The Best Resources for Girls in Math!
Hello everybody! Today, I thought I'd talk a little bit about some opportunities and resources for girls in math. Of course, since GLeaM's mission is to empower girls in STEM, many of these resources are already included across the site, but I've been getting a lot of questions about what organizations and events in particular you should check out, so I decided to compile them into an article for you!
Of course, if you're not yet a member of GLeaM, one great way to connect with a community of girls in STEM is to join the program! Click "Log in" at the top of the site and type in your information to the Sign Up form. You'll be approved as a member, and you'll be free to hold discussions in the forums, leave comments on the blog posts, check out all the resources throughout the resource hub, and otherwise involve yourself in GLeaM!
There have been a couple of technical problems lately with allowing members to join the program, but hopefully, it's all fixed now. If you ever run into problems, feel free to use the contact form on the website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you out as best I can.
Also, I'm starting to work on some even bigger projects for GLeaM, so stay tuned for more!
Ok, let's start the article!
The first thing I want to mention is inteGIRLS, the worldwide organization that is currently taking the math world by storm. I've mentioned inteGIRLS quite a few times recently, but if you haven't heard, inteGIRLS is an organization that leads math competitions and puzzle contests for girls and non-binary individuals. inteGIRLS is entirely teen-led and is expanding rapidly this year, with 15 chapters currently across the world.
I'm one of the problem writers for inteGIRLS, and we're launching a virtual math competition this fall on November 21. It's shaping up to be a really exciting competition with lots of interesting problems, and I'd be super thrilled if all of you tried them in November! We'll be hosting a spring competition as well.
I've had such an amazing experience being a part of leading inteGIRLS' first worldwide math competition, and I'd love for all of you to be a part of experiencing it, so check out inteGIRLS at integirls.org to see how to register!
To add a bit more about inteGIRLS, the organization is also hosting a puzzle hunt this fall, covering a wide range of topics that are not at all limited to math. I participated in the spring puzzle hunt before I joined the leadership team, and I highly recommend it. I'm honestly in awe of the skill that goes into writing the puzzles, so feel free to check that out at integirls.org/puzzle.
You can also gain access to an even larger virtual community of girls in math across the world by visiting forum.integirls.org.
2) Association for Women in Mathematics
The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) is the association that provides support for women in math on all stages of their educational paths, including college students majoring in math, doctoral candidates and professors, and also plenty of opportunities for middle and high school girls.
AWM hosts a student essay contest where you can interview a female mathematician or statistician in an academic, industrial, or government career and write a biography for a chance to win a cash prize and a membership to AWM. You don't even need to know a mathematician yourself—the system can match you with someone—and you'll get the chance to talk with some of the most accomplished mathematicians across the country and the world.
AWM also host events at various universities across the U.S., called Sonia Kovalevsky Days. You can find out more here: https://awm-math.org/programs/sk-days/
There are even bi-monthly newsletters at https://awm-math.org/publications/newsletter/ where you can learn more about all the amazing female mathematicians out there and see all that AWM accomplishes. I've been a member since 2015, and I love reading the newsletters.
Here's a direct link to the August 2020 edition: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1naDbTpamcDwl2Qn54v1EgahDcx3zchdP/view
The AWM website is www.awm-math.org and I encourage you to go browse it.
3) Math Prize for Girls
One of my favorite events is Math Prize for Girls at MIT, a national all-girls competition that connects girls from across the United States and Canada, run by the Advantage Testing Foundation.
Each fall at MIT, almost 300 girls from across North America come together to compete in a challenging math competition for a chance to win cash prizes ($50,000 is handed out each year!), but perhaps more importantly, it's a opportunity to meet so many amazing girls with similar interests. There are game nights, guest lectures and panels as well that transform the event into more of a weekend festival than merely a math competition.
I've had the honor to attend Math Prize for Girls twice, and the camaraderie and spirit of the event is incredible. There's so much care that goes into making it so special, and the organization has definitely been part of what inspired me to start GLeaM.
Invitations to Math Prize for Girls are based on AMC (American Math Competition) scores, and the accepted scores are usually cut off just a little bit above the AIME (American Invitational Math Exam) cutoff. For those of you that are interested in math competitions, it's a great goal to make AIME in general, but this opportunity can be even more motivation for you in your AMC pursuits. The AMC competition series opens so many doors in general, but this is one of the most exciting opportunities you can receive from the AMC series.
I'd encourage you to apply to Math Prize for Girls even if you think your scores wouldn't make it. Applications open just after AMC scores are released, and they only take five minutes to fill out.
You're welcome to leave a comment or email me if you want advice for preparing for the AMC or just if you have questions about Math Prize for Girls in general. I'm always willing to help all of you out!
Here's the link to MPfG's website: https://mathprize.atfoundation.org/
4) Other Organizations
I've connected with some of the following organizations, and all of them are doing such an amazing job holding events and providing resources for girls in math across the United States and the world. Most of them serve girls in a particular geographic area, but others are run virtually and you can be involved in their events from wherever you are. STEM Gems: https://stemgemsbook.com/
Girls Talk Math: https://girlstalkmath.com/
Girls Who Math: https://girlswhomath.net/
Math Reimagined: https://www.moctm.org/images/pdf/Intro_to_Competition_Math_Flyer.pdf
Canadian Girls' Math Challenge: https://www.facebook.com/canadiangirlsmathchallenge
Girls Rock Math: https://www.girlsrockmathematics.com/
All Girls' Math Tournament: https://www.girlsrockmathematics.com/
If you know of any other organizations that I should add to this list, feel free to leave them in the comments.
In addition to these organizations and opportunities, check out the following articles, books, and videos! These are just a few of the resources to promote girls in STEM that I think you might really enjoy, so feel free to ask me if you want more.
Here's a list of books for you! I've actually discussed a couple of these in this article on my favorite books, so feel free to check that out if you want any more inspiration.
1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
2. How to Bake Pi, Beyond Infinity, and x+y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender are all incredible books by the British mathematician Eugenia Cheng, and I'd highly recommend all of them.
3. Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics by Talithia Williams
4. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
5. Complexities: Women in Mathematics by Bettye Anne Case and Anne M. Leggett
6. STEM Gems: How 40 Women Shine in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and How You Can Too! by Stephanie Espy
I also love this link! This is a compilation of picture books about women in math for younger children, but I thought they were still valuable to include if any of you have younger siblings. They're so delightfully written and illustrated, and I love all the concepts. https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=20118
There are many wonderful videos out there across YouTube and other platforms, and I've written two articles featuring my favorite YouTube videos: part 1 and part 2. I thought I'd take a moment here to highlight a couple that feature women in math as well.
1. This is a video featuring 243 women mathematics from across the world and 36 countries created by the Committee for Women in Mathematics of the International Mathematical Union and it's so fun to watch! https://vimeo.com/259039018
2. This is a documentary about the first female Fields Medalist, Maryam Mirzakhani. It's such an inspirational story, and you can check out the GLeaM article about her story here as well. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/secretsmathfilm
3. This is a short documentary, the Journeys of Women in Mathematics, by IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics that is really eye-opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNJ7riiPHOY
4. Another British mathematician, Hannah Fry, also puts out lots of content on Numberphile, TED and The Royal Institution, that is incredibly fascinating, so I'd encourage you to check her out! Here are a couple videos I'd recommend:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzhpf1Ai7Z4 (Should Computers Run the World?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsRfECCPsCY (How to Catch a Serial Killer with Hannah Fry)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnQYJa9-aR0 (Is Life Really That Complex?)
One of the best sources of great math-related articles online is Quanta Magazine.
Here are three articles I've read recently that you would love!
1. An article about Emily Riehl, a mathematician at Johns Hopkins University, and her work in a field called higher category theory: https://www.quantamagazine.org/emily-riehl-conducts-the-mathematical-orchestra-from-the-middle-20200902/
2. An article about Lisa Piccirillo, a graduate student who solved a complicated problem left by John Conway: https://www.quantamagazine.org/graduate-student-solves-decades-old-conway-knot-problem-20200519/ (John Conway is a famous mathematician who died of COVID-19 in April, and his work was incredibly impactful. Check out my GLeaM article on him here.)
3. An article about Scarlett Howard, a zoologist who teaches math to bees! https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-scarlett-howard-learns-from-the-bees-she-teaches-20200122/
Thank you all for reading! I hope this helped all of you if you're looking for ways to get involved with gender inclusion in STEM—or if you want to find some great books, articles, and videos to enjoy. I know I've been writing more compilation-based articles lately, but this is one I saw a demand for, so I thought I'd deliver. My next article will be more content-based, and I should be back on a consistent every-two-week schedule for the time being. I've got an idea for the next one that I'm really excited about, so make sure to come back for more in two weeks!
Cover Image Courtesy of Math Prize for Girls 2018 (I'm third from the left)