MTH 607:Seminar
Building Diverse, Inclusive, Respectful and
Welcoming Mathematical Communities

Winter 2019

Professor: Dr. Vrushali Bokil
Office: Kidder 048
Phone: 737-2609
Email: bokilv at math dot oregonstate dot edu
Office Hours: M: 2:00pm-2:50pm and W: 11:00 am-11:50 am, or by Appt.

  • Time/Classroom: 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm W, StAg 111

  • Course Information: 1 credit, Section 011, CRN 40539

  • Required Textbook: None

  • Course Description & Content: This is a seminar for graduate students in Mathematics at Oregon State University. The recent findings and recommendations of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine in Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018), from the National Academies Press, suggest that a strong and diverse leadership is needed to facilitate change at the highest levels of academic institutions that enable:

    1. increased representation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM and thus in mathematics, and
    2. removal of barriers for their success.

    Graduate students are the future leaders of academic institutions. Training for students in understanding how inequities and injustice are perpetrated within a system of oppression such as an academic institution of higher learning, is important in creating pathways for effective and sustained change. The seminar will aim to address and dispel myths around who can be a mathematician in order to create constructive models for sustained change in representation in mathematical communities.

    In Winter 2019, we will cover the following topics. Unless specified otherwise, I will be leading the discussion of each topic.

    • Week 1: Social Identities and Allyship
    • Week 2: Analyzing Oppression and Privilege
    • Week 3: Stereotype Threat
    • Week 4: Advancing Cultural Competency in Learning Environments
      (Scott Vignos, Assistant Vice President, Strategic Diversity Initiatives, Office of Institutional Diversity)
    • Week 5: Implicit Bias (Anne Gillies, Director: Search Advocate Program)
    • Week 6: Directed Reading Program (DRP) Networks to Broaden Participation in Mathematics
      (Naveen Somasunderam, Math Graduate Student)
    • Week 7: Fragility (Susan Shaw, Professor, CLA)
    • Week 8: Navigating Heteronormativity in the Sciences: A Safe zone project
      (Michael Lopez, Math Graduate Student)
    • Week 9: Creating Effective, Inclusive, and Sustainable Mathematics Outreach
      (Sarah Hagen, Math Graduate Student)
    • Week 10: Writing a Diversity Statement for Tenure Track Applications.

  • Student Learning Outcomes for MTH 607 (Section 011): A successful student in MTH 607-Section 011 will be able to:

    1. Understand historical and current issues around unequal representation in mathematics with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability and other identities,
    2. Develop an understanding, through frameworks such as systems of oppression, of how inequities and inequality are perpetrated in mathematics,
    3. Think constructively about their own self-identity as a mathematician and their place in the mathematics community.

  • Prerequisites: None

  • Registration Restriction: Enrollment is restricted to Graduate Students

  • Reading Assignments: Every week students will be asked to read papers related to the topic of the week amounting to a workload of 1-2 hours per week. Optional writing assignments will be given, that are for the student's own self-reflection. Each student will work on a 1-2 page "Diversity Statement" during the term. Students are expected to read papers assigned and participate in class discussions. Students are responsible for any material missed due to absence.

  • Course Grading and Related Policies: The course grade is P/NP and is based on participation in class discussions. Students who have more than 2 unexcused absences (i.e., absences that were not approved by the instructor) will receive a grade of NP.

  • Contacting Dr. Bokil: The best way to contact me is via email. Best place/time to see me for questions is in my office during office hours. If you are unable to make it to office hours you may email your questions to me or setup an appointment by email. You can expect a response within 24 hours. Do not expect an immediate response .

  • Student Ethical Conduct Expectations and Policies: Students are expected to be familiar with Oregon State University’s Statement of Expectations for Student Conduct. Please review this statement as well as review and consult material at the following sites.

  • Technology Policy & Unauthorized recording and use Policy: I expect that each student will be present and engaged during class time. Please refrain from using cell phones or other electronic devices in the classroom out of respect for your classmates and your instructor. If you choose to take notes or access readings via your computer during class please first request permission from Dr. Bokil. If permission is granted, I expect that you will refrain from surfing the web, reading email, and engaging in other activities not related to the class.

    Recording and/or dissemination of instructional content (for example using the camera on your cell phones) is prohibited, unless express permission of the instructor is obtained for an approved accommodation coordinated via Disability Access Services.

  • Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities: Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at Disability Access Services. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

  • Student Evaluation of Courses: The online Student Evaluation of Teaching system opens to students the Monday of dead week and closes the Monday following the end of finals. Students will receive notification, instructions and the link through their ONID. They may also log into the system via Online Services. Course evaluation results are extremely important and used to help improve courses and the learning experience of future students. Responses are anonymous (unless a student chooses to “sign” their comments agreeing to relinquish anonymity) and unavailable to instructors until after grades have been posted. The results of scaled questions and signed comments go to both the instructor and their unit head/supervisor. Anonymous (unsigned) comments go to the instructor only.

  • Course Drop/Add and Other Informational Sites: See