During the University of Strathclyde SIAM-IMA Student Chapter’s event to celebrate the 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 15, Alison Ramage reflected upon her educational pathway and spoke about the factors that led to her current position at Strathclyde. Photo courtesy of Sophie McLauchlan.
The University of Strathclyde SIAM-IMA Student Chapter
recently sponsored an event to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science
, which was observed by the United Nations on February 11, 2023. The Strathclyde session took place in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics on February 15 and comprised four talks by women from the department at various stages of their careers, followed by networking time for attendees. The event was open to everyone regardless of gender or experience level, and participants ranged from undergraduates to senior academics.
The organizers sought to celebrate female mathematicians, inspire the audience, and encourage early-career researchers with success stories from the profession. The four speakers included senior academics Alison Ramage and Apala Majumdar, postdoctoral research associate Hannah-May D’Ambrosio, and Ph.D. student Noura Alshammari. These women discussed their motivations for working in science, described their respective career paths and typical days in the workforce, and introduced their research. Each talk provided a unique perspective due to the individuals’ personal experiences.
Ramage opened the event by reflecting upon her younger self at various points throughout her life. She spoke about her mindset and outlook as a high school student, an undergraduate, and a Ph.D. student, and explained how various decisions and opportunities led to her current position. Next, Majumdar commented on the driving factors of her career. She expressed her longstanding appreciation for science and proudly acknowledged the thriving group of researchers that she leads and supports at the university.
Apala Majumdar discussed her career motivations and overviewed her research with liquid crystals during the University of Strathclyde SIAM-IMA Student Chapter’s event to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which took place in February 2023. Photo courtesy of Sophie McLauchlan.
D’Ambrosio, who recently earned her Ph.D., offered a different viewpoint. First, she talked about the new responsibilities that are associated with her role as a postdoctoral researcher versus a Ph.D. student. D’Ambrosio then reassured listeners that they do not have to compromise or delay other life events as Ph.D. students or early-career researchers, and used her own trajectory as proof that it is entirely possible to get married and start a family in the initial stages of an academic career.
Alshammari rounded out the presentations by noting that a career in science or mathematics was seemingly inevitable for her, given her technological curiosity and affinity for logical thinking even as a young child. She shared aspects of the journey to her current position as a Ph.D. student, which included periods of work to save money for the next qualification. Alshammari’s infectious enthusiasm and commitment to obtaining a Ph.D. in mathematics was palpable.
Listening to the candor, sincerity, and excitement of the speakers was truly a privilege. Their talks celebrated women in science and inspired audience members at all stages of their careers.
The University of Strathclyde SIAM-IMA Student Chapter is led by Ph.D. students Sophie McLauchlan, Ibrahim Mohammed, Tasnia Shahid, and Minhui Zhou, with support from academic mentor Jennifer Pestana.