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Essay contest: Biographies of contemporary women in mathematics

In my last year at the University of Minnesota, I joined the student group Women in Mathematics (WIM). Through this group, I found out about a lot of awesome events, speakers, and other professional organizations. That's why joining student groups is so important - they help you create a community on campus!

Through WIM, I was able to hear about an essay contest being hosted by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Math for America (MfA). 

To give you some background on these organizations...

AWM is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 to encourage women and girls in the mathematical sciences.  AWM has grown to over 3,000 members from the US and around the world.

MfA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in US public schools. Their vision is to "dramatically change mathematics and science education over the next decade throughout America in order to keep our country competitive."  MfA Fellows spend one year earning a master's degree in education and four years teaching math in public secondary schools.

Back to the essay contest...

The essays will be based on interviews with contemporary female mathematicians or statisticians in academic, industrial, or government careers. The hope is that this will "increase awareness of women's ongoing contributions to the mathematical sciences."

The contest is open to students in grades 6-8, grades 9-12, and undergraduate college students. At least one winning essay will be chosen from each of those categories and be published on the AWM website. A grand prize winner will be chosen and published in the AWM newsletter.

The deadline for the essay contest is February 27, 2011! I'm not eligible to participate, but I am very excited to read the winning entries. If you want to hear about the lives of some phenomenal women, check out the winning essays from 2010.


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