Women in Mathematics
We've come a long way - or have we?

Thirtieth Annual Spring Lecture Series

University of Arkansas Department of Mathematical Sciences

Special Public Lecture

Thursday, April 14
7:00 PM
Donald W. Reynolds Center

In 1883 Sonya Kovalevsky became the first woman in modern times to hold a university position in mathematics in the western world, a one year probationary teaching position, without salary, at the University of Stockholm. In reaction to her presence, August Strindberg wrote, "A female professor is a pernicious and unpleasant phenomenon - even, one might say, a monstrosity."

The situation of women mathematicians and other women scientists will be discussed, partly from historical perspective, and partly in terms of problems that exist today. While there may be few Strindbergs left, there is overwhelming evidence that there is gender bias in the evaluation of job candidates and in many other contexts, even when procedures seem to be objective and fair: bias that is not conscious and that is held equally by men and women. Coupled with the accumulation of disadvantage, such bias is truly a pernicious and unpleasant phenomenon.

presented by

Mel Hochster

Mel Hochster is the Jack E. McLaughlin Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. He is a leading expert in his research field and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Hochster has been a mentor to several researchers and has supervised twenty-nine graduate students, twelve of whom are women. He is extensively involved in efforts to improve diversity and to promote gender equality, as part of a National Science Fundation program at the University of Michigan.