AUC students explore mathematical philosophy in Munich
This past July, the third edition of the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students was held at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Two AUC students attended the week-long programme: Yolanda Murillo, who graduated in June 2016, and Lia den Daas, who will graduate in February 2017. The programme’s focus on interdisciplinarity fit very well with their academic experiences at AUC and both students found it inspiring to experience a diverse group of participants connecting over a shared passion.
Interdisciplinarity and mathematical philosophy
Although the discipline may at first sound very specific, mathematical philosophy incorporates topics and methods from a wide range of subjects. At the 2016 edition of the Summer School, there were three different lecture streams which explored the philosophy of cognition, evolutionary biology and physics by using tools from mathematics and logic. Den Daas followed lectures on the philosophy of physics, in which Dr. James Weatherall offered a mathematical and historical approach to the philosophy of space and time. Den Daas notes how the interdisciplinary studies at AUC, combining philosophy and physics, allowed her to more thoroughly understand the topics that were being discussed. Den Daas' experience is exemplary of the way in which higher education increasingly demands a more holistic understanding of topics that often stretch beyond traditional fields or categories of knowledge.
Building career networks and friendships
By inviting only female students, this programme hopes to encourage women to engage with a field that is largely dominated by male scholars. The summer school welcomed 50 participants from 23 different countries, thereby creating a large network of students who share similar interests. The programme was attended by Bachelor, Master, and PhD students, which allowed den Daas and Murillo to learn more about the different possibilities for a future career in academia and in other research oriented industries. Hosting students with such diverse backgrounds fostered an optimistic atmosphere of collaborative learning and encouraged the building of not only future career networks, but friendships as well. Den Daas especially valued the approachability of the professors and the personal attention given to participants, which made the whole experience memorable for both den Daas and Murillo.
The AUC students would like to warmly thank the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy for organising the programme and recommends that fellow AUC students (or those interested in the fields addressed) apply for the upcoming edition.