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More women and girls in maths thanks to AMSI

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Established as a collaboration of Australia’s university mathematics departments and agencies, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) membership and global impact have grown. AMSI has sponsored over 200 workshops and hosted an impressive program of international expert speakers to strengthen engagement between the Australian and global mathematics communities.

The society recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and took the opportunity to reflect on the some more of the achievements it has made during its life.

“Over the past 15 years, we have proven an effective and efficient national voice for the mathematical sciences, both in building the discipline’s international profile and strengthening its policy position,” said AMSI Director Prof Geoff Prince.

Chair of the AMSI Board, Dr Ron Sandland, said the Institute stood apart in its unique collaborative structure, pipeline approach to delivery of support and advocacy not possible on an individual scale.

“AMSI has built significant funding partnerships to support its mission to radically improve mathematical sciences capacity and capability across the Australian community,” said Dr Sandland. 

The institute has been very active in advocating math careers to women, it has realised:

  • $28.2 million funding awarded by the Australian Government to deliver 1400 PhD internships with a focus on women under the Supporting more women in STEM careers: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) – National Research Internships Program
  • $22 million from BHP Billiton Foundation to increase engagement and participation of women and girls in mathematics through delivery of the Choose Maths project; funding from Boeing, William Buckland Foundation and the Australian and Victorian governments to develop teacher resources and an ongoing partnership with Cambridge University Press to deliver ICE-EM Mathematics textbooks (now in their third edition these were initially funded through a $7.8 million Australian Government grant)
  • $2 million Australian Government co-funding renewed to deliver research and higher education initiatives, enabling expansion of its flagship training events with the launch of AMSI Optimise in 2017. Female participation in flagship events has increased to 42% with the Choose Maths grants program helping to remove barriers to participation
  • Establishment of the AMSI Foundation to strengthen investment in Australian mathematical sciences

These achievements, said Geoff Prince, speak to the Institute’s success in driving sustained growth over more than a decade. Now with a need to maintain momentum, he believes sustained funding streams are critical.

“AMSI has undergone significant transformation as it delivers on its mission to strengthen Australia’s mathematical capability and address gender equity across the pipeline. Our next focus is to ensure this growth and our policy agenda remains supported,” he said.

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