African Americans Hold Fewer than One Percent of Doctorates in Math in U.S.

Some Math” by Behdad Esfahbod licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: New York Times

According to national data, African Americans hold fewer than one percent of doctorates awarded to mathematicians in the U.S., and overall earn fewer than 7 percent of doctoral degrees across all disciplines.

The history of black mathematicians is relatively scarce, with few ever being accepted into prestigious programs and few ever having opportunities from a young age to hone their math skills.

Stanford math department for example has only ever awarded three Ph.Ds to African Americans, and other prestigious universities are still made up of very little diversity in their math departments.

In a blog post written by Edray Goins, an African-American mathematician who has been highly successful and earned awards for his leadership in the sector, Goins talked about the racial disparity in the department that drove him to leave his full professor post at Purdue for a position at Pomona liberal arts college.

This type of isolation is not uncommon across many sectors where white people make up the majority of those in higher positions, reports New York Times, and in this case, black mathematicians are simply rare in the field for many reasons that mostly hinge on a lack of opportunity. But other studies and analysis of these situations have pointed to a lack of change within institutions to foster environments where minorities feel welcomed and respected above all, and thus retention rates for minorities in these fields are poor.

Read Full Story: New York Times

Education, News
Education, News