Community

This page covers many ways to contribute to the math community, including some of my personal contributions.

Conference Organization

Representation matters today and everyday. Seeing people who look like you can help you succeed in whatever field you're in. I've organized and attended conferences which cater to specific underserved audiences.

At UIC I and my friend Ellie Dannenberg founded the annual Midwest Women in Mathematics Symposium, which was held at UIC in 2013, and has been at a different university ever since. The most recent incarnation of MWIMS was at Purdue in spring 2018. The day-long symposium includes talks, research meetings, networking, and breakout sessions, and is based entirely off of the Southern California version that I attended in 2012, now called WIMSoCal. Along with my friends Michelle Chu and Hannah Turner, I founded another conference, the annual Texas Women in Mathematics Symposium, in 2016. It was supposed to be held at Lamar University in 2017, but due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey it was held at Sam Houston State University. In 2018 it will be held at the University of Houston. Finally, at UNCC I organized a Carolinas version of the same event, which will be held at Campbell University in 2018.

In 2016 I was the Distinguished Graduate Speaker at the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium , which was put together by a bunch of young faculty who realized that they didn't see people who looked like them at other conferences. It's wonderful. There should be Underrepresented Students in "every math field" Conferences.

The Women in Mathematics program at the Institute for Advanced Study is a great opportunity for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs to learn new things and expand networks. I was a participant there in 2016, a TA in 2017, and will return for the inaugural year of being a WAM Ambassador in 2018. The WAM Ambassador program offers funding to do the sorts of things on this page to WAM alumnae.

Seminars and Departmental Events

The weekly-ish Hypatian seminar at UCSB is ridiculously valuable and special- if you're interested in making students from underrepresented groups feel supported, check out the history section of the seminar for ideas on what you can do at your school. For instance, panels from advanced grad students on how to do research/find an advisor/give a talk/teach, roundtable discussions, and cross-disciplinary speakers re: teaching, mental health, etc.

While at UCSB I started the now-defunct M&M seminar, which was held in the Philosophy department and discussed papers in math and philosophy with undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. Colleges love interdepartmental anything and will give you money to make this happen.

At UT Austin I attended the incredible Distinguished Women in Mathematics Lecture series which invites women professors to UT to give math talks and have lunch with the women graduate students. These lunches were eye-opening and a great way for the women of the department to get together.

Mentorship and Networking

UT Austin is also where Math Girl Margarita Night started, which I attended at UCSB. If you have no funding and almost no time, hosting informal potluck brunches is a great way to support your community- we started that at UIC, inspired by a friend who did them at U Chicago.

Finally, mentorship programs are great for mentees and mentors! I've seen several between grad students (assigning a "big sibling" to first years, for instance), and I've mentored a few undergraduates through the Direct Reading Program at UT. This is a high-impact, low-budget program that's been implemented at many, many schools but started at U Chicago in 2002.

This page is inspired by Lillian Pierce's website