DEI Reading Group

This reading group is a biweekly discussion among graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at Courant to educate ourselves on issues about diversity, equity and inclusion in our community. These are relatively informal discussions that focus on a particular topic in DEI with an accompanying reference (typically a short article, research paper, or video lecture) that is read/watched by participants prior to the meeting. Each meeting, a new volunteer discussion facilitator chooses a topic and accompanying reference(s).

While everyone is encouraged to attend, please note that this is a safe space intended for education about topics in DEI and the sharing of personal experiences, not a space for debate or contentious discussion. Please go through this code of conduct and follow it during meetings.

Meetings are held every other Friday in WWH 1314 from 12:30PM - 1:30PM, beginning on Friday, 9/15/2023.

If you are interested in attending or facilitating a discussion, please contact one of the seminar organizers:

  • Olivia Pomerenk, op554 [at] nyu [dot] edu

  • Mariya Savinov, mas10009 [at] nyu [dot] edu

The schedule for the current semester (Fall 2023) is as follows:

Date Topic Reference(s) Discussion Leader(s) Email Address(es)
9/15/2023 Math graduate students' role as teachers

Beisiegel, Mary, and Elaine Simmt. "FORMATION OF MATHEMATICS GRADUATE STUDENTS’ MATHEMATICIAN-AS-TEACHER IDENTITY." For the Learning of Mathematics 32, no. 1 (2012): 34-39.

Nick DeFilippis
9/29/2023 UMich's AP program - a DEI success story

Mervis, Jeffrey. “Michigan’s Surprising Path to Diversity.” Science 375, no. 6584 (2022): 967–69.

Posselt, Julie, Kimberly A. Reyes, Kelly E. Slay, Aurora Kamimura, and Kamaria B. Porter. "Equity efforts as boundary work: How symbolic and social boundaries shape access and inclusion in graduate education." Teachers College Record 119, no. 10 (2017): 1-38.

(Pages 2-6, 14-22, and 29-31)

Andrew Lipnick
10/13/2023 Hidden curriculum in graduate math departments

Margolis, Eric, and Mary Romero. ""The department is very male, very white, very old, and very conservative": The functioning of the hidden curriculum in graduate sociology departments." Harvard Educational Review 68, no. 1 (1998): 1-33.

Paul Beckman

Culturally Responsive Collegiate Mathematics Education

Jett, Christopher C. "Culturally responsive collegiate mathematics education: Implications for African American students." Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning 3, no. 2 (2013): 102-116.

Ellen Persson

11/10/2023 TBD TBD Nandan Kulkarni
12/8/2023 TBD TBD TBD


Faculty facilitators: Aleksandar Donev, Shafer Smith, Laure Zanna, Georg Stadler, Esteban Tabak.


The schedules for past semesters are below:

Spring 2023:
Date Topic Reference(s) Discussion Leader(s) Email Address(es)
2/17/2023 AMS paraDIGMS

“Towards a Fully Inclusive Mathematics Profession.” Report of The Task Force on Understanding and Documenting the Historical Role of the AMS in Racial Discrimination. March 22, 2021.

(Pages 8-9, 13-18, 37-48)


Executive summary of the above.


“Graduate Programs in Moving Towards a Fully Inclusive Mathematics Profession | paraDIGMS 2021” Video.

(2:49 through 31:24)

Olivia Pomerenk, Mariya Savinov 

3/3/2023 The graduate math experience for women

Herzig, Abbe H. "Women belonging in the social worlds of graduate mathematics." The Mathematics Enthusiast 7, no. 2 (2010): 177-208.

Nick DeFilippis
3/24/2023 The gender confidence gap in STEM

Sterling, Adina D., Marissa E. Thompson, Shiya Wang, Abisola Kusimo, Shannon Gilmartin, and Sheri Sheppard. "The confidence gap predicts the gender pay gap among STEM graduates." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 48 (2020): 30303-30308.

Sonia Reilly
4/7/2023 The utility of the GRE in graduate school admissions and outcomes

Feldon, David F., Kaylee Litson, Brinleigh Cahoon, Zhang Feng, Andrew Walker, and Colby Tofel-Grehl. "The predictive validity of the GRE across graduate outcomes: A meta-analysis of trends over time." The Journal of Higher Education (2023): 1-29.

Matt Pudig
4/21/2023 Masculinities in Mathematics

Mendick, Heather. Masculinities in mathematics. McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 2006.

(Chapter 1)

Paul Beckman 
5/5/2023 The value placed on innate (mathematical) ability as it relates to diversity and graduate admissions

Scherr, Rachel E., Monica Plisch, Kara E. Gray, Geoff Potvin, and Theodore Hodapp. "Fixed and growth mindsets in physics graduate admissions." Physical Review Physics Education Research 13, no. 2 (2017): 020133.


Leslie, Sarah-Jane, Andrei Cimpian, Meredith Meyer, and Edward Freeland. "Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines." Science 347, no. 6219 (2015): 262-265.

Aurora Basinski


Fall 2022:

Date Topic Reference(s) Discussion Leader(s) Email Address(es)
9/23/2022 Gendered effects of parenthood in academia

Morgan, Allison C., Samuel F. Way, Michael JD Hoefer, Daniel B. Larremore, Mirta Galesic, and Aaron Clauset. "The unequal impact of parenthood in academia." Science Advances 7, no. 9 (2021): eabd1996.


The Establishment. “The ‘flexibility Myth’ about Female Academics Is Wrong.” Medium, May 7, 2017.

Olivia Pomerenk
10/7/2022 Stereotype Threat

Tine, Michele, and Rebecca Gotlieb. "Gender-, race-, and income-based stereotype threat: the effects of multiple stigmatized aspects of identity on math performance and working memory function." Social Psychology of Education 16 (2013): 353-376.


Smith, Jessi L. "Understanding the process of stereotype threat: A review of mediational variables and new performance goal directions." Educational Psychology Review 16 (2004): 177-206.


Spencer, Steven J., Christine Logel, and Paul G. Davies. "Stereotype threat." Annual review of psychology 67 (2016): 415-437.

Marguerite Brown
10/21/2022 Queer mathematicians: creating better mathematics through inclusive practices

Bonato, Anthony. "Queer inclusion equals better mathematics." Nature 609, no. 7928 (2022): 861-862.


Bonato, Anthony. “On Being a Gay Mathematician.” The Intrepid Mathematician, June 21, 2017.


Bonato, Anthony, Juliette Bruce, and Ron Buckmire. "Spaces for All: The Rise of LGBTQ+ Mathematics Conferences." NOTICES OF THE AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY 68, no. 6 (2021).

Luke Peilen
11/4/2022 Trans identity and pronouns in academia

Beemyn, Genny, ed. Trans people in higher education. Suny Press, 2019.

(Chapter 14; Pages 138-139 and 146-149 of Chapter 10)

Mariya Savinov
Aurora Basinski
11/18/2022 What does DEI look like at the graduate level?

Gevertz, Jana L., and Joanna R. Wares. "Fostering Diversity in Top-Rated Pure Mathematics Graduate Programs." Notices of the American Mathematical Society 67, no. 2 (2020).


URGE Deliverables


NYU CAOS Hiring / Admissions policies

Claire Valva
12/2/2022 Racial politics of math education in the US

Moses, Robert, and Charles E. Cobb. Radical equations: Civil rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. Beacon Press, 2002.

(Chapter 1)


Vakil, Sepehr, and Rick Ayers. "The racial politics of STEM education in the USA: Interrogations and explorations." Race ethnicity and education 22, no. 4 (2019): 449-458.

Paul Beckman 
12/16/2022 Summary of semester and discussion on what to do next semester N/A N/A N/A


Fall 2021 and Spring 2022:

Date Topic Reference(s) Discussion Leader(s) Email Address(es)

White mentors in academia

Martinez-Cola, Marisela. "Collectors, nightlights, and allies, oh my." Understanding and Dismantling Privilege 10, no. 1 (2020): 61-82.

Marguerite Brown 


Improving underrepresented minority student persistence in STEM

Estrada, Mica, Myra Burnett, Andrew G. Campbell, Patricia B. Campbell, Wilfred F. Denetclaw, Carlos G. Gutiérrez, Sylvia Hurtado et al. "Improving underrepresented minority student persistence in STEM." CBE—Life Sciences Education 15, no. 3 (2016): es5.

Olivia Pomerenk


Queer identity in math

Voigt, Matthew, and Daniel L. Reinholz. "Calculating queer acceptance and visibility: A literature synthesis on queer identity in mathematics." (2020).

Mariya Savinov
12/3/2021 Ableism in math

Nieminen, Juuso Henrik, and Henri Valtteri Pesonen. "Politicising inclusive learning environments: how to foster belonging and challenge ableism?." Higher Education Research & Development 41, no. 6 (2022): 2020-2033.

Olivia Pomerenk
2/11/2022 Coping methods for doctoral students

Truong, Kimberly, and Samuel Museus. "Responding to racism and racial trauma in doctoral study: An inventory for coping and mediating relationships." Harvard Educational Review 82, no. 2 (2012): 226-254.

Claire Valva
4/8/2022 Race in mathematics teaching

Martin, Danny Bernard. "E (race) ing race from a national conversation on mathematics teaching and learning: The national mathematics advisory panel as white institutional space." The Mathematics Enthusiast 5, no. 2 (2008): 387-398.

Paul Beckman

The evolving status of women in STEM

“Nancy Hopkins, ‘the Changing Status of Women in Science at MIT: 1999-2011.’” Video.

Brennan Sprinkle

Queer and transgender graduate student experiences

Kersey, Elizabeth, and Matthew Voigt. "Finding community and overcoming barriers: experiences of queer and transgender postsecondary students in mathematics and other STEM fields." Mathematics Education Research Journal 33, no. 4 (2021): 733-756.

Mariya Savinov
Organizer(s): Olivia Pomerenk, Mariya Savinov