Diversity

The American Mathematical Society recognizes the breadth of people, thought, and experience that contribute to mathematics. We value the contributions of all members of our mathematics community to improve mathematics research, education, and the standing of the mathematical sciences. We welcome everyone interested in mathematics as we work to build a community that is diverse, respectful, accessible, and inclusive. We are committed to ensuring equitable access to mathematics opportunities and resources for people regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or veteran status, or any other social or physical component of their identity.

The resources we provide here are for everyone—people of marginalized and underrepresented identities, along with all of their colleagues, students, faculty, friends, and leaders—to foster the excellence of all members of our community.


Why are diversity and equity important?

Otto Neugebauer, founder of the AMS's Mathematical Reviews, uprooted his family to come to the U.S. in order to avoid the anti-Semitic restrictions of the Nazi era in Europe that prohibited the participation of Jewish mathematicians in professorial and editorial activities. His objection to discrimination stemmed from an abiding belief that including a diverse group of participants makes you stronger. (Read more at the Beyond Reviews blog.)

As in nature, a professional ecosystem like mathematics thrives from diversity. The different experiences of diverse participants bring new questions, fresh ideas, innovative perspectives on old problems, and unique energies and skills. But a mere count of which types of identities are present is just the first step toward achieving vitality in our workplaces. Awareness of how we interact, understanding the experiences of mathematicians who have not been well-served in our profession, and building relationships and communities that engage all of us equitably are critical for the mathematical sciences to flourish.

Racism and anti-racism

"Systemic racism" refers to embedded policies and practices that produce disparate outcomes for people of different races. Policies and practices can be racist—regardless of intent—when they create or sustain inequitable outcomes and result in barriers that impact the full participation of our colleagues.

"Anti-racism" is the premise that policies and practices can be intentionally constructed to nullify the outcomes of racist policies. The AMS is committed to identifying policies and practices in our organization and our community that have inequitable outcomes, and abrogating them to enable the equitable participation of all mathematicians.

Being an advocate

People who have not been subjects of discrimination can be powerful advocates and allies in the pursuit of equity and social justice. Whether you are a leader, teacher, mentor, or bystander, here are some resources to guide you in what you can do to advocate for your colleagues, students, and all participants in our mathematics community.

Leaders as advocates

These resources provide tools leaders can use to advocate for and create more equitable campus environments:

  • From the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service, The Global Postgraduate Diversity Resource shares essays written by international leaders in postgraduate education on pressing issues in the field, as well as articles, syllabi, and videos designed to inform diversity initiatives.
  • The STEMM Equity Achievement Change (SEA Change) program from the American Association for the Advancement of Science "supports institutional transformation in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in colleges and universities."
  • The National Science Foundation's Promising Practices describes best practices for NSF-funded activities.
  • Bias Interrupters from the Center for Worklife Law are a set of metrics and tools to help you identify bias-related problems, interrupt bias, and assess the effectiveness of interventions across your organization or within teams.
  • The White Ally Toolkit equips readers with best practices in listening, storytelling, and other work to counter the denial of racism.

Leaders can promote the visibility of the contributions of mathematicians of underrepresented groups by visiting the Finding Resources section on this page, where they can identify accomplished mathematicians to include in professional activities. In addition

Teachers and mentors as advocates

Inclusive Classrooms provide equitable learning experiences and opportunities for all students.

Effective mentoring entails a sustained professional relationship among two or more people to provide educational, career, and personal support. Effective mentoring results in increased recruitment and inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in graduate school and research-related career paths. Mentoring has also been shown to play a crucial role in the success of early-career faculty.

Read more about mentoring:

  • The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has an interactive guide on The Science of Mentoring, which provides evidence-based recommendations and tools for effective mentoring, including models that include networks among multiple individuals.
  • Inclusive Mentoring from The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University.
  • Mentoring for Diversity and Inclusion from the Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .

The AMS e-Mentoring Network blog connects students and mentors in the mathematical sciences.

Bystanders as advocates

When observing incidents of harassment or bias it's difficult to know how to get involved or interrupt what's happening. You might be concerned about how to intervene safely and effectively, or assume someone else will handle it. Research evidence shows that the larger the number of bystanders that are present during an incident, the less likely it is that someone from the crowd will step in to help. Fortunately there are some specific tools to prepare you to actively intervene in incidents of bullying, harassment, and biased speech.

Learn about bystander intervention:


Minimizing bias and other microaggressions

Implicit bias is a phenomenon in which we associate stereotypes or make other assumptions about people in ways that we are not aware of ourselves, regardless of our conscious beliefs or intentions.

Learn more about managing bias:


Learn more about being an advocate:

Finding community

There are numerous organizations and programs providing safe spaces for mathematicians of various identities to share their research, network with colleagues, and advocate for equity. They also highlight the many contributions of mathematicians from groups often marginalized in the mathematical sciences.

Lathisms showcases the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic mathematicians.

Indigenous Mathematicians highlights the work of Native American Mathematicians, Pacific Islander Mathematicians, Native Hawaiian Mathematicians, and Chamorro Mathematicians.

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) fosters the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM.

Spectra is an organization of LGBTQ+ mathematicians and their allies to recognize and promote community for Gender and Sexual Minority mathematicians.

500 Queer Scientists is a campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM to ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models and to help the current generation recognize they’re not alone.

Mathematicians of the African Diaspora or MADPages features over 700 biographies of African American mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists. View our webinar Documenting the History of Black Mathematicians describing efforts to document the history of the Black Diaspora in the mathematical sciences,

Mathematically Gifted & Black features accomplishments of Black scholars in the mathematical sciences, including young rising stars.

The National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) is open to everyone interested in promoting excellence in the mathematical sciences for underrepresented American minorities in general and African-Americans in particular.

The Conference for African American Researchers in Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS) highlights current research by African American mathematicians.

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) works toward a more nurturing culture for women in the mathematical sciences.

The Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS) is was formed for the education, employment and advancement of women in statistics through advocacy, providing resources and learning opportunities, increasing visibility, and promoting research that impacts women statisticians.

The EDGE Program (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) aims to strengthen the ability of women to pursue careers in mathematical research and education, and place more women in visible leadership roles in the mathematics community.

Committee on Minorities in Statistics fosters participation in statistics and data science by members of minority groups that have been historically underrepresented in the field of statistics.

The Center for Minorities in the Mathematical Sciences (CMMS) is an organization to unify and amplify the voices of minority mathematical scientists. .

Living Proof complimentary eBook


Join the community at the AMS Blogs

The e-Mentoring Network connects students and mentors in the mathematical sciences.

The Math Mamas blog considers how the identities of being a mathematician and a mother intersect and sometimes collide.

The Inclusion/Exclusion blog discusses issues pertaining to marginalized and underrepresented groups in mathematics, to help develop a more inclusive, supportive, and diverse community of mathematicians.

The Living Proof blog is an extension of the free e-book Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey, and will continue to share stories of struggles and strength so they can become a part of someone else’s story of resilience.

Getting help

Harassment—sexual or otherwise—is a form of misconduct that harms individuals and undermines the integrity of AMS activities and mission. The AMS endeavors to maintain an environment that is free of harassment..Any person aware of inappropriate conduct can file a report confidentially and anonymously to +1-855-282-5703 or at www.mathsociety.ethicspoint.com The reporting mechanism ensures your privacy while alerting the AMS to the situation.

The AMS participates in the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM, a coalition of more than 130 professional societies working together to eradicate sexual harassment from the STEMM disciplines.

The National Sexual Assault Prevention Online Hotline provides confidential, one-on-one support from trained specialists that provide a range of free services including:helping you talk through what happened, providing resources to assist with steps toward healing and recovery, referrals for long-term support in your area, and information about the laws and resources in your community.

If the misconduct involves someone in your institution, contact your institution's Human Resources or Diversity Office. Many institutions have ways you can get support or make reports confidentially or anonymously.

The National Science Foundation is taking action against sexual harassment in NSF-sponsored research and programs. To report any harassment you were subjected to, have witnessed, or became aware of involving an NSF-funded program or activity, complete this form, or contact the NSF Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at programcomplaints@nsf.gov or call 1.703.292.8020.

A Word from... AMS Executive Director Catherine Roberts in the March 2020 Notices discusses steps the AMS has taken toward reporting and stopping harassment in our workplaces.

See the AMS Policy Statement on Anti-Harassment.

We'd like to hear from you!

The AMS wants to hear your concerns, ideas, and other thoughts about diversity, equity and inclusion. 




 

AMS Professional Development and Outreach

The AMS works with members of the mathematics community to offer professional development opportunities and to provide a platform to amplify the voices of mathematicians of color and to support broader discussion of issues of race and racism.

paraDIGMS: Diversity in Graduate Mathematical Sciences is an initiative to build a community of practice among graduate program leaders. paraDIGMS provides professional development for individual graduate program leaders and energizes systemic change in graduate education to enact policies and practices that provide equitable opportunities for all students. Organized by Dr. Matthew Ando, Dr. Justin Lanier, Dr. Marissa Loving, and Dr. Bianca Viray..

The six-hour professional development program Moving Mathematics Online - Creating high quality online STEM content from existing sources is an extension of the webinar Accessibility Best Practices for Moving Mathematics Online. This program addressed online presentation requirements for students and readers with special needs and how assistive technology support can be provided, concentrating on what this means for math content and how it is made accessible on the web, and ways of authoring, preparing, and teaching accessible web documents containing mathematics. Presented by Professor Volker Sorge and Dr. Peter Krautzberger.

Documenting the History of Black Mathematicians webinar discussed the multifaceted efforts of individuals around the world to document the history of the Black Diaspora in the mathematical sciences..This program also unveiled the updated MAD Pages, a compilation of more than 1,000 pages featuring over 700 biographies, documenting the lives of African American mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists. It has seen more than 20 million visitors since its creation by Dr. Scott Williams in 1997. Organized by Dr. Edray Goins and Amy Oden.

Advocating for Students of Color in Your Classroom, Department, Institution, and the Profession: There’s More You Can Do was a professional development experience for higher education faculty and administrators who are actively engaged in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within the mathematical sciences. This four-part webinar series was anchored in the belief that implementing small changes will compound to create drastic and large-scale transformation. By focusing on how to better advocate for students in your classroom, department(s), institution, and the mathematics community, the organizing team guided participants to think critically about their practice and discuss concrete changes participants can implement. The program facilitated participants' sharing and commitment to implementing changes in a way that is pragmatic, meaningful, and that cultivates cultures in which all students are seen, valued, and validated. Organized by Dr. Pamela Harris, Dr. Aris Winger, and Dr. Michael Young. Because of the sensitive nature of the discussions, this series was not recorded.

Moving Mathematics Forward: Twenty Years Since the Historic Graduation of Drs. Inniss, Scott, and Weems celebrated the 20-year anniversary of a significant milestone for the mathematical community when Tasha R. Inniss, Sherry E. Scott, and Kimberly S. Weems received their PhDs from the University of Maryland College Park. Inniss, Scott, and Weems were the first Black women to earn PhDs in mathematics from the University of Maryland, and earned those degrees together on December 21, 2000. Their mentor, Dr. Raymond Johnson, led them through a celebration of their accomplishments and discussion of their perspectives on equity in mathematics and challenges that are still faced by mathematicians of color in higher education. This event was.co-sponsored by the National Association of Mathematicians.

What else is the AMS doing to build an equitable and welcoming mathematics community?

On the day of #ShutDownSTEM in June 2020, we shuttered our website and paused our daily work in support of the Black community and to reflect on the role of racism in our community. On that day, the AMS Council appointed the Task Force for Understanding and Documenting the Historical Role of the AMS in Racial Discrimination to help the mathematical community understand the historical role of the AMS in racial discrimination and to recommend actions to address the impact of discrimination and inequities to the AMS Council and Board of Trustees. Read more about the AMS Action Plan after #ShutDownSTEM.


The AMS 2020 Fund specifically supports equity, diversity, and inclusion, based on the recognition that the only way to change systemic issues is to invest in the long term because a true commitment to this takes time. Each member of the Board of Trustees made a donation to kick-start the 2020 Fund and it will be a fundraising priority going forward.


The Policy Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CoEDI)advises the AMS Council on matters of policy. An AMS Policy Committee provides advice to the leadership of the Society and makes recommendations as to Society policy; is responsible for taking a long-range view; conducts an annual high-level review of activities and structure and evaluate progress toward Society goals; reports regularly to the membership, both in writing and by presentations at meetings; maintains communication with the membership and awareness of their views; and coordinates with other professional organizations. The specific charge of the CoEDI is:

  • Monitor and provide advice about the Society’s collection and dissemination of data relevant to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) concerns. The data should be used by the committee in bench-marking and in formulating goals. Dissemination should include periodic reports published in the Notices.
  • Recommend and provide advice about self-assessment tools.
  • Identify and develop programs to build diversity within the profession. Identify and organize activities to promote awareness of and education about EDI issues, such as panels or special sessions at JMM.
  • Ensure that EDI issues are considered systemically throughout AMS; identify processes that support this, such as appropriate mechanisms for interacting with other committees on issues related to diversity.
  • Review the committee's charge after five years and recommend any necessary changes.

AMS Governance Statements

Recognizing some of our superstars

Since 2006 the AMS has given The Award for Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference to mathematics programs that 1) aim to bring more persons from underrepresented backgrounds into some portion of the pipeline beginning at the undergraduate level and leading to advanced degrees in mathematics and professional success, or retain them once in the pipeline; 2) have achieved documentable success in doing so; and 3) are replicable models.

The AMS creates posters that celebrate the achievements of a diverse group of mathematicians. These posters are free and available upon request

History of Black Mathematicians
women doing math
Latinas;
Mathematically Gifted and Black