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  1. Ami Radunskaya
  2. Professor
  4. EDGE Foundation, Pomona College, Association for Women in Mathematics
  1. Ruth Haas
  2. Professor
  4. University of Hawaii, Smith College Center for Women in Mathematics
  1. Judy Walker
  2. Professor
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

NSF INCLUDES: WATCH US - Women Achieving Through Community Hubs in the United...

NSF Awards: 1649365

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate

This project seeks to increase and diversify the number of professional mathematicians in the United States by identifying and proliferating best practices and known mechanisms for increasing the success of women in mathematics graduate programs, particularly women from under-represented groups.  This video presents an encapsulation of our plan and vision.

The project team first will explore the contextual factors that serve to support or inhibit female pursuit of mathematics doctorates by interviewing a variety of women who were undergraduate mathematics majors in the past, as well as current professional mathematicians. They then will use this information to better understand the most effective features of various current and past initiatives that are trying to increase the participation of women in advanced mathematics. A key stakeholder meeting will develop a process for effective, collective decision-making, to utilize what the project team learns from the interviews. The leadership team will develop a website with discussion board and social media components to highlight "best practices" and facilitate a virtual community for women interested in mathematics. Finally, a distillation of program elements and their targeted effectiveness will inform the selection of interconnected activities to test on a scalable model.These prototypes will be implemented at several sites chosen to represent a diversity of constituencies and local support infrastructure.


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Discussion from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase (8 posts)
  • Icon for: Ami Radunskaya

    Ami Radunskaya

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 11:17 a.m.

    The gender gap in mathematics persists, and widens the higher we look in the profession.  The gap becomes a chasm when we look at women from groups traditionally under-represented in the mathematical sciences.  This is a problem that affects our society in significant and long-lasting ways, since mathematics is the foundation of so many of our intellectual and scientific endeavors. Our project brings together educators, employers and policy makers to understand key factors that create these gaps, and to propose interventions that will help close them.  We look forward to hearing about your own experiences, and to benefit from your collective wisdom.

  • Icon for: William McHenry

    William McHenry

    Executive Director
    May 15, 2017 | 12:00 p.m.

    This video captures a vision of how women will help to increase the number of women in mathematics. It appears to have the involvement of numerous NSF projects and strategy covers most proven approaches. This INCLUDES projects parallels NSF’s Advance program. It was not clear to me how other NSF projects will benefit from this research. A social science researcher might be helpful.

  • Icon for: Judy Walker

    Judy Walker

    May 15, 2017 | 12:46 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment!  As a primary component of our INCLUDES grant, we are conducting a study of several mathematics enrichment programs, including those featured in the video, to try to tease out which aspects of these programs are most effective in encouraging women to persist in mathematics so that these aspects can be scaled to reach a much larger audience of women.  The research study is being led by Trish Wonch Hill, who is with the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium at the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln (UNL), with assistance from UNL's Bureau of Sociological Research. 

  • Icon for: Jake Foster

    Jake Foster

    May 16, 2017 | 03:11 p.m.

    It is great to see your project focus on getting women into mathematics! The video provides a nice synthesis of the aspects that support women in this. From the way the video ended you may still be working on the community hubs component, but I would be interested in hearing more about your thinking of this design, particularly the process of initial engagement with women who -- based on your initial results -- are likely to be scattered and dispersed in wide variety of non-mathematics spaces (for lack of a better term). And I would imagine that the need and level of personalized support indicated in your initial results has implications for this community design.

  • Icon for: Ami Radunskaya

    Ami Radunskaya

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 08:55 p.m.

    You have indeed identified two of our challenges: reaching the people who need support the most, and finding the resources to provide that necessary personalized support and interventions.   Suggestions appreciated!

  • Icon for: Heidi Schweingruber

    Heidi Schweingruber

    May 16, 2017 | 09:54 p.m.

    Love the focus of this project. I wasn't sure what stage of the project you are in. Are you at a point where you are beginning to identify possible components of a scalable model? If so, what are they? As you are interviewing women and looking at effective practices, do you see any institutions or math departments that seem to be doing a better job at creating supportive environments for women?  Have you looked at other disciplines that have similar problems with gender imbalance (physics, engineering, computer science) to see what approaches they are taking to supporting women in the field?  There might be some useful lessons.

  • Icon for: Ami Radunskaya

    Ami Radunskaya

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 08:51 p.m.

    Thank you for the comment.  We will be holding a "stakeholder's meeting" in a few weeks at which we will identify those critical components, and brainstorm scalable prototypes.  Yes, we do see some institutions (or rather some departments) who do a better job than others, and - through the INCLUDES conferences - we have been talking to our counterparts in physics and CS.  I agree that we can share some valuable lessons-learned.

  • Audrey Dixon

    K-12 Student
    May 18, 2017 | 12:15 p.m.

    This was fun to make, and I'm glad that this video is spreading awareness of the gender gap. I presented this in my math class, and it taught my classmates a lot about why majoring in math is a great idea. They all loved it! Thanks to all the contributors in making this video, and I hope that it will bring more undergraduates the motivation to major in math. 

    (it's also nice that I edited this when I'm only in 7th grade)

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.