NSF Awards UAlbany
Professor $635,000 to Research Underrepresentation
of Women and Minorities in Mathematics Programs
Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 6, 2004) -- Mathematics Education
Assistant Professor Abbe Herzig has received a
$635,000 National Science Foundation grant to
conduct a study aimed at helping graduate mathematics
programs recruit, retain, and graduate a more
diverse student body.
The grant will enable Herzig to investigate the
participation of women and of Latinos, Chicanos,
African Americans, and Native Americans in graduate
study. As part of her research, she will conduct
case studies of graduate mathematics programs
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University
of Maryland, College Park; Rice University; University
of New Mexico; and American University. “These
five programs were selected,” she said, “because
they are programs in which students who are traditionally
underrepresented in mathematics have succeeded
in unusually large numbers relative to national
Herzig will carry out these case studies based
on interviews with faculty and graduate students;
observations in classes, seminars, and other public
activities in the departments, and collection
of artifacts, such as reports and grant proposals.
“I will also do an on-line survey and in-depth
interviews with a national sample of mathematics
graduate students - women and students of color
- to assess their experiences in graduate mathematics
more broadly,” she said.
Ultimately, Herzig, whose research focuses on
equity and social justice in math and science
education at all levels, will recommend guidelines
for faculty and policymakers to use to increase
student diversity in mathematics doctoral programs.
These recommendations will be submitted to journals
read by mathematicians and mathematics educators,
presented at mathematics conferences, and disseminated
through other means.
Herzig joined UAlbany’s Department of Educational
Theory and Practice in 2003 after two years as
a faculty member in the Department of Learning
and Teaching at Rutgers University. Formerly a
statistician for Consumers Union, Herzig has consulted
for the United Nations, Yale University's School
of Medicine, and the Legal Defense Fund of the
NAACP; she was also on staff at Brookhaven National
Laboratory and later served as a consultant there.
Her publications include two currently in press:
"Mathematics Instruction that Works for Girls"
in Searching for Solutions:
A Guide for Empowering the Beginning Teacher of
Mathematics (M. Chappell, ed.), and "Slaughtering
this beautiful math: Graduate women choosing and
leaving mathematics" (Gender
The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence
in undergraduate and graduate education, research
and public service engages 17,000 diverse students
in nine degree-granting schools and colleges.
The University has launched a $500 million fundraising
campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with
the goal of placing it among the nation's top
30 public research universities by the end of
the decade. For more information about this internationally
ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu.
For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts,