mathematicians who are founders and leaders of programs designed to encourage young women to engage in doing mathematics. Such programs offer high school students, undergraduate and graduate students with a strong interest in mathematics an opportunity to pursue more advanced mathematics while immersed in a community of other young women with similar interests.

2018  Career Panel: Perspectives and Advice from Women in Research

Leading women researchers from academia and industry will discuss their career paths, including challenges they have faced. Most of the panel time will be dedicated to questions from the audience and informal discussion about the issues raised. We welcome anyone interested in hearing about women’s experiences navigating a research career.

2018 Town Hall Session: Mathematical Mamas – Being Both Beautifully

Women have always been involved in mathematics and science. Even though we are past the days when women had to deny their self-identity to pursue mathematics, we still have work to do. With more mothers (and fathers) bridging the gap between academia and parenthood, this town hall will celebrate victories and discuss solutions to challenges that arise from this intersection.

2018 Town Hall Session: Shaping and Fostering an Equitable Community in our Departments

The goal of this session is to compile a list of best practices for creating and sustaining an equitable department community. Small groups of participants, each led by a moderator, will brainstorm creative solutions to address a variety of questions and concerns regarding department habits and in all types of departments. The outcomes of the Town Hall will be published in the AWM Newsletter, MAA Focus, and the Notices.

2017  Math Potluck: A Student Swap Session

Calling all undergrads and faculty advisors! Does your department have (or want!) a Math Club or student chapter of the AWM, MAA, PME, or SIAM? This session will provide a forum for sharing your favorite or most successful student activity. The presenter(s) will provide a “how-to” for a single math event that a math club or student chapter has held. Together, we will build a toolbox of successful activities to take back to each of our campuses! Following the morning presentations, a free lunch will be held for all presenters and attendees of this session to promote continued discussion and collaboration amongst participants. Please indicate in your abstract submission whether your group is a Math Club or student chapter of AWM, MAA, PME, or SIAM.

2016 Panel:  Prioritizing Your Career and Profession

Whether first-year faculty or senior members of the department, we often struggle with balancing the three aspects of our careers: teaching, research, and service. Successfully doing so requires identifying our goals and priorities, which then help us choose which opportunities to embrace and which are not best-suited to our interests, time frame, and talents. Panelists will discuss strategies for identifying goals and priorities and share their experiences of being confronted with such situations, including how they made their decisions and how they said “no” when appropriate. In particular, Panelists will address these questions: How does one accomplish the goals on a priority list? How does one determine what will be valued? What is the best way to say “no” when that is called for? This panel is sponsored by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

2015 AWM Sponsored a Theme Contributed Paper Session: The Contributions of Women to Mathematics: 100 Years and Counting

See AWM at MathFest 2015 in Archive for titles of papers.

2014  AWM Panel – Mentoring Matters

The initiation of mentoring programs for all faculty is supported not just anecdotally, but also by data-driven recommendations that appeared in publications such as 2010’s “Gender Differences in Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty” and 2006’s “Report of the Banff International Research Station’s Workshop on Women in Mathematics.” This panel offers several perspectives on mentoring, from individual experiences to programs supported by organizations such as the Association for Women in Mathematics and National Science Foundation. Additionally, the panel addresses the process of finding the right mentor and having multiple mentors; and best practices for institutions interested in developing and training mentors.

2013  AWM Panel:  Successful Career Transitions

The journey from undergraduate student to graduate student to a career in mathematics involves the navigation of several crucial transition points. This panel will address the common transitions that may be encountered, including the transition from graduate work to a postdoctoral position; the transition from postdoctoral work to employment in academia, government, or industry; and transition between different types of positions (academic to industry, etc.). Panelists will discuss their experiences and the successful strategies that they used in their transitions, such as finding mentors and role models, negotiating for resources, and understanding key aspects of the job market and culture.

2012  AWM Panel: Parenthood on the Tenure Track

In a 2010 Chronicle of Higher Education article, Dr. Mary Ann Mason from the University of California Berkeley wrote, “it is well established in the research on higher education that women are less likely to achieve tenure than men.” She cites longitudinal data from the National Science Foundation showing that female scientists with children are 27% less likely to win tenure than male scientists with children. This jarring statistic reveals a need for the mathematics and science community to find ways to support women in tenure-track positions. The recently-announced NSF career-life balance initiative and other programs such as the ADVANCE grants suggest that some changes are taking place, but support for women with families still varies widely. In this session, several women professors will discuss their experiences, insights, ideas, tips and secrets to achieving success in their demanding mathematics careers while raising a family.

2011  Panel: Moving up the Career Ladder in Academia (Sponsored by AWM)

Moving up the ladder in academia is crucial to career advancement and success. The first step of achieving tenure and promotion is a significant accomplishment. After that, what’s next? This panel will address several possible next moves, including promotion to full professor, chairing the department, participating in national leadership in mathematics societies, and moving to the central administration. These career changes bring their own challenges and rewards. Panelists will talk about these challenges and rewards, discuss resources and strategies, and share their perspectives of balancing ambition with the responsibilities of everyday life. Although some of these life responsibilities (children, for example) have traditionally had more impact on women, in our changing society they are relevant to both genders. Panelists will discuss their strategies for successfully moving up the ladder (and strategies for not falling off!) and will address audience questions about this aspect of the academic career.

MathArt: Classic and Novel Intersections of Mathematics and the Arts

CPS: Friday, August 4, 2:00 p.m. – 5:55 p.m., Room 120

MathArt is a dynamic and emerging interdisciplinary field whose aim is to amplify the variations in mathematical thinking. This amplification occurs by opening a dual conversation about what makes a mathematical result ‘beautiful’ and/or what mathematics and creativity have in common. We welcome presentations investigating the intersections of mathematics and the arts and their engagements in any pedagogical setting. Some speakers may share their mathematical research or classroom experiences in more traditional pairings, such as with studio art or the performing arts. Others may present particularly ‘beautiful’ mathematics, perhaps taking the form of elegant proofs, visualizations created through programming, or new perspectives on existing results. All interpretations of mathematics and the arts, including the physical and the conceptual, are welcome. We especially encourage undergraduate and graduate students to participate.

Geometric measure theory, harmonic analysis, and partial differential equations

IPS:Saturday, August 5, 2:00pm – 5:50pm, Room 118

Geometric measure theory provides a useful framework for studying the geometry and regularity of sets and measures in Euclidean and non-Euclidean settings, and has many useful applications to interesting problems in various fields of mathematics. This invited paper session aims to showcase the vibrant interactions between geometric measure theory, partial differential equations, and harmonic analysis. In this session, we will see exciting new developments at the interface of these areas, highlighting the ways in which they intertwine to produce deep insights.

There are many ways to get involved with AWM at MathFest! Attend the AWM events to get further connected to the community of women in mathematics. Want to do more? Consider donating your time:

Nominate for the Falconer Lecture! The lectureship may be awarded to a woman who has made distinguished contributions to the mathematical sciences or mathematics education.  Please see the Falconer Lectures page for more information.

Volunteer to serve on the Falconer Selection Committee! The AWM-MAA Falconer Lecture committee reviews worthy candidates and makes recommendations for this prestigious award and MAA MathFest invited speaker.

Volunteer at the AWM Booth! Will you be at a MathFest meeting? Volunteer to help staff the AWM booth! It is a great opportunity to get caught up on AWM activities and meet the community.

Encourage Grad Student Applications! Encourage grad students to apply for the Graduate Student Poster Session.

Nominate for the Mathfest Panel! The AWM MathFest panel is an opportunity for women with careers across academia, government, business and industry to answer questions from the audience about everything from the mathematics they do to how they got their positions. The topics for the panel varies from year to year.

If you are interested in volunteering or nominating for the career panel, email

AWM at MathFest 2023

AWM at MathFest 2022

AWM at MathFest 2021

AWM at MathFest 2019

AWM at MathFest 2018

AWM at MathFest 2017

AWM at MathFest 2016

AWM at MathFest 2015

AWM at MathFest 2014

AWM at MathFest 2013

AWM at MathFest 2012

AWM at MathFest 2011