The Department of Mathematics at Indiana University will maintain an environment free of prejudice and bias so that our students, faculty, and staff can learn, work, grow, and thrive. We are each individually responsible for treating others with dignity and respect. We are also collectively responsible for the policies and procedures that shape our departmental environment. We welcome newcomers to mathematics to explore their interests and acquire the skills they need to accomplish their goals.
To us, the study of mathematics is interpreted broadly. It includes being curious about, for example, arithmetic and prime numbers, patterns and symmetry, voltages and voting systems, the dynamics of planetary motion and the dynamics of opinion change, the flow of turbulent air and the spread of viruses. It builds on knowledge originating in many parts of the world, and is pursued vigorously by an international web of mathematicians. It includes teaching mathematics to the next generation. And it includes advancing our knowledge through research.
We believe that access to mathematics education and the creation of opportunities for mathematical growth are critically important to the well-being of society. In the past, access to mathematics education has been systematically denied to many groups. Students who come to the university have been shaped by their past education, and access to quality schools is still very unequally distributed. Prejudice continues to contaminate perceptions of mathematical ability. Our mission includes creating environments and programs where all students can realize their potential.
At Indiana University, we denounce all forms of bigotry, hate, and racism. Our department proudly supports programs and services designed to confront these problems. We know that we have much to do.
Current efforts to promote diversity.
- For decades, our Mathematics Groups courses have served first-generation students in dedicated small-class environments as part of a campus-wide program that provides comprehensive support.
- We have several departmental scholarships which express preference for female students and students from under-represented groups.
- For over 20 years, we have held regular social events to connect female faculty and graduate students.
- Our department regularly partners with our Campus and College to provide graduate fellowships to students from under-represented groups.
- In partnership with our Campus and College, our department provides travel funds for female graduate students and female seminar speakers.
- Our faculty have mentored female students and students from under-represented groups in undergraduate research projects as part of a variety of programs, including NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM, the Center for Excellence for Women and Technology, the IU-MSI STEM initiative, and Groups Summer STEM Scholars.
- For the past three years, a team of faculty have hosted a group of area underrepresented high school students for a one-day mathematics event as part of the Jim Holland Research Initiative in STEM program.
- Our faculty regularly partner with IU's Office of Disability Services for Students and our Adaptive Technology and Accessibility Center to ensure our mathematics courses are accessible to all.
- Our newly created Diversity Committee will monitor and advocate for progress. This committee will consist of appointed and volunteer faculty, a postdoc, and a graduate student.
- We will introduce a departmental Inclusivity Team. This will allow students, faculty, and staff to bring up concerns and discuss issues of atmosphere, inclusivity, and civility in a more personal and supportive environment.
- We will increase our efforts to diversify our student body, with the goal of increasing the proportion of Black students and students from other underrepresented groups who earn their degrees from us. To this end, we will:
- increase our efforts to identify promising students from under-represented groups in our mathematics courses, and to encourage their further study of mathematics through mentorship and the awarding of scholarships;
- establish improved mentorship programs for new graduate students;
- create better communication channels, starting with a committee of graduate students who will speak in their own voice on these matters.
- We will expand our commitment to diversity and inclusion by adding regular events to our calendar. We will:
- inaugurate the Elbert F. Cox Colloquium, named after an IU undergraduate who was the first Black mathematician to earn a Ph.D., to highlight achievements of mathematicians who come from groups whose potential was overlooked because of who they were. This event will be aimed at faculty and graduate students and will focus on research.
- inaugurate an annual or semi-annual event aimed at undergraduates and designed to encourage further study of mathematics especially among students from groups under-represented in mathematics.
- We will celebrate the success of our alumni who belong to under-represented groups, starting by creating displays for our common areas, including our Cora Hennel lounge.