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Overcoming Adversity and Challenges Panel Discussion

SUNDAY JUNE 2 | 18:30 - 20:00 | ARTS 104

The CMS Women in Mathematics committee, with local Organizers Madeline Berezowski, Manuela Golban, Juxin Liu, Chris Soteros, and Ray Spiteri will be hosting a panel discussion/pizza social on Sunday June 2 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.The topic of the panel is Overcoming Adversity and Challenges for those studying/working in the Mathematical Sciences. We have invited several members of our community to share their experiences. There will also be time for questions, discussions of our own experiences and socializing over pizza!

Limited Spots Available!


Meet the Panel

Avleen Kaur.jpeg

Avleen Kaur (UBC)

Dr. Avleen Kaur is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, with prior experience as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan's Numerical Simulations Lab. She earned her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Manitoba in 2022. Dr. Kaur's research interests encompass classical and numerical linear algebra, numerical analysis of partial differential equations, software development related to matrices, and stochastic rounding techniques. She is also a member of the AWM Membership and Community Portfolio Committee and CAIMS EDIM committee. Her work is driven by a deep passion for mathematics and computational science, and she loves teaching and contributing to the advancement of women and gender-diverse individuals in mathematics. 

Melanie Gibbons (Saskatchewan)


Dr. Melanie Gibbons is a laboratory animal veterinarian turned statistician. She holds a B.Sc. (Honours) Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and B.Sc. Statistics from the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan, focused on statistical aspects of rigour and reproducibility of animal research. While her unconventional career path has not been without its challenges, Melanie remains excited about her goal of combining statistical expertise with practical laboratory animal medicine experience to help investigators plan rigorous and efficient animal studies. When she is not studying, Melanie can be found spending time with her family or, occasionally, clearing her head on the beautiful Meewasin Valley Trail. 

Jessi Lipoth (Saskatchewan) 

Jessi Lipoth (she/they) is a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. She has spent the last seven years working towards a Bachelor of Computer Engineering and is set to convocate this spring with great distinction. During her degree, Jessi spent 3 years as a research assistant for the Numerical Simulations Lab at the University of Saskatchewan and completed two summer internships with Siemens EDA where she investigated cutting-edge numerical algorithms to solve complex circuit simulation problems.  When she isn't teaching herself new math theories, Jessi can be found on small stages around the city playing trombone with various ensembles or performing as a spoken word poet with Write Out Loud.

Stephanie van Willigenburg (UBC)


Stephanie van Willigenburg is a Professor of Mathematics at UBC. Her awards for research include winning the Krieger-Nelson Prize in 2017 from the Canadian Mathematical Society, and the Robbins Prize in 2023 from the Mathematical Association of America, both for outstanding research, and she was also inducted as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2023.

She has won a Killam Award for her teaching, and given numerous plenary lectures, including an Invited Address at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, the largest mathematics conference in the world.

Stephanie is currently the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Science at UBC, and is one of the co-founders of the Algebraic Combinatorics Research Community to foster mentoring, research collaborations and networking for minorities in her area of algebraic combinatorics and related areas.

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