summer program for women in mathematics

15th reunion 

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014

1:00- 4:00 pm
Room 336, Baltimore convention center



The general theme for the talks is “Broader Impact”, and the four speakers represent different paths of a career mathematician: industry/government, academic research, teaching, service to the mathematical community, and mathematical outreach (in some cases, balancing two or more of the above).  As the audience is composed overwhelmingly of graduate students, seniors applying to graduate schools, and graduates entering professional world, they will be interested in what it’s like to follow different career paths.  What kind of problems does one work on?  What challenges does one face?  Why is this work important?  These talks will give particular examples for such questions.

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Welcome Murli M. Gupta, Director, SPWM

Title: Nineteen years of Summer Program for Women in Mathematics

Abstract: We have had nineteen years of continuously running this summer program with almost 300 undergraduates who came to Washington, DC for a unique experience which probably changed their life’s plans—hopefully for the better. We have helped increase the number of women in mathematics graduate schools as well as increase the number of women in academia, industry and government. When we started this series of summer programs in 1995, we used to hear from undergraduates that they did not know much about possible career options and were grateful to know that there are careers for professional mathematicians other than high school and college teaching. Also, there were few role models for women in mathematics. This situation has improved in the recent years and our recent participants find that they have many role models (many of our former participants) and they are also more aware of the variety of career options.

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1:15 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. Karen Stanish, Keene State University, Keene, NH (SPWM 1995)
Title: Service to the Mathematical Community
Abstract:  As a mathematics faculty member, I try to balance the "three-legged stool" of teaching, scholarship, and service.  In addition to teaching, scholarship, and college-level service, a good deal of my professional identity has come through service to the mathematical community.   This type of service has been some of the most rewarding for me.  In this talk, I will tell my story of mathematical service and give possible avenues that others can follow to serve the mathematical community.

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1:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Meta M. Voelker, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD (SPWM 1996)
Title: Compressed Sensing for Object Reconstruction

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2:05 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. Angela Gallegos, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (SPWM 1998)
Title: Uterine contractions, Crocodilia, Cancer, and Friends... Oh My!!!
Abstract: Part of being an academic mathematician is a continuing research program.  I have been fortunate in my type of position to explore several different types of problems and to work on them with interesting people--even friends!  I will talk about my experience in finding problems, collaborators, as well as places to publish and present.  I will also discuss how this fits into the rest of my job.  Most importantly, I will emphasize how mathematics isn't the lonely independent investment I once envisioned, but instead can be a very social and human endeavor. 

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2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Amanda Katharine Serenevy, Riverbend Community Math Center, Riverbend, IN (SPWM 1998)
Title: A Career in Math Outreach
Abstract: After completing my PhD dissertation, I opted to pursue a career in math outreach instead of a more traditional role for a mathematician. During this talk, I will tell you how you can become a mathematical rock star. I will also present some of the mathematical questions that arise in my work, and will discuss the pressing need for the involvement of mathematicians in K-12 education.

                                    Download presentation here


3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Shared Experiences, Follow-up, Networking


NSA advised us recently that they are unable to fund our summer program due to their own funding cuts and sequester. This means that the summer program will not be running in 2014.

We have had a continuous run for 19 years though (1995-2013).



For further information, please contact the program director:


Professor Murli M. Gupta
Mathematics Department (Monroe 240) 
2115 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20052 
Telephone: 202-994-4857 
FAX: 202-994-6760