NIMBioS’ plan to host the 2016 Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Awards Ceremony, an event focused on fostering the careers of minority groups underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, received a big boost this month from a $26,364 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The 2016 Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Awards Ceremony, which NIMBioS will co-host with SAMSI, will be the ninth conference since 2000. The conference is held bi-annually, with the location rotating among NSF Mathematics Institutes. The conference and prize honors David Blackwell, the first African- American member of the National Academy of Science, and Richard Tapia, winner of the National Medal of Science in 2010, two seminal figures who inspired a generation of African-American, Native American and Latino/Latina students to pursue careers in mathematics. The Blackwell-Tapia Prize recognizes a mathematician who has contributed significantly to research in his or her area of expertise and who has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups or has contributed in other significant ways to addressing the program of underrepresentation of minorities in math.
Conference goals are to:
• Recognize and showcase mathematical excellence by minority researchers
• Recognize and disseminate successful efforts to address under-representation
• Inform students and mathematicians about career opportunities in mathematics, especially outside academia
• Provide networking opportunities for mathematical researchers at all points in the higher education/career trajectory
Support from the Sloan Foundation will go toward speaker travel, facility fees, the awards banquet and other expenses that will make the event possible. Grant PI’s are NIMBioS Education & Outreach Coordinator Kelly Sturner, Associate Director for Education & Outreach Suzanne Lenhart, and Evaluation Manager Pamela Bishop. While the Sloan Foundation has previously supported the Blackwell-Tapia Conference, this is NIMBioS’ first grant with the Sloan Foundation.
Conference planning is now underway! More information about the conference will become available in spring of 2016.