AWM Advances

                                                       AWM Advances!

The paucity of women faculty at research departments in mathematics continues to challenge the profession to look for new solutions.  The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has recently received a 5-year, $750,000 ADVANCE grant to help address this problem by building and sustaining research networks for women in many areas of mathematics!

The AWM ADVANCE Grant: Career Advancement for Women through Research-Focused Networks

The project will focus on establishing research networks for women by fostering research collaborations at conferences and AWM Workshops.    The Research Collaboration Networks for Women which will be built and supported by AWM are modelled on the successful WIN Network (Women In Numbers) in Number Theory. These networks are spawned at Research Collaboration Conferences for Women (RCCWs), which are week-long conferences, held at mathematics institutes, where junior and senior women come together to work on pre-defined research projects.  The role of AWM will be to expand the number and scope of the RCCWs and to organize a series of follow-up events and infrastructure to help sustain and grow the resulting networks.  AWM President Kristin Lauter, AWM Past President Ruth Charney, and Project Director Magnhild Lien are the co-PIs on the award, with Erin Leahey as Senior Personnel to study the effectiveness of the program, and together with AWM Meetings Chair Kathryn Leonard we form the Oversight Committee for the grant.

Each year, AWM Workshops at the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings and SIAM Meetings will bring together women from one of the Research Collaboration Networks to showcase their work and encourage continued collaboration and mentoring.  AWM will also organize biennial Research Symposia, with high-profile Plenary Speakers and Special Sessions in research areas linked to the Research Collaboration Networks.  

AWM has formed an RCCW Committee to help develop new networks in focused research areas.  The next deadline for proposals in new areas is July 1!. The committee will help to refine proposals and help match potential networks with the math institutes to host the first collaboration conference for the network.

awmA key factor for the success of the networks is the publication of the research articles produced by the working groups at the conference.  In order to publish the research, typically the group has to continue working together for a few months after the conference, and this helps to form lasting bonds and collaborations.  The AWM will continue to publish the Proceedings from the conferences in its new AWM-Springer Series.

AWM also plans to host websites and email mailing lists for the networks in each of the various research areas. A social science component of the grant will study the efficacy of this model for advancing careers for women in mathematics and science.

The WIN model for Research Collaboration Conferences for Women was co-founded by Kristin Lauter, Rachel Pries, and Renate Scheidler, starting the planning in spring 2006.  At the time, there were very few women in number theory with faculty positions at Group I and II research departments and even fewer female speakers at number theory conferences world-wide.  WIN filled a void for women in number theory at the time, and the WIN model turned out to be a fun way to run a conference, be productive in research, and build a network to support women in research.

The WIN Network now has a well-organized Steering Committee, chaired by Michelle Manes, to recruit organizers for the upcoming conferences, an active email list to spread news of grants, jobs, events, and awards, and an excellent website developed and maintained by Kate Stange which is a resource to the broader community (  WIN has now run 4 collaboration workshops and has published 4 proceedings volumes of research articles from WIN conferences (the WINE and WIN3 volumes are the second and third in the new AWM-Springer series), as well as a number of research articles in top journals which have arisen from collaborations started at WIN conferences.  There are many outstanding tenure-track women in number theory at research universities who attended the first WIN conferences as graduate students and post-docs.  Now they are leading the network! It is this template which we would like to copy in many areas of mathematics, and the AWM ADVANCE grant will support this mission.


The new ADVANCE grant is truly the result of the collaborative effort of many leading women in mathematics.  By my count, the current AWM ADVANCE award is the result of the collective efforts of at least 5 AWM Presidents, the AWM Executive Director, inspiration from the Korean Women In Mathematical Sciences (KWMS), and countless organizers of the focused research networks who have already organized  RCCWs in their areas: WIN, WiSh, WIT, WhAM!, WINART, ACxx … and counting.  Organizing an RCCW is truly a labor of love, a ton of work, and many would say the most rewarding thing they have ever done professionally.   So all these organizers deserve to be named and celebrated!  

WIN Conference Organizers and Publication Volume

Year Organizers Publication
WIN 2008 Kristin Lauter, Rachel Pries, Renate Scheidler Fields Series
WIN2 2011 Chantal David, Matilde Lalin, Michelle Manes CRM/AMS
WINE 2013 Marie-Jose Bertin, Alina Bucur, Brooke Feigon, Leila Schneps AWM
WIN3 2014 Ling Long, Rachel Pries, Katherine Stange AWM
WINE2 2016 Irene Bouw, Rachel Newton, Ekin Ozman
WIN4 2017 Jennifer Balakrishnan, Chantal David, Michelle Manes, Bianca Viray


The WIN and WIN3 proceedings volumes were co-edited with the help of Alina Cojocaru and Ellen Eischen respectively.

Research Networks in other areas

Year Organizers Publication Host
WiSh 2013 Kathryn Leonard, Luminita Vese AWM IPAM
WIT 2013 Maria Basterra, Kristine Bauer, Kathryn Hess, Brenda Johnson AMS BIRS
WhAM! 2013 Trachette Jackson, Ami Radunskaya IMA IMA
WINASC 2014 Susanne Brenner, Sigal Gottlieb, Chiu-Yen Kao, Hyesuk Lee, Fengyan Li, Carol Woodward IMA IMA
MathBio 2015 Anita Layton, Suzanne Lenhart, Laura Miller AWM NiMBioS
ACxx 2011 Georgia Benkart, Stephanie van Willigenburg, Monica Vazirani    BIRS
WINART 2016 Georgia Benkart, Ellen Kirkman, Susan Montgomery, Chelsea Walton    BIRS
WIT2 2016 Maria Basterra, Kristine Bauer, Kathryn Hess, Brenda Johnson    BIRS
WiSh2 2016 Erin Wolf Chambers,  Asli Genctav, Evelyne Hubert, Kathryn Leonard,
Geraldine Morin, Sibel Tari, Noha El-Zehiry


WiSh: Women in Shape Modeling, WIT: Women in Topology, WhAM!: Women in Applied Math, WINASC: Women in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, ACxx: Algebraic Combinatorixx,  WINART: Women in Noncommutative Algebra and Representation Theory 

Most RCCWs so far have taken place at Banff International Research Station (BIRS), and we thank BIRS profusely for their support. We are also indebted to Microsoft Research, which has generously co-sponsored all three AWM Research Symposia, all of the WIN conferences, and WiSh, WhAM!, and WINASC.  Travel funding for participants has been provided by grants from the Clay Institute, NSF, NSA, PIMS, and the Number Theory Foundation.   See the RCCW tab on the AWM ADVANCE webpage which lists networks and the associated conferences.

Please submit your proposals for new Research Networks for Women by July 1 to our Project Director, Magnhild Lien, and visit our ADVANCE webpage (