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First GEM Day: promoting mathematics among girls

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Publié le vendredi 05 avril 2019

On 2 April 2019, the first edition of GEM (Girls Exploring Math) Day was organised at the University of Luxembourg. Twenty-two students from the Lycée Hubert Clément and Lycée des Garçons in Esch spent a full day experiencing mathematics and discussing gender stereotypes across science.

Meeting with Prof. Béatrice de Tilière

Their day began by meeting Béatrice de Tilière, a professor at Paris Dauphine and a leader in probability theory. She shared her passion for research illustrated with beautiful visualisations, but also her experience in overcoming the barriers women experience in reaching the height of academia in mathematics.

Interactive mathematical workshops

The rest of the morning was dedicated to interactive mathematical workshops, developed and animated by Hugo Parlier and Bruno Teheux from the Mathematics Research Unit (RMATH) at the University of Luxembourg. A first workshop had the girls in small groups work on tilings and combinatorial problems, and the second, based on an app called Mathema, had them do puzzles and analyse them, while allowing the participants to explore mathematics to the frontiers of current knowledge.

Exchanges with Minister Taina Bofferding

Picture © mega

In the afternoon, the participants were engaged in a workshop exploring gender issues in science, organised by the Ministry of Equality between Women and Men (MEGA). The minister herself, Taina Bofferding, came to meet and interact with the students for over 45 minutes. 

The day concluded with an open session of mathematical games, where eager participants showed their mettle by challenging each other but also the animators and Béatrice de Tilière. 

This inaugural edition of GEM is hopefully the first of many, as helping tackle gender gaps in mathematics and science is of the utmost importance. 

For more information about subsequent editions and related outreach activities, feel free to contact the organisers: Hugo Parlier and Bruno Teheux.