On May 12, 2021 (a day in honour of women in mathematics), the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) will offer a virtual screening of the acclaimed film Picture a Scientist. This will be followed by a panel discussion on May 14, 2021. See below for details or register here.

May 12 – 15, 2021: Movie Screening*

Picture a Scientist is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. A biologist, a chemist and a geologist lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. From cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we also encounter scientific luminaries who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

*Participants will be provided with a link to the film, which will be accessible for 72 hours begining May 12.

May 14, 2021: 1:00PM Pacific. Panel Discussion

Join the PIMS Network as we discuss notable issues affecting women and marginalized groups in the mathematical sciences. Four panelists are featured below.


Dr. Shawn Desaulniers (University of Alberta)

Dr. Shawn Desaulniers is an instructor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Alberta. He is a Metis Canadian who grew up in Thunder Bay. He received his Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Lakehead University and PhD from the University of Alberta. Shawn held teaching positions at Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia before returning to the University of Alberta in 2017.

In addition to teaching mathematics courses in his home department, Dr. Desaulniers also supports young instructors with professional development opportunities and serves as an Outreach Coordinator. He has been actively involved with Indigenous communities, where his work includes initiating a number of math programs for Indigenous youth such as diversity in math camps, SNAP Math Fairs, and tutoring sessions.

Dr. Desaulniers also works closely with the Faculty of Education’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) and has recently been award the Faculty of Science’s Innovation in Teaching Award. He has also organized several conferences relating to mathematics and mathematical education and is currently serves on the Mathematical and Statistical Sciences EDI Committee, the PIMS EDI Committee, and the CMS Reconciliation in Mathematics Committee.

Hon. Dr. Lilian Eva (Quan) Dyck (University of Saskatchewan)

Born in N. Battleford, Saskatchewan (1945), member of the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan and a first generation Chinese Canadian, the Honorable Dr. Lillian Eva Quan Dyck is well-known for her extensive work in the senate on Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women. She was the first female First Nations senator and first Canadian born Chinese senator. Prior to being summoned to the senate by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin in 2005, she was a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies & Research at the University of Saskatchewan.

She earned a BA, MSc in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Biological Psychiatry, all from the University of Saskatchewan. She was conferred a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa by Cape Breton University in 2007. She has also been recognized in a number of ways, such as:  A National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Science & Technology in 1999 and most recently the YWCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.  She has been presented three eagle feathers by the Indigenous community.

Dr. Piper H (University of Toronto)

Dr. Piper H is a mathematician, author, and reluctant role model. Her interests are widespread, ranging from number theory to humanizing mathematics to anti-racism and intersectional feminism. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto in the arithmetic statistics group, and she has previously held appointments at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Northeastern University. Dr. H has a BA in Romance Languages from New York University, and earned her PhD in Mathematics from Princeton University.

Dr. H’s PhD thesis received widespread media coverage, including Scientific American, The Hindu’s thREAD blog, and AMS blog’s “Best of 2015.” In addition to her mathematical writing, she is the author of The Liberated Mathematician website and blog, and she contributes to the American Mathematical Society’s Inclusion/Exclusion blog. Throughout her career, she has survived racism, misogyny, and toxic collaborations, and has birthed and raised two humans. During the pandemic, she is very tired, and thinks fondly of her years studying arithmetic statistics, in the before times. Currently she is looking forward to the after times of doing more research on shapes of number fields. Other future goals include not having to justify her existence to white professors.

Dr. Mary Catherine Kropinski (Simon Fraser University)

Dr. Mary-Catherine Kropinski is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and is currently the Associate Dean Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Faculty of Science at Simon Fraser University. She has served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at SFU from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Kropinski has a BSc in Mathematics from Queen’s University, an MMath from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining SFU in 1995 as an NSERC Women’s Faculty Award holder, Dr. Kropinski held a Postdoctoral appointment at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.

Dr. Kropinski teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in applied mathematics. She is a computational scientist who has worked across scientific disciplines and whose research spans the gamut from basic theoretical developments, high performance computing, and scientific computing to the creation of tools for industry.

Other Information: 

Registration: Please register before May 10, 2021

Registration is free and registered participants will be provided with two links:


  1. link to view the movie (the movie will be accessible from May 12 – 15; 72 hours)
  2. link to panel discussion

Why join the conversation?

  • Access to leaders in the fields of math, science, education and advocacy
  • Discuss how to cultivate diversity and equity in STEM fields (and beyond)
  • Become a part of the solution. Ask the panel questions about advancing diversity and inclusion in the mathematical sciences STEM


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