Minister for Higher Education addresses 8th annual Women in Mathematics Day Conference

The conference celebrates the achievements of women tackling gender equality issues in mathematical sciences

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today addressed the 8th annual Irish Women in Mathematics day. The annual conference, which was founded in 2010, was held at University College Dublin (UCD). It was hosted by the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics.

According to event organisers, the one day annual conference aims to promote gender equality in the field of mathematical sciences through “plenary talks, academic and industrial research talks, poster sessions for participants, panel sessions on gender equity, and thematic events.”

In her opening speech, Minister Mitchell O’Connor praised the event, and said: “Now in its 8th year, the Women in Mathematics Day is an innovative forum for women to present their achievements, provide advice and support to others, and inspire the next generation of female mathematicians.”

The Minister was joined by Professor and UCD Vice President of Research, Innovation and Impact, Orla Feely. The conference also heard from Sally McClean, Professor of Mathematics at Ulster University.

The event also praised the success of the “2018 Irish team that competed in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad”. Minister Mitchell O’Connor congratulated the group’s dedication and described them as “an inspiration to [their] peers and everyone here today.”

She also praised the achievements of Dr Sheila Tinney, former UCD lecturer and the first woman in Ireland to be awarded a PhD in Mathematics. The Minister outlined the importance of celebrating role models “in pushing for gender equality” and stated Tinney “would be proud of the women here today, gathered to support and inspire each other to drive the mathematical sciences in Ireland forward.”

The event comes one week after a Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education held in Trinity. Over 400 academics met over 3 days at the conference to discuss solutions to gender equality in academia, promoting gender equality and interventions that can be taken by third level institutions. Minister Mitchell O’Connor also offered the opening speech at the conference.

Caroline Boyle

Caroline Boyle is a current Deputy News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Fresh BESS student, and a former Senior Reporter.