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Best Practices Towards a More Diverse and Inclusive Mathematical Community

"Best Practices Towards a More Diverse  and Inclusive Mathematical Community", Joint Panel organized by the IMU Committee for Women in Mathematics (CWM) and the IMU Commitee on Diversity (CoD), during the virtual ICM2022.

Schedule: Friday July 8, 14:15-16:15 (CEST=UTC+2)

Moderators: Motoko Kotani (CWM), Edray Goins (CoD)

Record of the panel available here

Panelists, titles and summaries

- Carolina Araujo, IMPA, Brazil: The role of organizations for women in mathematics. All around the world, women mathematicians have come together to form collectives and societies for women in mathematics. These organizations amplify their voices and bring gender equity issues to the fore, influencing professional organizations and the mathematical community as a whole. I will briefly discuss some aspects of the role played by these collectives, with a focus on regional and continental organizations. I will also discuss some of the initiatives undertaken by the Committee for Women in Mathematics of the IMU since its inception in 2015.

- Edy Tri Baskoro, Institut Teknologi Bandung and Indonesian Mathematical Society, Indonesia: Challenges in Improving Quality and Equity of Mathematical Research in Indonesia . As a large country with extraordinary characteristics of diversity, Indonesia laid the foundation for a unitary state as its national paradigm. This is stated in the motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). The state was founded one for all, regardless of religious background, culture, ethnicity, gender and place of residence. This principle provides equal opportunities and strengths for each element to grow and develop healthily, including scientific development. Differences in ethnicity, gender, religion and place of origin do not reduce the opportunity for growth. In the development of mathematical research in Indonesia, research organizations are always carried out by paying attention to balance. Activities are carried out to increase the role of all parties. Improving the quality and equity is a big challenge in mathematics research in Indonesia. In this talk, the journey of the development of the mathematics community in Indonesia will be described. The discussion will emphasize the development of mathematical research in Indonesia and its future challenges. 

- Nira Chamberlain, Loughborough University, United Kingdom: The Black Heroes of Mathematics – Do I look like a Boxer? One day while walking down a high street in a middle eastern country, the residents there thought I was the boxer Iron Mike Tyson! Little did they know that I was not a boxer I was actually a mathematician! My name is Professor Nira Chamberlain OBE. Listen to my story on how I was never destined to become a mathematician as my school career teacher once advised me actually to be come a boxer. Listen to my story on how I overcame and eventually thrived as a professional mathematician, with my Jamaican Father’s instruction ringing in my ears: “You don’t need anybody’s permission to be a great mathematician!”

- Anjum Halai, Khan University, Pakistan: Language, learning and mathematics: Diversity and inclusion.  There is a strongly prevalent view that mathematics has a universal language of abstract symbols and signs and therefore mathematics transcends culture. From this perspective it is seen as immaterial which language of instruction is employed to implement the mathematics curriculum in schools. However, there is sustained and compelling evidence that learning mathematics is socio-culturally embedded (Halai 2022). Language is a strong cultural tool that mediates the implementation of curriculum in the classroom, and this is especially the case in problem solving and the application of components of the curriculum. Students who learn in their first or proximate language can engage deeply with the curriculum process as compared to students who are learning mathematics in a second or third language. However, decisions about the language of instruction are not necessarily taken from a perspective of cognition and learning. For a variety of cultural, historical, and political reasons ministries of education and policy makers employ national or global languages as the language of instruction, which are often not the languages children speak at home or their proximate language.  This paper will focus on significant issues of exclusion and marginalization of learners in mathematics classrooms when the language of instruction is not their first or proximate language. It will conclude by making evidence-based recommendations to promote inclusion of mathematics learners in contexts of language diversity.

- Ekin Oznam, Bogazici University, Turkey:  Research Collaboration Conferences for Women, WIN Example. It is usually claimed that the increase in the number of women PhDs in mathematics will result an increase in the number of women professors in the math departments. We frequently hear that "it is just a matter of time". But is this really the case? In this talk, we will try to answer this question and explain the contribution of research collaboration conferences for women to this cause, The first research collaboration conference for women, women in number theory, was organized in 2008 to build a network and to highlight the research contributions of women in number theory in the hope that it would broaden the research programs of junior women working in number theory. It is such a successful format that it will be followed by the 10th women in numbers conference in 2023 and several similar research collaboration conferences in other areas have also been established since then.

- Marie-Françoise Roy, Université de Rennes 1, France: The Gender Gap in Mathematics.  How many women have been lecturers at ICM in the past and what is their current proportion at ICM 2022? What is the current proportion of women authors of mathematical research and how did it change in the last decades? How does it compare with the proportion of women authors in top mathematical journals ? Is sexual harrassment and discrimination towards women similar in mathematics and in other sciences? Is the mathematical community more or less women friendly than the other scientific communities ? Thanks to the Gender Gap in Science Project, we know better the answers to these questions. A more important and difficult issue remains: how to define and promote best practices ? References: [1] H. Mihaljevic, M.-F. Roy. A data analysis of women's trails among ICM speakers (preliminary version arXiv:1903.02543v2). C. Araujo et als (eds.). World Meeting for Women in Mathematics 2018. Association for Women in Matematics Series, Volume 20, Springer, 111-128 (2019). [2] A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It? Download.