Women of Mathematics throughout Europe.
A gallery of portraits.

The photographic exhibition “Women of Mathematics throughout Europe – A Gallery of Portraits” was hosted in Konstanz!

About the exhibition

The exhibition is travelling all over the world celebrating female mathematicians working at institutions throughout Europe. The aim of this exhibition project is indeed to offer a glimpse into the world of mathematics through photographs (by Noel Tovia Matoff) and excerpts of interviews (by Sylvie Paycha and Sara Azzali) of 13 women mathematicians. The portraits honor their achievements, their lives and their very own way of doing mathematics.

The full interviews together with many other pictures are collected in the exhibition catalogue , which will be available to consult and buy at the exhibition opening (if you are interested in buying a copy after the opening, please contact Maria Infusino).

The portraits were on display in the Uni-Library (Level B4, in front of the BibCafè) from October 19th to November 16th 2017. The exhibition was open to everyone and free of charge!

Opening event

Thursday, 19. October 2017
from 15:30 on.

(Level B4, in front of the BibCafè)
and Audimax (Room A600)

The exhibition opening took place on Thursday 19th October in the Library of University of Konstanz (B4, in front of the BibCafè) with a special contribution by the curator of the exhibition Dr. Sara Azzali from University of Potsdam. Following the talks there was a concert by the pianist and mathematician Dr. Ingrid Carbone in the Audimax, A600.
An aperitif with refreshments was enjoyed at the event’s conclusion.

Related activities

  • An interview to Dr. Sara Azzali and Prof. Salma Kuhlmann about the projects behing the exhibition and Konstanz Women in Mathematics was held on Thursday 19th October (see the section Download & Links).
  • A guided tour to the exhibition was offered by Dr. Sara Azzali and Dr. Maria Infusino on Friday 20th October in occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the Partnership between Plekhanov Russian University and University of Konstanz.


The opening event and the related activities were supported by the Equal Opportunity Council of University of Konstanz within the project Konstanz Women in Mathematics and it was also part of the program Frauenwirtschaftstage organized by the "Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Wohnungsbau" of Baden-Württemberg.


First part: Uni-Library, B4

15:30–15:45 Introduction and greetings

15:45–16:00 Welcome address by Nicole Dehé (Vice-rector for Internationalisation and Equal Opportunities of University of Konstanz)

16:00–16:30 The project "Konstanz Women in Mathematics" by Salma Kuhlmann (University of Konstanz-Germany)

16:30–17:15 Interviewing women mathematicians by Sara Azzali (curator of the exhibition; University of Potsdam-Germany)

17:15–17:45 Coffee break and viewing of the exhibition

17:45–18:30 Women in mathematics and society by Aljosa Vocic (University of Calabria-Italy)

Second part: Audimax, A600

18:30 Concert by the pianist and mathematician Ingrid Carbone: Programme

20:00-Aperitif with refreshments

Details on the contributions

You can download the pdf-file of the talk by clicking on its title.

Welcome address by Vice-rector for Internationalisation and Equal Opportunities of University of Konstanz (Nicole Dehé)

The project "Konstanz Women in Mathematics" (Salma Kuhlmann)
The project "Konstanz Frauen in der Mathematik: Wege in Studium und Beruf" (KWIM) started in 2013 and has been continuously active ever since. This is thanks to 1. the financial and general support that the project got from the Gleichstellungsrat and 2. the commitment of three female young researchers at our department: Dr Lorna Gregory 2013, Dr Charu Goel 2013-2015, Dr Maria Infusino 2015- 2018. In this talk I will present the declared goals of the project and the ideas behind them, the methods and means that we used towards achieving our goals, our successes and failures until today, and finally, our plans for the future.

Interviewing women mathematicians (Sara Azzali)
For the touring exhibition „Women of mathematics around Europe“ we have interviewed thirteen female mathematicians from all around Europe, who shared with us their experience and told us about their work. The protagonists work in different mathematical fields, they are of different ages, at various stages of their career, and often have followed different paths in academia. They all share joy and passion for mathematics, which can serve as an encouragement for young scientists to trust their own strength. These dialogues and the whole exhibition experience stimulated further exchanges and provided food for thoughts on the themes of inclusion in mathematics and ideas to promote women in science.
(More information on the contents of this talk can be found in this complementary text)

Women in mathematics and society (Aljosa Volcic)
I will begin mentioning Hypatia and the first three women who broke the male monopoly in academia in the 17th and 18th century: Elena Cornaro (1646-1684), Laura Bassi (1711-1778) and Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718- 1799). In the 19th century three women left results which will remain in the history of mathematics: Sofie Germain (1776-1830), Ada Lovelace (1815- 1852) and, most of all, Sof'ja Kovalevskaja (1850-1891). The 20th century is dominated by Emmy Noether. Einstein said that she is "the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began". Then I will speak about three women I was so lucky to meet and are among the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century and beyond : Dorothy Maharam (1917-2014), Mary Ellen Rudin (1924-2013) and Alexandra Bellow (1935-). To conclude, I will cite various recent episodes from mathematics but also from chess and economy to show that women (and men) will have to conduct still a long battle to obtain equality of rights which is often written in constitutions and laws, but is not implemented in everyday life.



The organizers would like to express their gratitude to the Equal Opportunity Council of the University of Konstanz who sponsored this opening event and to the whole team of the Office for Equal Opportunity, Family Affairs and Diversity who closely supported us in its preparation with enormous care. We thank the curating team of the exhibition for the great energy they put in this project and for giving us the opportunity of hosting the exhibition here in Konstanz. A warm thanks goes to Anne Emmert, Elisa Harlan, Lothar Sebastian Krapp, Michele Serra whose help was simply precious to us. We also want to thank a lot the Department of Mathematics and the whole technical staff of the University of Konstanz: from the Facility Management to the KIM-Support team, from the Graphic Design to the KIM-lecture recording team, who all assisted us in setting up all the practical details of this exhibition. Last but not least, many thanks to Nicole Dehe, Sara Azzali, Aljosa Volcic and Ingrid Carbone for kindly accepting to give their contribution in this event promoting Women in Mathematics and to all the participants who celebrated with us the opening of this exhibition that we are truly glad to have managed to bring here in Konstanz.


Tanja Edelhäußer

Vice-director of the Office for Equal
Opportunity, Family Affairs and Diversity

Tel.: +49 7531 88-5314

Send email

Maria Infusino

Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
Coordinator of the project
Konstanz Women in Mathematics

Tel.: +49 7531 88-3826

Send email

Salma Kuhlmann

Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
Responsible of the project
Konstanz Women in Mathematics

Tel.: +49 7531 88-2787

Send email

Sandra Weimer

Coordinator for Gender Consulting
in the Natural Sciences

Tel.: +49 7531 88-5301

Send email

Last update: 09.01.2018