Indian Women and Mathematics (IWM) is a collective of Indian mathematicians that has been in existence since 2009. Our objective over the years has been to encourage more women to pursue higher education in mathematics, and to organize events and networking opportunities that will enable them to take up careers in mathematics. In 2015, IWM was reorganized upon the suggestion of the National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) to review and introduce new activities. It has been felt that the IWM's objectives would be even better served if, for instance, there were to be several smaller workshops in different parts of the country. Click on the links to see what has been planned in the near future. And do watch this space as, over the years, we usher new initiatives for women embarking upon a career in mathematics.
Towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium, it was felt that a special focus was required to understand the concerns of women in mathematics. In India, early attempts at understanding these concerns were limited to panel discussions as a part of general conferences or as stand-alone events.
In 2010, India was to host the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Hyderabad. Just before the ICM, a major new event was planned: the first International Conference of Women Mathematicians (ICWM). As a preparation for the ICWM, and to increase awareness regarding concerns of women in mathematics in India, an international conference was planned at the School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi during 5-7 October 2009.
The conference was called Advances in Mathematics: Focus on women in Mathematics. The theme, of focus on women in mathematics, was central to this conference. Accordingly, about two-thirds of the speakers were women. The audience consisted of students and faculty members from colleges and Universities across India. A majority of the participants were women. Young scholars, particularly women, were invited to present their research. More information on the conference may be found at http://www.jnu.ac.in/jnunewsarchives/jnunews_sep_dec09/conferences.htm.
ICWM 2010 took place two days before the ICM, during 17-18 August at the University of Hyderabad. The meeting was aimed principally at the young women mathematicians participating in the ICM, particularly women from Asia and from developing countries. Eminent women mathematicians delivered colloquium-style lectures. Among the speakers was Maryam Mirzakhani, who went on to win the Fields Medal four years later. There was a round-table discussion entitled Women Mathematicians Around the World, where women mathematicians representing India, Pakistan, Japan, Burkina Faso, Korea, Argentina, and the organizations European Women in Mathematics and Association for Women in Mathematics, spoke.
Several of the mathematicians from India associated with the launching of ICWM 2010, and with the preparatory event at JNU in 2009, form the nucleus of the current executive committeeof IWM.
In January 2012, there was a three-day symposium Indian Women and Mathematics (IWM2012) at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. This was the very first event held under the banner of Indian Women and Mathematics.
Since then, two other large annual conferences have been held under the IWM banner, as well as several smaller events supported by IWM. The objectives and programmes of these events are linked to the Archives page of this site.
After the first IWM conference, the National Board for Higher Mathematics, which had been the main funding agency for all the previous initiatives, sanctioned a large project-grant entitled Indian Women and Mathematics. The aim of this project was to provide an umbrella for activities related to training and outreach for women mathematicians; the main deliverables of the project being:
The proposed initiatives of the IWM for the future represent a continuation of the above objectives together with a deeper involvement at the regional level.
(Last updated on October 22, 2016)
FEB. 06-07, 2017: Indian Women and Mathematics: Regional Workshop at Punjabi University, Patiala.