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Pomona & Morehouse Colleges Receive $880,000 NSF Grant Supporting Graduate Women in Mathematics

EDGE participants 2014

EDGE participants 2014

Pomona College and Morehouse College have received an $880,000 collaborative National Science Foundation three-year grant to support the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program.

Designed to increase the number of women at the top levels of mathematics, EDGE prepares students for the distinctly different culture awaiting the small number of women who choose to study mathematics, by providing an academic bridge, mentoring, networking opportunities with peers and an introduction to the graduate school climate.

Since the program was founded in 1998, 201 women have participated and 54 have earned their Ph.D.s with more in the pipeline.

“What’s really special about this program is that while our students go everywhere across the country, they’re connected. This is important because they are often in departments with very few women or they may be the only female representative of their group,” says Pomona Mathematics Prof. Ami Radunskaya, one of the program’s co-directors. “We have lots of women from underrepresented groups. If you look at African-American women who have earned their Ph.D. in mathematics in the last five years, 25% have attended EDGE,” says Radunskaya, who has been involved with EDGE since its founding.

This year, the program is based at Harvey Mudd College, from June 2 to June 27, and coordinated by HMC Prof. Talithia Williams. Sixteen women are in the program, and 20 EDGE alumni will join them for a two-day symposium to share their graduate school experiences and present mathematical research talks.

Pomona and Morehouse are the coordinating institutions for EDGE, with Radunskaya and Dr. Ulrica Wilson of Morehouse serving as co-directors. Pomona and Harvey Mudd are the sole West Coast institutions to host the 14-year-old program. Pomona hosted the program in 2003, 2008 and 2012. The 2015 program will be hosted by Howard University.

EDGE has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Security Agency and Microsoft Research with additional support provided by the host institutions.