January 19, 2015  

Purdue becomes new home for National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will serve as the new home for a national mathematics organization that strives to increase underrepresented minorities earning doctoral degrees in mathematics and related fields.

The Purdue math department will house the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences beginning in March. This organization, currently based at the University of Iowa, brings together hundreds of faculty members and students from numerous universities and colleges in a shared passion for increasing the number of doctoral degrees in the mathematical sciences among groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in those fields.

Since its inception in 2001, the Alliance has grown to play a vital role nationally in diversifying graduate programs in mathematics and related fields.  Over the past five years, Alliance-affiliated doctoral programs accounted for roughly one-third of all Ph.D.’s awarded in the mathematical sciences to students from underrepresented backgrounds. Beyond increasing the numbers, the Alliance also fosters the growth of a community of mathematical scientists that promotes a diverse workforce.

“It is especially fitting that we make this announcement during the week that we celebrate the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a keynote speech by nationally recognized expert on science and math education, Freeman A. Hrawbowski III,” said Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “We are proud of Purdue’s Mathematics Department as an outstanding center for mathematical education, scholarship and research, and we look forward to working with the Alliance to contribute to a more diverse national profile of PhD’s.”

Purdue Mathematics professor David Goldberg will serve as the Alliance’s new executive director while fellow Purdue Mathematics faculty members Edray Goins and Rodrigo Bañuelos will take on the roles of associate director and program adviser, respectively. The trio has worked for decades at Purdue to help attract and mentor students from underrepresented groups.

“Purdue’s math department has a long-standing commitment to promoting diversity, with exceptional efforts on this front by former department heads Rodrigo Bañuelos and Leonard Lipshitz, among many others,” said current mathematics department head Greg Buzzard.  “This evident commitment, along with greater participation in many Alliance activities, the enthusiastic support of Purdue’s provost and the deans of the College of Science and the Graduate School, and the strong new leadership team, led to Purdue as the clear choice for the next Alliance home.“

The Alliance was founded by Phil Kutzko at the University of Iowa and has grown to national visibility in a short time.  With retirement approaching, Kutzko and the Alliance board solicited proposals to house the Alliance at another institution. Purdue Mathematics will be the Alliance’s home at least until 2020.

 “Ensuring the continued success of the Alliance is a huge responsibility and we do not take it lightly,” said Bañuelos, a longtime champion for diversity in mathematics. “It represents an enormous opportunity for us - the mathematics department, the College of Science and the university as a whole - to play a national role in increasing diversity in mathematical sciences and related fields.”

 “We look forward to building on the many successes of the Alliance and to deepening ties with the entire Alliance community,” Buzzard said. 

Writer: Tim Brouk, tbrouk@purdue.edu, 765-496-1682 

Sources: David Goldberg, Goldberg@purdue.edu, (765)-494-1919

Greg Buzzard, buzzard@purdue.edu, 765-494-1908

Edray Goins, egoins@purdue.edu, 765-494-1936

Rodrigo Banuelos, banuelos@purdue.edu, 765-494-1977

Phil Kutzko, philip-kutzko@uiowa.edu, 319-335-0758 

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