Fostering Diversity in Top-Rated Pure Mathematics Graduate Programs




The lack of a diverse student body continues to be a prob- lem among graduate programs in pure mathematics. This is true despite broad agreement among scholars that a more diverse student body would greatly improve the graduate experience, as well as overall professional productivity [1]. In an article entitled “Prioritizing Diversity in Graduate School,” Dr. Mark J. T. Smith, dean of the Graduate School and senior vice provost for academic affairs at The Univer- sity of Texas at Austin, noted, “Diversity is a strength we should fervently embrace, as it allows us to leverage the rich perspectives, experiences and talents of the full spectrum of groups in our society” [1].

In this article, we explore what some top-rated pure mathematics graduate programs are doing to make their programs more diverse and inclusive. Most of the infor- mation in this article was gleaned from discussions with representatives from Columbia University, Harvard Uni- versity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, and University of Chicago. Our aims are to report what these programs are doing, to give context to why these efforts are important, and to stimulate further discussion about diversity and inclusion in pure mathematics. This article is not directly applicable to related fields like applied mathematics and statistics (although trends in those fields are similar).

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Copyright © 2020, American Mathematical Society, Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1090/noti2026