GIIM will host our third Women in Math and Statistics Conference on April 7, 2018.

Register for WIMS 2018 here!


WIMS hopes to connect women, gender minorities, and allies interested in math and statistics in the Boston area. Our mission is to provide you with the opportunity to connect with leading mathematicians working in both academia and industry and to interact with your peers. We had an exciting agenda of speakers, panels, and workshops–see last year’s schedule here. All genders welcome!


Registration and Breakfast 9:30 am
Welcome and Keynote #1
Dr. Emily Riehl
10:00 am
Gender Gap Panel 11:10 am
Lunch 12:30 pm
Breakout Sessions 1:10 pm
Keynote #2
Dr. Melody Chan
2:15 pm
Careers in Math Panel 3:30 pm
Closing Remarks 4:50 pm

Keynote Speakers

Keynote #1: Emily Riehl

Riehl Dr. Emily Riehl is an assistant professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, working on topics in category theory related to homotopy theory, such as infinity-categories, model structures, Reedy categories, and homotopy type theory. Dr. Riehl was an undergraduate at Harvard University, completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2011, and was a Benjamin Pierce and NSF postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She has published over twenty papers and written two books: Category Theory in Context and Categorical Homotopy Theory.

In addition to her impressive research, Dr. Riehl is active in promoting access to the world of mathematics. She is a host for the mathematics blog “n-Category Café” and founder of the Kan Extension Seminar. She has given interviews for the Association for Women in Mathematics and the radio program Science Friday and has been featured in the Girls’ Angle Bulletin. She has given countless talks and lectures, including at the Women in Topology workshop at MSRI, the American Mathematical Society, and the Association for Women in Mathematics. She is also a co-founder of Spectra: the Association for LGBT Mathematicians and has spoken about the intersection of queerness and mathematics.

Outside of mathematics, Dr. Riehl was a bass guitarist for the band Unstraight and has been on the USA Australian Rules Football National team, USA Freedom, since 2010.

Keynote #2: Melody Chan

chan Dr. Melody Chan is a mathematician working in the fields of tropical geometry and combinatorial algebraic geometry. A common thread in her research is using degeneration techniques in algebraic geometry to study curves and their moduli spaces. She received her PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 2012 and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard from 2012 to 2015 before beginning her current position as an assistant professor at Brown University. Chan’s research has been supported by grants from the NSF, NSA, and by the Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship at Brown University.

Panelists include:

benn Emma K. T. Benn, DrPH, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy and Director of Academic Programs for the Center for Biostatistics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Dr. Benn is also Co-Director of the MS in Biostatistics Program. Dr. Benn has contributed her biostatistical expertise to a variety of research areas including but not limited to: health disparities, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, HPV, COPD, stroke, postpartum depression, bladder cancer, skin bleaching, and HIV.

In addition to her research, Dr. Benn is devoted to increasing the representation of underserved undergraduate and graduate students in the field of Biostatistics and faculty promotion and retention of racial/ethnic minorities in academic medicine. She is the co-founder of Columbia University’s NHLBI-funded Biostatistics Enrichment Summer Training (BEST) Diversity Program. She is also the co-Principal Investigator of the NIGMS-funded Applied Statistics in Biological Systems (ASIBS) Short Course aimed at increasing the statistical competency and statistical computing proficiency of postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in academic medical centers nationwide.

Dr. Benn is the Co-Chair of the Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics Workshop for the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometric Society and a mentor for the Joint Statistical Meetings Diversity in Biostatistics Mentoring Program. She is a member of the ENAR Regional Advisory Board and was recently invited to serve on the American Statistical Association’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Assault.

Dr. Benn is originally from Bryn Mawr, PA and conducted her undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Spanish at Swarthmore College. She subsequently received her Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences and Doctor of Public Health in Biostatistics from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She currently lives with her wife in Brooklyn, NY.

hashimoto Sachi Hashimoto is a mathematics PhD student at Boston University. Her research interests lie in algebraic geometry and number theory. In particular, she is interested explicit methods in number theory and finding rational points on varieties. She received a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 2014. For many years, she has been involved in math education for middle and high school students: most recently as a founding faculty member at Proof School and as an instructor at Canada/USA Mathcamp.
hubbard Dr. Diana Hubbard is a Postdoctoral Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan whose research is partially supported by the NSF. Her work is in low-dimensional topology and knot theory. She received her Ph.D. from Boston College in 2016 under the advisement of Professor J. Elisenda Grigsby, and attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. She particularly enjoys mathematics that she can visualize and draw.
kent Dr. Autumn Kent is an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She studies hyperbolic geometry in low dimensions, and enjoys drawing, taking photographs, and writing poetry. She is an advocate and mentor for members of the LGBTQ community in mathematics, and, being one of few trans women in tenured positions in mathematics, she keeps this responsibility close to her heart.
walch Dr. Katherine St. John is a professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). She earned her doctoral degree from UCLA, did postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin, and has been a visiting researcher at the Centre de Recerca Matematica (Barcelona), University of Canterbury (New Zealand), University of California, Davis, and the Isaac Newton Institute (Cambridge, England). Her research interests are in the intersection of mathematics and computer science, in particular to problems with applications to biology. She is passionate about getting more students involved in research early in their careers.
walch Dr. Olivia Walch is a post-doc at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D in Applied Mathematics in 2016. She is the developer of several apps including Entrain, which recommends schedules of light and dark to help travelers cross time zones faster, and Squigglish, an app that animates drawings using Fourier series. In 2017, she founded Arcascope, a company specializing in using mathematical modeling to predict circadian rhythms. She’s also a cartoonist, and her work has been featured in the Washington Post and on The Nib.

Panel Information

The Gender Gap Panel: During this 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 be focused on offering advice and examples to undergraduates about pursuing a career in mathematics and related fields.

Breakout Sessions

Finding Research as an Undergrad: the students and speaker will discuss questions regarding applying to REUs, contacting professors at your department and beyond, choosing research topics.
Communicating Your Research: Dr. Olivia Walch will share examples of good and bad mathematical communication from her career. 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.
Student Activism: Members of GIIM will answer questions about starting similar initiatives at your own school.
Applying to Grad School: the students and speaker will discuss questions regarding choosing a school with the right environment, exams, grades vs. test scores vs. research, general guidance about the application process.

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.”


Harvard University Math Department