AWM Research Symposium

Join AWM in Houston, Texas for the 2019 Research Symposium!

The 2019 AWM Research Symposium will be held at Rice University April 6-7, 2019. The symposium will showcase research from women across the mathematical sciences working in academia, government and industry, as well as feature women across the career spectrum: undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and professionals!

Susanne C. Brenner

Louisiana State University

Kristin Lauter

Microsoft Research

Chelsea Walton

University of Illinois

Mariam Manuel

University of Houston

The 2019 Research Symposium will feature:

  • Plenary Lectures by Susanne Brenner, Kristin Lauter, and Chelsea Walton;
  • A welcome from Rice Provost Marie Lynn Miranda at the Saturday evening banquet;
  • A keynote address by Mariam Manuel at the Saturday evening banquet;
  • Special sessions on a broad range of research in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and mathematics education;
  • A poster session for graduate students and recent PhDs;
  • A Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon;
  • A session about establishing and maintaining research networks, by AWM ADVANCE Director Magnhild Lien and co-PI Kristin Lauter;
  • A Career Panel focusing on Mathematicians in Government and Industry;
  • Exhibitors from across academia, government and industry who will be co-located in the main meeting areas so that you can meet them and learn what they have to offer;

And plenty of informal opportunities to grow your network!

Join us Friday evening from 5-8pm for an informal gathering at Valhalla Hall on the Rice Campus.

Online Schedule Page

Overview Schedule with Speakers and Abstracts (pdf file). Last updated 04/06/2019
Abstracts (web page)

Conference Registration

Online Registration is now closed. Onsite registration will be available, but the evening networking events will be limited for those registering onsite. (That is, we are reaching capacity for the event spaces).

Conference Logistics

Rice University in Houston, TX (the 4th largest city in the US) is a gorgeous, 300 acre, tree-lined campus, walking distance from the Rice Village Shopping Center and many hotels. The coffee and exhibitor space for the AWM 2019 Research Symposium will be in the whimsical Duncan Hall.

Maps and Parking. This Rice University Campus Map highlights the lecture halls and banquet spaces that will be used during the AWM Research Symposium, as well as available parking and prices.

Use Rice’s Plan Your Visit website for information about

For parents traveling with babies and small children: Rice University has lactation and nursing mom spaces. Below you will find resources that will help you and your family better plan for the upcoming Research Symposium:

  • Rice facilities
  • Let us know if we can help you with stroller parking
  • AWM has gotten recommendations from local hotels and scanned online reviews, and came up with a short list of sitter services to consider.
AWM Childcare Grants. The AWM would like to thank the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study (AMIAS) for sponsoring AWM childcare grants for the 2019 Research Symposium! The AMIAS recognizes the importance of supporting members to fully participate in the mathematics community. Grants were available for $100 per family to help with the cost of child care for registered participants at the Symposium. The funds may be used for child care that frees a parent to participate more fully in the conference.  The deadline to apply was March 25, 2019, and all funds have been allocated.
Hotel Information. Plan your hotel for the AWM Research Symposium, using this guide for recently researched hotel rates. Note that rates are subject to change.

Plenary Lecturers

Susanne C. Brenner is a Louisiana State University System Boyd Professor. In 2005 she was awarded a Humboldt Research Award from the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2011 she was awarded the AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture. She is a SIAM Fellow (Class of 2010), AMS Fellow (Inaugural Class 2013) and AAAS Fellow (2012). Currently she serves as Managing Editor of Mathematics of Computation. She also serves on the editorial boards of the SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, Numerische Mathematik, Numerical Algorithms, Electronic Transactions on Numerical Analysis, the Journal of Numerical Mathematics and SIAM Classics in Applied Mathematics. She serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (since 2016) and the AMS Council (since 2012). She is currently also a Member-at-Large of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section A). In addition, she was a member of the Electorate Nominating Committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section A) and the SIAM Fellows Selection Committee (2014-2016; Chair 2015-2016). She is a past SIAM  Vice President for Publications and served on the SIAM Council. Dr. Brenner is one of the founders of the Women in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing (WINASc) research collaboration network.

Kristin Lauter is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager for the Cryptography group at Microsoft Research.  Her research areas are number theory and algebraic geometry, with applications to cryptography. She is particularly known for her work on homomorphic encryption, elliptic curve cryptography, and for introducing supersingular isogeny graphs as a hard problem into cryptography.  She served as President of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 2015 –2017. Lauter was elected to the 2015 Class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society “for contributions to arithmetic geometry and cryptography as well as service to the community.”  In 2017, she was selected as a Fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics in the inaugural class. She was selected as the Polya Lecturer for the Mathematical Association of America for 2018-2020.  In 2008, Lauter and her coauthors were awarded the Selfridge Prize in Computational Number Theory. She is a co-founder of the Women in Numbers Network, a research collaboration community for women in number theory, and she is the lead PI for the AWM NSF Advance Grant (2015-2020) to create and sustain research networks for women in all areas of mathematics.  She is the Series Editor for the AWM Springer Series.

Chelsea Walton was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, attending Detroit Public Schools for most of her education, before enrolling at Michigan State University, graduating in 2005 with a B.S. with High Honors in Mathematics. Her mentor at MSU was Jeanne Wald, a noncommutative ring theorist. During her time at MSU, she participated in an alternative spring break program in Puebla, Mexico in 2002, and a Race Relations summer study abroad program in South Africa in 2003, and still has great interests in race relations and diversity, especially in increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences. After her second year of graduate school at Michigan, Chelsea was invited to complete her research at the University of Manchester with her thesis adviser, Toby Stafford, while still returning to Michigan, to work with her other thesis adviser, Karen Smith, teaching for one semester per year for the last three years of her program. Chelsea was an NSF postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2011-2012 with postdoc mentor James Zhang, and was also at MSRI for the Spring 2013 program on Noncommutative Algebraic Geometry and Representation Theory with postdoc mentor Sarah Witherspoon. Chelsea’s last postdoctoral position was at MIT, where she was a Moore Instructor in the Math Department in 2012-2015, with postdoc mentor was Pavel Etingof. Chelsea was a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Mathematics at Temple University (2015-2018) and is now employed as an Associate Professor in the Mathematics Department at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Saturday Banquet

Saturday, April 6, 2019. Banquet, Student Center Grand Hall.

Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and well-being among children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics. Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of scientific issues. She maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the USEPA, NIH, CDC, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the USDA, the State of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award. She became provost at Rice University in July 2015. Her responsibilities as provost include promoting and supporting excellence in all dimensions of the University’s academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs and activities. She is responsible for developing and implementing plans for $230+ million in strategic investments focused on molecular nanotechnology, data sciences, neuroengineering, synthetic and physical biology, inequities and inequalities, and overall research competitiveness. She is also working collaboratively to establish a financial plan and development strategy for $250+ million in major renovations of university facilities. Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A., both in economics, from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Mariam Manuel, PhD candidate, is a graduate from the University of Houston (UH), teachHOUSTON program, and the UTeach Engineering Education Master’s program at the University of Texas in Austin. She is currently an Instructional Assistant Professor/ Master Teacher for teachHOUSTON, a secondary STEM teacher preparation program at UH. Mariam is a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University with a concentration in Engineering Education, her research involves exploring the intersection of engineering design and culturally responsive pedagogy as it relates to science and mathematics instruction. Additionally, Mariam teaches Physics for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers. She also authored and teaches the engineering education courses, Fundamentals of Engineering Education and Projects in Engineering Design, for the University of Houston STEM Master’s program provided through the College of Education. She is currently Co-PI on two NSF grants regarding engineering education and teacher leadership. Mariam’s serves as the faculty sponsor for student organizations such as the teachHOUSTON student society, COOGS Against Human Trafficking, and, COOGS Against Domestic Violence. Her efforts in mentorship also include her commitment to serving as an active member on the Houston- Area Regional Leadership Team for the Texas Girls Collaborative. Moreover, Mariam Manuel has served on the UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA) as an inaugural board member and has held the role of Secretary/Treasurer. She currently holds the position of Alumni Representative and chairs the National Publications Committee for USEA. Mariam is also the recipient of the 2018 Million Women Mentors Stand Up for STEM Award which recognizes Mariam’s efforts in mentoring young girls and women to pursue STEM related career pathways.

Mathematicians in Government and Industry Panel

Sarah Charlton (Applied Research Mathematician, National Security Agency) Sarah joined the NSA in 2010 as a member of the Applied Mathematics Development Program. During the program, she worked on projects in cryptography, machine learning, statistical modeling, and image processing. In 2013 Sarah transitioned to the VISTA (Video, Image, Speech, and Text Analytics) Research group in the NSA Research Directorate, where she now leads the multimedia forensics research team. Through her work at NSA, Sarah holds two patents in image processing technology. She has been recognized with several internal awards, notably, as a member of the 2015 NSA Research Team of the Year. Sarah is also co-Technical Director of NSA’s Graduate Mathematics Summer Program for 2018/2019. Before NSA, Sarah earned Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Rice University.

Veronica Lino (Full-Stack Immersive Instructor, DigitalCrafts)  Veronica has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  She started her career in the Aerospace industry working for NASA Contractors.  She worked as an abort trajectory engineer in flight design for United Space Alliance, Displays and Controls at Boeing and on the Orion program at Lockheed Martin.  Veronica transitioned into software after receiving a graduate, subsea engineering certificate at University of Houston. Veronica currently teaches a 16-week web development boot camp that transforms beginning level students into full-stack web developers with cutting edge skill sets. The courses she teaches include: Python, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, JQuery, Bootstrap, JSON, AWS, APIs, Node.js, Express, Git, PostgreSQL, React, and Redux.

Jennifer Pearl (Director, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, American Association for the Advancement of Science) Jennifer Pearl leads the strategic evolution and growth of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships program. With a team of more than 20 staff and a $16 million dollar annual budget, she administers programs and professional development for over 250 science and engineering fellows in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the U.S. government. Pearl took on her role at AAAS after 12 years at the National Science Foundation where she served as program director in the Division of Mathematical Sciences and program director in the Office of International Science and Engineering. She has also held positions at the National Academies and at Rice University.  Pearl, 2002-03 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Science Foundation, earned her Ph.D. in mathematics in the field of symplectic geometry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Duke University.

Wenting Xiao, (Research Engineer, ExxonMobil) Wenting Xiao is a team lead and engineering associate at ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. Wenting’s team is responsible for developing advanced multi-physics simulation tools to help company to make informative decisions. Having over six years’ experience with the company, Wenting has contributed to a broad range of challenging research projects covering offshore platform design, oceanic wave simulation, earth structure modeling, and natural fracture modeling. No matter what research area she is assigned to, her skills in mathematical modeling make her an easy adaptor and a fast learner.  Wenting is also passionate with recruiting and mentoring. At ExxonMobil, she serves as an active recruiter for Computational and Data Sciences Job Family, a campus recruiter at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a mentor in employee mentoring programs. Wenting’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S. in Applied Mathematics from University of Waterloo, Canada, and B.A. in Scientific Computing from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. Wenting is a traveler and reader. The book she likes recently is “Where’s the gift?” Please email to contact Wenting.

The Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani Exhibition.

(Duncan Hall, River Hallway)

This exhibit was shown for the first time at the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics in Rio on 31 July 2018 as well as during the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM2018) which immediately followed. The exhibition was created by the International Mathematical Union ‘s Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) with Curator Thais Jordao and Designer Rafael Meireles Barroso and consists of 18 posters.

AWM thanks Rice University for hosting this meaningful exhibit.

2019 Research Symposium Exhibitors

Please visit our exhibitors in Martel Hall Saturday and Sunday to learn more about their programs and opportunities!

  • 500 Women Scientists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • The American Mathematical Society (AMS)
  • AWM ADVANCE Research Networks
  • Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS)
  • Crocheted Topological Surfaces by Moira Chas
  • The Dana Center
  • Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE)
  • Expand Your Horizons
  • The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation
  • The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)
  • National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • The Mathematical Association of America
  • MAA Project NExT
  • Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP)
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
  • Springer Books
  • The Tapia Conference
  • Women in Math Education (WME)

The 2019 Research Symposium will feature 32 sessions: Special Sessions proposed from the greater mathematics community, and Invited Sessions from the AWM Research Networks supported by the AWM ADVANCE Grant to continue to strengthen and expand the collaborative research networks for women in mathematics. See the above links for schedules and abstracts.

Special Sessions

  • Combinatorial Algebra, Organized by Christine Berkesch and Laura Felicia Matusevich
  • Math on the EDGE, Organized by Sarah Chehade
  • Current Challenges in Mathematical Biology, Organized by Renee Dale
  • Recent Developments in the Analysis of Obstacle Problems Associated to Nonlocal Operators, Organized by Donatella Danielli and Camelia Pop
  • Braid Groups and Quantum Computing, Organized by Colleen Delaney, Jennifer Vasquez and Helen Wong
  • Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, Organized by Julia Dobrosotskaya and Xuemei Chen
  • Combinatorial Commutative Algebra, Organized by Sara Faridi and Susan Morey
  • Origami, Belyi Maps, and Dessins D’Enfants, Organized by Rachel Davis and Edray Goins
  • Multiphysics and Multiscale problems, Organized by Yue Yu and Xingjie Li
  • Analysis and Numerical Methods for Kinetic Transport and Related Models, Organized by Liu Liu
  • New Advances in Symplectic and Contact Topology, Organized by Jo Nelson and Morgan Weiler
  • On Advances and New Techniques of Fluid Dynamics and Dispersive Equations, Organized by Betul Orcan Ekmekci
  • Women in Data Science, Organized by Jing Qin and Yifei Lou
  • Topology of 3- and 4-Manifolds, Organized by Allison N. Miller and Arunima Ray
  • Graph Theory, Organized by Carolyn Reinhart and Kate Lorenzo
  • Education Partnerships: University Mathematics Faculty and K-12 Mathematics Teachers, Organized by Evan Rushton
  • New Developments in Algebraic Biology, Organized by Anne Shiu and Brandilyn Stigler

Invited Sessions

  • WICA: Women in Commutative Algebra, Organized by Sandra Spiroff and Adela Vraciu
  • WIN: Women in Numbers, Organized by Michelle Manes and Ila Varma
  • WinCompTop: Women in Computational Topology: Trends in Computational Topology, Organized by Erin Chambers, Brittany Terese Fasy, and Elizabeth Munch
  • WIMB: Women in Math Biology: Advances in Mathematical Biology, Organized by Angela Peace and Wenjing Zhang
  • ACxx: Women in Algebraic Combinatorics: Enumerative and Algebraic Combinatorics, Organized by Elizabeth Niese and Elizabeth Drellich
  • WINASC: Women in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing: Recent advances in numerical methods and its applications, Organized by Bo Dong and Adrianna Gillman
  • WINART: Women in Noncommutative Algebra and Representation Theory: Homological Methods in Noncommutative Algebra and Representation Theory,  Organized by Van C. Nguyen, Julia Plavnik, and Sarah Witherspoon
  • WiSh: Women in Shape Modeling, Organized by Kathryn Leonard and Terry Knight
  • WIT: Women in Topology: Topics in Homotopy Theory, Organized by Sarah Yeakel and Martina Rovelli
  • WIC: Women in Control: Control in Infinite Dimensional Systems, Organized by Lorena Bociu and Irena Lasiecka
  • WIMM: Women in Math Materials, Organized by Malena Espanol and Hala AH Shehadeh
  • WISDM: Women in the Science of Data and Mathematics: Data Science Theory and Practice, Organized by Linda Ness and Carlotta Domeniconi
  • WIG: Work from Women in Geometry, Organized by Liz Stanhope, Chikako Mese and Sema Salur

AWM’s NSF ADVANCE grant focuses on establishing research networks for women by fostering research collaborations at conferences and AWM Workshops. These networks are spawned at Research Collaboration Conferences for Women (RCCWs), which are week-long conferences, held at mathematics institutes, where junior and senior women come together to work on pre-defined research projects. RCCWs are then expanded (and continue to expand!) to become Research Networks, including women working across a research field. See the Research Network webpage to learn more about these networks, join an existing network, or start a new research network.

NOTE: The application period to host a special session was June – August 2018, and the Application process has now closed. As this conference happens every other year, the next application cycle will open June 2020 for a Spring 2021 conference.

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has invited graduate students and recent PhD recipients to give a poster presentation at the 2019 AWM Research Symposium at Rice University in Houston, Texas on April 6-7, 2019.

Posters will be exhibited during the entire symposium in and around the first floor of Duncan Hall.  Poster presenters will be at their posters to discuss their work on Saturday from 2:30-3:15pm.

Anna Aboud, An Efficient Algorithm for Perturbed Data Sets

Lale Asik, Dynamics of a Producer-Grazer Model Incorporating the Effects of Phosphorus Loading on Grazer’s Growth

Rhea Palek Bakshi, On the KBSA of the Thickened T-Shirt

Catherine Berrouet, A Mathematical Model of Anti-Cancer Drug’s IC50 Values in Monolayer and Spheroid Cultures

Ariel Bowman, Mathematical Modeling of a Network of neurons regarding G1D Transport Deficiency Epilepsy Seizures

Danielle Brager, Mathematically Investigating Cone Photoreceptor Death in Retinitis Pigmentosa

Juliette Bruce, Asymptotic Syzygies for Products of Projective Space

Sutthirut Charoenphon, Vanishing Relaxation Time Dynamics of the Moore-Gibson-Thompson (MGT) Equation Arising in High Frequency Ultrasound

Weiqi Chu, Nonlinear Constitutive Models for Nano-scale Heat Conduction

Ngoc Do, Theoretically exact solution of the inverse source problem for the wave equation with spatially and temporally reduced data

Francesca Gandini, Ideals associated to subspace arrangements

Xiaoqian Gong, Weak Measure-valued Solution to a Nonlinear Hyperbolic Conservation Law Modeling a Highly Re-entrant Manufacturing System

Emily Johnson, Penalty Coupling of Non-Matching Isogeometric Kirchhoff–Love Shell Patches with Application to Complex Structures

Tiffany Jones, On the stability and accuracy of a dual-scale approximation to self-focusing Helmholtz problems

Lara Kassab, On Infinite Multidimensional Scaling

Daewa Kim, A Kinetic Theory Approach to Pedestrian Motion

Mehtap Iafci, Mathematical Modeling of Post-Myocardial Infarction Left Ventricular Remodeling

Jennifer Li, The Kawamata-Morrison-Totaro Cone Conjecture for Log Calabi-Yau Surfaes

Kate Lorenzen, Constructions of Distance Laplacian Cospectral Graphs

Danielle Middlebrooks, Quantifying Flows in Time-Irreversible Markov Chains: Application to a Gene Regulatory Network

Duong Nguyen, Texas Women in Mathematics Symposium 2018

Elpiniki Nikolopoulou, Tumor-immune dynamics with an immune checkpoint inhibitor

Omomayowa Olawoyin, Effects of Multiple Transmission Pathways on Zika Dynamics

Carolyn Reinhart, The normalized distance Laplacian Matrix

Aleksandra Sobieska Snyder, Minimal Free Resolutions over Rational Normal Scrolls

Sarah Yoseph, An Enumeration Process of n-Quandles

Jiahui Yu, Smoothing Spline Semiparametric Density Models

Fatma Zürnacı, Generalized Taylor Series

AWM Research Symposium 2019

AWM Research Symposium 2017

AWM Research Symposium 2015

AWM Research Symposium 2013

AWM Anniversary Conference 2011

In 2011, the AWM celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a research conference, “40 Years and Counting: AWM’s Celebration of Women in Mathematics”. Participation greatly exceeded expectations, motivating AWM to continue a series of biennial research symposia. 

AWM would like to thank our 2019 sponsors!


Call for Proposals: Host the 2021 AWM Research Symposium!

The Association for Women in Mathematics is seeking proposals from mathematics departments, institutes and other appropriate venues interested in hosting the 2021 AWM Research Symposium. The 2021 Symposium will also align with AWM’s 50th Anniversary! The AWM Research Symposium is a weekend event, typically a full day Saturday and half day Sunday in the spring.

In 2012, drawing upon the success of the 40 Years and Counting Conference at Brown University, in September 2011, AWM launched a new series of Biennial Research Symposia. The 2013 Symposium was hosted by the Mathematics Department at Santa Clara University with support from the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the 2015 Symposium was hosted by the Mathematics Department at University of Maryland, College Park, the 2017 Symposium was hosted by the Mathematics Department at UCLA and the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM), and the 2019 Symposium was hosted by Rice University.

An AWM Symposium Organizing Committee–to include local coordinators–will be in charge of planning the events, selecting speakers, session organizers and handling reimbursements for travel. Proposals should contain the following information:

  • Name of a local organizer: a mathematician with ties to the institution that will host the symposium. This person will become a member of the AWM Symposium Organizing Committee.
  • The location and proposed dates.
  • A written endorsement from the person who has the authority to provide the space and resources needed for the symposium.
  • A description of the space available: one large lecture room, 13 to 15 classrooms for special sessions and other gatherings, space for registration, coffee breaks, poster session, and exhibits.
  • A description of the banquet facilities available including capacity and cost.
  • A list of support activities that will be provided by local staff (working with the AWM office and the Organizing Committee). Please reach out to discuss specific needs.

Factors that will be important when deciding on the site for the 2021 Symposium include interest in activities that support the 50th Anniversary, accessibility of site in terms of air travel, potential for many local participants, and ability to support the number of expected participants.

Please send your proposal to the AWM Executive Director at by August 31, 2019. Please reach out with questions and to further discuss concerns before submission.