Here at APPM we understand that having a diverse body of students, faculty and staff makes us a stronger and more competitive department, and for this reason we are committed to inclusion, diversity and equity.  Through various efforts, we are creating an environment that not only welcomes students from all walks of life, but prepares them for a successful career in applied mathematics.  We encourage you to read about the efforts that we are embarking on in order to continue our commitment to inclusive excellence and to foster a community where all individuals (students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff) feel that they are contributing members and gain a sense of satisfaction from being part of our community.

 

Creating an inclusive community for graduate students

 

  • Graduate student mentorship:  Understanding that our PhD program is the lifeblood of APPM’s research success, we have made significant investments in graduate student mentorship in recent years by expanding Graduate Committee (GC) membership, identifying a GC mentor for each incoming PhD student, and engaging elected graduate student representatives as part of GC meetings. These changes are in direct response to PhD student feedback. Mentors aggressively pre-advise new students at the beginning of their studies to identify any gaps in their background or progress. Following this, mentors hold accountable, monthly one-on-one meetings during students’ crucial first year to establish strong faculty-student bonds early on. Mentors actively incorporate informative mentoring materials and data tools curated by our Graduate Program Assistant into their discussion. In addition to faculty-student mentorship, the unit financially supports a student-student mentorship program, established by senior graduate students, that organizes social events to encourage interactions within and between cohorts, promoting collaboration.

 

  • The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM):  In the past several years, our department has successfully increased the number of female graduate students entering and graduating from our program.  This change was jump started and has been supported by the grassroots formation of an active Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) chapter, which is jointly run by APPM and Mathematics graduate students.  Through the years the AWM's efforts have focused on strengthening the sense of community among graduate students, and providing a space for difficult discussions.  These goals are achieved through a variety of activities, such as inclusive social events that foster bonding, and study sessions where graduate students can share their expertise with undergraduate students.  The chapter also contributes to our community by providing a space for constructive dialog on issues affecting women and students of color and by hosting inspiring speakers.

 

  • QSIDE Consortium:  Many of our faculty and students are interested in applying their mathematical skills to social justice issues.  APPM is a department member of the QSIDE (Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity) consortium.  Through this membership, our faculty and students have access to monthly workshop trainings on social justice issues and quantitative skills, monthly colloquia by experts in the field of social justice, priority to QSIDE paid internships, and other opportunities.  To learn more about QSIDE and the importance of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, we invite you to read the following article.

 

Financial support for underrepresented graduate students

 

  • Rudy Horne Memorial Fellowship:  Rudy Horne was the first African American graduate student to receive a PhD in APPM in 2001 under the guidance of Professor Mark Ablowitz.  After graduating, he established a successful career in applied mathematics as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University and an Associate Professor at Morehouse College.  He was a beloved and respected member of the mathematics community, academia at large, and the communities in which he resided.  He was a math consultant for the movie Hidden Figures. Rudy Horne died at an early age and many of the people who were touched by Rudy created a fellowship to honor him and his academic, social, and cultural contributions.  With this fellowship, our department aims to increase the diversity of the graduate student body and to maximize the educational benefits of diversity.  The first three APPM Rudy Horne Memorial Fellowships were awarded to Callie Duque (2018), Seunghyun Kim (2019) and Serena DiLeonardo (2020).

 

  • Devaney Graduate Fellowship Award:  Our department applied for and has received the competitive Devaney Graduate Fellowship for the 2021 PhD recruitment class, which provides full support during the first and final years of PhD study to an outstanding recruit.  In our application for this fellowship, we committed to using it to attract and support a recruit from an underrepresented group in the mathematical sciences.

 

Growing a diverse faculty and student body

 

  • A welcoming departmental community:  Our unit makes conscious, constructive efforts to build a strong inclusive community and network. This environment is recognized by current and visiting students alike. As part of our community building efforts, we invest time, energy, and money into recruiting underrepresented groups at all levels. Our growing, diversified tenured, tenure-track faculty of 23 (7 faculty of color, 4 female faculty) and 10 instructors (1 faculty of color, 4 female faculty) is foundational. Within the last three years, we have hired two women faculty, one of color. Concomitantly, APPM has admitted more female PhD students. The national average for females in PhD math/STEM programs is 36%. We have recruited at or above 50% in two of the previous four years.

 

  • The Math Alliance is a community of faculty and students with the goal of providing opportunities for underrepresented and underserved American students interested in pursuing a career in the mathematical sciences.  Several of our faculty members are alliance mentors who have offered to help students, for example, navigate the graduate application process, develop a competitive CV, and find research opportunities.  Our department actively recruits students in conferences serving underrepresented minority students such as the Field of Dreams Conference.  If you are an undergraduate student interested in graduate school you might consider attending this year's virtual Field of Dreams Conference to be held November 6-8, 2020.  Look for APPM representatives!

The Colorado Advantage program provides students from groups, which are underrepresented in STEM graduate education as defined by the National Science Foundation, the opportunity to visit the CU campus and meet with faculty members in the department they are interested in joining.  Our department actively participates in this program and meets with Colorado Advantage students on a regular basis.