Girls Do the Maths hosts 400 high school students


Friday, 18th May 2018

Jan Zika
Our 14th annual Girls Do the Maths day was held on Wednesday in the Scientia. 400 female high school students attended from across the state, making this year's event our biggest yet. 

Attendees heard from a range of speakers, were taken on a tour of the campus, briefly attended a mathematics lecture to get a taste of uni life, and enjoyed a fun maths carnival during the packed event schedule. 

Professor John Roberts opened the event, followed by a welcome from Science Deputy Dean of Education, Janelle Wheat. Our 2018 UNSW Women in Mathematics and Statistics Ambassador, Professor Cheryl Praeger, delivered an inspiring talk about the power of mathematics. Miles Green of Animal Logic, a leading creative digital studio, delightedMaths carnival the students with his presentation about the mathematics underpinning film animation. 

Following morning tea, this year's Australian Girls’ Maths Olympiad Team spoke about their two-week trip to the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad in Italy last month. They were accompanied by Thanom Shaw, our 2014 Visiting Teaching Fellow, who was Team Leader for the group. 

Dr Jan Zika delivered a talk about using maths to understand the changing planet, prompting some interesting questions from the crowd. After a campus tour and visit to a maths lecture, the students broke for lunch. The program resumed with a maths carnival in the Scientia foyer, featuring a range of interactive activities facilitated by staff Panelmembers and our PhD students. 

Dr Susanna Cramb from the Queensland University of Technology then presented an enlivening talk about her career as a statistician, which seemed to resonate strongly with the high school students. A panel discussion with three current female maths student participants and our Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Galina Levitina answered a range of questions from the high school students. A/Prof Catherine Greenhill, who chaired the panel, then spoke about courses and programs in mathematics and statistics. 

This marked the conclusion of the event, and students undoubtedly filed out of the Scientia with a whole new understanding of the abundant and fulfilling career opportunities that a tertiary education in mathematics and statistics can bestow! 

A very big congratulations to the 2018 Girls Do the Maths committee, Diana Combe, Alina Ostafe and Donna Salopek, for organising such an action-packed and stimulating event!