Spring Term Update

It is already mid-March! Here is quick run down of what we have been up to so far this year:

  • To start the year, we hosted a picnic at Goldstream provincial park – a nice way to meet new members!
  • We ran a UVic Math & Stats sweater sale.
  • We had a table at the GoEngGirl event in November.
  • In January we elected a new executive. Learn about the new members of our team here.
  • We have been hosting Q&A sessions with women in academia and in industry! Hopefully this series will continue into the summer and next fall.
  • We have been working hard on some exciting high-school outreach – stay tuned for details.
  • And of course, we’ve been hosting weekly study sessions! Come get your work done with us – Wednesdays for the rest of the semester, in the Elliott MSAC location.

But most importantly – we want to know what you want to see. If there is an event or initiative you’d like to see us organize, feel free to reach out!

Best of luck with the end of semester!


Semester End

We hope everyone had a fantastic first semester (mostly) back on campus this fall. It was lovely to meet so many new people – whether that was through our kick-off event, biweekly study sessions, by picking up hoodie orders, or just virtually on the discord server. We are so excited to see what next term has in store, even with all the uncertainty about what the delivery will look like. If there is something you would like to see happen, please feel free to reach out with your ideas (awmstudent@uvic.ca, on discord or on instagram @uvicawm).

See you next term! :)


Fall Update

Hope everyone’s term is off to a good start! So far this September, we have been busy representing our group at Clubs Days, hosting a Kickoff Event, and enjoying a start-of-term picnic. It has been truly awesome to see so many new and old faces.

Going forward, we are in the process of booking spaces for club and mentorship events. We will keep you all posted as we finalize dates, and hope to see you there!

For anyone not already there, our discord channel has become our main spot for keeping everyone updated about general UVic events and opportunities as they come along. I encourage all of you to hop on! Please send us a quick email at awmstudent@uvic.ca if you would like a link to join. :)


Welcome to Summer!

We made it! We finished the term. Congratulations to everyone for a successful second semester of Zoom university.

As we move forward into the summer, we want to be sure to offer opportunities for students to connect with one another. We are going to alter our schedule / meeting plans slightly until September, and host an inclusive, fun space for conversations and games every other Wednesday at 5pm (over Zoom). The first of these will take place next Wednesday (June 2nd) – please contact us for the Zoom details! These will be casual, meaning you can come for as long or as little as you like. Everyone is welcome.

Other than that, we just want to extend our gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported us as we got started last semester. We hope to see everyone this summer, and hopefully in person this fall!

Stay safe everyone, and enjoy some summer math fun :)

Happy Women in Math Day!

Today is Women in Math Day, and what better way to celebrate than featuring some of the amazing womxn in who make our Math & Stats department an inclusive, diverse, and inspiring place to work and study. Below are their thoughts on math, being a womxn in math, and some advice for future mathematicians.

“I remember the moment when I realized that education is not a competition. It’s not me vs. my classmates: We’re all in this together, and supporting each other lifts everyone up.” – Alexandra Deane

“One thing I’m proud of is completing my Math & Stats degree during a global pandemic.” – Shamaya Blanchette

“I’m often asked how my research can be applied. However, pure mathematical research involves recognizing previously overlooked patterns in order to solve the problems of the future, a thought I find extremely inspiring.” – Shannon Ogden

“I love the way math teaches me to think in new and creative ways. Problem-solving is applicable almost everywhere, and math feels like the ultimate training resource!” – Elena Moss

“I love solving problems so math was a natural choice for me. There is no feeling more satisfying than when something you’ve been working on just “clicks”, and math is filled with those moments! :) ” – Ashna Wright

“Why did I choose math? Firstly, and simply, I liked it. Secondly, I often felt there was a slight superiority that came from academics, as if understanding a topic such as math was reserved for a chosen few. This didn’t sit well with me as I truly believe anyone can learn anything if it is taught to them in the right way. To that end, the more I could learn about math the better I could explain it. So I guess I choose math because it’s not as scary as it seems and I want to be able to show that to people! ” – Selma Yazganoglu

“An “aha” moment I had in my education was the realization that I shouldn’t give up learning something just because I’m not immediately as good at it as my peers might be. Having an innate talent is one thing, but consistent effort over time is really important and makes a difference in the long run.” – Hana Hourston

“I am most proud of moving to UVic from the states on 4 days’ notice. In my time here, I’ve made an academic comeback, I’ve stopped hiding my Autistic traits and thus made real friends, and my love for math has increased monotonically – no upper bound in sight.” – Blaine Larson

“My favourite part of math is that magical “Aha!” moment when you understand a problem that you’ve been working on. Remembering that payoff at the end keeps me energized to work on new and more difficult problems. Even more satisfying is sharing that insight with others, so that they can have the same breakthrough moment.” – Elizabeth McKenzie-Case

“My favourite part of math is its intersection with art, language, and poetry” – Jane Butterfield

“My favourite subjects are matrix algebra, optimization and statistics.” – Julie Zhou

“Don’t underestimate the importance of taking a break and having a good night’s sleep. So many times I have been stuck and failing to understand things late at night: after a break or a rest they suddenly become clear.” – Natasha Morrison

“Why did you choose math? I didn’t. It chose me.” -Kieka Mynhardt

We are a third of the way through the term! Yay!


All of you (we have heard from) are working hard and getting into the full swing of midterms, assignments, projects, etc. Even though we’re all at home, we are not alone in this. We are all studying, doing our best, some of us stressed or burnt out. We’re making it through, and however we do that is fine. It’s hard to remember that you’re not the only one working hard, struggling with something, when we can’t see many of our classmates.

On that note, we are continuing to hold mentorship check-in sessions, and casual AWM hangout meetings (one every two weeks) and our next mentorship session is coming up this Friday Feb 26th at 4pm. :) Our goal at these sessions is to create a space where womxn can see one another and envision themselves succeeding.

Please remember that these sessions are not mandatory. It’s totally fine to either show up for 5 minutes, or for 2 hours. These meetings are simply there to help connect you with others, NOT to add stress and pressure to your life. So please come if you can, and if it’s not something that will support you this week then don’t worry about it in the least! Taking care of yourself is always the highest priority.


Elena and Alex


p.s. Please enjoy this lovely zoom mural created at our first mentorship session :)

Welcome to the New Year!

Thank you so much to everyone who made it to our election meeting on Friday!! We’re really excited to welcome our new team of executives. A huge thanks as well to Joanna Niezen and to all the other previous officers who have been so supportive, encouraging, and helpful.

We are looking forward to our first (casual, no plans so far unless we choose to include something special) social AWM Zoom hangout, one month from now, on Friday February 12th at 4 pm ! Just to emphasize, this club and these meetings are open to everyone — non-female, non-math folk are more than welcome. Even if you have only just begun your first math course, this is a space for you! Send us a quick message to receive the Zoom link. : )

The starting dates for our Womxn in Math and Stats Mentorship Program have also been finalized! Please check out our “Mentorship” tab to learn more and stay updated.

We are still 100% open to ideas, feedback, thoughts, and would love to hear from you. If you have an event or program in mind that you want to see happen, let us know! We are super happy to invite anyone interested to our Discord Server and Facebook Page, and even if you are far too busy right now but still want to stay connected, pop us an email and we can include you on our mailing list!


*We would like to acknowledge that “female” or “women” is not an accurate description for many people and it may make some feel unwelcome. We use the term “womxn” to specifically and intentionally include cis and trans women, as well as non-binary, agender, or intersex people and other gender minorities.

Movie Night: Secrets of the Surface

A portrait of Maryam Mirzakhani.


The UVic AWM Student Chapter and the Department of Math and Stats EDI Committee are hosting a FREE screening of the film Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani. Check out the trailer here: http://www.zalafilms.com/secrets/

When: Tuesday May 12 from 2-3 p.m.
Where: Virtually in Blackboard Collaborate.

If you are not on a department email list, contact awmstudent@uvic.ca by May 11th. The link will be emailed out the morning of.

Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics

Talithia Williams giving a talk at UVic on December 4, 2019.

Many members of the AWM Student Chapter attended a talk as a part of the Lipson Lecture series on December 4, 2019. Dr. Talithia Williams, a faculty member at Harvey Mudd College, spoke about her experiences as a black female mathematician. What a fun and inspirational speaker Dr. Talithia Williams is!

Hello World!

Members of the UVic AWM Student Chapter posed for a photo.

The UVic AWM Student Chapter had its first meeting on November 21, 2019. We formed the group, elected a president, vice president, and secretary (Joanna Niezen, Laura Teshima, and Felicia Halliday resp.) and discussed our goals for the group. The group aims to meet approximately once a month, with at least one meeting per year to include bureaucracy. Our initial focus will be outreach to gain membership through fun events which promote the goals of the Association for Women in Mathematics.