"Don't be intimidated!" is Dr. Fan Chung's advice to young women considering careers in mathematics.

“Don’t be intimidated!” is Dr. Fan Chung’s advice to young women considering careers in mathematics.

The University of California is an equal opportunity university. The value of diversity in all aspects of the University’s educational programs is fundamental to its mission as a land grant institution. From the Chancellor on down, the UCSD administration is committed to the importance of diversity.  UCSD is currently developing an organizational framework through new collaborations and by strengthening existing partnerships with diversity and outreach functions across campus – these efforts are centralized under the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

For the past ten years, Washington Monthly has ranked universities using a notably different ranking criteria. They gathered reams of publicly available data and settled on three criteria: social mobility, research, and service. In terms of their ranking, America’s best colleges are those that work hardest to help economically disadvantaged students earn the credentials that the job market demands. They’re the institutions that contribute new scientific discoveries and highly trained PhDs. They’re the colleges that emphasize the obligations students have to serve their communities and the nation at large. In this ranking, among all National Universities, UCSD has been ranked 1st each year since 2010.

We currently have 7 female faculty. Professor Fan Chung Graham holds the Paul Erdos Chair in Combinatorics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Graham is extremely prolific in producing new Ph.D.s in combinatorics. Professor Ruth Williams holds the Charles Lee Powell Endowed Chair received a Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Lily Xu is a Biostatistician with an appointment in both Mathematics and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and a recipient of the David P. Byar Young Investigator Award of the American Statistical Association. Senior Lecturer Laura Stevens is a combinatorist who is active in math education. Professor Jelena Bradic is a statistician and recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and LAHA Award from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.  Professor Alina Bucur is a recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and is very active in mentoring and promoting participation by women graduate students. Professor Elham Izadi is a fellow of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and recipient of the Creative Research Medal at the University of Georgia.  While this is a small number, it is to our knowledge, more than the number of women faculty in any of the top 20 Group I public university mathematics departments.

We recognize that campus climate can also play a large role in the success of our recruitment and retention program. Underrepresented students and women who perceive a hostile climate tend to have a lower sense of belonging and this affects their ability to persist in the graduate program. Former Grad Vice Chair Jim Lin is a Founder of the UCSD Cross Cultural Center. The Center is now over 20 years old and hosts hundreds of cultural events each quarter including get-togethers specifically for graduate students. Our underrepresented students find the Center to be a welcoming place where they can find other students will similar backgrounds. The Cross Cultural Center has recently moved to a new 8,000 square foot space central to campus and is considered one of the model cultural centers in the country. UCSD also has a Women’s Center and a LGBT Resource Center.

The Math Department hosts a student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics which holds periodic lunch meetings in the Women’s Center. AWM has also hosts the Graduate Undergraduate Learning Program (GULP) and an Undergraduate Research conference. There are several organizations on campus that address the needs of underrepresented graduate students and graduate women. There is the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, and the Graduate Students of Color Coalition.  There is the Raza Graduate Student Association for students of Hispanic descent. There is Ujima, the African American Faculty, Student and Staff Association and there is the American Indian Faculty and Student Association, and the Pan Asian American Faculty, Student and Staff Association, among others. Most of these organizations meet in the Cross Cultural Center or the Women’s Center.