Dr. Marie Vitulli, Professor Emerita at the University of Oregon, will deliver a TIGERS Advance Distinguished Lecture “Algebra and Geometry Throughout History: A Symbiotic Relationship” Friday, January 25, at 10:10AM on the Clemson Campus. More information can be found at the Clemson University Events Calendar post for the lecture.
Professor Vitulli’s talk will be followed by a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon Saturday, January 26.
As a reminder, the official public comment period for the Department of Education’s proposed changes to Title IX ends January 28, 2019. If you have an opinion about the changes, you might consider posting a comment. Our previous post points to more information about the changes and where readers can post their comments.
Dr. Christine Darden
Dr. Christine Darden was born in Monroe, North Carolina in 1942. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Hampton Institute, her Master’s in Applied Mathematics from Virginia State College, and her Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University.
Dr. Darden started her career teaching mathematics to college and high school students. In 1967, she was added as a ‘human computer’ at NASA’s Langley Research Center. She worked for NASA for almost 40 years, retiring in 2007.
At NASA, she began processing data and doing calculations. Dr. Darden was upset that males with equivalent educational backgrounds were being promoted to engineer while she remained as a ‘computer’. After approaching her supervisor about the issue, he promoted her to the engineering division where she was one of the few female aerospace engineers at the time.
Her first task in the engineering division was to write a computer program for the sonic boom. This began her 25-year career in sonic boom minimization. She wrote more than 57 papers and articles while at NASA and was awarded two NASA medals, the Black Engineer of the Year Outstanding Achievement in Government Award, and the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Darden acknowledged that she was “able to stand on the shoulders of those women who came before me,” such as Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan who were depicted in the film “Hidden Figures”.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, and next month is Black History Month. With that in mind, we direct you to the website Mathematically Gifted and Black. Each day in February, this website honors a black mathematical/statistical scientist. We’re excited to see who the honorees are this year.
After several high profile gaffes, Michigan State University’s interim president John M. Engler has resigned effective immediately. Engler was hired to direct MSU in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, but apparently the university’s Board of Trustees concluded that his statements were causing too much damage to the institution.
This week saw a lot of high profile activity around Silent Sam, the confederate monument at UNC Chapel Hill. (See our previous post.) Carol L. Folt, the university’s chancellor ordered the prompt removal of the remaining pieces of the monument Monday and announced her retirement for the end of the year. The university’s Board of Governors decided to have her retire earlier.
Scientific American‘s blog post “What’s It Like to Be Queer in STEM?“
discusses a nationwide project surveying the experiences of LGBTQ+ scientists.
February is Black History Month, and Clemson has many events scheduled to commemorate it. From the Clemson Black History Month webpage: “This year, our theme is #BlackEffect: Melanated & Educated. Follow us on social media using the hashtag #CUBlackEffect throughout the month of February.” In particular, the Black History Month Keynote address will be delivered by David Banner on February 26.
This AMS blog post addresses several aspects of sexual harassment in the mathematical sciences. In particular, it discusses
- the Fellow revocation policy adopted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- the NSF’s new policy that requires “awardee organizations to notify the agency of (1) Any findings or determinations that an NSF-funded principal investigator or co-principal investigator committed harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault. (2) The placement of the principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator (co-PI) on administrative leave, or of the imposition of any administrative action relating to a harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education has created a series of “focus collections” many of which deal with issues of diversity. (The link here should work on-campus or off-campus, though off-campus access may require logging in with clemson.edu credentials. Alternatively, these collections are available to individual Chronicle subscribers here.) Collections include the following:
- Creating a Diverse Faculty
- Confronting History on Campus
- Handling Sexual-Assault Accusations
- Campus Clashes over Free Speech
- Sexual Boundaries for Professors
- Dealing with Controversial Speakers on Campus
- The New Landscape for International Students
- Battling Sexual Assault on Campus
- From the Reservation to College
- How to Help First Generation Students Succeed