During the 2018-2019 academic year, the local chapter of AWM (Association for Women in Mathematics) at UD hosted events and programs for graduate students, undergraduates, and high school students, expanding our reach outside the graduate program and the university. The club visited a local high school to foster interest in math topics beyond what is traditionally taught, held both a time management panel and poster making workshop, and hosted a problem-solving event for undergraduates called Mathletics. The club routinely holds "snack breaks" where topics run the gamut from discussing issues facing women in math to engaging in solving fun logic puzzles. In May, AWM sponsored a day trip to the National Math Festival in Washington, D.C.
One of the organization's proudest accomplishments of the year was orchestrating the return of a mentoring program for first year graduate students. Upper level graduate students became peer mentors for incoming graduate students, acting as resources for everything from TA responsibilities to coursework to combating imposter syndrome. These connections gave the new students a point person to help them navigate the first year in the math department and the Newark area as a whole. After achieving great success with the program this past year, AWM hopes that first year mentoring will become a staple in the department.
A major goal of the chapter for the 2018-2019 year was to reach out to undergraduate students as well as the surrounding community. AWM planned and held its first "Grad School Boot Camp" for upper level undergraduates where graduate student volunteers talked to interested participants about the GRE, applications, and the transition to graduate school. The chapter also organized an event called Mathletics for freshman and sophomores that were enrolled in Math 241 and 242 (Calculus I and II). At that event, teams competed in track-and-field-themed math events for the opportunity to win gift cards to local businesses. For community outreach, members of AWM's leadership traveled to a school in North East, MD to hold a math workshop for middle and high school students. The workshop featured short presentations on mathematical modeling of epidemics, the birthday problem, proving the Pythagorean theorem, and the four color theorem. The students in North East were highly engaged and their appreciation for math outside the traditional curriculum grew that afternoon.
The mission of AWM is to provide opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups in STEM fields. To learn more about our chapter's activities, please visit https://www.mathsci.udel.edu/educational-programs/clubs-and-organizations/awm.