In January 2024, Denison math students Yuhan Fu ’24, Uyen Nguyen ’26, Enya McCarthy ’25, and Maja Palmroos ’25, along with visiting assistant professor Leilani Pai, traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, to present their work and connect with women mathematicians from across the United States. The group also networked with representatives from universities, government agencies, and companies that hire mathematicians.

Fu presented a portion of her work, complete with images, to explain the mathematics of image segmentation and boundary detection. The atmosphere was supportive “for sharing and learning, even beyond the realm of mathematics,” she said. This was Fu’s second experience at the conference, and she had the pleasure of meeting people who recalled the research she presented last year. “All participants of the conference felt like friends,” she said, “which eased my nerves associated with public speaking and networking.”

Palmroos gave an interactive poster presentation about how eye tracking can be used to understand how people interact with different types of data. In addition to networking, she found the conference gave her great exposure to different applications and fields of mathematics. “It was exciting to see how some in-class topics were built on to produce really interesting research,” she said.

McCarthy felt “encouraged and supported by great mathematicians who were once in our shoes.” Everyone there had the chance “to see their potential options for their future in mathematics,” she said, “as well as how to navigate a mathematical world as a woman.”

The group also heard inspiring plenary talks from mathematicians Erika Tatiana Camacho, from Arizona State University, and Emily Riehl, from Johns Hopkins University.

February 9, 2024