Girls Do The Maths workshop hosts 300 high school students


Tuesday, 23rd May 2017

Last Friday 19 May, UNSW Mathematics and Statistics hosted 300 female high school students from several different schools across NSW for our 13th annual Girls Do the Maths workshop.

Girls Do The Maths is aimed at year 11 and 12 female high school students, and hopes to inspire them to consider mathematics and statistics as an enriching career path.

The day - held in the Scientia - featured a range of speakers, including a welcome from Deputy Head of School Prof John Roberts. Dean of Science, Prof Emma Johnston, next took to the stage, and soon had all 300 students with their hands in the air declaring, "We love maths!" for a short video, which Prof Johnston posted to her popular Twitter account.

Our 2017 Women in Mathematics and Statistics Ambassador, A/Prof Regina Burachik, was next on the schedule, and delivered an inspiring talk about her personal journey into mathematics.

The students then heard from Dr Michelle Dunbar, a former student of the School, who is now working in the Radiation Physics Laboratory at Sydney Medical School. 

After a short break for morning tea, the students were taken in groups across the campus for a tour, and also to briefly sit in on some large maths lectures.

Back at Leighton Hall after the tour, Dr Julia Collins from AMSI presented a talk on mathematics and knitting. A panel discussion was then held, featuring current maths and stats students, and facilitated by A/Prof Catherine Greenhill. Several high school students posed questions directly to panel members, igniting an engaging discussion.

Students then broke for lunch in the Tyree Room, before immersing themselves in the activities at the "Maths Carnival" in the Scientia foyer. The carnival included a display of craft works by Dr Julia Collins, a bubbles and optimisation activity run by Dr Ana Zumalacarregui, and several problem-solving puzzles which were tackled by the students.

After the carnival, former student Gina Choutis, Senior Data Strategist at Mercerbell, presented to the students, before A/Prof Norman Wildberger informed the students about scholarships and courses. After filling out feedback forms, the students then parted ways and the event wrapped up for the year. 

A very big congratulations to Diana Combe and Donna Salopek for organising such a successful event! And thank you to the many other staff members and current students who contributed to the day.