Student Profile: Zoe Daunt, Mathematics Major

Zoe Daunt is a fourth year Mathematics major with a Spanish minor. She is also co-founder and president of Northeastern’s Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). Additionally, she serves on the math department’s Diversity & Inclusion committee and the Bridge to Calculus planning committee. 

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am on my second co-op as a Policy & Research Co-op at Boston After School & Beyond, an education non-profit in Boston. My first co-op was an actuarial position at John Hancock on the Liability Modeling Team. I have also worked as a tutor for the math department (peer-tutoring), Balfour Academy, and Bridge to Calculus (both high-school students). Over the course of my current co-op and tutoring experiences, I have re-discovered my passion for education. I plan to participate in a (virtual) study abroad program in math education next semester. I will graduate in the Spring of 2022 and enter a PhD program in pure mathematics that fall, as well as pursue a higher degree in math education in the future.

Have you enjoyed your time at Northeastern? Do you have a favorite memory?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northeastern, especially since a few friends and I decided to form an AWM Chapter in the math department (click here for more info about student chapters). Being a part of AWM has been such a positive experience and has opened my eyes to so many opportunities to help myself, as well as others, succeed as a mathematician.

Could you speak about the Association for Women in Mathematics both as a whole and as your chapter?

AWM is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 that has grown into a leading society for women in the mathematical sciences. In addition to programs such as teacher partnerships and research groups, AWM aims to influence mathematics culture more generally, and make it a more welcoming environment for young women. There are over one hundred AWM Student Chapters nationwide that are doing amazing work to increase the visibility of women and other underrepresented groups in the mathematics community.

Northeastern’s AWM Student Chapter was founded in September 2019 by four undergraduates studying math, with the goal of creating awareness to the underrepresentation of women in mathematics. Since its inception, over 80 undergraduates have joined the student group, along with a few graduate students. The chapter hopes to foster a communal environment within the math department that empowers women and other underrepresented gender identities in STEM to conduct research, experience co-op, study abroad, and more. The core of our work involves the development of events and workshops that aim to support chapter members in fulfilling their academic and professional goals. We also share resources to promote student engagement, such as volunteer, career, research, and grad-school opportunities.

What type of events have you done recently?

In the past, we have held an undergraduate research panel which consisted of 4 undergraduates that had participated in one or more REUs (Research Experiences for Undergrads). We also hosted a professional development workshop in partnership with Steve Savitsky (math co-op advisor) and a few math professors that had several stations (headshots, linkedin, cover letter/resume table). This semester we are planning a speaker series and a co-op panel in addition to chapter meetings. We have also secured funding to distribute remote learning care packages to all of our members. In the future, we plan to hold more educational workshops, career and research panels, and other fun math-related activities.

What is AMW really all about?

The chapter’s mission coincides with AWM’s community mission statement, “ We hope our AWM Student chapters will become communities with an awareness of and sensitivity to the unique features – both positive and negative – of promoting gender equity in the mathematical community. Our aim is in reducing barriers for historically under-represented gender identities and gender expressions. To this end, the AWM community strongly stands by its nondiscrimination statement to create a supportive environment for all.”