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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > Women's Math Conference

ACU conference to inspire high school girls to pursue careers in math

For immediate release
Jan. 21, 2004

Abilene Christian University will present the third annual Mathematics Conference for Young Women Wednesday, Jan. 28. The conference gives high school women the opportunity to build an interest in mathematics, a field often dominated by men, said Dr. Carol Williams, dean of the graduate school and professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

According to a study reported in early January only 8.3 percent of mathematics faculty members at top research universities are female.  The study – "A National Analysis of Diversity in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities," by Donna J. Nelson and Diana C. Rogers – was reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Williams has organized the conference for the past three years in order to combat this shortage of women in mathematics, thanks to a grant from the Mathematical Association of America, as well as donations from ACU's College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

"We really need more women in mathematics," Williams said. "There's still that old fashioned idea that math is for boys. This is our way of reaching out to the community and encouraging women in this area."

More than 80 female students in grades 9-12 from Region 14 will spend the day participating in problem-solving activities, which will be led by female math students at ACU. In addition, the high school students will hear two professional women give their talk about their involvement in mathematics and also learn about the college admissions process. 

"This year we're seeking to educate the high school girls about the college admissions process and what they should be doing now as high school students to prepare," Williams said.  "Many of the girls would be first-generation college students and may not know the fundamentals of the college application process."

Conference activities begin at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday and the conference ends at 2 p.m., at which time students can take an optional campus tour.  During the day, the high school students will be divided in groups to participate in the various activities, which will take place across the ACU Campus. The lunchtime talks will begin at 11:55 a.m. in the ACU campus center.

For information about specific times and locations, contact Wendy Kilmer.


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, media relations coordinator.

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