24th Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics | January 21-23, 2022
Registration opened October 11, 2021, for the 24th Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM), which will be held online January 21-23, 2022. The shift to an online format for the 2022 conference will enable significantly more students to participate than was possible at previous conferences. All interested attendees must have applied by Dec. 3, 2021, including students interested in presenting a talk or a poster and their co-authors. The registration fee was $20.
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.
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.
Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Joan Ferrini-Mundy became president of the University of Maine (UMaine) and its regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) in July 2018. In 2021, she was appointed vice chancellor for research and innovation for the University of Maine System (UMS). In this role, she leads a formalized effort to make UMaine’s research infrastructure accessible to and supportive of all universities and faculty in the System. Ferrini-Mundy chairs the UMS Science Advisory Board, which was established to stay fully abreast of fast-breaking scientific and medical developments in areas relevant for universities and the COVID-19 pandemic. Ferrini-Mundy is UMaine’s 21st president and second female president. Prior to joining the UMaine and UMM communities, she was the chief operating officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF). At NSF, Ferrini-Mundy headed the Directorate for Education and Human Resources for six years before becoming its chief operating officer. After earning her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 1980 from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Ferrini-Mundy was a postdoctoral associate there, and a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Mount Holyoke College. At Mount Holyoke, Ferrini-Mundy co-founded the SummerMath for Teachers program. She returned to UNH as an assistant professor of mathematics and rose to the rank of full professor. On leave from UNH, Ferrini-Mundy directed the Mathematical Sciences Education Board at the National Academy of Sciences, and subsequently joined the mathematics and teacher education faculty of Michigan State University (MSU). There, she also served as associate dean for science and mathematics education in the College of Natural Science and director of the Division of Science and Mathematics Education. Her numerous awards and recognitions include the U.S. Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, MSU’s University Distinguished Professorship, election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Mathematical Society, and the Seaman A. Knapp Award in recognition of her leadership and contributions to food and agricultural sciences. She is the chair-elect of the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences and the Academic Advisory Team with FocusMaine.
Dr. Pamela E. Harris
Dr. Pamela E. Harris is a Mexican-American mathematician and associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. She received her B.S. from Marquette University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Harris's research is in algebraic combinatorics, and she is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed research articles in internationally recognized journals. An award winning mathematical educator, Harris was the 2020 recipient of the MAA Northeast Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, the 2019 MAA Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, and the 2019 Council on Undergraduate Research Mathematics and Computer Sciences Division Early Career Faculty Mentor Award. She was also selected as a 2020 Inaugural Class of Karen Uhlenbeck EDGE Fellows and was one of 50 women featured in the book “Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics.” Her professional mission is to develop learning communities that reinforce students’ self-identity as scientists, in particular for women and underrepresented minorities. In support of this mission, Harris co-organizes research symposia and professional development sessions for the national conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and is an editor of the e-Mentoring Network blog of the American Mathematical Society. Moreover, in order to provide visibility to and increase the positive impact of the role models within our community, Harris co-founded Lathisms.org, a platform that features the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic scholars in the Mathematical Sciences. She cohosts the podcast Mathematically Uncensored and has recently coauthored the book Asked And Answered: Dialogues On Advocating For Students of Color in Mathematics.
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."
Dr. Antonia "Toni" Bluher Senior Subject Matter Expert, Cryptography National Security Agency
Dr. Bridget Butler Senior Strategy Consultant Wells Fargo
Dr. Sara Del Valle Senior Scientist Los Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. Tiziana Giorgi Program Director, Applied Mathematics, Division of Mathematical Sciences National Science Foundation
Dr. Brittney Keel-Mercer Research (Animal) Geneticist U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, USDA
Ms. Kristina Swift Data Scientist Weber Shandwick
Dr. Henry Warchall Senior Advisor, Division of Mathematical Sciences National Science Foundation
Application, Selection and Policies
We thank you for your interest in attending NCUWM. Students interested in presenting (a talk or a poster) at the 2022 conference must complete an application on or before Dec. 3, 2021. Students who are listed in applications as co-authors must complete an application by Dec. 3 if they are interested in attending the 2022 conference. Students and faculty who will attend as non-presenters must also register by Dec. 3, 2021.
Registration fees: The rate is $20 per person and must be paid by presenters once they are notified of acceptance and by Dec. 3. No refunds will be given for any registration fees.
Selection of participants will be done according to the following policies:
- Attendees must be at least 19 years of age at the time of the conference.
- Each home institution will be limited to a maximum of four presenters. For the 2022 conference, we will not limit the number of non-presenters from each school.
- 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.
- 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.
- Students chosen as presenters will be accepted to the conference, provided they complete their registration by Dec. 3 and pay the registration fee.
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 Alex Zupan, NCUWM Co-Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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.
Sign Up for NCUWM News
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.
Instructions: After clicking the button above, just enter your name, email address, and click the Join NCUWMANNOUNCE button.
Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics
UNL Department of Mathematics
203 Avery Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0130