Program for Women and Mathematics Explores Geometry and Randomness in Group Theory

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The 2017 Program for Women and Mathematics will mark its twenty-fourth year by bringing together research mathematicians and undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral women studying mathematics for an intensive residential mentoring experience. This year’s series, which will focus on geometry and randomness in group theory, will take place May 15–26 at the Institute for Advanced Study and is sponsored by the Institute and Princeton University. The program is also supported by the National Science Foundation and a grant from the Schwab Charitable Fund made possible by the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

The Program for Women and Mathematics aims to inspire talented scholars from undergraduate through postdoctoral levels to continue their mathematics education, as well as to address issues of gender imbalance in the field. In addition to lectures and seminars focused on this year’s theme, the program includes mentoring, conversations about peer relations, an introduction to career opportunities in and out of academia, and professional development. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in local outreach activities, including a 5K community run, math presentations to Princeton high school students, as well as math activities for elementary school students in the UrbanPromise Trenton Afterschool Program.

“The women accepted into this year’s program are very talented, and perhaps one of the most diverse groups of international scholars in the program’s history,” said Christine Taylor, a Member and Visitor (2010­–13, 2013–14) in the School of Mathematics at the Institute and Lecturer at Princeton University, who is one of the organizers of the program. “We are thrilled to have these women participating in our program and are very excited to provide professional development and community engagement in addition to high-level lectures and discussions.”

The program will feature a panel discussion on Wednesday, May 24, led by Sara Ellison, Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Member (2003–04) in the School of Social Science, Margaret Holen, former Managing Director and Partner at Goldman Sachs, and Linda Ness, Chief Scientist at Applied Communication Sciences and Visitor (1977–78, 1982) in the School of Mathematics. The talk, “Alternative Careers of Mathematicians, will explore the diverse range of job opportunities and career paths available to mathematicians outside of academia. This discussion is free and open to the public. To register visit,

In addition to Taylor, the 2017 program is organized by Lisa Carbone, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University; Sun-Yung Alice Chang, Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University; and Dusa McDuff, Helen Lyttle Kimmel ‘42 Professor of Mathematics at Barnard College, Columbia University.

The course will also feature lectures and seminars by Goulnara Arzhantseva of the University of Vienna, Olga Kharlampovich of Hunter College CUNY, Tatiana Nagnibeda of the University of Geneva, and Kim Ruane of Tufts University.

For more information on the Women and Mathematics Program, visit

About the Program for Women and Mathematics

The Program for Women and Mathematics grew out of the Park City Mathematics Institute, an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study that provides professional development for the mathematics community. In 1994, a program called the Mentoring Program for Women in Mathematics was formed with the long-term goal of giving women the support needed to remain in the field of mathematics. Now known as the Program for Women and Mathematics, the program’s participants include undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral scholars and senior researchers. Collaborations and mentoring relationships are formed during the program and are maintained long afterward.