Women in maths a league apart

Giang Nguyen chess champ
Dr Giang Nguyen has represented Australia at the world Chess Olympiad, last time in Norway.

Giang Nguyen is looking forward to playing chess against 20 fellow mathematicians at a special event at Flinders next week.

The Adelaide University maths lecturer and former Asian junior chess champion has already played against 12 of her peers at a previous Australian Mathematical Society annual meeting.

This time around, Dr Nguyen, 29, will compete in front of more than 300 leading Australian and international experts heading to the society’s 59th Annual Meeting and conference at Flinders University on Tuesday 29 September.

During the AustMS conference (28 September to 1 October), world-renowned mathematician and Australia’s only Fields Medal winner, Flinders alumnus Professor Tao will give a free public lecture at Adelaide Town Hall on 28 September.

Before the official opening, the Women in Mathematics annual dinner will be held at Flinders at Tonsley on 27 September.

“The Australian Mathematical Society is working to promote gender equity, and has a Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group to support female representation in mathematics careers,” she says.

There’s a long way to go with just 12 or so female math professors in Australia – and no women plenary speakers at some AustMS annual meetings in the past.

This year there are several women among the 13 plenary speakers, and many others at the sessional lectures, including Hanna Neumann Lecturer Professor Dame Frances Kirwan, from Oxford University, Professor Ruth Williams (University of California, San Diego), Associate professor Frances Kuo (University of NSW) and Professor Aurore Delaigle (University of Melbourne).

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