Association for LGBTQ+ Mathematicians (Spectra) Events

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, organized by Keri Sather-Wagstaff, Clemson University, Marie Vitulli, University of Oregon, and Ursula Whitcher, Mathematical Reviews (AMS); Wednesday, 8:30 am–12:30 pm. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world. Yet Wikipedia admits to having numerous bias issues with respect to both content and contributors, e.g., most Wikipedia editors (i.e., content authors) are men, and most Wikipedia biographies are about men. This contributes to inequitable representation in the mathematical community because for instance, if queer students cannot see examples of queer professional mathematicians, how are they to know that they themselves can become mathematicians? This session will work to reduce this bias in two primary ways, each of which contribute directly to the AMS’s goals of building a “Fully Inclusive Mathematics Profession.”

First, we will train new Wikipedia editors so they can communicate their knowledge to the general public, with a focus on training editors from historically excluded groups, e.g., women and gender minorities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and mathematicians of color. This will not only increase the diversity of the Wikipedia editor base, but it will also empower session participants to improve this biased system with highly visible outcomes. (On the other hand, care will be taken to make sure that editors will not “out” people without their consent.)

Second, we will focus on adding and improving biographies and photographs of notable mathematicians from historically excluded groups. These activities will not only increase visibility of underserved mathematicians who deserve greater recognition for their contributions, but will also increase visibility of role models for talented mathematicians who do not feel included in the field.

This will be a hands-on event. Participants will use laptops and/or tablets and will be immediately guided into editing on Wikipedia. Collaboration amongst the participants will be encouraged. Additional resources will be provided online to allow participants continue to learn about editing after the event. The organizing team is made up of women and non-binary members of the LGBTQIA+ community. This event is jointly sponsored by the AMS and Spectra.

Spectra Workshop: Identifying Best Practices Fostering Inclusion and Retention of LGBTQ Mathematicians, organized by Ron Buckmire, Occidental College, Chris Goff, University of the Pacific, and Alexander Hoover, University of Akron; Wednesday, 9:00–10:30 am. This workshop is organized by Spectra, the association for LGBTQ mathematicians and their allies. The goal of this interactive workshop is to gather and share information about and suggestions for best practices that foster the inclusion and retention of LGBTQ mathematicians. Specifically, this workshop will identify specific things any department of Mathematics can do to be supportive and welcoming for LGBTQ graduate students, postdocs as well as for tenured and non-tenured faculty.

In the second part of the Meeting, the audience will be asked to brainstorm and make suggestions on how Spectra can contribute to make these best practices known to the mathematical community and to help departments implement these best practices. During the workshop, the audience will be split into breakout sessions focused on specific topics, such as:

  1. Supporting transgender mathematicians in the work place
  2. LGBTQ mathematicians balancing work choices with family
  3. Best practices for recruitment of LGBTQ faculty

Spectra Lavender Lecture, organized by Juliette Bruce, University of California, Berkeley and Alexander Hoover, University of Akron; Thursday 11:00 am. The Spectra Lavender Lecture honors LGBTQ+ mathematicians who have made significant contributions to the mathematical sciences, mathematical education, or the mathematical community at large. Speaker to be announced.

Spectra Panel: Navigating the Job Market as an LGBTQ Mathematician, organized by David Crombecque, University of Southern California and Lily Khadjavi, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; Friday, 1:00–2:20 pm. This panel, organized by Spectra, the Association of LGBTQ+ Mathematicians, will address issues of concern for LGBTQ+ career mathematicians, professionals or students when on the job market (whether in search of an academic position or job in the industry). Panelists will share their personal experiences and advice addressing key questions such as: Do I want to share my orientation and/or gender identity with potential employers during the job search? If so, what are the ways to do that? How can I gauge the environment/climate at prospective workplaces? How can I identify employers that are welcoming and supportive? How can I navigate reconciling my employment/academic records to reflect my gender identity? Our panelists will discuss these and many more questions relevant to the well-being and inclusion of current and future successful LGBTQ+ mathematicians as they establish their career.

Spectra Business Meeting, organized by Juliette Bruce, University of California, Berkeley; Friday, 3:00–4:00 pm.

Spectra will also host a reception. See Social Events.

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