An important part of MSRI's mission is to help develop the human potential within the mathematical community, including the important potential to be found among those groups historically underrepresented in mathematics.
MSRI collaborates with the other US NSF funded mathematics institutes to promote diversity. More information may be found on the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes web page http://www.mathinstitutes.org/. MSRI is also part of the Alliance for Building Faculty Diversity in the Mathematical Sciences. See http://www.math.ncsu.edu/alliance/
The MSRI Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) was the first human resources committee established by a mathematics institute, and has been in existence since 1993. Its charge is to aid the Institute’s efforts to promote diversity in participation in MSRI programs and, more generally, in the mathematics profession. The Conference for African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS) was founded at MSRI in 1995. Another of the most successful and visible conferences in mathematics highlighting diversity is the biennial Blackwell-Tapia Conference. This conference was also started by MSRI. In addition, MSRI introduced the Modern Mathematics workshop as a preconference workshop to the SACNAS meeting.
MSRI Undergraduate Program for students from underrepresented backgrounds, or MSRI-UP has pointed over fifty minority students toward mathematics Ph.D.s in the first four years of its existence; the impact on diversity in our profession is likely to be quite great.
In accordance with this, it is MSRI policy that each of its programs should actively seek diversity among its participants in both gender and ethnicity.
This is an issue to which each program's organizing committee must give careful attention from the very beginning. A key element in accomplishing this is diverse representation on the program organizing committee itself. The presence of diversity in the proposed organizing committee will strengthen the proposal and be a factor in its evaluation. The Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) will review the proposed composition of the program organizing committee and may suggest additional members in order to assure diversity.
To help the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and HRAC evaluate a program's progress in assuring diversity, the list of proposed participants submitted to SAC before its November meeting the year before a program, as well as the second list submitted the following January, should identify those proposed participants who are from underrepresented groups.
Each program will have an HRAC liaison to help it address these issues. This liaison might not necessarily come from HRAC's membership, but should be someone who works in an area related to the program's topic and who can help suggest participants from underrepresented groups, as well as assure that the program receives publicity among diverse segments of the mathematical community.
MSRI has hosted a number of diversity-oriented workshops.One important one was Promoting Diversity at the Graduate Level in Mathematics.The proceedings from this national forum appeared in the booklet.
More recently MSRI initiated a series of diversity-oriented workshops in collaboration with the other NSF funded math institutes. Please see the schedule.