2021 CMS Winter Meeting

Ottawa, June 7 - 11, 2021


EDI Forum
Org: Habiba Kadiri (Lethbridge) and Monica Nevins (Ottawa)

The definition of a mathematician  [PDF]

In this interactive workshop, participants will reflect on what we think it means to be a mathematician, who is seen or counted as a mathematician, what causes this, and how that affects our communities of learning, teaching and research in mathematics. If you would like to explore those issues, come and find out! Be prepared to discuss some potentially difficult topics.

DAVID GOLDBERG, Purdue University/Math Alliance
An Overview of the Math Alliance  [PDF]

Abstract: Growing organically out of one math department’s efforts to build a more diverse and inclusive environment, the Math Alliance is a U.S. wide mentoring community, with almost 1,300 faculty mentors at almost 400 colleges and universities. Over 2,300 students have been part of Math Alliance activities since 2006, and about 83% of those identifying an ethnicity are considered U.S. underrepresented minorities (U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify as African America, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American/American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Native Pacific Islander). Since 2013, at least 156 students who were involved in Math Alliance programs have earned doctorates, and based our data, we expect this will double in the next few years. In this talk we’ll discuss the origins and history of the organization, and how we see our role in the future of the quantitative sciences.

Academic Leadership Roles in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Sciences: A Mathematician’s Perspective  [PDF]

A scan of science faculties across Canada reveal a handful of associate/assistant decanal roles dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and many of these positions were created recently. I am the inaugural occupant of such a role in the Faculty of Science at Simon Fraser University, a position I have held since the start of 2020. In this presentation, I will discuss what I have observed and learned over the past two years and reflect on the promise and peril of such roles. I will outline the success and failures of our initiatives related to faculty hiring, graduate student training and creating inclusive work and learning spaces. In addition, I will offer my reflections on where mathematics sits within the sciences in its response to EDI.

DAVID A. PIKE, Memorial University of Newfoundland
A conversation about equity, diversity and inclusion  [PDF]

This presentation will begin with some details about the background and personal experiences of the speaker, who will be the next President of the CMS. It will then lead in to EDI issues more generally, particularly with respect to the CMS and its activities, ongoing challenges, and actions that can be taken. The presentation will then transition to a discussion with the audience so that people can express themselves and share suggestions for how EDI principles can be fostered by each of us and also by the CMS. Roughly half of the allotted time will be set aside for this discussion period.

MALABIKA PRAMANIK, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
EDI-positive programming: a perspective  [PDF]

The need for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI for short) is not new. Most of us would agree that they are critical to the well-being of any individual and of society.

What is new is the erasure of boundaries that historically separated the discourse on EDI from academic practices, debunking the long-held belief that academia is "immune" to the inequities that plague the rest of society. This has led to a critical rethinking of our daily professional activities - how we conduct research, teaching, service and recruitment. Scholarly societies, funding agencies, hiring bodies nowadays routinely put out calls for action in support of EDI. The specifics of these proposed actions have led in many cases to controversy, polarization of communities, and vigorous debates over the meanings of these terms in the context of our discipline. But they have also led to change.

This talk is not going to be about the philosophy of EDI - something that I am hardly equipped to handle. Rather, I will try to describe what EDI has meant to me personally in my professional journey, and the efforts that I have been part of.

© Canadian Mathematical Society : http://www.cms.math.ca/