Provost's Lecture Series
|April 14: Vivienne Ming|
The Tax on Being Different
Lecture will be followed by a Fireside Chat hosted by Dr. Charles Robbins.
Abstract: Through Dr. Ming’s research in developing algorithmic modeling to assist Silicon Valley tech firms recruit a more diverse workforce, she identified troubling statistics about diversity hires and the "tax" that women and under-represented minorities pay to be employed at some of the country’s top firms. Through her research in neuroscience, cognition and her own life story, Dr. Ming is an expert on bias and discrimination, having undergone a gender transition in her mid-30's, she experienced firsthand what it is to interact with the world as both a male and female scientist and entrepreneur. Using a wide-range of data, she has calculated the tax, or price, that minorities pay to see equal opportunities and will reveal its impact on our organizations and economies. Dr. Ming will discuss the research that support the concept of a tax that is placed on those least able to pay it, defying any concept of fairness or economic inventive. According to Ming, organizations can adjust to improve this inevitable bias and will demonstrate that while discrimination is an inescapable part of the human experience, it can be overcome.
Thursday, April 14, 3:00 pm, Earth & Space Science (ESS) Room 131
|April 18: Richard Tapia|
Building a Culture of Diversity in Higher Education: Obstacles and Successes
Abstract: Extreme growth in the nation’s Hispanic population is forcing educational challenges at a crisis level for the country. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that this fastest growing segment of the nation’s population continues to be the least educated. The speaker warns that the rate at which the minority population is growing outpaces the rate at which we are improving our effectiveness in educating this segment of the population. The speaker's remarks will focus on the obstacles that the nation’s universities must overcome in order to improve representation at the graduate, and faculty levels in science, engineering, and mathematics. He will discuss the role that mathematicians play in contributing to the representation failures. The speaker also will discuss his successful Rice program for improving graduate student representation and the challenges that he has faced throughout his journey from being born in Los Angeles to parents who immigrated from Mexico to his trip to the White House to receive the 2011 National Medal of Science from President Obama. The National Medal of Science is the highest award given by the United States government and Richard Tapia is the first Latino to win this prestigious award.
Monday, April 18, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater
|Darwin Day 2016|
|February 12: David Jablonski|
Mass Extinctions and Evolution: What We’ve Learned Since Darwin
Co-sponsor: Department of Ecology and Evolution
Abstract: The fossil record is punctuated by extinction events at all scales, from the loss of one or two fish species with the drying of a lake, to the wholesale disappearance of dinosaurs (birds aside) 65 million years ago. The handful of events that are global in scale and bring down a wide spectrum of species are termed mass extinctions, which account for less than 10% of all the extinction over life’s long history, but have been pivotal in shaping the world’s biota. Because most research has centered on the causes of mass extinctions, we are just beginning to understand their evolutionary roles. Growing evidence points to a change in the rules of survival during mass extinctions, so that evolution is re-channeled during these rare but intense episodes. The evolutionary bursts that follow the extinctions may be just as important as the extinctions themselves, as new or previously obscure lineages take advantage of the opportunities opened up by the demise of dominant groups. However, a closer look at recovery intervals shows that survival alone does not guarantee evolutionary success: not all survivors are winners. The implications of this new understanding of extinction for present-day biodiversity are complex but wide-ranging.
Friday, February 12, 7:30 pm, Earth and Space Sciences 001
|21st Annual Leadership Symposium: Challenges in Higher Education|
|March 10: Shaun R. Harper|
Best Practices in Creating an Inclusive Campus Environment
Joining Dr. Harper for the 21st Annual Leadership Symposium will be Cheryl D. Hamilton, Assistant Provost and Director of EOP/AIM, and Dr. Timothy Ecklund, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Ms. Hamilton and Dr. Ecklund will each repond to Dr. Harper's presentation, after which the presenters will address questions from the symposium audience.
Abstract: Achieving diversity in higher education is a worthy, and as yet unrealized goal that would contribute significantly to creating greater equity in our society. Diversity alone, however, does not ensure student success or sufficient progress toward fully functioning citizenship. Improved outcomes in that regard require that campus environments are welcoming, inclusive, and encouraging of engagement of all members of the campus community. To that end, enhancing the effectiveness of campuses as inclusive environments is a priority consistent with and representative of public universities' mission. Dr. Harper will help to inform our efforts to create an environment that is inclusive and engaging for our students, in particular in the context of our overall commitment to improving four-year graduation rates.
Thursday, March 10, 9:00 am, Charles B. Wang Center Theater