MSI IWD 2022: Clocks and cars and coded stars, and other complex things with Rowena Ball

Associate Professor Rowena Ball. Photography by Michael Hood

In this talk for International Women’s Day, I shall pay my respects to the Seven Sisters of the night sky, by talking you along a journey through maths and science songlines of cultures and histories.

On this adventure first we meet some of the institutional gatekeepers of mathematics, and from them we learn how important advances in maths were driven by the economic imperatives of applied, real-world problems, such as the need to finance voyages of colonial invasion, robbery and slavery.

We then take a tour of Seven Sisters lands, where I tell stories about maths I do with First Nations school students. Following a songline – literally – I shall touch on current research on Indigenous mathematical transforms.

As we move towards a broader and more inclusive understanding of mathematics, freeing us from the cultural straitjacket of the white male European priesthood that has been the dominant paradigm, we may begin to see exciting new research opportunities at the interface.

Associate Professor Rowena Ball is an applied mathematician and physical chemist with broad research expertise in nonlinear and complex dynamical systems.

Please note: this will be a hybrid event. We will send the zoom meeting details to all registered guests closer to the date.