about the Project
Entering the field of mathematics can be tough, and women often encounter specific obstacles. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the world of mathematics through photographs (by Noel Tovia Matoff) and excerpts of interviews (by Sylvie Paycha with Sara Azzali for some of them) of twenty-three women mathematicians from around the world. This website provides a platform for contact, exchange and mutual assistance. The exhibit opened July 20th, 2016 in Berlin. The name of the exhibition has changed slightly to “Women in Mathematics from around the world. A galley of portraits“, as women mathematicians outside Europe are now also presented.
This touring exhibition, whose starting point was the 7th ECM held in July 2016 in Berlin, stems from the observation that nowadays, women still find it difficult to embrace a career in the mathematical academic world and the disparity between the proportion of men and that of women among professional mathematicians is still shamefully large.
The twenty-three women mathematicians portrayed here share with us their experience, thus serving as role models to stimulate young women scientists to trust their own strength. In presenting mathematics through women mathematicians’ perspectives and samples of their life stories, we hope to highlight the human aspects of producing mathematics, making this discipline more tangible and therefore more accessible to outsiders or newcomers.
Following the opening in Berlin, the exhibit has been traveling to more than 130 locations in Europe and well beyond, including South America, Australia and Africa. This touring format originally envisaged as a networking opportunity and for which the project was awarded with the Humboldt Alumni Award 2015, has indeed proved to reinforce collaborations and exchanges between mathematicians worldwide, and to stimulate a dialogue around the themes of the exhibition between the general public and mathematicians. The present exhibition has further triggered other similar projects leading to extended versions of the exhibition in various parts of the world, to name some examples, Cambridge in England, Aachen and Kaiserslautern in Germany and, reaching out to other continents, in Chile, in Australia and various countries around the Mediterranean.