Magnhild Lien was born on an island at the southern tip of Norway, an only daughter surrounded by five brothers. Her interest in math began in childhood and, unlike most girls, she never lost it.
In 2012, the Cal State Northridge mathematics professor was named executive director of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). In her new role, Lien aims to help young girls realize that the mathematical sciences can be fun fields of study, and that pursuing careers in those areas is achievable when they grow up.
“AWM’s focus on issues of special interest to women in mathematics meshes extremely well with my determination to support and mentor women in the mathematical sciences,” Lien said. She added that the AWM, while continuing to support and encourage women working in the field, has an important role to play in spreading the ‘I can do mathematics’ message to young girls. Jerry Stinner, dean of CSUN’s College of Science and Mathematics, hailed the appointment.
“Because of people like Magnhild, close to 30 percent of the Ph.D.s in America are now awarded to women,” said Stinner, “compared with only 6 percent in the 1960s… (T)here is near parity between males and females in mathematics performance in the U.S. I applaud her tireless efforts and congratulate her on a very significant and well-deserved appointment.”
In addition to her years of work with AWM, Lien also is an active member of the Mathematical Association of America, where she served on the organization’s board for the Southern California-Nevada section and is currently the section governor.
For more: CSUN Professor Named Exec. Dir. of Association for Women in Mathematics [CSUN Media Releases]