CHOOSEMATHS session run by School members to encourage girls in maths

Date: 

Friday, 21st June 2019

The School of Mathematics and Statistics participated in the CHOOSEMATHS Day held at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on Wednesday 12 June.

The event, co-organised by AMSI, UTS, UNSW and the University of Sydney, was attended by over 120 female high school students from Years 9 and 10 from several schools across Sydney. 

AMSI's CHOOSEMATHS program aims to turn around community attitudes to participation in maths, especially for girls and young women, and contribute to the health of the maths pipeline in Australia. The CHOOSEMATHS Day was aimed at showing female high school students how important mathematics is in today’s society and to encourage them to study it in their later years of high school and beyond.

UNSW Mathematics & Statistics' participation in CHOOSEMATHS this year was organised by Yudhi Bunjamin, who worked tirelessly to coordinate all aspects of the preparation and the presentation of our session. He received assistance from Diana Combe, Susannah Waters and Jan Zika, and our Visiting Teaching Fellows Benjamin Bui and Laure Helme-Guizon were also heavily involved in the preparation and development.

Our outreach workshop, "Peter's Party Planning Problems", was presented four times over the day by Yudhi, and facilitated by Dr Combe (who worked with Yudhi to design the activity), along with our students Aditya Ganguly, Michaela Hall and Manzoor Khan.

In addition to the workshops, Former Honours student Ariana Cabrera - who is now a Manager of Data Analytics and Visualisation at CaPPRe - delivered an inspiring talk on how she got into mathematics and how she utilises it in her work. Yudhi and Michaela participated in a lively panel discussion at the end of the day, where they had the opportunity to discuss how they use maths in their day-to-day work and why it is important for students to choose more challenging maths courses in high school.

The CHOOSEMATHS event gave us the opportunity to upgrade the manipulatives and logistics used in the "Peter's Party Planning Problems" workshop. We have also rolled out a new feedback form for participating students and their accompanying teachers to help us with the further development of the workshop. These efforts were led by the three new Science Student Ambassadors representing our school: Aditya Ganguly, Manzoor Khan and Alina Sari.

The preparation of logistics for the workshop was supported by our Science Student Ambassadors and several of our Data Science Ambassadors: Cindy Ko, Charmaine Leow, Grace Nguyen, Kate Wu, Clare Xinyu Xu, and Claire Zhao.

We would also like to thank our workshop testers who trialled the activities and gave us lots of feedback which helped us refine the workshop: Fadi Antown, Vithuran Anulan, William Egan, Carel Greyling, Fu Xiu Heng, Xiongwen Ke, Ram Kirubasankar, Zi Lii Lim, Kevin Limanta, Melvey Lin, Priyanshu Malik, Kieran Sorensen, Luke Strong, Ryan Tran, Kam Hung Yau, Yicheng Zhang and Lim Kai Zhi.

A massive thank you to Yudhi Bunjamin, who dedicated much time and energy to the preparations and to ensuring that the workshops were interesting, engaging and ran seamlessly on the day.