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Rice Association for Women in Mathematics


Dasha Selivonenko
President & Outreach Chair, Math
email: dms20 at rice dot edu
Thomas Kaldahl
President, Math
email: tbk1 at rice dot edu
Natasha Patnaik
Secretary, PR Chair & Liason, CMOR/MTEC
email: np37 at rice dot edu
Anya Hansen
Treasurer & Statistics Liason, Math
email: avh3 at rice dot edu
Sarah Ruth Nicholls
Mathematics Liaison
email: sarah.ruth.nicholls at rice dot edu
Ria Stevens
CS Liaison
email: ria.stevens at rice dot edu
Grace Xu
Liaison, Mathematical Economic Analysis & Mathematics
email: ria.stevens at rice dot edu
Shelly Harvey
Faculty Sponsor, Mathematics
email: shelly at rice dot edu
Jo Nelson
Faculty Sponsor & Advisor, Mathematics
email: jo.lastname at rice dot edu

Rice University Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics


Rice AWM provides a supportive social network for undergraduates, graduate students, and young faculty in mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. Our events promote interest in mathematics among women and provide leadership and career development opportunities for young mathematicians.

Rice AWM is open to new members and event suggestions! Please contact the AWM secretary, Natasha (np37 at rice dot edu) to join the AWM listserv.

Follow us on Instagram! @rice_awm

Visit our LinkTree for useful links, including the mailing list signup and our suggestion form.

(Last page update : 2023-10-23)

Upcoming Events: Fall 2023

Math Nights

Past Events



Executive Board: Emily Reeves (President), Sara Edelman-Munoz (Vice-President, Math Liaison), Natasha Patnaik (Secretary, CMOR/MTEC/OR Liaison), Anya Hansen (Treasurer), Bilyana Tzolova (PR Chair), Jaihee Choi (Outreach Chair)


AWM hosted a BBQ on Monday, November 7th from 5-7PM outside Valhalla for Math, STAT and CMOR students at Rice!

Rice AWM awarded the AWM Student Chapter Award for Scientific Excellence

Rice AWM was awarded the AWM Student Chapter Award for Scientific Excellence. More information about this award can be found on the CMOR and Math websites.

Abstract Math Summer Program

AWM will host a short summer course in theoretical mathematics this summer for female and non-binary high school students going into 10th to 12th grade. More about the program can be found here .

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Executive Board: Bilyana Tzolova (President), Rachael Alfant (Vice President), Lucy Hernandez (Treasurer), Sara Edelman-Munoz (Secretary/Math Liaison), Jaihee Choi (Outreach Coordinator), Natasha Patnaik (CAAM/MTEC Liaison), Amanda Hernandez (PR Chair), Carly Fagnant (STAT Liaison)

Math Nights

Rice AWM will be hosting Math Night every Wednesday from 7PM-9PM at the Farnsworth Pavilion from February 16th through May 4th. All students are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Pi Day: April 15th

AWM is hosting a delayed Pi Day celebration on April 15th at 5:30PM outside Valhalla. Come and enjoy free pies with us!

Special Lecture by University Professor: Dr. Richard Tapia

Rice AWM will be co-sponsoring a special lecture called The Art of Giving Great Talks by Dr. Richard Tapia on Friday, March 25th at 4pm in the McMurtry Auditorium in Duncan Hall. There will be a reception following the talk, featuring Rice University's very own Mariachi!

Abstract: Giving excellent talks greatly promotes professional success. In this presentation the speaker will discuss issues associated with giving talks including what to do and what not to do. Many examples and stories will be shared from the speakers past experiences.

Texas Women in Math Symposium at Rice University

  • When: February 5-6th, 2022
  • Where: Dual Delivery on Rice Campus and via Zoom
  • Organizing Committe: Sara Edelman-Munoz, Rachael Alfrant, Bilyana Tzolova, Jaihee Choi, Dr. Shelley Harvey, Dr. Jesse Chan

The Texas Women in Math Symposium (TWIMS) is a weekend conference that takes place at a different institution in Texas each year. The next TWIMS will take place in person at Rice University on February 5-6 2022. The ongoing goal of this conference series is to highlight the research and accomplishments of several outstanding late career female mathematicians, as well as provide an opportunity for early career mathematicians to present their work and build a professional network.

TWIMS 2022 will feature two plenary lectures from Dr. Pallavi Dani, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Louisiana State University and Dr. Cristina Villalobos, a Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

More information can be found here.

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Executive Board: Lucy Hernandez (President/Co-treasurer), Bilyana Tzolova (Vice President), Rachael Alfant (Secretary/Co-treasurer), Carly Fagnant (Outreach Coordinator/STAT Liaison), Amanda Hernandez (PR Chair), Sara Edelman-Munoz (Math Liaison), Kimmy Schuster (CAAM Liaison)

CAAM Major Panel (2021-04-21)

  • When: Wednesday, April 21st 6-7pm CST
  • Where: Zoom
  • Who: Angela Lin, Arisa Sadeghpour, Rachael Alfant, Bilyana Tzolova

The undergraduate panelists will discuss their experiences in the CAAM major and will answer some common questions about the CAAM major/minor as well as questions from the attendees. The event is open to all students and we especially encourage first year students or students new to the major to attend.

Addressing the Gender Gap in Mathematics: Amanda Glazer, UC Berkeley Statistics (2021-03-25)

  • When: Thursday, March 25th 4-5pm CST
  • Where: Zoom

Women earned 42%, 43% and 28% of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees respectively in mathematics and statistics in 2017-18. The gender gap in mathematics appears to worsen at elite private institutions. In Spring of 2016 The National Mathematics Survey was sent out to five institutions (Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale and Brown) to investigate undergraduate climate issues in math departments, in particular with regards to gender. The survey covered a wide range of topics including college academics, advising/research, study habits, mathematics department community, family background, and mentorship. The quantitative data from the survey indicated that the barrier to entry is much higher for women than men who intend to study mathematics, and the qualitative data illustrated a number of issues including gender stereotypes, pressure to represent and disrespect for intelligence. Amanda will present the main results from this survey as well as discuss recommendations and changes made in the Harvard mathematics department to address some of these issues.

Proof Workshop (2021-03-18)

  • When: Thursday, March 18th 6-7pm CST
  • Where: Zoom
  • Who: Rachael Alfant and Bilyana Tzolova

The proof workshop will cover topics such as induction, how to write a basic proof, proof by contradiction, and other techniques which show up in all the core mathematics, computational and applied mathematics, and statistics classes beyond calculus.

Panel on Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students (REUs) (2021-01-28)

  • When: Thursday, January 1st 6-7pm CST
  • Where: Zoom
  • Who: Rachael Alfant, Sara Edelman-Munoz, Caira Anderson, Alejandro Diaz

The panelists will discuss their experiences at REUs for pure and applied math. Since applications for REUs are usually due in February or March, this is a great opportunity to come ask questions, learn more about the application process, and what undergraduate research entails!

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Welcome to Rice AWM: Fall BBQ (2020-10-25)

  • When: Friday, October 25th at 5pm
  • Where: Valhalla
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2018 - 2019

Career Talk : Dr. Cassandra McZeal, ExxonMobil (2019-01-24)

  • When : Thursday 24 January
  • Where : HBH 438 (5:00 p.m., refreshments) and HBH 227 (5:30 p.m., talk)

Dr. McZeal received her PhD in 1999 from the CAAM department here at Rice, and she now works as a manager at the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. We discussed about how to be successful in graduate school, what it's like to work in industry, and how to balance work, family, and social life with her.

Welcome Back Picnic (2018-11-09)

  • When : Friday 09 November
  • Where : Valhalla

Generously sponsored by Rice SAPP Fund.

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2017 - 2018

Keynote Address : Provost Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda (2018-04-12)

  • When : Thursday 12 April
  • Where : Herman Brown Hall Room 227

Pi Day (2018-03-01)

  • When : Thursday 1 March
  • Where : lawn by Herman Brown Hall

Grad School Panel (2017-12-04)

  • When : Monday 4 December, 3 - 4 p.m.
  • Where : Rice U, Herman Brown Hall 227

Female graduate students from CAAM, MATH, and STAT shared their experience from graduate school application and graduate school life, Dr. Shelly Harvey proffered her experience and expertise, and undergraduates considering graduate school had an opportunity to ask questions and mingle.

Welcome Back BBQ (2017-11-03)

  • When : Friday 3 November, 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Where : Rice U, Valhalla Courtyard

Rice AWM hosted the annual Welcome Back BBQ, uniting members of the CAAM, MATH, and STAT departments for a low-key evening of hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, and fellowship. Generously sponsored by Rice SAPP Fund.

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2016 - 2017

Cover Letter Workshop (2016-10-14)

  • When : 2:00-3:30PM, Friday, October 14, 2016
  • Where : Mechanical Laboratories, Room 251, Rice University

The cover letter can be a critical component of professional communication. Our chapter invites students and postdocs in the Math, Stat, and CAAM departments to join Dr. Jan Hewitt in discussing how to approach a cover letter for an internship request, for submitting a journal paper, and for a job application.
Please check your email from an AWM department representative for a link to sign up for the event.
Also, please bring your laptop to this event, as we will be practicing letter writing during the workshop.

Fall BBQ (2016-10-13)

  • When : Thursday, October 13, 5:00-7:00PM
  • Where : Duncan Hall Portico

It's time for another Fall BBQ! Join members of the Stat, Math, and CAAM departments (as well as others who like mathematics) for some food and networking.
We hope to see you there!

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2015 - 2016

GEMS (2016-02-20)

We again hosted a booth at GEMS on February 20, 2016. This time, we looked at approximating parabolas using only straight lines!

Fall BBQ

It's always good to get the CAAM, Stat, and Math departments together to kick off the semester!

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Eye Contact Equals Brain Contact

  • When: Wednesday, March 18th, 11:45AM-1PM
  • Where: Duncan Hall 3092

Christina Keefe, Director of the Theatre Program and Professor in the Practice in Theatre at Rice University, will be leading an interactive workshop on body language. Her extensive experience as a director, producer, performer, and vocal coach have made her an expert on the importance of body language.
Please join us for this exciting opportunity!
Don't forget to wear comfortable clothes!

Pi Day

Thanks to everyone for making Pi Day a HUGE success! All three departments went above and beyond to collect canned food items to donate to the Houston Food Bank. Thanks to Dr. Sinan Ariturk from Math, Dr. Jesse Chan from CAAM, or Dr. Guerra from Statistics for being great sports and getting a pie to the face for a good cause!


We hosted a booth at the 2015 GEMS event, teaching on the beauty of fractals!

Sally Ride Festival

AWM officers gave a lesson on cryptology at the 2015 Sally Ride Festival.


  • When: Friday, September 12th, 5PM
  • Where: Duncan Hall Lawn

Welcome and welcome back! Thanks to everyone who made the BBQ a great success!

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Salary Negotiation Event

  • When: Saturday, March 15th, 10AM-2PM
  • Where: Duncan Hall 3076

We had representatives from academia and industry speak about what to expect during the negotiation process.

Girls Exploring Math and Science

  • When: Saturday, February 8th, 2014
  • Where: Museum of Natural Science

We hosted a booth at the 2014 GEMS event, working with dozens of young girls on an activity that illustrated interesting properties of Mobius strips.

Cookie decorating party

  • When: Monday, December 9th, 3:30PM
  • Where: Duncan Hall 3092

We had a great time decorating and eating cookies. Check out some of the best ones below!

Sally Ride Science Festival

  • When : October 12th, 2013, 11am-4pm
  • Where : Rice University

We will be hosting a Discovery Workshop for middle school girls focused on the logic game Mastermind.

Breakfast 9/23 with IBM director Bonnie K. Ray

  • When: Monday, September 23rd, 8am
  • Where: Duncan Hall

Please join the Rice Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics for an exciting opportunity to meet Bonnie K. Ray, Director of Optimization Research at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Lab. She will be visiting campus on September 23rd and has generously offered to have breakfast with interested students. Before joining IBM, she was a tenured professor of mathematics, so she is great role model for women interested in careers in either academia or industry. For more information, see her bio at http://statistics.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=2147484222.

Kick-off Barbeque

  • Friday September 6th, 2013, 5pm
  • Duncan Hall portico

Stop by to enjoy a burger (or veggie burger) and meet fellow students from math, stat, and CAAM.

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2012 - 2013

Girls Exploring Math and Science

  • When : February 16th, 2013, 9am-1pm
  • Where : Houston Museum of Natural Science

We hosted a community booth with a math-related origami activity for this Girl Scouts event.

Battle of the Departments Trivia Contest

  • When : Friday, January 18th at 3pm
  • Where : Duncan Hall 3092 (top floor conference room)
You are invited to the Rice Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) semester kick-off event next Friday. Come support your department in a trivia challenge between teams representing math, stat and CAAM. There will be rivia competition with fun questions related to math history and culture, fueled by coffee, bagels, cookies and other snacks from the Rice Coffeehouse.
All students interested in math (undergrads and grads from any department) are welcome.

Careers Opportunities in the Mathematical Sciences

  • When : November 3rd, 2012, 11am-2pm
  • Where : Duncan Hall

On Saturday November 3rd the Rice Association for Women in Mathematics will host a math careers event open to all students at Rice. Women with mathematical careers from the Houston community will come to speak about their jobs and offer advice for pursuing related careers. You can check out the flier here. The schedule for the event is below:

11am - Panel discussion. Come with questions!
12pm - Lunch and informal discussion
1pm - Breakout sessions to learn more about specific careers

Box lunches will be provided.
Hope to see you there!

Sally Ride Science Festival

  • When : October 27nd, 2012, 11am-4pm
  • Where : Rice University

Our group led a fun workshop "Chocolate for President!" on the mathematics of voting. Almost 900 girls attended the festival this year! See the Houston Chronicle story.

Fall kick-off event: AWM barbecue

  • When : September 7th, 2012, 5 - 6:30pm
  • Duncan Hall portico (covered walkway and small courtyard in front of Duncan Hall)

The Rice Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) is hosting a barbecue in front of Duncan Hall. This is a social event where you can connect with fellow grad and undergrad students from the math, stat and CAAM departments. Hope to see you there!

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2011 - 2012

T-shirt decorating study break

  • When : April 23rd, 2012, 4-5:30pm
  • Where : Duncan Hall 1046

The Rice Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) invites you to a t-shirt decorating study break. Swing by at 4pm Monday to decorate a mathtastic t-shirt. We will be playing some math movies: Flatland and Colin Adams' Presidential debates (candidates are the figure eight knot and the euclidean algorithm). There will be snacks and fun!

Girls Exploring Math and Science

  • When : February 11th, 2012, 9am-1pm
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science

We hosted a community booth at this event where girls were challenged to "crack the code" and decipher secret messages using logic and math skills.

Cookie decorating study break

  • When : January 27th, 2012, 4-5:30pm
  • Where : Duncan Hall 1049

The Rice Association for Women in Math (AWM) invites you to a cookie decorating party this Friday. Finish off your week right, with a sugar rush and the chance to mingle with fellow math, CAAM, and stats students. Prizes will be awarded for the best math-themed and most creative cookies.  Cookies, frosting & utensils will be provided.

Research Mixer/Grad School Panel

  • When : October 26th, 2011, 4-5:30pm
  • Where : Duncan Hall 3092

This event will be an opportunity for students to see what goes on in research in the mathematical sciences at Rice, as well as get some valuable insight into how to approach the next step in their mathematics education.
4:00-4:30pm Steve Cox will speak about the VIGRE program and how to get involved at undergraduate research at Rice.
4:30-5:00 Poster session. See some math-related research students have been doing here. Enjoy some refreshments.
5:00-5:30 There will be a grad school panel composed of faculty members from Math, CAAM, and Stats to talk about what they look for when reading grad school applications, and how to make yourself a desirable applicant.

Sally Ride Science Festival

  • When : October 22nd, 2011, 11am-4pm
  • WHere : Rice University

Our group led a fun workshop for middle school girls on how to use probability to build a winning strategy in the game of pig.

AWM Fall Barbecue

  • When : September 9th, 2011, 5pm
  • Herman Brown Lawn

The Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) invites you to come help us kick off the new semester with a barbecue this Friday! All students interested in supporting women in math, statistics or CAAM are welcome to attend. Come meet fellow students and enjoy a hamburger or hot dog!

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2010 - 2011

AWM Ice Cream Social

  • When : April 15th, 2011, 4pm
  • Where : Courtyard behind Herman Brown

The newly formed AWM is recruiting new members. This casual event will be a chance for you to get involved and make suggestions for what you would like to get out of the Rice chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM). Come enjoy an ice cream sundae and meet other students in the math, CAAM and stat departments!

Women Making History event: Promoting Women in STEM fields

  • When : March 22nd, 2011
  • Where : Duncan Hall 3092

Speaker Dr. Mikki Hebl discussed issues facing women in STEM fields. (Joint with Rice Women’s Resource Center.)

Girls Exploring Math and Science

  • When : February 19th, 2011, 9am-1pm
  • Where : Houston Museum of Natural Science

At our booth, girls got to make bar graphs out of M&M's and compare the counts for each color in their bag against the long run average over the day.

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