On January 28-30, 7 OU undergrads and one graduate student attended the 13th annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Math (NCUWM) in Lincoln, NE. This is a conference where undergraduate women get to give talks about their research, attend panel discussions, and meet with other women who do mathematics. About 250 students attend the conference every year. One of the invited guests this year was Dr. Christine Jerritts of Imagine Math!, who visited the Math Club last semester.
The OU students who went up to Lincoln were Ore Adekoya, Michelle Basham, Dana Haymon, Marissa Mercado, Elizabeth Park, Katlyn Seagraves, and Edwina Shwewa. Math graduate student Lynn Greenleaf and faculty member Keri Kornelson accompanied them on the trip. Many thanks go out to the colleges and departments that funded this excursion!
Some of the students were kind enough to answer a few questions about their experiences for the blog. Below are some excerpts.
Blog HQ: Why did you decide to go to NCUWM?
Edwina: I decided to go to the conference because I wanted to find out about opportunities after graduating with a Mathematics degree.
Katlin: One of my professors my freshman year (Dr. Shankar, we presume) made it sound like a fun trip.
Michelle: I wanted to go to the Nebraska Conference because I wanted to meet other undergraduate women math majors, just to know they exist. I wanted to meet with the top women in the field, and I wanted to learn what I can do with my math major.
Marissa: […] This is what college is all about: meeting people and gaining exposure and experiences to help me prepare for the adult world! I have always loved math, but have never really seen it applied outside the classroom. I figured this conference would be a way to see the activities and types of research involved if I were to pursue a degree in math.
Over 260 women mathematicians! Can you spot the 9 from OU?
HQ: What happens at this conference? What did you do there?
Marissa: The time flew by so quickly! This three-day conference was packed with keynote speakers, panel discussions, and presentations from fellow undergraduate students. While I did not give a talk or make a poster, I mainly came to take in whatever the speakers had to offer. Many of the students present were junior or senior math majors looking toward graduate school. While some of the topics were very complex, I was happy to at least gain some mathematics exposure.
Lynn: […] The talks given by undergraduate women were impressive. These women put a great deal of effort into their presentations. This also gave them valuable experience at public speaking. There were breakout sessions covering many topics of interest. The undergraduate women asked insightful questions and were obviously engaged in thoughts about their futures.
Edwina: […] there were specialized breakout sessions to address particular issues which included juggling a career and life, how to prepare for graduate school, how to find a job with a math degree, etc. The conference helped with networking with people in the mathematics field.
Michelle: At the conference, the first day we checked in to the hotel, walked around UN Lincoln, and heard a plenary speech from Dr. Linda Petzold. That night, we went to a banquet where we heard from a panel of women in the field and were able to ask questions and gain insight as to what a career in mathematics will actually be like. We were placed at random so that we would have to interact with women outside of our group, which was wonderful because I was placed next to Dr. Fan Chung, one of the most phenomenal women I have ever met, and the second plenary speaker. […] we went into small groups to discuss topics we chose during registration. My first small group was led by Dr. Petzold on “What Is Research in Mathematics?” Her answers to my questions were so enlightening and I cannot be thankful enough that I chose that talk. […]
HQ: Give 5 words that describe the NCUWM conference.
- The responses!