Of bias and women

As you know, dear readers, the issue of women in math is very close to my heart. I have written about a few different programs for women that I find very encouraging (like the SK Days, the AWM mentoring travel grants, and the women in number theory conferences), and a couple of instances of clear discrimination (like my post on the IBM “Minds of modern mathematics” app). In a couple of instances, I have gotten some backlash in the comments, either arguing against “only-for-women” activities, or stating that there is no longer such a thing as discrimination against women. I must admit, in fact, that things have changed for the better in the last 50 years. Overt discrimination against women in mathematics is rare, and when it does rear its ugly head it is easily dismissed as a bigoted point of view. However, I think that there is still discrimination, and of the more complicated kind, the kind that is subconscious and hard to erase. In this blog post, I will tell two stories (anonymized to protect the identity of the protagonists and their institutions), that I think are examples of the subtle and subconscious discrimination we still have to deal with.

Continue reading

Posted in minorities in mathematics, women in math | 10 Comments

The same side of two coins

It seems like not that long ago, I was going through my campus interview here at Bates College. That is one reason why it feels so weird to now be on the other side of this process. Just a month ago, I was poring over applications, reading teaching statements and research statements. Just a few weeks ago, I was at the Joint Math Meetings (read my blog on that by going here), interviewing candidates. Today, we start our on-campus interviews, which will be going for the next few weeks. In this post, I want to share some of my thoughts on what it’s like to be on this side of the process.

Continue reading

Posted in interviewing, job search | 2 Comments

The Joint Math Meetings are here (almost)!

This is a quick blog post to say that next week I’ll be blogging from Baltimore for the Joint Mathematics Meetings, 2014 edition. Lots of fun things are happening next week. I am particularly excited about going to the invited addresses by Michael Starbird, Jill Pipher, Eitan Grinspun, Andrew Granville (in the Current Events Bulletin) and Georgia Benkart.  I am also looking forward to the Ramanujan movie and the always hilarious Colin Adams skits, as well as the receptions for the many groups I belong to. It will be a challenge to get many things done this time around as I will be on the other side of the interview table for the first time ever. But the thing I am most excited about is that I have two co-bloggers this time around! Tyler Clark and Anna Haensch will be joining me for the JMM blogging duties, and I’m looking forward to reading their posts. Here are all our bios. If you can’t wait until next week and want to check my old blogs about the JMM, here they are: 2008 (San Diego), 2009 (DC), 2011 (New Orleans), 2012 (Boston), and 2013 (San Diego again! this time Tyler was a co-blogger too). (The blog for the 2010 JMM in San Francisco seems to have disappeared into the ether. ) I also look forward to running into old friends and making new ones. Hope to see you all there!

Posted in joint math meetings | Leave a comment