Women in Mathematics in Finland: Amal Attouchi

As promised, the series of lectures continues, after the inaugural event hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of University of Helsinki. This time I'll travel to University of Jyväskylä and the guest speaker will be Amal Attouchi, local postdoctoral researcher. Amal graduated in 2014 at Université Paris XIII, with a thesis on PDEs titled "Local and global behavior for Hamilton- Jacobi equations with degenerate difusion". Her research interests include parabolic and elliptic equations, P-laplacian, studying singularities and problem regularity. She will present a talk on "Optimization problems in Mathematics".
The event is organised on behalf of the association European Women in Mathematics and kindly supported by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of University of Jyväskylä. The Head of Department Prof. Tero Kilpeläinen has offered to open the event with few words. The appointment is at the Math Department, in room MaA211 at 12 sharp on April, 4th. If you plan to take part, please register at this link, to help me organise the coffee break later. The talk will be addressed to a general audience, to allow undergrad students and people from different fields to actively participate.

The poster of the event: feel free to share!
The poster of the event: feel free to share!

Why all this? Women are severely underrepresented in mathematics, especially in Scandinavian countries, even though they top charts for gender equality. Recently EWM collected data from the country coordinators to describe the single situations and filed a report. The situation in Nordic countries is too extreme to ignore:

"There are simply too few women in mathematics in Denmark, so keeping up regular meetings seems not to have enough momentum." (Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, coordinator for Denmark)
"[...] nationally the percentages are not as flattering - less than 5% of all Finnish professors in mathematical sciences are women." (Paola Elefante, coordinator for Finland)
In Sweden and Iceland we do not even have a coordinator. We have one is Norway, but there is no report available.

I am not aware of studies or statistics carried out nationally in Finland, to lean on. There are scattered or old studies to sustain my worried, such as a 2008 report compiled at University of Helsinki (I spoke about it here and at the end of this post). Current numbers prove that women are still excluded from higher positions in mathematics, in academia. I think such low numbers should at least make us wonder why. I hope this series of lectures will help give visibility to women who are contributing to the mathematics panorama in Finland and will help female students relate to competent female professionals, to shape their own future.

Paola Elefante

Digital Scaling Project Manager at Plan International. Proud mother & wife. Shameless nerd&geek. Feminist. Undercover gourmet.

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