UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCL Maths Wikithon - 8 October 2019

14 October 2019

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, Prof Helen Wilson and Dr Luciano Rila of UCL Mathematics ran a wikithon to increase the diversity of mathematicians on Wikipedia.

Ada Lovelace's Wikipedia entry

Ada Lovelace day aims to increase the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and provide role models for young students by celebrating the achievements of women in STEM fields, both from history and the modern day. As part of this, Prof Helen Wilson (UCL Maths' first female Head of Department) and Dr Luciano Rila of UCL Mathematics arranged a wikithon to help promote the work of underrepresented groups in mathematics.

Around 30 people attended, as Dr Jess Wade (Imperial) and Dr Alice White (Wellcome Library) provided guidance as to how to create and edit wikipedia pages, and how to avoid common pitfalls. 

Following the event, we asked Dr Rila how it had gone:

"The event was a great success. We had representatives from undergraduate students, PhD students, early career academics and professors, all working together. The aim of the Wikithon was to address the gender bias on Wikipedia and we decided to extend that to all under-represented groups. Also, as Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of women in STEM, it was the perfect date to improve diverse representation in mathematics. The feedback was very positive, and we plan to continue our efforts to drive equality and diversity in mathematics. We are currently organising a network event for undergraduate students of African-Caribbean descent in February with invited guest speakers followed by a reception".

For further details, including details on future events in Mathematics, contact Dr Rila at l.rila@ucl.ac.uk

Image credit - Malcolm Chalmers, UCL MAPS Faculty