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Overview of AWM's 2022-2023 Activity at OSU

Overview of AWM's 2022-2023 Activity at OSU

The Association for Women in Mathematics OSU Chapter has kept busy during the 2022-2023 academic year. While also providing a bi-weekly social space for members to catch up, talk about life and math, and build community, AWM has participated in a number of Mathematics Outreach events and activities. Check out the brief summaries below!

AWM participates in Discovery Days, Fall 2022

2023 Fall Discovery Days

Left to right, Le'Ciang (visitor), Brandi (AWM President), and Anya (AWM Treasurer) preparing to make hexaflexagons and lead a treasure hunt for K-5 students of Oregon

In late October of 2022, volunteers from AWM contributed to an outreach event with a target audience of K-5 students from all over the state of Oregon. Hosted by the College of Science, AWM and a number of science-related social clubs were invited to participate. Both graduate and undergraduate members of AWM helped curate and implement two synchronous activities that engaged kiddos with shapes, colors, and a treasure hunt! Notably, the treasure hunt activity was designed by senior Mathematics major Kerala Riley, who wrote about her experience of creating the activity and leading small groups of children through it in her Honors Thesis a few months later.

AWM participates in Discovering the Scientist Within, Winter 2023

In March of 2022, AWM was invited to contribute to the annual outreach event, Discovering the Scientist Within. The target audience for this event is middle-school-aged girls, and many science-related social clubs who also promote diversity and inclusion within their respective fields volunteered to lead two 40-minute activity sessions, aimed at sparking interest in science in young girls. Two sets of four AWM members volunteered to lead one activity on constructing hexaflexagons, and a second activity on intransitive dice. This provided an opportunity for AWM volunteers to engage with small groups of 12-17 young girls, showing them that women can, and do, do math! When they were not actively providing instructions or assistance, they asked the children about their interests in math and science, and what they want to be when they grow up. It was a truly rewarding experience for all!

AWM participates in Discovery Days, Spring 2023

2023 Spring Discovery Days

Results of two days' worth of K-5 kids battling intransitive dice and tallying their results

After a successful run in Fall term, AWM was once again invited to participate in the College of Science event, Discovery Days! This time, members of AWM prepared a “dice battle” game, using the framework of the intransitive dice activity from the Discovering the Scientist Within event in Winter term. Kiddos from all over the state of Oregon were compelled to choose between three dice, each representing two (distinct) numbers 1-6, and each die had the property that all sides added to 21. They would battle in pairs and then record the winning results on a big sticky note throughout the day. After results were recorded, AWM activity facilitators would probe kids’ thinking by asking questions such as “Which die do you think is the best? Why do you think that is?” They were super excited to be engaged in mild competition, while also participating in data collection and analysis throughout the day!

AWM hosts an International Women in Math Day event, Spring 2023

2023 International Women in Math Day Participants

A smattering of people who attended and participated in the International Women in Math Day event, hosted by AWM at OSU.

Back row, left to right: Trinity, Jo, Brandi, Daphney, Mary, Clara

Front row, left to right: Swati, Anya, Izzy

International Women in Math Day is May 12th, and members of AWM wanted to celebrate by showcasing research from women who are currently faculty at OSU, as well as local graduate women in mathematics. The event consisted of six math talks across a variety of topics including math education, math biology, number theory, and feminist philosophy of math. Faculty contributors include Holly Swisher, Mary Beisiegel, and Swati Patel. Graduate student contributors include Leah Sturman, Addie DeChenne, and Josie O’Harrow (a graduate student at UO). Additionally, a few AWM members curated a presentation to honor some of the women who hold faculty positions at OSU, both in Mathematics and Engineering. The event ended on a high note with a game of “women in mathematics” trivia, which AWM members created through Kahoot. It was a blast, and the club looks forward to hosting similar future events!

2023 International Women in Math Day Speakers

Three of the six speakers at the International Women in Math Day event!

Left to right: Swati (Mathematical Biology), Jo (Feminist Philosophy of Mathematics), and Mary (Mathematics Education)