GIIM was proud to host the fourth annual Womxn in Math and Statistics Conference at the Harvard Science Center (1 Oxford Street) on April 13th, 2019.

Check back in February 2020 for information and registration details about our next conference!


The Harvard Womxn in Math and Statistics (WIMS) Conference is a one-day conference run by Harvard Gender Inclusivity in Math (GIIM), held on Harvard’s campus. WIMS connects women, gender minorities, and allies interested in math and statistics in the Boston area and provides attendees with the opportunity to connect with leading mathematicians working in both academia and industry. All genders are welcome!


9:00 am

9:30 am

10:00 am




Outside of Harvard Science Center Lecture Hall D
10:05 am Keynote 1:
Mathematical analysis of patterns in physical systems
Professor Sylvia Serfaty, NYU Courant Institute Harvard Science Center Hall D
11:10 am Panel 1:
Gender Gap in Math
Dr. Rohini Ramadas, Brown University

Dr. Brooke Ullery, Harvard University

Gage Martin, Boston College

Harvard Science Center Hall D
12:15 – 2:15 pm Lunch + Breakout Sessions
For list of topics, see below.
2:15 pm Keynote 2:
Combinatorics and statistical physics: a story of hopping particles
Professor Lauren Williams, Harvard University Harvard Science Center Hall D
3:20 pm Snack Break! Outside of Harvard Science Center Lecture Hall D
3:45 pm Panel 2:
Careers in Math
Dr. Elizabeth Mann, Goldman Sachs

Dr. Michelle Dunn, NSA

Dr. Ashia Wilson, Microsoft New England

Harvard Science Center Hall D
4:50 pm Closing Harvard Science Center Hall D

Keynote Speakers

Keynote 1: Mathematical analysis of patterns in physical systems (Sylvia Serfaty)

Many physical systems are described by energies which need to be minimized. We will be interested in systems exhibiting patterns such as vortices in superconductors and superfluids, domain walls in ferromagnets, points in Coulomb gases, and explain how mathematical analysis and partial differential equations focusing on the energy minimization problem can help to understand and describe these patterns.

Serfaty_SylviaSylvia Serfaty is the Silver Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. Prior to this she has been Professor at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (currently Sorbonne Université) at the Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions and has held various appointments at the Courant Institute of NYU. She earned her BS and MS in Mathematics from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and her PhD from Université Paris Sud. She works in calculus of variations, nonlinear partial differential equations, and mathematical physics. She was a plenary speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2018 and is the recipient of the EMS and Henri Poincaré prizes.

Keynote 2: Combinatorics and statistical physics: a story of hopping particles (Lauren Williams)

The asymmetric simple exclusion process (ASEP) is a Markov chain describing particles hopping on a 1-dimensional finite lattice. Particles can enter and exit the lattice at the left and right boundaries, and particles can hop left and right in the lattice, subject to the condition that there can be at most one particle per site. The ASEP has been cited as a model for traffic flow, protein synthesis, the nuclear pore complex, etc. In my talk I will discuss how I started working in combinatorics in graduate school and accidentally wandered into statistical physics. In a longstanding collaboration with Sylvie Corteel (and more recently together with Olya Mandelshtam) we have been using tableaux to describe the steady state probabilities of the ASEP, as well as related orthogonal polynomials.

Lauren_WilliamsLauren K. Williams is the Sally Starling Seaver Professor at the Radcliffe Institute and a professor of mathematics in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Her research is in algebraic combinatorics; more specifically, she uses algebraic tools to study discrete structures in mathematics. Williams received her BA in mathematics from Harvard College in 2000, and in 2005, after a year at the University of Cambridge doing part III of the Mathematical Tripos, she obtained her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Richard Stanley. Subsequently, she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a Benjamin Peirce Fellow at Harvard, and a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at UC Berkeley from 2009 to 2018, where she obtained tenure in 2013 and was promoted to full professor in 2016. She is the recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, the AWM-Microsoft Research Prize in Algebra and Number Theory, a Rose Hills Innovator Program award, a Simons Fellowship, a Distinguished Teaching & Service Award from the Mathematics Undergraduate Student Association at Berkeley, and the 2018 Hardy Lectureship from the London Mathematical Society.


Rohini_Ramadas Dr. Rohini Ramadas began her career as a biologist and is currently a postdoc in the math department at Brown University. Ramadas has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. Her research interests are in the areas of algebraic geometry, tropical geometry and complex dynamics. She is/has been involved in organizing events for women and mathematicians of minority genders working in algebraic geometry.
Brooke_Ullery_2017 Dr. Brooke Ullery is a Benjamin Peirce postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Michigan with a PhD in Mathematics advised by Rob Lazarsfeld and Karen Smith. She spent the academic year 2015-16 as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at University of Utah. Her research interests are mostly in classical algebraic geometry.
IMG_5078 Gage Martin is a Mathematics PhD student at Boston College. Her research interests lie in low dimensional topology and knot theory, specifically the interplay between algebraic invariants and topology. She received a BA in Mathematics from Marlboro College. Prior to starting her PhD program, she taught high school math through the New York City Teaching Fellows program.
Michelle_Dunn Dr. Michelle Dunn is a statistician, entrepreneur, public servant, and mother. After concentrating in Applied Math at Harvard, she earned a Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. Michelle is co-founder of the technology company Data Collaboratory. Data Collaboratory’s flagship product is JanusView, a tool that uses data science to guide researchers to the most appropriate funding opportunities. JanusView builds on Michelle’s many years of experience in federal funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she was a leader of the data science initiative called Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K). Michelle works in public service; she is a senior-level technical expert at the National Security Agency, specializing in statistics and data science.
Elizabeth_Mann Dr. Elizabeth Mann is a Managing Director of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Oxford.
Ashia_Wilson Dr. Ashia Wilson is a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft New England. She received her doctorate in statistics from UC Berkeley advised by Ben Recht and Mike Jordan. She completed her undergraduate degree from Harvard in Applied Mathematics. Her interests are broad but include dynamical systems and optimization.

Panel Information

The Gender Gap Panel: Speakers will share their experiences as we discuss the history and theory of the gender gap, as well as ways to alleviate it on a personal and institutional level.

Careers in Math Panel: This panel will offer advice and examples to undergraduates about pursuing a career in mathematics and related fields.

Breakout Sessions

Finding Research Opportunities: The group will discuss questions related to applying to REUs, contacting professors at your department and beyond, choosing research topics, and more.

Communicating Research: The group will discuss effective and ineffective ways of talking about your research, and then each student will prepare a short pitch of their research or favorite problem.

Demystifying Grad School: This group will discuss questions regarding school choice, exams, grades vs. test scores vs. research, and general guidance about the application process.

Careers in Finance: Dr. Elizabeth Mann and representatives from one of our sponsors, Five Rings, will share how experience in math and statistics translates to different careers in finance.

Careers in Government: Dr. Michelle Dunn, drawing on her long career in public service, will share her experiences and offer advice about pursuing careers in government with a mathematical background.

Working Towards Inclusive Communities: This group will discuss ways to foster inclusive communities in math through discussion and case studies modeled after the course assistant training for Harvard math classes.

Debunking Gender Myths + Student Action: This group will discuss gender myths in math with former co-president of GIIM Elba Alonso-Monsalve. This is also an opportunity to learn more about GIIM’s efforts at Harvard and beyond.

Quotes from Past Participants

“I think this was a wonderful experience that I hope will continue for many years to come. I hope the word gets out even more and appreciate all the effort gone into making this conference happen! It was amazing talking with all of these other younger women who have similar experiences and goals as I do.”

“Great day! I really enjoyed connecting with other math students in the Boston area and discussing gender inequality issues with leading female figures in the math field. Would definitely attend again next year.”