EWM-NL Annual Meeting 2014

February 2014

EWM-NL Annual Meeting

The second EWM-NL meeting took place on Wednesday February 19. We would like to thank our speakers and everyone attending, to have made their way to the Lorentz Center@Snellius in Leiden and make this meeting a success.

There were three mathematical talks by female speakers, representing some of the mathematics clusters in the Netherlands: GQT, STAR and NDNS+. Vivi Rottschäfer (Leiden, NDNS+) in her talk “Patterns in natural systems” gave an example of a research project studying patterns in mussel populations, in collaboration with ecologists. This was modelled by the so-called Cahn-Hilliard equation, previously mostly used in physics. Mathisca de Gunst (VU Amsterdam, STAR) illustrated her research in “Stochastic modelling and statistical analysis” with a detailed description of a project, on understanding ion channels through hidden Markov chain models. This also resulted in new mathematical results. Then Federica Pasquotto (VU Amsterdam, GQT) explained some of the general ideas behind “Symplectic topology and Hamiltonian dynamics”, such as why the non-squeezing theorem tells us why symplectomorphisms are worth studying. The talks gave an interesting overview of the wide range of mathematics covered in the Netherlands, allowing the speakers to share their enthusiasm for their fields with the audience.

After that, Isabel Hoving, Leiden’s recently appointed diversity officer, gave a talk titled “Tools for Change: How to work towards gender balance in mathematics” in which she stated some important facts, explained phenomena like implicit bias and suggested ways for improving (gender) equality within universities. The discussion that started here, was then continued over drinks. This was also a social end to the meeting.