Math faculty engage students from diverse and underrepresented groups virtually on opportunities to pursue graduate studies in mathematical sciences
Members of the math department at George Mason University Drs. Anderson, Emelianenko, Seshaiyer, Warma and I (Sander) attended the Math Alliance’s graduate student fair on October 24. The Math Alliance is a group committed to promoting diversity in doctoral studies in the mathematical sciences; GMU math has recently become an institutional member. While some members of our group had previous experiences with the group, I never had. It was a great experience, to meet prospective graduate students from underrepresented minorities from all over the country. The meeting was on Sococo, a platform which looks a bit like a moving map of a conference with little dots for each of the participants. I had a chance to chat in the lobby with a number of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students who were attending the event. It gave students an opportunity to ask questions on graduate admissions and career preparation, and it gave faculty a chance to profile their programs and get their names onto the map. It was quite inspiring to see how many of the highest rated universities in the country were represented at this event. It gives me hope that as a community, we will be able to address the striking underrepresentation in the profession. I look forward to working in a greater capacity with the Math Alliance, by attending the career fair next month, and in future by serving as a mentor, and working with underrepresented students in helping to prepare them for graduate school and careers in mathematics.