Young Women and Mathematical Biology: A Personal Perspective

Carlos Castillo-Chavez (November 6, 2010)

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Lee Segel one of the greatest applied mathematicians of our time passed away on January 31, 2005. His obituary (SIAM News, 03-10-2005) read "With his death, the applied mathematics community lost one of its finest practitioners, and the theoretical biology community lost a true pioneer who was still a leader at the cutting edge of so many subjects. And most importantly, the world community lost a true mensch, a compassionate and loving individual who inspired so many with his brilliance, his enthusiasm, his sense of humor, and his concern for others." Lee Segel was an extraordinary mentor of women and his former students include many leaders in the field of mathematical biology. In this talk through a series of examples, I will illustrate my experiences with women mathematicians at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level as they engaged in research in mathematical biology. I will discuss their research as a prelude to the lecture of one of the most outstanding mathematical biologist, Trachette Jackson who chose to become a mathematician through the encouragement and support of the late Joaquin Bustoz Jr.