Developing a mindset for Maths
Here at FMSPW we are developing a series of workshops to support all students develop a mindset ready for any mathematical challenge. In particular in this series of workshops we are keen to look at some of the barriers that are often associated with female learners. These workshops are suitable for all students.
International Women’s Day Poster Activity!
Download and print out the template for the 6 famous female mathematicians!
Ask students to complete a poster detailing as much information as they can about the mathematician.
This could include:
- Who they were… what was their name, how old they where, where did they come from?
- What they did… what are they famous for mathematically? Can you give an illustration or example of this? What was their standout achievement?
- When were they “mathsing”… what was/is the social or mathematical context of when they were making their discoveries? Was it unusual at this time to be a female mathematician? Did they find it difficult to be a mathematician?
- What else…?
- How did they get into maths? What inspired them? Who inspired them?
- Can you find out anything unusual about them?
- As much information as possible on these posters would be fantastic!
All the mathematicians featured can be found on our website!
Katie Steckles introduces the Fold & Cut Theorem
Zoe Griffiths has bag loads of money!
See what Zoe has to say about the wonders of being a Mathematician. Then see if you can solve her puzzle!
Sofya Lyakhova’s IWD2022 Date Puzzle
Female Mathematicians Challenge
Take a look at some of the most famous female mathematicians with this cut and stick timeline activity.
Born: 1954 – Present
About: Received her doctorate in mathematics from University of Latvia. Her crocheted work of parabolic shapes has been included in many collections including the Smithsonian’s and she became the first woman to earn the Euler Prize for her mathematical books for hers Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.
Mary Wynne Warner
Born: 22 June 1932 Died: 1 Apr 1998
About: Mathematician who worked in the fields of topology and fuzzy logic. The only female Welsh mathematician so far to receive acclaim for her achievements.
Born: 1954 – Present
About: To analyse the signal of an image, sound, electrocardiogram tracing, or even a turbulent gas, one must break it down into simpler parts. The parts that scientists and engineers use are Daubechies’s wavelets—mathematical building blocks that are also used for data compression and encryption.
Evelyn Boyd Granville
Born: 1924 – Present
About: She was only the second African-American woman to earn her Ph.D. in Mathematics.
Born: 12 May 1977 Died: 13 July 2017
About: The first Iranian student to achieve a perfect score and win two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiads. In 2014 she was the first ever woman to receive the Fields Medal, which is sometimes described as a Nobel prize for mathematics.
From: United States
Born: 8 Dec 1919 Died: 30 July 1985
About: Focused her career on decision problems. Her most famous contribution was disproving Hilbert’s tenth problem—it was an effort that took decades and several minds and was a rare point of cooperation between American and Soviet mathematicians during the height of the Cold War.
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Born: 16 May 1718 Died: 9 Jan 1799
About: Mathematician, philosopher, theologian and humanitarian. First woman to write a mathematics textbook, and the first woman appointed as a mathematics professor at a university.
From: Lille, France
Born: 1923 – present
About: Mathematician and physicist, an expert in general relativity who proved the local existence and uniqueness of solutions to the vacuum Einstein Equations.
Born: 24 June 1917 Died: 4 Sept 1996
About: Bletchley Park codebreaker who worked with Alan Turing and others in breaking Germany’s Enigma cipher and other ciphers. Became a researcher in numismatics (the study of coins and the history of coinage) in later life.
Born: 1 April 1776 Died: 27 June 1831
About: Mathematician, physicist and philosopher. A pioneer in elasticity theory and attempts to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem, using Germain primes: primes p where 2p + 1 is also prime (e.g. 5, as 2 x 5 + 1= 11). Hid her gender under the pseudonym “Monsieur Le Blanc” for a time.
Born: 10 Dec 1815 Died: 27 Nov 1852
About: Mathematician and writer famous for her work with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine. Often regarded as the writer of the world’s earliest computer program, and has the programming language Ada named after her.
From: Erlangen, Germany
Born: 23 March 1882 Died: 14 April 1935
About: Described as “the greatest woman mathematician who has ever lived”, she made great developments in abstract algebra, while Noether’s Theorem plays a huge part in conservation laws in physics.
Born: 12 May 1820 Died: 13 Aug 1910
About: Most famous as a nurse, but initially trained as a mathematician – a pioneer in the use of graphics in statistics, her diagrams played a great part in convincing the British Government to send more nurses to the Crimean war and improve medical conditions there.
Dr Hannah Fry
Born: 21 Feb 1984 – present
About: Graduating from University College London, Hannah Fry has a PhD in fluid dynamics. Amongst other things she has written several books and also presented the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures in 2019. She has recently been appointed Professor in the Mathematics of Cities.
About: Katie Steckles is a mathematician based in Manchester, who gives talks and workshops and writes about mathematics. She finished her PhD in 2011, and since then has talked about maths at universities, schools events, festivals, on BBC radio and TV, in books and on the internet.
About: Zoe Griffiths is a mathematician for former teacher who travels the UK and internationally giving talks about maths. She has talked about maths in places ranging from the Cheltenham Science Festival to BBC Radio 4. Zoe’s favourite number is i and she has been known to bake mathematical cakes and write mathematical poetry.
Born: From today’s date – subtract your age.
About: It could be you! You are a Mathematician! The question is…do you want to be one when you grow up? Whatever gender, whatever age, whatever ethnicity the mathematical world is waiting for you. Do all the maths you can and the sky really isn’t the limit…. it’s much much higher than that.
Royal Institute Christmas Lectures 2019