The Department of Mathematical Sciences is committed to fostering an environment in which students and faculty from every group can pursue their interest in mathematics, and to taking positive steps to encourage more participation of individuals from groups traditionally marginalized.
One step that we are currently taking is to join the Math Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences, a collaboration among a number of universities that has a simple goal: To be sure that every underrepresented or underserved American student with the talent and the ambition has the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree in a mathematical science. By joining, we commit to welcoming applications from minority students and, most importantly, to providing excellent mentoring when they arrive. In Summer 2020, we conducted a climate survey and gained valuable feedback and insight from our current graduate students. In particular, we learned how our current mentoring is falling short, and faculty and graduate students worked together to create a new mentoring plan that is being implemented starting Fall 2020.
Other steps to make the department a more inclusive and welcoming environment include employing best practices in hiring (in particular, counteracting the effects of implicit biases), and diversifying the list of speakers in our seminar and colloquium series. We also plan to develop a more extensive recruiting plan for our graduate program, in hopes of attracting more candidates from underrepresented groups.
Mark S. Gockenbach