The Women in Math club continues to provide support, friendship and relevant career information for women studying mathematics, even though the original founders, who only started the club last semester, have since moved on from BYU.
Last winter, Amber Mosley, then a senior and a math major, attended a Women in Computer Science meeting and wondered why there was no such club for women in math. BYU has clubs for women in manufacturing, engineering, business, computer science, management, science, film and accounting, but there was no organized way for the women in mathematics to meet together.
“There are less women than men in math, and you never really got to know the other women,” Mosley said.
Mosley took the dilemma to her friend and fellow mathematics major, Jessica Doud, and the two came up with a plan — they would start their own club for women in mathematics as a way to support each other in the major and to help educate the women about the future options they had with their degree, Mosley explained.
“Women in math education know where they are going,” she said. “Women in math feel limited, and some don’t really have career plans.”
Mosley and Doud approached a professor about their idea, who put them in touch with the correct people to get the club going. Mosley has since graduated, and Doud is serving a mission, but Women in Math is still going strong.
At last week’s meeting, the club heard from women who are currently in the mathematics graduate program about their experiences applying to and working through grad school.
Paige Bartholomew, a senior math major from Florida, said she appreciates the club because of the opportunities it provides to learn about her options as a math major.
“I like being able to talk about careers and graduate school because they are topics that are relevant to me right now and are applicable to where I’m going in the future,” Bartholomew said.
Also a senior, Samantha Smiley has been a part of the organization since its beginning and is now serving as the president. She feels it is especially important for the women in the major to have a way to socialize because there are so few of them.
“Sometimes as a woman you feel like a rarity,” she explained. “It’s nice to know there are other women like yourself.”