Budi Nurani Ruchjana

Country of birth: 
Indonesia
Country of studies: 
Indonesia
Country of residence: 
Indonesia

From EWM Newsletter no. 24 (2014/1)

Dr Budi Nurani Ruchjana is the head of the Indonesian Mathematical Society. She is also the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Padjadjaran University.Her research area is Applied Statistics, and she has several publications in this area in leading international journals. We were very pleased to invite her to the 16th EWM meeting in Bonn in 2013, where she participated in all the sessions and gave us an insight into the state of Mathematics in Indonesia. As well as her active scientific career, she is also married with children.

EWM: When and why did you decide to follow a career in Mathematics?

I decided to take the field of mathematics when entering the university in 1982. My most fundamental consideration then was that mathematics is the mother of science and can be beneficial to all areas of life. Subsequently, after graduation with a degree in mathematics from Padjadjaran University in 1987, I was accepted as a candidate lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Padjadjaran University. I obtained a scholarship to continue my studies with a Master Degree in the postgraduate program of Bogor Institute of Agriculture on Applied Statistics, which I completed in 1992. Furthermore, I graduated with a PhD in Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Statistics from Bandung Institute of Technology in 2002. During the course of my PhD studies I had the opportunity to attend a sandwich program at Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics TU Delft, the Netherlands in 2001 , with a dissertation titled, " A Generalization Model Space Time Autoregressive and Its Application in Oil Production Data ". The topic of this dissertation has been developed into a range of collaborative research both theoretic and applied, which has been funded by the Mobility Programme KNAW Netherlands (2004 , 2007) , Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences Lahore Pakistan (2008 ) , International Cooperation Fund of the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture in cooperation with the Faculty of Spatial Sciences University of Groningen (2010, 2011 , 2012, 2013).

I chose the field of Applied Statistics, because it is still mathematics, but with more application to real world problems. Since becoming a faculty member, I decided that I would make my career as an academic with the aim of studying and developing science for the benefit of the community, because I believe that science is an act of worship, with rewards which will continue to flow even after we die. Science will always be used by students and will be presented continuously in academic activities in universities with the goals of implementing educational activities, research and community service. Until now, I have had a career as a lecturer for nearly 26 years, with much support and trust from my colleagues. On the way through my career I first became the Secretary of the Department of Mathematics ( 1995-1998) , then Chairwoman of the Department of Mathematics (2002 - 2007) , Vice Dean for Academic Affairs , Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (2007-2012 ) , and, currently, I am the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Padjadjaran University ( 2012-2016).

EWM: Are you aware of a significant number of women in your country working in modern fields of Mathematics?

In Indonesia, we are grateful that since Raden Ajeng Kartini ( born in 1879 ) sparked the equality between men and women in his book " Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang ", our women in Indonesia have the same roles as men, especially in the field of education. Women in Indonesia have the opportunity to study all the various fields of science. When I entered into undergraduate studies , the proportion of women was still very small compared to men. But it's now almost 50 % -50 % of women and men students in the field of Mathematics and other Natural Sciences. The number of female professors in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education is still very small compared to men, only about 10 % (precisely, 8 of 87 people of Mathematics and 4 of 42 people for mathematics education). However pursuit of women in modern mathematics has begun to appear. Various development activities of mathematics and mathematics education have included women as a resource in education and research, especially in the areas of algebra, analysis, statistics and mathematics education. Cooperation in these areas has been done both with researchers in domestic and overseas researchers. However, for the number of people achieving PhDs in mathematics and mathematics education in Indonesia continues to grow, both in pure academic fields and areas such as industry, banking, hospitals, petroleum, mining, actuarial science, and others.

EWM: Are there dedicated efforts to encourage women to undertake advanced training in Mathematics in your country?

Various activities for the improvement of women's ability in mathematics has been given frequently, both by government and professional mathematical associations such as the Indonesian Mathematical Society ( IndoMS ). Through IndoMS, we have a mission to continuously improve the capacity of members to implement the education of mathematics, research and community to support a national development and education in Indonesia. IndoMS activities are not differentiated for women or men, because we have the existence of the principle of equal rights and obligations in the development of a mathematicians. Since its founding in 1976, IndoMS has been implementing the National Conference Mathematics seventeen times. This year, the conference will be held from the 11-14 June at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, East Java. IndoMS and the conference organizers invite many experts in mathematics and mathematics education as well as its applications in industry and other fields. It is also intended to disseminate research results in mathematics, as well as to share experiences in education and community service through a variety of workshops, discussions. Also the IndoMS congress will elect a president for the period 2014-2016. As a person who was elected president of IndoMS in 2012-2014 , I have a great duty and obligation for running and managing services to the Indonesian mathematical community. During the 2012-2014 period, various activities to increase the capacity of members of IndoMS to obtain various grants from the Indonesian government and International Global CERDF – Virginia-USA have been carried out. IndoMS obtained grants for the development of the internationalization of the Journal of the Indonesian Mathematical Society (JIMS), which is reviewed by Zentrallblat Math (Germany) and the American Mathematical Reviews, and also of the IndoMS Journal of Mathematics Education which was awarded a grant to improve the journal in order to be accredited by Higher Education nationally. Other activities are awarding a grant to the IndoMS International Conference on Mathematics and Its Applications (IICMA) 2013, and developing LearningOutcomes for graduates with a Bachelor of Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Statistics and Computer Science that will be used as the basis for setting the learning achievements by the government. Activity of capacity increasing of members of IndoMS in writing papers for international journals and writing research proposals will be implemented from June 2014 - January 2015 that involve IndoMS in seven regions in Indonesia. This is expected to help improve the quality of IndoMS members’ research and contribute to Indonesia in the development of the mathematical sciences in general.

EWM: Did your family support your choice to pursue PhD studies and with the academical career?

Yes, of course. My career cannot be separated from family support, beginning with my parents. Both my mother and father and brothers are very supportive of my further studies and my academic career field. My mother strongly motivated me to carry out the study as high as possible to obtain a doctorate, so does my father, who was a teacher and high school principal, always give support to remain in life long learning. Since before marriage, my husband also gave support to continue the study of the masters degree. After getting married, my husband and my children always give me motivation and support to continue my studies at doctoral program and also carry out the mandate to become steward of academic and non-academic in the faculty of mathematics and natural science at this time. My husband and children have always allowed me to participate in various activities of professional mathematicians, take charge of IndoMS, attend seminars and conferences both within Indonesia and abroad, such as the 16th European Women Meeting in Bonn in 2013 , ICM and ICWM 2014 in Seoul-South Korea in August 2014. Although I am fully supported by my family, still as an Indonesian woman I also have to still be able to act as mother and housekeeper at home. Therefore, to obtain a balance in career and settle down, I always

prepare a detailed schedule of activities every day, from early morning at 4am till prepare dinner, to be done every day . To replace the lost time due to a day of work in college, then when there is a holiday the whole family attempts to fill a joint activity, although we sometimes just go for lunch or a movie together, both at home and outside the home. Also if it is out of town or overseas, our communications are not interrupted, so I as a mother and wife still know the activities of my family.

EWM: Are there organizations for women in science (particularly in Mathematics) in Indonesia?

As I've mentioned, in Indonesia we adhere to the principle of equal rights and obligations of the presence of both men and women , not only in the field of mathematics but also for another areas. So, in Indonesia there is no organization that is built specifically for women. For example, in IndoMS, we do not build IndoMS men and women such as in Europe, there is the European Mathematical Society and the European Women in Mathematics. It makes IndoMS as an organization that is not gender biased, but as an organization that houses all the members of mathematicians from all over Indonesia . Even for the presidential election IndoMS never differentiated male or female, although the proportion of women is still smaller than men. Since it was established in 1976, IndoMS has had 9 elected presidents and two of them have been women (period 2002-2004 , 2004-2006 Prof . Dr. Sri Wahyuni / Gadjah Mada University and period 2012-2014 is myself). Likewise with other professional associations, such as the Chemical Society of Indonesia, the Indonesian Physical Society, Association of Indonesian Biological and others, there is no organization grouping by gender.

EWM: Are women present in leading positions at well established universities there?

Although equal rights to education and other life run in Indonesia, no justice can be denied if the percentage of women who had a high position both in educational institutions and government or private still smaller than men. However, in practice, women in Indonesia have been able to fill various structural positions. For example in the field of education, the role of women has been seen as the rector, vice rector, dean, vice dean, department chair, study program chair, the head of the laboratory. In other areas , for example in government, there is a Minister for National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency held by Prof . Dr. Armida S. Alisjahbana who was previously Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Padjadjaran. For increasing the role of women in Indonesia, both in the development of mathematics and science as areas of government, as well as private industries certainly needed a variety of activities that involve the participation of Indonesian women. We sincerely hope that with the new Indonesian government plan period 2014-2019 various activities that can improve the ability of Indonesian women will be realised, so that we can fill the Indonesian national development plan both as workers and as mothers of children who will grow up to be the nation's next generation of better Indonesians.