Category Archives: joint mathematics meetings

Mathematical Reviews at #JMM2019

See Mathematical Reviews at JMM: coda, by Edward Dunne, Executive Editor of Mathematical Reviews on the Beyond Reviews: Inside MathSciNet blog. He thanks visitors who came to the Mathematical Reviews booth in the AMS exhibit area and took the opportunity to converse with editors, ask questions about MathSciNet and about reviewing, see scheduled and impromptu demos, and update their author profiles. He’s also grateful for the opportunity to talk with several publishers and librarians who gave helpful feedback on the prototype journal pages shown at JMM. Mathematical Reviews again hosted the always-popular reception for the math community, and MathSciNet was offered complimentary to all at #JMM2019. If you talked with editors, saw a demo, came to the MR Reception or made use of MathSciNet while at JMM, Ed Dunne welcomes your feedback in the comments section after the blog post.

Cathy O’Neil On The (Un)Ethical Use of Data

This afternoon the MAA-AMS-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture was given by Cathy O’Neil, “Big data, inequality, and democracy.”

O’Neil started by giving on overview of what she calls a Weapon of Math Destruction. They are “creepy algorithms,” O’Neil says, ones that are used by large groups of people to make important decisions, and they are algorithms that are secret and unfair. O’Neil has talked about these sorts of algorithms on her blog and in her column for Bloomberg View.

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Quantitative Literacy in the age of alternative facts

“It’s not false, it’s just an alternative fact.” Kellyanne Conway (sort of).

Who remembers this quote? OK, I admit I don’t remember it perfectly myself, but it’s close enough. You can watch this video on YouTube if you want to see the birth of this now ubiquitous term.

So what is the responsibility of a math educator in this new world of alternative facts? That is what Kira Hamman and Dave Kung addressed in their joint guest lecture for the Quantitative Literacy SIGMAA, “The power of quantitative literacy in the era of alternative facts”.

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AWM Capitol Hill Visit at JMM 2019

Group in front of statue on visit.

The AWM group in front of the Alexander Calder statue in the Hays Building in Washington DC.

Tuesday morning, when many folks were finishing up last minute packing and checking flights, I was getting on a bus to Washington DC with around fifty other members of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). The mission: meet with legislators about important issues for women in mathematics. More generally, we were there to talk about supporting STEM research, education, and careers, promoting equity and inclusion in the field, and some legislation that we believe would work toward these goals. The AWM has been organizing advocacy trips to Capitol Hill in Washington DC for several years now. Of course, as I write, the Joint Mathematics Meetings has brought over 5000 mathematicians to Baltimore to talk some serious (and not so serious) math. The AWM planned a visit for Tuesday to take advantage of this confluence, so close to the nation’s capital. This was the largest Hill visit of the program, with 50 participants visiting 47 congressional offices, speaking with legislators and their staff members spanning 18 different states. AWM groups met with 33 Democrats, 13 Republicans, and 1 Independent. The participants were fairly evenly drawn from undergraduate students, graduate students, academic faculty, and business/industry/government mathematicians.

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Association for Women in Mathematics Panel Discussion, “Promoting Inclusion in Stem”

Talia Fernós started off this great panel with lively introductions of Autumn Kent, subject of a Q&A by Evelyn Lamb, Piper Harron, provocateur postdoc (I hope she allows me to call her that) and author of a straight fire thesis who also writes for inclusion/exclusion, another AMS blog, Pamela Barnett, an English professor at Lasalle University, and Harrison Bray, a postdoc at University of Michigan.  She started us off with axioms from Federico d’Ardila-Mantilla’s  fantastic Notices article about mathematics and a description of underrepresented groups, along with another that she added that I missed: something like inequality exists and is a result of structural things we’ve done?

I went with first names for this live-blogging because I know three of the people on the stage. Sorry for the forced camaraderie, Pamela and Harrison! I hope to meet you two sometime! Also apologies for all the stuff that you said that I missed. I didn’t record, I’m just typing while y’all talk.

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