To diversify the field of mathematics, it is essential to learn from the experiences of people from underrepresented communities who have completed major milestones on the path to completing mathematics PhD programs. These stories can disrupt misconceptions about who can and cannot do mathematics at the highest levels, paving the way for increased opportunity and representation in the field.

EDC is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa State University, and the University of North Carolina Charlotte to learn about the experiences, perspectives, and stories of doctoral students and recent PhD graduates from underrepresented groups in mathematics. This research will build knowledge to inform decisions about changing mathematics department cultures and practices to better recruit, retain, and graduate mathematicians from underrepresented groups.

Key Activities

The project is carrying out the following activities:

  • Conducting in-depth interviews with 75 mathematics doctoral students and recent PhD graduates from underrepresented groups
  • Creating a collection of nuanced themes that emerge from the research
  • Creating a set of counterstories that capture typical experiences of the students and their perspectives on what supports and inhibits their success
  • Developing and leading workshops for university mathematics faculty and administrators to share outcomes from the research


  • The study will provide insight into the successes and challenges students from underrepresented groups face in completing mathematics doctoral programs.

Learn More

National Science Foundation

Carnegie Mellon University, Michael Young, Lead PI
Iowa State University, Tera Jordan, CO-PI
University of North Carolina Charlotte, Carl Westine, Co-PI

Bodies of Work