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