Team Awarded NSF Grant to Research DEI in Introductory Math

Akin, Tackett and Viel
Duke interdisciplinary research team of (from left) Tori Akin (Mathematics), Maria Tackett (Statistical Science) and Shira Viel (Mathematics)

An interdisciplinary team of Duke researchers – Assistant Professors of the Practice Shira Viel (Mathematics), Maria Tackett (Statistical Science) and Tori Akin (Mathematics) – have joined a seven-institution research collaboration investigating how mathematics departments engage with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  

As part of ACT UP Math (Achieving Critical Transformation in Undergraduate Programs in Mathematics) project – a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) – the team will conduct research aimed at supporting faculty in making data-informed decisions to improve DEI in introductory mathematics courses. In addition to Duke, collaborative research sites for the project include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, California State University East Bay, Clemson University, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Kennesaw State University.  

The Duke researchers will work together with other members of the Duke community to understand current DEI obstacles and implement changes to address them. They will leverage quantitative and qualitative data to engage key Math Department stakeholders in cycles of improvement. Addressing issues relating to DEI in introductory mathematics courses could lead to broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.