piscopia.co.uk

Women and Non-binary Students into Maths PhDs!

The Piscopia Initiative is a UK-wide network of women and non-binary undergraduate/MSc students, PhD students, and researchers in Mathematics and related disciplines. We offer both UK-wide and university-specific events at 15 UK universities through our local Piscopia committees. These are all aimed at women and non-binary undergraduate/ MSc students in mathematics and related disciplines.

We are currently moving into summer time. Although most local committees host their events during term time, we will still host UK-wide events this summer.

Even if you’ve missed the event at your university or there is no Piscopia committee at your university, do not hesitate to get in touch! We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have as a woman or non-binary person in Mathematics (or related discipline) about dissertations, PhD life, whether a PhD is the right choice for you, PhD applications, a career in industry after doing a PhD, or just to have a chat!  Please see the contact details of the initiative’s co-leads below or find contact details for our committee members at their respective committee pages.

Stay updated on all our events by joining our mailing list!
Also check out our contacts page where you can find info on related initiatives and events.

Upcoming Events (times are in BST)

7 June, 1-2pm, PiWORKS seminar talk by Dr Aretha Teckentrup (University of Edinburgh) on Blending mathematical models with observational data.

Register at: http://piworks_june2022.eventbrite.com
Registration closes at noon on 6 June.

Past Events

On 26 April we had a PiWORKS seminar talk by Dr Maria Bruna (University of Cambridge) on Continuum models of stochastic systems of interacting particles.

On the 18th March, the Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt committees hosted a joint in-person PhD event. Many thanks to the ICMS and MIGSAA for making this possible. Here is some of the feedback we received at the end of our event.

23 February, PiWORKS seminar talk by Professor Apala Majumdar (University of Strathclyde) on “The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals  – Multi-Faceted Approaches, Challenges and Applications for Future Technologies”.
15 February, Non-traditional Career Paths into Academia – panel discussion and Q&A with female Mathematics researchers. Panelists: Prof. Rachel Bearon (University of Liverpool), Rachel Furner (PhD student, Cambridge University and the British Antarctic Survey), Dr Catherine Higham (University of Glasgow), Cathie Wells (PhD student, Reading University).

1 February 2022, PhD Information Event and Q&A by the St Andrews Piscopia committee.
1 February 2022, PiWORKS seminar talk by Professor Mihaela van der Schaar (University of Cambridge) on “Machine learning in healthcare: from interpretability to a new human-machine partnership”.

21 December 2021, Your Q&A – an online informal coffee chat in which we answered any questions attendees might have about PhD life/PhD applications.
On 7 December the Warwick Piscopia committee hosted an event with speakers from the MathSys CDT, HetSys CDT, and the main mathematics CDT. Further, current PhD students at the University of Warwick discussed their PhD experience so far and gave application advice.

30 November, PiWORKS seminar talk by Dr Claudia Neves (King’s College London) on Extreme value statistics born out of domains of attraction.
24 November, The Reading Piscopia committee launches a mentoring scheme by female PhD students about PhD life/applications/general support for students in STEM at the University of Reading. Get in touch with the committee members for more info!

On 22 November the Edinburgh Piscopia committee hosted their first in-person PhD information event. Many thanks to ICMS and the School of Mathematics of the University of Edinburgh for making this event possible! We had a blast.

University of Edinburgh committee members Xell, Alix, Clara, and Rachel in action! Photo taken by Monse.

November: The Birmingham Piscopia committee is now running regular coffee mornings. Get in touch with the committee members if you’re interested in attending!

26 October, PiWORKS seminar talk by Dr Lisa Maria Kreusser (University of Bath) on Mathematical modelling in biology and data science.
20 October, PhD Information Event by the Heriot-Watt committee.
28 September, PiWORKS seminar talk by Dr. Sophie Huczynska (University of St Andrews) on Combinatorics in Information Security.

For a full list of our past events in 2019-2021 see: https://piscopia.co.uk/past-events/ and our blog

Throughout the year our local committees host several events, such as PhD information events, tips on how to survive your dissertation, coffee chats, and careers after your Mathematics degree.

Further, as UK-wide events we have the PiWORKS seminar series featuring women and non-binary researchers working in diverse areas of Mathematics, PiDOORS featuring women who have a PhD in Mathematics, who are currently working in industry, Piscopia Society socials, and the PiFORUM conference.

Our Goal

Despite the fact that 40% of UK graduates in the mathematical sciences are female, only 6% of them go on to be professors [LMS report, 2013]. In October 2019, we (PhD students at the University of Edinburgh) founded the Piscopia Initiative to tackle the participation crisis of women and non-binary people in mathematics research in the UK. We aim to encourage women and non-binary students to pursue a PhD in mathematics.

How do we do this?

We offer both UK-wide and university-specific events at 15 UK universities through our local Piscopia committees. These are all aimed at undergraduate/ MSc students in mathematics and related disciplines, who self-identify as female or non-binary. The events have a number of aims. Firstly, they raise awareness for the PhD option among our target group and increase the attendees’ knowledge about doing a PhD and the application process. Further to this, they highlight women and non-binary role models. Finally, the events provide attendees with a support network and platform where they can ask questions in the future by connecting them with their peers, women & non-binary researchers at their university, and the UK-wide Piscopia community.

Get in touch

We are very keen to answer any questions you may have!
This can take any shape or form: email us, email our committee members, or get in touch via our Twitter page. We know from our past events and our own experiences how important hearing from others is when considering your next steps, and we want to give you a platform to do so, so please get in touch!

Get in touch with the Piscopia co-leads using: ggc2000_at_ hw.ac.uk or tiffany.vlaar_at_ed.ac.uk

Piscopia Events

  • The Piscopia Society


    We aim to provide women and non-binary mathematics students in the UK with a support network and platform to ask questions by connecting them with their peers, women and non-binary researchers at their university, and the UK-wide Piscopia community.

  • Local Piscopia Committee Events


    We have local committees at 15 UK universities, consisting of women and non-binary PhD students and active student members. These committees host events to encourage women and non-binary mathematics (3rd/4th year undergraduates/ MSc) students at their own university to consider applying for a PhD through PhD information and networking events.

  • Monthly PiWORKS seminar


    This monthly seminar series features women and non-binary researchers from UK universities working in diverse areas of mathematics.

  • PiDOORS


    Talks by women who have a PhD in mathematics and who are currently working in industry. Speakers discuss their PhD experience, research, and current role.

  • PhD Applications


    Students receive support from the team and the members of the Piscopia network to submit competitive Mathematics PhD applications.

  • PhD Support


    Networking and support events for current women and non-binary Mathematics PhD students and Postdocs.

  • PiFORUM Conference


    Our PiFORUM conference facilitates a network of women and non-binary mathematics students in the UK and supports them in their application process.

  • Contacts and Mailing List


    We want to help students find all the other amazing initiatives/organizations supporting diversity in Mathematics (and STEM). We advertise relevant events on our Contacts page and through our mailing list. Get in touch if you want us to let students in the Piscopia Society know about an event/initiative!

  • Further: Expansion of the Piscopia Society by launching local committees at more UK universities.


Vision

In 2019, we committed to develop an outreach scheme to encourage women and non-binary participation in postgraduate research programmes in the mathematical sciences across UK universities. Through awareness schemes, information events, and application support and mentoring, we aim to empower capable women and non-binary students in the early stages of their mathematical careers to believe in academia as a viable option, and bring their aspirations to fruition.  Partnerships with universities will provide the connections necessary to implement and expand the scheme. Success is measurable by monitoring the number of successful applications to postgraduate research schemes for the 2021 cohorts, attainment of the expansion of the scheme to at least 4 UK universities and the implementation of a UK-wide Piscopia society.

Why “Piscopia” Initiative?

Elena Cornaro Piscopia is the first woman ever to be awarded a PhD.

Co-Leads 2021-2022

Gemma Crowe (she/her)
(current co-lead)

Second year PhD in Mathematics
Heriot-Watt University

ggc2000_at_ hw.ac.uk

Tiffany Vlaar (she/her)
(co-founder and current co-lead)

Final year PhD in Mathematics
University of Edinburgh &
Heriot Watt University

tiffany.vlaar_at_ ed.ac.uk

Co-Leads 2020-2021: Mary Llewellyn and Tiffany Vlaar

Co-Founders

Mary Llewellyn

Third Year PhD in Mathematics
University of Edinburgh

Tiffany Vlaar

Final year PhD in Mathematics
University of Edinburgh &
Heriot Watt University

Isabella Deutsch


Third Year PhD in Mathematics
University of Edinburgh


Only about 6% of professors in mathematics in the UK are female.

LMS Report 2013

This is opposed to about 30% of female students in PGR maths programs and 40% in maths undergrads. We want to encourage female students to consider an academic career.


We thank our partners

Get In Touch

ggc2000_at_hw.ac.uk

tiffany.vlaar_at_ ed.ac.uk

piscopiainitiative_at_gmail.com

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