EWM-NL Annual Meeting
Last Wednesday, 4 March 2015, the annual meeting of the European Women in Mathematics – the Netherlands took place at the Academiegebouw in Utrecht. It was generously sponsored by Platform Wiskunde Nederland (PWN).
The afternoon started off with four excellent talks by female researchers, each representing one of the four mathematics clusters in the Netherlands: Charlene Kalle (STAR, Leiden University) explained how random continued fractions arise on the intersection of ergodic theory and number theory; Miranda Cheng (GQT, University of Amsterdam) introduced the remarkable connection between monstrous sporadic groups and modular objects; Martina Chirilus-Bruckner (NDNS+, University of Leiden) shed some light on the mathematics (partial differential equations) behind optical fibres. Finally, Karen Aardal (Diamant, TU Delft) told us how mathematical algorithms can save lives by calculating the optimal positions and movements of ambulances in the Netherlands.
Afterwards, Petra de Bont (NWO) commented on the deplorable situation of women in mathematics in Europe and in the Netherlands in particular. She then invited the audience to engage in a discussion which yielded several helpful recommendations to NWO and mathematics departments, that could help to improve this situation.