Infinite Possibilities Conference - Building Diversity in Science

Register for March 1-3, 2015 | Oregon State University | Corvallis, Oregon

The Infinite Possibilities Conference was created to educate, empower and create new frontiers by building on the undaunted spirit of women in the mathematical sciences.

Conference Details

The Infinite Possibilities Conference 2015 (IPC) will be held at Oregon State University (OSU) on March 2-3, 2015. IPC is a national conference designed to promote, educate, encourage and support minority women interested in mathematics and statistics. IPC 2015 is co-hosted by Building Diversity in Science and OSU.

IPC 2015 and the NSF-sponsored Mathematical Biological Institute will also offer a Short Course on Biostatistics for IPC participants on Sunday March 1, 2015.

The Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Awards Banquet will be held on Tuesday evening, March 3, 2014.

Location: All sessions will be in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center at Oregon State University, located in Corvallis, Oregon.

Registration now open at: diversityinscience.org/event-registration-2/

Download the conference flyer (PDF)
Download the conference Schedule-At-A-Glance (PDF)

SPECIAL INVITED SPEAKERS

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Erika Camacho, Arizona State University

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Talithia Williams, Harvey Mudd College

Special Invited Banquet Speaker: Dr. Deborah Jackson, National Science Foundation

Special Workshop Presentation: “What to do when you are the only _______ in your department” presented by Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, National Center for Faculty Diversity

HOTEL INFORMATION

There are two official conference hotels located in Corvallis, Oregon: The Holiday Inn Express Corvallis-On the River and the Hilton Garden Inn. The Holiday Inn is about 2 miles from the conference center. Shuttle transportation to the conference center will be made available for participants staying at the Holiday Inn. The Hilton Garden Inn is located less than one block from the conference center.

Holiday Inn Express (click to book online)
Rate: $104/night
Group Code: IPC
Or call the hotel directly: 541-752-0800

Hilton Garden Inn (click to book online)
Rate: $114/night
Or call the hotel directly: 541-752-5000

Please note that the special IPC hotel rate is only until January 26.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From I-5: Take Interstate 5 to Hwy 34 (Exit 228). Follow Hwy 34 West to Corvallis (12 miles).

From Hwy 99: If traveling south to OSU, Hwy 99 becomes 4th St.
If traveling north to OSU, Hwy 99 becomes 3rd St.

FLYING DIRECTIONS

The nearest airports are Portland Airport (PDX) and Eugene Airport (EUG).

From Portland Airport:
Hut Shuttle (http://www.hutshuttle.com/) from Portland airport to Corvallis Hilton Garden is approximately 2 hours; fee is $85 round trip; runs every two hours.

From Eugene Airport:
Omni Shuttle (http://www.omnishuttle.com/) from Eugene Airport to Corvalis is approximately 1hour; fee is $130 round trip +$10 for each additional person if reserved at the same time; runs on demand.

Participant Reflections

"While attending the IPC conference I was motivated to continue to give back to my community. I have decided to become a high school math teacher so that I can help shape the minds of other women and minorities."

- Senior, Mathematics Major

"I came back from IPC rejuvenated, re-encouraged, and with a renewed confidence in completing my dissertation."

- Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics

"While attending IPC I was very doubtful if should continue striving toward a Ph.D. because I had one more qualifying exam to pass that I had taken four times already. But after attending IPC and talking to many of the very inspiring women, who by the way were just like me, it made me see that I am not alone and if they could do it I could too. So that June I took the test, passed it and even received a fellowship for the next year. I am extremely grateful to have been apart of IPC, it is a conference that was both inspirational and educational to me. It is an experience I will never forget."

- Graduate student, Mathematics/Commutative Algebra

"I thought the banquet dinner was very inspirational. It was moving to be in the same room with so many women from underrepresented minority groups with Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences. It serves as a reminder that getting a Ph.D. in the mathematical sciences is a tangible goal. I enjoyed the candid conversations about balancing a career and a family. I think that topic is seldom discussed and I appreciated the willingness of the panel members to share their experiences on that topic."

- Graduate student, Statistics

"Attending the conference made me realize that I definitely wanted to go to graduate school, and that research is a passion that I needed to pursue. All of the moments were memorable because I had never before seen that many women of color who were great at math. The conference was definitely one of the most defining moments in my life because it helped me make key decisions for my future."

- Graduate student, Applied Mathematics/Mathematical Biology

"The conference really lifted my spirits and helped me to move forward. As a first year graduate student, I needed to hear the stories of women who look just like me who have also struggled with racism, sexism, and favoritism in their respective institutions, but through faith, help and support from family and peers, and most importantly, with strong determination, were able to overcome these obstacles and succeed. After the conference I came back to my school rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. That following summer, I successfully passed two qualifying exams towards my Ph.D. in mathematics, and passed my last qualifying exam last fall. I not only take this opportunity to inform you of my progress as a graduate student, but rather to recognize the powerful impression the conference left upon me. I feel honored and blessed to have been part of such a wonderful event. Keep up the great work and I look forward to being inspired at the next one"

- Graduate student, Mathematics

"While attending the IPC conference I was motivated to continue to give back to my community. I have decided to become a high school math teacher so that I can help shape the minds of other women and minorities. The entire conference was memorable. Being able to be in the company of numerous mathematicians who were just like me was inspiring and truly a boost to my desire to continue in mathematics."

- Senior, Mathematics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree. The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"One thing the Conference did for my next steps is that it gave me motivation to stay in school. I heard from other women, including a single parent about how difficult graduate school can be at different times. Hearing the struggles and hardships and successes renewed my faith and confidence about sticking with it. It was extremely inspirational hearing from women of color, women that looked like me. This was an amazing conference that had such a powerful impact on my life. I hope it is offered time and time again. It was really cool being in a room filled with women of color who were at all stages of education. Very inspirational and powerful."

- Graduate student

"I had already applied and been accepted to Ph.D. programs when I attended IPC. But IPC did open my eyes to different opportunities for mathematicians. I was also able to meet people in the field I am interested in (biostatistics) and find out what they are doing or have done with their degrees. The entire conference was awesome. All of the speakers and sessions were informative yet entertaining. I met several people at the conference who I still keep in touch with today, both students and non-students."

- Graduate student, Biostatistics

"IPC exposed me to many areas one can study with a background in Math, and introduced me to the field I plan on studying in Graduate School. It was also a very empowering experience to see so many Minority women with the same passion...This was by far the most exciting and fulfilling conference I've ever attended, and I hope that I get a chance to experience it once again. I hope that more people have the chance to experience the greatness of this conference."

- Junior, Mathematics

"It was an educational experience for me. The conference helped me grow as a mentor."

- Professional in academia, IPC participant


"It was an educational experience for me. The conference helped me grow as a mentor."

- College student, IPC participant


"I got to meet more math majors and learn a lot about the field of mathematics."

- College student, IPC participant


"It made me believe that I can be one of the professors in a future meeting."

- College student, IPC participant

"It was a pivotal moment for my deciding to pursue a doctoral degree. It not only gave experience in presenting my work, but it also inspired and motivated me to continue my research to complete my master's and discover my reasons for earning a PhD."

- Graduate student, IPC participant

"Mostly it made me feel less alone…which has made me a little more comfortable pursuing the PhD."

- IPC participant


"I felt very encouraged by women like me at a point where I really felt like giving up."

- Graduate student, IPC participant


"I learned so many things about future possibilities in math that I never knew existed. This conference re-energized me in my pursuit of math. I love it! The research roundtable was my favorite part of the conference."

- Undergraduate student, Mathematics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

"IPC encouraged me to learn more about different graduate school programs, especially in public health, for undergrads in math. I did receive information about a few schools at IPC but I would like to have been able to talk to more school reps or at least see more brochures. Currently I am looking into schools with good public health and anthropology programs and IPC gave me the encouragement to look at all of the possibilities of a math degree…The entire conference was wonderful! It was the first time I was able to experience being around other women with similar backgrounds and interests. The workshops were great, the grad school prep workshop really helped me - I still have the power point printout which I am using to plan out my last semester."

- Junior, Mathematics w/Emphasis in Statistics

About IPC

The Infinite Possibilities Conference (IPC) is a national conference that is designed to promote, educate, encourage and support minority women interested in mathematics and statistics.

The Infinite Possibilities Conference was created to educate, empower and create new frontiers by building on the undaunted spirit of women in the mathematical and statistical sciences.

In order to increase and support diversity in the mathematics and statistics community, a paradigm shift needs to occur in the way we think about the image of a mathematician / statistician and about the role a mathematician / statistician plays in society. While there a smattering of workshops and conferences created to address race / ethnicity or gender in the context of mathematics / statistics, the Infinite Possibilities Conference is the only program specially designed to address both.

Conference Activities Include:

  • Professional development workshop series
  • Panel discussion on graduate studies in mathematics / statistics
  • Research talks given by professionals
  • Student poster sessions
  • Special activities for high school students
  • Roundtable discussions on experiences with mathematics / statistics
  • Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award banquet highlighting individual recipient's achievements in mathematics / statistics

What is IPC?

The Infinite Possibilities Conference (IPC) is a national conference that is designed to promote, educate, encourage and support minority women interested in mathematics and statistics. The conference is jointly hosted by Building Diversity in Science and post-secondary institutions committed to increasing diversity in the mathematical and statistical sciences.

Past hosts include:

  • 2005: Spelman College; Atlanta, GA.
  • 2007: North Carolina State University and Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute; Raleigh, NC.
  • 2010: Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles; Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2012: University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Baltimore, MD.

Why is IPC important?

African-American, Hispanic / Latina, and American Indian women have been historically underrepresented in mathematics / statistics. Less than 2% of the doctoral degrees in the mathematical and statistical sciences are awarded to American women from underrepresented minority groups. Even professionals who have succeeded in completing advanced degree programs in science and engineering fields can face inequities within their professional lives with respect to advancement and salaries.

What is being envisioned through this conference is that in order to increase and support diversity in the mathematics / statistics community, a paradigm shift needs to occur in the way we think about the image of a mathematician / statistician and about the role a mathematician / statistician plays in society. Although some workshops and conferences have been created to address race / ethnicity or gender in the context of mathematics / statistics, no conference or program has been specially designed to address both.

How did IPC start?

Infinite Possibilities Conference was organized under the leadership of Leona Harris, PhD, Tanya Moore, PhD and Nagambal Shah, PhD. Together they assembled a committee of minority women mathematicians / statisticians to create the first ever IPC. Given that there is a commonality in the experiences of underrepresented minority women interested in mathematics / statistics there was a desire to create an event that could share mathematical / statistical knowledge and skills, but also speak to the issues that are unique to women and people of color in this field. It was also felt it would be important to have in attendance all aspects of the pipeline from students to professionals, in order to foster mentorship, opportunities to view role models and to encourage networking.

The members of the first Steering Committee included: M. Ahinee Amamoo, MS, Leona Harris, PhD, Gayle Herrington, PhD, Tanya Moore, PhD, Iris Morgan, Nagambal Shah, PhD, Monica Stephens, PhD, Shree Whitaker Taylor PhD, Kimberly Weems, PhD. Also, a lot of support was given from the faculty at Spelman College especially members of the Local Organizing Committee which included: Angela Beauford, MS, Sylvia Bozeman, PhD, Colm Mulcahy, PhD, Nagambal Shah, PhD, and Monica Stephens, PhD. All of these individuals sacrificed their time, energy and creativity to begin something new. Dr. Leona Harris and Dr. Tanya Moore, former college study buddies, co-chaired IPC 2005. Dr. Nagambal Shah provided leadership, enthusiasm and dedication to support not only the vision for IPC but to support many of her former students who were embarking on unchartered territory. Her wisdom, faith and experience were key elements in translating IPC from an idea into a reality.

In April 2005, the first IPC was held, and it was a huge success! Nearly 150 women, students and professionals, arrived from all over the country to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia to participate in a two-day conference experience. We were also fortunate to have sponsors that took a chance on us, and believed in our efforts enough to make financial commitments. With contributions from The Toyota Motor Corporation, National Security Agency, National Science Foundation and the US Army we were able to financially support students who wanted to attend and support the program we had designed for the conference.

Highlights of the conference included research talks, discussion groups on experiences in mathematics / statistics, invited lectures given by Dr. Evelyn Boyd Granville (the second African American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics), Dr. Fern Hunt and Dr. Cleopatria Martinez, a banquet honoring Dr. Etta Falconer, and panel discussion on topics such as mentoring and balancing career and family.

How is IPC organized?

Building Diversity in Science

The official home of IPC is Building Diversity in Science (BDIS). This mission of BDIS is to utilize science as a platform to empower students to pursue careers available with a science degree. Specifically, our aim is to equip these students with powerful tools to successfully navigate the academy and life. BDIS was founded in 2001.

IPC Advisory Board

  • Responsible for general oversight, use of IPC name, future direction of IPC and related publications
  • Board members may or may not be involved in planning for specific conference years
  • Board members have long term commitment to IPC Members: Erika Camacho, Lily Khadjavi, Tanya Moore, Nagambal Shah, Kim Weems

IPC Organizing Committee

  • Consists of IPC Steering Committee and IPC Local Organizing Committee
  • Responsible for planning and implementation of IPC in a specific conference year

Falconer Award

Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award


About the Award

The Infinite Possibilities Conference Steering Committee, along with the Spelman College Mathematics Department and the Falconer Family, established the Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award for Mentoring and Commitment to Diversity to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a professional commitment to mentoring and increasing diversity in the sciences, and in particular the mathematical sciences. The award is formally presented during the Infinite Possibilities Conference during the Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Banquet. The award recipient receives a commemorative plaque; complimentary registration, travel, hotel expenses to attend the Infinite Possibilities Conference; two additional banquet tickets for guests; and a modest honorarium.

Dr. Etta Z. Falconer (1933-2002), former Associate Provost for Science Programs and Policy and Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College, was widely known for her efforts towards increasing diversity in the sciences. Through her involvement in the creation of the NASA Women in Science Program and the Spelman College Honors Program, and as founder of the National Association of Mathematicians, Dr. Falconer spent her life demonstrating a commitment to mentoring women and traditionally underrepresented minorities and increasing their access to and participation in the sciences and the mathematical sciences.

Nominations

Key Criteria for the Award:

  • Individual has demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing the number of women and/or underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and in particular the mathematical sciences.
  • Individual has served as a mentor to women and/or underrepresented minorities in the sciences, particularly the mathematical sciences.

Additional Criteria

  • Individual has helped to increase the number of women and/or underrepresented minorities pursuing baccalaureate and/or advanced degrees in the sciences, particularly the mathematical sciences.
  • Individual has helped to increase the number of women and/or underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in the sciences, particularly the mathematical sciences.
  • Individual must be living at the time of their nomination.
  • The award recipient is expected to attend the Etta Z. Falconer Banquet.

You can nominate yourself or another individual. This award is open to all regardless of nationality, citizenship, or gender.
The nomination should include:

  • Name
  • Position
  • Institution
  • Professional address
  • Phone
  • Fax
  • eEmail address of the nominee and the nominator
  • A 1- to 2-page statement on how the individual meets award criteria
  • a full curriculum vita of the nominee including a list of all official honors and awards
  • 3 letters of recommendations that address how the individual meets award criteria, with at least one from an individual who has been encouraged or mentored by the nominee.

Please submit all information electronically to ipcinfo@diversityinscience.org. PDF files, Word documents, and plain text files are acceptable. In the subject line, write Falconer Award Nominee [Last Name of Nominee]. Recommendations must be received directly from the recommenders. All materials become the property of the Infinite Possibilities Conference Steering Committee. The nomination deadline is October 1, 2015.

The 2015 Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award for Mentoring and Commitment to Diversity will be formally presented to the award recipient during the 2015 Infinite Possibilities Conference at Oregon State University on March 3, 2015. The winner will be notified by December 1, 2015.

PAST AWARDEES

Dr. Roselyn Williams

2012 Award Recipient

Dr. Ivelisse Rubio

2010 Award Recipient

Dr. Sylvia Bozeman

2007 Award Recipient

Dr. Janis Oldham

2005 Award Recipient

Sponsors

Sponsors:
National Security Agency, NSF Math Institutes' Diversity Collaborative
and Oregon State University

Sponsors for IPC 2015

PREMIERE SPONSOR - Minimum donation of $25,000

  • National Security Agency
  • NSF Math Institutes' Diversity Collaborative
  • Oregon State University

PLATINUM SPONSOR - Minimum donation of $15,000


GOLD - Minimum donation of $7500


SILVER - Minimum donation of $3000

  • Sam's Club

BRONZE - Minimum donation of $1000

  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics
  • American Statistical Association

 


PAST SPONSORS

  • American Statistical Association
  • BP
  • CASIO, Inc.
  • Cummins, Inc
  • IBM TJ Watson Research Center
  • Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM)
  • Jackson & Tull
  • JERZEES ®
  • Kids at Hope
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Mathematical Association of America
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Security Agency
  • North Carolina State University, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences & Department of Statistics
  • North Carolina State University, Statistics Department
  • Oracle
  • P&L Consulting Group
  • Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
  • Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • Symantec
  • Toyota Motor Corporation, USA, Inc.
  • U.S. Army Research Office
  • UMBC Department of Mathematics and Statistics Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Past IPC hosts:

  • 2005: Spelman College; Atlanta, GA.
  • 2007: Building Diversity in Science, North Carolina State University and Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute; Raleigh, NC.
  • 2010: Building Diversity in Science, Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles; Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2012: Building Diversity in Science and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Baltimore, MD.

Resources

Professional Organizations

American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS)
Visit website

American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Visit website

American Mathematical Society (AMS)
Visit website

American Statistical Association (ASA)
Visit website

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
Visit website

Caucus for Women in Statistics
Visit website

The Council for Africans and Americans in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS)
Visit website

Mathematical Association of America
Visit website

National Association of Mathematicians
Visit website

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Visit website

NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes
Visit website

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
Visit website

Get Involved

The Infinite Possibilities Conference was created to educate, empower and create new frontiers by building on the undaunted spirit of women in the mathematical sciences.


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