Student Essay Contests from AWM and MfA

AWM - Association for Women in Mathematics
AWM - Association for Women in Mathematics

Student Essay Contests Sponsored by AWM and Math for America

To increase awareness of women’s ongoing contributions to the mathematical sciences, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Math for America are co-sponsoring an essay contest for biographies of contemporary women mathematicians and statisticians in academic, industrial, and government careers. The essays will be based primarily on an interview with a woman currently working in a mathematical sciences career.

Undergraduate students are required to interview and write about any woman currently working in a mathematical sciences career. Here are some suggestions for finding possible women to interview:

- Female math teachers.
- Female professors in mathematics at a local college or university (you can try looking up the school’s website and looking for the mathematics department; many departments list their faculty and their email addresses).
- Consider other mathematical departments at colleges and universities, such as applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, physics, engineering, finance, etc.
- To find mathematicians from underrepresented minorities, you may want to try the website for the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), or the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
- To find out about other mathematical careers, you can look at the resources at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the SIAM website, or the ASA website. Try contacting a woman in one of these industries!

If you would like to be put in contact with someone who has agreed to be interviewed for this contest, please contact AWM Essay Contest Interviewee Coordinator Dr. Joanna Bieri ( Please note that interviewee contacts will only be given out for requests received by January 10 each year.

The submission must be in essay form, not just a transcript of your interview. The essay should be approximately 500 to 1000 words in length. Essays will be judged by a panel of mathematicians on content, grammar, and presentation.

Submissions will start being accepted on December 1 through Students interested in interviewing a local person would be encouraged to contact Dr. Sylvia Wiegand, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, at to setup a meeting.

Questions? Please visit