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25th Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics | January 20-22, 2023

Registration opens October 1, 2022, for the 25th Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM), which will be held in-person January 20-22, 2023, in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the Embassy Suites and University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.

Women, and particularly women of color, are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, especially among jobs that require graduate education. We at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) recognize the need to encourage and mentor undergraduate women in mathematics to pursue graduate study in mathematics and to seek mathematical careers. We do this by annually hosting the NCUWM, made possible with generous support from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, for undergraduates that provides role models, insider knowledge, opportunities to present undergraduate research, and a growing community of peers interested in issues related to creating a supportive environment for women in mathematics.

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. The NCUWM is open to all undergraduate students age 19 or older and their faculty advisors. For complete rules and procedures related to registration see the Application, Selection and Policies section below.

Although we do not regard this conference as an appropriate venue for faculty representatives to recruit applicants for their graduate programs, we would like to encourage departments to contact us about sponsoring women graduate students from their programs at the conference.

Our History

As the UNL department looked back on the 1980s, it recognized that 23 men had earned their Ph.D. but not a single woman had earned a Ph.D. during the decade. The department made a commitment to create a supportive and welcoming environment for women to study mathematics. By 1998, the department received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring because of its success in mentoring women graduate students to the Ph.D. To celebrate the award and continue its efforts to create a supportive environment for women in mathematics, the department hosted its first Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in early 1999. It is important to note that by paying attention to issues that support women in mathematics, the UNL graduate program in mathematics became a more successful program for all students, regardless of gender. For example, in the decade of the 2010s, 45 women and 68 men earned their Ph.D. in mathematics.

2022 Conference Poster

NCUWM 2022 Poster
Click to view the NCUWM poster

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Deanna Haunsperger

Dr. Deanna Haunsperger

Dr. Deanna Haunsperger is a professor of mathematics at Carleton College in Minnesota. Since her own undergraduate days, Deanna has been interested in increasing the number and diversity of students who pursue advanced degrees in mathematics. That passion has guided her as a former co-editor for Math Horizons (the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)’s magazine for undergraduates) and as co-founder and co-director of Carleton's Summer Mathematics Program for Women, a successful, intensive four-week summer program to encourage talented undergraduate women to pursue advanced degrees in the mathematical sciences. She has chaired the MAA’s Strategic Planning Committee on Students and the Council on Outreach, and she recently served as President of the MAA. Currently Deanna is the Editor of the MAA's blog site, Math Values (mathvalues.org). Deanna is married to fellow mathematician Steve Kennedy, and together they have two grown children.

Dr. Judy Walker

Dr. Judy Walker

Judy Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is one of the original co-founders of the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics and chaired or co-chaired the organizing committee for many years. Her work has been recognized with the Haimo Award from the Mathematical Association of America, the Louise Hay Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Walker is a Fellow of the AWM, the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has previously served on the AWM Executive Committee and the AMS Council, and currently serves on the AMS Board of Trustees. She co-leads Nebraska’s involvement in the IChange project of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, which seeks to diversify STEM faculty nationally. Walker earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and her master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. Her research is in algebraic coding theory.

Dr. Talithia Williams

Dr. Talithia Williams

Talithia Williams, associate professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data, and applies them to problems in the environment. She has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Her research interests also include nonstationary covariance estimation and change-of-support problem. Williams takes sophisticated numerical concepts and makes them understandable and relatable to everyone. As illustrated in her popular TedTalk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” she demystifies the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways, using statistics as a way of seeing the world in a new light and transforming our future through the bold new possibilities inherent in the STEM fields. Williams has made it her life’s work to get people—students, parents, educators and community members—more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education. Williams received her B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, master’s degrees in both mathematics from Howard University and statistics from Rice University, and a Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University. Her professional experiences include research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the National Security Agency (NSA), and NASA. Williams is the author of the 2018 book "Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics."

Invited Guests TBA

Invited Graduate Students TBA

Application, Selection and Policies

We thank you for your interest in attending NCUWM. Students interested in attending the 2023 conference must complete an application between October 1 and 8, 2022. Students who are listed in applications as co-authors must complete an application if they are interested in attending the 2023 conference. Please note that the registration fee is $50 per person, for both students and faculty, to be paid by students once they are notified of acceptance. Selection of participants will be done according to the following policies:

  1. Attendees must be at least of sophomore standing and 19 years of age at the time of the conference. Individual students are now limited to one conference attendance as a non-presenter and two attendances in total.
  2. Each home institution will be limited to a maximum of four participants.
  3. Abstracts will be read by the organizing committee, which will select 48 for talks and as many for posters as can be accommodated. Preference will be given to original research, loosely defined as work that includes some mathematical results obtained by the student, possibly with collaborators. Applicants whose abstracts are selected for either a talk or a poster are presenters; all other student applicants are non-presenters.
  4. Selection of abstracts will be done primarily on merit, except that each home institution will be limited to a maximum of three talks and a total of four presenters.
  5. Students chosen as presenters will be accepted to the conference, provided they complete their registration (by paying the registration fee) by the given deadline.
  6. Non-presenters will be selected by institution rather than individual. If an institution has more applicants than the number of slots it is given, the students’ advisor(s) will be asked to select the students to represent their school. Students will identify an advisor in the application. If more than one professor from an institution is identified, every person named as an advisor at that school by its students will get the same email saying how many spots the school has to allocate and naming the specific students who have applied. Once the organizing committee has been given the selected names, we will issue instructions for completing their registration to the selected students.
  7. The top priority in selection of non-presenters will be to accept at least one student from each home institution (with presenters included in the count).
  8. The second priority in selection of non-presenters will be to accept a second student (counting presenters) from each home institution.
  9. If there is still space available, additional non-presenters will be selected through a lottery, subject to policies 2 and 6.

All students should anticipate being notified of their status by the end of October and then on a rolling basis for applications submitted after Oct. 25.

These policies were crafted to fit a wide range of institutional situations, but nobody can anticipate all possibilities. If you believe that your situation is sufficiently unusual that it warrants special consideration, please have your faculty advisor contact Christine Kelley, NCUWM Co-Chair, at ckelley2@unl.edu.

Statement of Appropriate Conduct at NCUWM

To provide all participants – undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, speakers, panelists, staff, and volunteers – the opportunity to benefit from the event, NCUWM is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, or other group identity.

NCUWM seeks to provide an opportunity for diverse participants to learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and hold that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, appearance, or other group status.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening speakers (verbally or physically or virtually).

All participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all conference venues, including online meeting rooms and social events. Participants asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Videos and screen shares must be harassment-free at all times. Conference participants seek to learn, network, and have fun. Please do so responsibly and with respect for the right of others to do likewise.

Please contact designated NCUWM staff (identified during the conference), or any member of the organizing committee whom you are comfortable with, if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists. Any such reports will be investigated immediately and appropriate actions taken, but only if desired by the person who was harassed. Reports will ultimately be directed to the Title IX Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and may consult with and engage other UNL staff, leaders and legal counsel as appropriate.

Learn more about how NCUWM can benefit you:

Sponsors

National Science Foundation logo

NCUWM is generously supported by the National Science Foundation; the National Security Agency; the UNL Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education; and the UNL Department of Mathematics. We thank the NSF and NSA for their funding support over the past two decades. We also want to acknowledge the institutions that provide travel and registration support to their students who attend, which in turn allows us to utilize our NSF support for travel to additional attendees.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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If you want to know when the application period opens or other brief announcements about the next NCUWM, please subscribe to our email list. There will be only a few emails each year.

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Contact Info

Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics
UNL Department of Mathematics
203 Avery Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0130
Phone: 402.472.9312
ncuwm@unl.edu
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